How Shall We Live In This Age of Deception?

Who could have imagined finding truth would be so hard in the 21st century? Who could have possibly imagined it would be so hard to find the truth in an age of such interconnectivity? The entire world of knowledge has been at our fingertips for nearly three decades, and yet, we find it harder than ever to find truth in this age of deception, false narratives, and media gaslighting. As Christian women, what can we do? How can we begin to understand how we should live in this world?

I’m Amanda C. Bowers, your host of the How Shall We Live Podcast, and today I want to share with you 10 things from the book of Hebrews that will help you know the answer to this question: How Shall We Live in This Age of Deception?

finding truth

How Did We Get Here?

Before I jump into the 10 things from the book of Hebrews, let’s talk about how we got here.

I can’t say I didn’t see it coming over the past ten years.

Postmodern thinking has infiltrated every institution in America. What is postmodern thinking, you might ask. Well, the simplest definition from my perspective is the exact reason we are here and it’s a question that the Bible asked and answered long before the first postmodernist did:

What is truth and where can it be found?

The postmodern mind answers the question like this: It is whatever I feel it is today and it can’t be found with any absolute certainty.

The Bible, however, states that truth can absolutely be found and, in fact, the source of all truth is a person: Jesus Christ. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Back to how we got here. How did we get to a place in our country where truth is so obscure that even the simplest facts of life can’t seem to be found.

Our media outlets have become highly trained centers of gaslighting, our politicians are either completely corrupt or without any moral courage, many of our churches are running headlong into theological liberalism, and our schools are in a moral free fall.

As a healthcare provider, I’m sickened by what I’ve witnessed this year coming from those who purport to be “scientific” experts.

Our medical institutions and centers of science are also without any moral or ethical compass.

So, here we are.

While it’s the 21st century, nearly everything that the George Orwell warned us in the 20th century in his book, 1984, is happening in real time right before our eyes.

We now have self appointed “Fact Checkers” who don’t use facts censoring anything that doesn’t fit the mainstream media narrative.

No one is immune to the censorship. Not even the President of the United States.

My first experience with people in powerful positions fighting against my finding truth and exposing it, sadly, occurred within a church nearly ten years ago.

It really isn’t surprising that secular media sources, powerful people, and politicians don’t want to be examined, scrutinized, or exposed.

What Hope Do WE Have To Help Us Find Truth?

Are you asking yourself,

“What can we do? Where do go to find truth?”

It can feel like we are at the mercy of the media giants, but we are not.

God is still our King and He is the author of ALL truth.

When Jesus announced to His disciples that He must go away to prepare a place for them, Thomas inquired, in essence, if you go away, how will we find you? We do not know the way.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

John 14:6-7

I can’t predict the future or where things are going to be in a year, five years, or ten years.

I have no idea if the Lord will have mercy and turn back the judgment America is certainly ripe to receive, or if the true church in America is heading into an era of persecution and hiding such as our nation has never experienced.

I do, however, know that if you have placed your trust in Jesus Christ to save you, then He is the truth and He is with you, and we have every reason to be hopeful.

We are hopeful, because our future is secure.

We are hopeful, because we know the ONE WHO IS TRUTH.

10 Things We Can Do As We Seek Truth In An Age of Deception

The writer of Hebrews gives us much encouragement in these times, let’s read this passage together and then we can dive into the 10 imperatives given to us to provide encouragement and purpose as we seek God’s Kingdom in this age of deception.

Let brotherly love continue.  Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.  Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  So we can confidently say,

“The Lord is my helper;
    I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”

 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  

Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.  

We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat.  For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. 

So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.  Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured.  

For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.  

Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.  Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Hebrews 13:1-16
  1. Let Brotherly Love Continue– First and foremost, we must be diligent to continue to give and receive brotherly love. This is VITAL! You must pray and strive with all that is in you to find and be joined to a local body of Christians. I know how hard that is given the massive falling away that has happened in the American church over the past 2 decades, but that’s all the more reason you must try. I encourage you to begin today praying for God to provide you a church home and a Godly man of God to be your pastor. In future episodes, I will share more and more about my journey and the ups and downs of finding a church home, but know this. No matter how bad things have been in my previous churches, I never ever wanted to just hang up my hat and stay home. My love for the church and Christ are too great for that. 1 John tells us: “Who says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded him.”
  2. Do not neglect to show hospitality- This is also so important sisters. When my children were very young, I remember a very wise older sister telling me to never let the state of my house be the cause for not having people into it. Now hear me out on this. I’m not saying we should be slobs. Of course part of hospitality is making our home a place where people want to come, but at the same time, when your children are very young, keeping a perfectly orderly neat home can be quite a challenge. In fact, I always found it encouraging as a young mother when I visited my friends and discovered that they, too, had toys scattered all over the living room and the occasional basket of laundry left undone before my arrival. As my children have aged and as we continued to work on their life skills, little by little, my home has become more organized and orderly, but I don’t regret the times that I said, “I don’t care, I want my friends to come over for coffee so we can chat and pray and share our lives with each other.” I more often regret the times that I was lazy and didn’t invite them because I didn’t want them to see the state of things. We also need to remember that this passage isn’t merely about fellowship with our sisters, but also showing hospitality to strangers and unbelievers whenever possible. That’s a topic also for another time, but it’s important that in this age of social distancing and isolation, we as Christians, resist the urge to isolate from our brothers and sisters. We must find a way to obey the Lord.
  3. Remember those in Prison- Many of our brethren and pastors around the world are facing persecution like never before. With the age of deception that has been thrust upon us these past 18 months has come an extreme persecution of the church. Pastors in places such as Canada and Australia and even here in the US have faced fines and been imprisoned for obeying the Lord’s command to worship Him and gather as a congregation. Added to this increase in previously free worlds, the level of persecution and death to believers in other parts of our world, such as Afghanistan have also become increasingly intense. I’d encourage you to subscribe to several publications and/or follow they social channels to help you keep abreast of these events from truthful sources and pray, pray, pray for them. I’ll include the links below for the resources I recommend.
    1. Voice of the Martyrs
    2. World Magazine
  4. Let Marriage Be Held in Honor among all– This point is definitely going to be a huge part of this website. I’ll be sharing tons of resources to help you be a godly, Biblical wife and to seek God’s help in your marriage. I don’t pretend nor purport to be a marriage counselor and certainly don’t recommend you see me as such. If you are struggling in your marriage, I recommend you seek Godly, Biblical counsel, but I do hope to share some of the resources that have helped me over these past 25 years of marriage. I know there is no other explanation for the success of my marriage than that Jesus Christ is our foundation. However, that wasn’t always the case and while we professed to be believers when we married, we soon found out that what we claimed wasn’t coming out in our daily lives and our marriage suffered in the beginning greatly. But God is a merciful and patient God and over time, He changed both of us and continues to do so. I want this site to be a place for encouragement and help to you as you seek to live your life before God holy and blameless and to keep you marriage in honor among all.
  5. Keep your life free from the love of money- Here’s another big one. If Covid lockdowns have taught me anythings it’s that I have a lot of work to do in the area of loving money. Before you judge me, ask yourself, if you woke up today and found out that the government told your husband he isn’t essential and he has to stay home and not support you, what would your thoughts be? I’m sure the many of you have experienced that. As much as I’d like to tell you that I didn’t panic just a little, I can’t. I had a few moments of panic, and then depression, and then anger, and then excitement to see what God would do. And He did provide and still provides daily, but I had to go through some repentance about where my faith truly was resting. That is a daily repentance even today as the world news seeks to steal my joy and bring on fear. We must take every thought captive and renew our minds DAILY with the word of God in order to remain free from the love of money and this world. But when we do this, we have the peace that passeth all understanding and this lost and dying world (though they may not admit it publicly) marvels at us and it gives us opportunities to give an answer for why we aren’t ringing our hands in fear and anxiety. It gives us the chance to glorify God and share the good news of salvation.
  6. Remember your leaders- Just like point #1 about brotherly love. Now, more than ever, we must remember to pray for our leaders, encourage our leaders, and obey our leaders: Our spiritual leaders. The writer of Hebrews wants to remind us here that we ought to be in much prayer and support for our spiritual leaders: our elders, pastors, deacons in our local church first and foremost. As we shared about the persecution, our pastors are under much pressure and are often the visible face of the church to this world and therefore, often, the first to experience persecution. Never fail to remember your spiritual leaders.
  7. Do not be led away by strange and diverse doctrines- Again, time will not allow on this segment to dive into this topic just yet, but it is a vital command. This is the age of deception. We are being led astray at every turn and sadly not just by the secular media and politicians. There are many many false teachers among us and many of them are among the most popular and visible teachers in our culture. Go to your podcast app and type in Christian teaching and, sadly, the vast majority of the top podcasts that you will see are for false teachers and wolves. I’m sure as I go into these topics more in the future, you may be challenged at times by my thoughts. I only ask that you do with me the same that you should do with any and all people who seek to teach or share matters of spiritual importance: Be a Berean! Paul commended the Bereans as more noble because they searched the Scriptures to see if his teachings were true. That is what all believers are supposed to do! Don’t get angry when someone points out that your favorite teacher has an error or worse, may, in fact, be a heretic. Instead, go to the Word of God. Verify the things they claim are false. Ask God for wisdom. Be patient and search, search, search. The Spirit of God will teach you the truth. Not everyone who claims to be discerning is discerning. Some people are just slanderers or overly zealous in their pursuit of error and become, sadly, accusers of the brethren. But, it is also true, that not everyone who tries to warn you about a false teacher is doing so out of malice. Many are genuinely concerned for your soul. Again, this is why being in a local church with a godly pastor that holds to an orthodox confession of faith is so very very important. When you encounter a claim that a particular teacher is false, you can not only pray and study the Word, but you can go to your pastor and elders and ask for their help. If they are good shepherds, they will gladly help you. If they are not good shepherds or scorn and admonish you for even asking the question (as I have experienced in the past), well, then, you now have another matter to consider: is your own pastor a true shepherd. I pray that this isn’t true for you and that you have a godly man teaching you and a set of elders who will come alongside you and your husband (if you are married) and help you discern truth from error. Well, I’ve probably touched on this enough for today. There will be more to talk about in the future.
  8. Expect to suffer- No other principle seems to be more clearly taught and more openly ignored by American Christians than this one. We are told over and over and over by Christ and the writers of the New Testament as well as many Old Testament passages that true followers of Christ WILL SUFFER IN THIS WORLD. And, yet, despite the apostle Peter’s warning that we ought not be surprised by this fact, I find, I often am still a bit surprised and sad when it happens. It is a testament to my immaturity I suppose sadly. It’s becoming easier and the Lord always continues to prune me, but as I’ve witnessed these events since 2020, it’s very obvious, that suffering is here in America and it’s probably going to get worse. One thing, however, I’ve realized about American Christianity. While we think we haven’t endured much persecution (and by in large we haven’t), one of the reasons we don’t experience more suffering and shunning but he world is because we have lost our saltiness. We won’t speak the truth openly in the public realm and so, of course, we don’t suffer. Now, I’m not sadistic. I’m not saying we ought to seek to suffer. I’m simply saying, perhaps one reason we haven’t experienced more persecution is because we never speak up for Christ and the truth. Again, if the events of these past nearly 2 years haven’t shown you the importance of speaking up, then I’m not sure what will do so. The time has come to stop sitting in the shadows. This nation needs the gospel. They need to repent of their sin and trust in Christ alone for salvation. If we don’t start calling sin what it is and calling them to repent, we are going to have a lot of blood on our hands. These are things I am saying to myself because the Spirit of God is saying them to me. You want to now how to find truth in the age of deception? Become a truth teller! Get in the Word of God. Get in a good church with a heart for truth and evangelism and get busy. There is much work to be done. We have the truth. We need to start telling it to our friends, neighbors, and enemies.
  9. Be encouraged- We have an everlasting city: We are almost to the end of these 10 encouragement for how to live in this dying world. The writer of Hebrews tells us here that we are to be encouraged for we are citizens of an everlasting city. Right along with recognizing that more repentance was needed in the area of money has been that more repentance is needed in the area of loving this world. Look, I’m an American girl from the Appalachian mountains. My people are ferociously loyal to their own. We love family. We love our mountains and while many sadly don’t understand the true gospel, we love our church traditions. I love my people. I’m proud of their grit and I love our beautiful part of the world. It’s pretty easy for me to become defensive about the false narratives that are out there about the Appalachian people and about America. However, that’s not who I am. I died in Christ. I no longer live. It is Christ that lives in me. This world, these mountains, and many of these people though they be my blood relatives, are not my home. My home is with Christ and the people of God in a city not built by human hands. Do I want to see my people and my country converted to Christ and restored to her former more godly self? Of course. Paul said himself that he longed for his people to believe in the truth. Jesus longed to take the Jews into His arms, but they wouldn’t have it. I must repent of looking back and look only ahead to that everlasting city. Like Christian, I must press on the narrow path toward the celestial city and seek that home that is truly mine. Be encouraged dear sisters…we have an everlasting city.
  10. Through Him-Continually offer up a sacrifice of praise!– Finally, the grand finale. How do we live in this day of falling away? How dow serve God and love our neighbor when it feels as though the very foundations are crumbling around us? Praise Him! That’s it. Praise Him! Let the meditations of your heart and the words of your mouth be pleasing in His sight and bring forth praise. When you realize that you are downcast or not sure what is coming next from this tidal wave of deception, get in the Word, turn on some hymns, and praise your God! Take the advice of King David:Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Psalm 43:5

