How do you know when you are being deceived?

Wikipedia defines deception as “acts to propagate beliefs that are not true, or not the whole truth (as inĀ half-truths or omission).” As a reference to this definition, you are being deceived when you believe someone who is propagating beliefs that are not true. You are following after someone who is teaching, sharing or preaching false things.

Easy enough to define what it is to be deceived and a little trickier to know when you are being deceived.

It may be a gut feeling that something is not right, questions about what is being shared that don’t go away or moving in a direction that is in opposition to something which you are certain is true. Conversation with friends, family, colleagues or a church community can be helpful in discerning whether or not you are being deceived. Most often I have found conversations about truth, lies and deception to best be carried out one on one.

What would you add to this response?

I recently met with a congregant who shared some deep questions with me. I asked for permission to share them on this blog to more broadly share my response.

How do you know something is true?

You know something is true when it is measured against something that is certain truth. In my case, I look to scripture as the primary source for understanding the truth about life, the universe and everything. As a United Methodist Christian, I seek to discren whether something is true by comparing it to what I find in scripture. I seek to understand the truth as found in scripture by using my own reason and intellect, the tradition of the church across time and the experience of a community of believers as well as my own experience of faith. These tools guide my search for truth and help me know whether something is true or false.

I recently met with a congregant who shared some deep questions with me. I asked for permission to share them on this blog to more broadly share my response.

How do you define truth?

Truth is reality as it actually exists. Ultimately, truth is the Triune God in which all creation lives, moves and has being. I believe that the clearest written depiction of truth is in the entirety of the Bible, which includes the story of God’s work and God’s people across time. Scripture contains the clearest picture that we have of Jesus Christ in the four Gospel narratives of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Jesus Christ is the best picture that we have of God. Jesus recognizes himself as the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).

I recently met with a congregant who shared some deep questions with me. I asked for permission to share them on this blog to more broadly share my response.

In what way would you define truth?