Thou Shalt Not Raise a False Report…

First, let me say this. This is a rant, I’m not writing to seek others’ opinions, nor am I writing to “argue” with anyone. Secondly, if your children are in the room reading over your shoulder, you may want to excuse them at this point. Third, if you do not believe in God, then this does not pertain to you…of course you are welcome to read on, but please understand that this is not directed at you, and I have no intention of trying to preach to you, so please do not become offended if you choose to read on. And fourth, if you are a Christian and you “go with the flow” in today’s society, you are likely to be offended, but really, the Word of God shouldn’t offend you as a Christian, so I’d think carefully before becoming irate.

Okay, warnings over, let’s get down to business. Y’all know me, I don’t “preach” on this blog, I really don’t, but I am so disgusted right now that I had to share my thoughts somewhere, and where else but my own blog, right?

Exodus 23:1 says: Thou shalt not raise a false report; put not thy hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.

Proverbs 6:16-19 says, “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” Exodus 20:16

And one of my favorites:
Colossians 3:9-10 says, “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.”

Now, of those of you who are Christians, can we all agree that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God? Can we all agree that if God says it, it must be true? Can we all agree that if God calls something an abomination, we should try our best to avoid that thing or behavior? Is it not pretty obvious through both the Old Testament and the New that God tells us NOT to LIE?

I thought so. Now that we have a solid Biblical belief going here, let’s move to the next step. What is a false report? Strong’s Concordance tells us that false means:
emptiness, vanity, falsehood

a) emptiness, nothingness, vanity

b) emptiness of speech, lying

c) worthlessness (of conduct)

and that report means:
1) report, a hearing

So, in conclusion, a false report is a lying report or a worthless report, empty speech, or a falsehood. So it means lying. Lying is bad, we all know that, right?

Okay, so now we have a Strong understanding (pun intended) of what the Lord means when he says “Thou shalt not raise a false report”. By now, many of you are saying, “Duh, Jessica, we know we aren’t supposed to lie!”, but bear with me for a moment, because this obviousness is here for a reason.

The heart of my message is simple. When is it okay to lie according to the Bible? Is it okay to lie to save our lives? Is it okay to lie to make someone feel better? Is it okay to lie to each other? Is it okay to lie for fun? Is it okay to lie because it’s something we’ve always done? Is it okay to lie because our ancestors did? Is it okay to lie to make ourselves feel better?

In case you need a refresher, the Bible says NO, it’s not okay to lie for any reason. In fact, the Bible is clear once again when it says, “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” Mat. 5:37

So there is no reason under the sun that it’s okay to lie in God’s eyes. Got it.

Why, then, do MILLIONS of people claiming to be Christians (many of them legitmately trying to follow Him) lie to their children, while at the same time trying to teach them not to lie to them (the parents)? If you are still in the dark, we’re talking about Santa Claus, folks. Do you believe in Santa Claus? That he is a real magical being that goes from house to house each Christmas delivering toys to all good little girls and boys? Do you believe that he lives and works in the North Pole and drives a sleigh around the skies on Christmas eve? Do you really believe that Santa “sees you when you’re sleeping” and “knows when you’re awake”? If you DO believe this, then you either are reading this from a padded room, need to be reading this from a padded room, or are even lying to yourself-now that’s talent. No, seriously. We all know that Santa is not real, he does not have magical reindeer, he does not deliver presents, he is not omnipotent, omnicient, or any other word ending in “ent”, really. So why, knowing what God says about lying, while trying to instill the value of honesty in our children, do well-meaning parents LIE TO THEIR CHILDREN EVERY YEAR?

I can hear the groans now…hey, maybe I’m santa claus…cause I heard that! But seriously, folks, stick with me for a second. I’m sure you are thinking, “but santa isn’t really a lie, it’s innocent fun, my parents did it and I turned out okay, they know it isn’t real, etc.” I once again would like to direct your attention to when it is okay to lie…found in the previous paragraph. Go ahead and scroll back up, I’ll wait. Patience is a virtue, ya know.

I understand your thoughts and concerns. I know you “just want your kids to fit in”, I know you “don’t want to spoil their fun”, and I know that you “see nothing wrong with it”, but I’d like to remind you that the Bible tells us in Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
You can have fun, awesome, joyful holiday celebrations without lying to yourself or your children. And it really doesn’t matter if YOU see nothing wrong with it, the Bible tells us that GOD sees something wrong with it-because it is lying, which again, is not okay. It offends God. Do you really want to offend God on the day we celebrate as His son’s birthday? Then why do we continue this ridiculous man-made charade…really, why?

