Propaganda

In the early 20th century it was considered improper for a lady to smoke but the American Tobacco Company realized that it could potentially double its customer base if women could be convinced to smoke. The chair of the company hired Edward Bernay, a nephew of Sigmund Freud, to design a campaign to change public ideas about women smoking in public. He saw an opportunity in the fact that women really wanted a better life, one that recognized their independence.

Bernay hired women who were attractive yet relatable to march in the New York City Easter Sunday Parade of in 1929 while smoking what he labeled – “torches of freedom.”  Almost overnight, cigarettes became a symbol of feminine strength and of resistance of to the dominance of males. The taboo about women smoking was replaced with a new ideal of an independent, strong woman holding her ‘Torch of Freedom!’ That little footnote of American history is not a unique story about manipulation

The Genesis story of the Garden tells of the Devil’s own propaganda. Finding Eve, he whispered suggestions that the God who had created paradise for them was holding out on the best. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil stood at the center of the garden, with the stipulation that they should not eat of it or they would die, which was the truth.

The devil told a half-truth –  “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5, NIV)  “Yes,” he said, “they would lose their innocence, but it would be a good thing, making them like God!”  The lie was planted, and when believed, it changed them, bringing on spiritual death.

Christian friend, are you allowing subtle lies to steal the truth from you?
Are you losing sight of Jesus, believing that your best life can be found in temporal successes and treasures?

We who have the Spirit of God living in us need not become deceived. He will give us a discerning mind! I love Paul’s prayer for Believers in Ephesians 1. “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:17-19, NIV)   

The Spirit will help us to be wise, understanding right and wrong, capable of strategic choices in our lives. Beyond that, He also promises to reveal the unseen, to open our eyes to the spiritual and eternal so that we know Jesus better with each passing day.  What hope, what assurance, what power is ours through Christ. Will we trade these for empty promises of worldly success and/or social acceptance?

The Church of Jesus has fallen into disrepute, her attention misfocused, her agenda wrongly placed. Corruption has crept in. Tragically even as the father of lies exploits her mistakes, many are deceived by his propaganda. But, we who are ‘in Christ’ are not in the dark. We can be fully aware of his strategy if we choose to live in the Light, focused on the Gospel of Christ, which is our singular hope and the hope of the world. Pray for a discerning mind. Fill up your mind and heart with true faith, a mature and thoughtful faith. 

Here is a word from the Word. May it be both a caution and promise for us in this world of propaganda, so that we will know the Truth that sets us free.  “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  … They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” (Romans 1:20-25, NIV)

“But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:21-24, NIV)  That’s the Truth!

__________________

Living Hope

How great the chasm that lay between us
How high the mountain I could not climb
In desperation I turned to heaven
And spoke Your name into the night

Then through the darkness Your loving-kindness
Tore through the shadows of my soul
The work is finished the end is written
Jesus Christ my living hope

Who could imagine so great a mercy
What heart could fathom such boundless grace
The God of ages stepped down from glory
To wear my sin and bear my shame

The cross has spoken I am forgiven
The King of kings calls me His own
Beautiful Savior I’m Yours forever
Jesus Christ my living hope

Hallelujah praise the One who set me free
Hallelujah death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There’s salvation in Your name
Jesus Christ my living hope

Then came the morning that sealed the promise
Your buried body began to breathe
Out of the silence the Roaring Lion
Declared the grave has no claim on me

Jesus Yours is the victory whoa
Jesus Christ my living hope
Oh God You are my living hope

Brian Johnson | Phil Wickham © 2017 Phil Wickham Music (Fair Trade Music Publishing [c/o Essential Music Publishing LLC]) Simply Global Songs (Fair Trade Music Publishing [c/o Essential Music Publishing LLC])

Sing My Songs (Fair Trade Music Publishing [c/o Essential Music Publishing LLC])

Bethel Music Publishing

CCLI License # 810055

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