That, my sisters, is How we Shall Live in this generation and these are the types of things I want to share with you as we journey together and seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

What Resources Are There For Finding Truth?

We know that the Lord is TRUTH and on the most fundamental spiritual level, He is the source of all truth.

The Bible is the guiding light to all our questions in life for every thing we face.

But, what about sources for learning, growing, and for keeping up to date with current events.

How do we know who to listen to and where to find the resources that offer us the “real facts”.

That, my friends, is part of the lifelong journey of the Christian life. We must be Bereans and test everything against the Word of God.

It will be my ambition on to ALWAYS endeavor to share the truth and to provide you with TRUTHFUL resources.

I have started a page to list any and all resources I have found to be helpful. I’ll link to that in the show notes.

resources
Truthful Resources

You will find a variety of topics on this page ranging from Homeschool resources, to honest journalism for today’s current events, to ministry sites I trust and use.

I am not perfect and I can make mistakes, so I trust you to always “fact check” me as well, but I will endeavor to compile resources that you can trust, journalists who are still doing their job, and ministries who love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and mind.

I hope these will be as helpful to you as they are to me.

I encourage you to consider signing up for email newsletters from any resource you truly trust.

While it can still be valuable to follow them on their various social channels, email is often the most secure way to get their information uncensored.

I also encourage you to make sure you put them on your contact list so that your emails are received in your inbox and not in the spam or promotions folder.

On that note, I plan to start my own newsletter so if you are interested in being on it, go here to sign up.

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