I’m going to now address those who would say, “but we want to teach our kids about the charity work of St. Nicholas, what a great man he was, and that THAT is the spirit of Christmas”. Your intentions are good, I get where you are coming from more than any other Santa-lovin’ household, I do. But here’s the flaw. We already have an amazing example of Love and Charity in our lives if we are Christians. His name is God. Need I remind you that He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that you and I might have a chance at eternity in heaven? He is the only perfect man to ever walk this earth. He has a pretty cool story, too. Hey, in Revelation, he even has a white beard. He’s not dead-always a plus, right? He wants you to teach your children about Him. He told those around Him to bring the little children unto Him…and He requested this way before this santa dude ever even lived on this earth. He showed us the TRUE meaning of love and gift-giving, He gives us eternal life in a mansion on a hill. Really, God’s the REAL superhero, here folks. He manages to live each day in our hearts while being everywhere at once, answering trillions of prayers each day, and the guy doesn’t even need sleep. Now that’s something to celebrate. Why is it so hard to say, “We give gifts in the tradition of Christ. God gave us this awesome gift 2000 years ago, and we want to imitate that as best we can, so we give you cool toys, and share what we can with others during the Christmas season.” I mean really, it’s a pretty cool reality, so why do we need this fake superhero to have a “fun Christmas”?

There’s one other thing that bugs me about this whole santa thing, and it’s the reason for this post. See, I came across a woman today who has a 20 yr old son, an 8th grader, and another smaller child in her care. She is irate at her 8th grader’s teacher for assigning the teens a journal entry on “How you found out santa isn’t real”. This woman is irate because she, like many other families in the United States, teaches her children that “if you don’t believe, you won’t receive” in reference to santa and his gifts each year. She claims her 20 yr old “still believes” as does the 8th grader, who came home all upset because she believes the whole santa thing. This mother is ANGRY at a teacher for telling her 13 yr old that there is no santa. Did the teacher lie? Was he to expect that a 13 yr old didn’t know that this was all a falsehood perpetuated by tradition? I think not. The parent lied to her kids, who in turn believe that they need to lie to her, saying, “Of course, Mom, I believe in Santa!” even at the ripe old age of 20. She encourages this behavior. I realize that most family’s belief in santa is much more short-lived and a lot less extreme, but this story really gets to the root of the issue. Why does God hate lying so much? Because it leads to pain, sorrow, and MORE LYING. No doubt that not only will these children of hers continue to lie to her each Christmas in order to receive gifts, but they will pass on the tradition of lying to their children, and then someday my grandchildren will be forced to make the choice to either “go with the flow” of American society or to follow their God in His commandments. What a lovely tradition we pass on to our children, don’t you think?

As an additon, I should add that if you choose not to lie to your children as is commanded in the Bible, you should also have the respect for others to teach your children that other kid’s mommies and daddies tell them about santa as if he were real, and that it is not their place to set them straight. You really don’t want to be the parent of the kid who “ruins santa” for the whole class, so teach your children some tact when dealing with this sensitive subject, please. It can be done, really. Just tell them to change the subject or say nothing. Don’t teach them to lie, b/c that would defeat the purpose, just teach them that it’s not okay to go around telling their friends that their parents are lying to them, it’s something that their mommy or daddy needs to tell them, and it’s not our place.

Also, I am not a part of the whole “santa claus will send you to h*ll” group, and I find those type of people to be equally if not more offensive than those who choose to lie to their children. Santa won’t send you there, but unrepentant lying, well, that could.

Published in: on December 22, 2008 at 3:17 am  Comments (8)  

From Scratch

We have an ongoing joke in our family about the meaning of “from scratch”.  I make a lot of things “from scratch” and will refer to the dishes as such. This is inevitably followed by my 0h-so-goofy husband asking, “What exactly is scratch? I mean what is it made from?” Which, after chasing strange images of chicken scratch from my mind, leads me to respond with, “Whatever I want. That’s the beauty of ‘from scratch’.” But in order to settle this question once and for all, I’ve consulted my favorite search engine (I’m a google girl, thank you very much!) and found the TRUE origin of the idiom “from scratch”, so here goes:

From the very beginning, from the outset; from nothing. For example, I knew we’d have a problem from scratch. Similarly, to start from scratch means “to start from the very beginning,” as in After the business failed, they decided to reorganize and start from scratch. This term comes from racing, where a competitor starts from the line scratched into the ground (whereas others may start ahead with a handicap). [Mid-1800s] Also see from the ground up; from the word go. (Courtesy of answers.com)

I’ve certainly never attributed the phrase “from scratch” to anything sports-related, but it looks like that is where it began. Who knew? Nowadays, in our home, “from scratch” almost always refers to some homemade goodie starting with flour, sugar, and butter. Which brings me to my next point, we LOVE to bake! My lovely stepdaughter, K, loves to cook and bake almost as much as I do and is well on her way to becoming a wonderful chef someday. When we aren’t glued to the Food Network learning something new, we can often be found in the kitchen practicing a new recipe or culinary skill, and this year we will be spending even more time in the kitchen. Why, you ask? Because K has asked that I teach her Cooking Class this year. It’s going to take a lot of work, planning, and patience on my part, but so far, so good! We’re having a blast and I’ll do my best to update y’all (with pictures) as the class progresses! Now I’m off to explain the meaning of “from scratch” to my husband!

 

Published in: on September 11, 2007 at 6:47 pm  Comments (2)  
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