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April fools! Did you know that a deceived person does not know he is deceived? Nathan Ham explains.
Don’t worry—Ken has not renounced his faith in the Bible as God’s infallible Word. As his oldest son, I can personally attest to that. It is reassuring to know that my dad steadfastly believes the Bible “from the very first verse,” and he has taught me to do the same. Actually, secularists have pulled this kind of prank in the past, but for those who know him, Ken will never abandon what he knows to be true. Knowing that there is a God who created the universe and that the Bible is the infallible Word of God, Ken would never be willing to give up on his core convictions.
The real title of this article is “A Deceived Person Does Not Know He Is Deceived.” This makes a lot of sense when you think about it in the context of April Fools’ Day. By definition, a deceived person does not know he is deceived. If he realized he was being deceived, then he would no longer be deceived because once you know you are deceived, you are no longer deceived. Also, if a person knows he is being lied to, then he is not deceived. It is impossible to be deceived and to know you are deceived (about the same issue) at the same time. A deceived person does not know he is deceived!
Maybe that last paragraph insults your intelligence, but there is a point. The big deal is simply that you do not know you are deceived, unless you have access to all relevant information from a source that does know.
For example, at Christmas there are many children around the world who think that a fat man in a red suit sneaks down their chimney to give them presents. But unless someone explains the truth that it was a made up story, a child will continue being deceived. Now some people think creationists and Bible believers are just like that simple-minded child who doesn’t realize reindeer can’t fly over 650 miles per second in order to deliver presents to every house in the world!
So here are two important questions: How does one become deceived regarding the question of origins, and how would one know if he or she is deceived?
The Bible is a greater authority on human nature than the best psychology textbook. That makes a lot of sense to those of us who know without any doubt that God created the human soul and mind. But for those who believe there is no Creator God, what does it mean to be deceitful? Don’t give me the dictionary definition, but give me the moral truth about what deceitfulness is and whether it is right or wrong. You can’t do it even if you think you can. The average atheist or agnostic I have talked to will say, “There are no absolute truths.” They seem to despise my absolute statements that God exists, He is the source of all truth, and He determines right from wrong.
But how could deceitfulness ever be considered wrong in an atheistic worldview where life has no ultimate meaning or purpose other than what one ascribes to it? Atheists like Richard Dawkins will severely criticize Christians for allegedly lying to children and deceiving them, as though it were child abuse. But in a world with no absolute truth or morals, how can he say we are wrong? In a world with no God, how could atheists tell us it is wrong to give hope to those without it? Are they God? Are they going to tell me it is wrong to lie or to give false hope? I thought there were no absolute truths?
Secularists will cry for tolerance, but they won’t be tolerant of someone like me. Secularists will say abortion is okay because we are just an animal and that homosexual marriage is okay because a person is born that way, but don’t you dare say that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died on the Cross for our sins! How intolerant, unintelligent, and bigoted for me to say that. It becomes especially painful for the skeptic when I dare to suggest that he is blind to the truth (deceived).
Let me give you the truth about where this deception comes from (and yes, I know reindeer can’t fly): “
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, (KJV)).
This amazingly insightful statement on human nature written approximately 2,600 years ago is just as true today as the day it was written. In fact, I don’t need to see tomorrow morning’s newspaper to know what will happen. Because human nature has not changed in the approximately 6,000 years since Adam’s sin, the Bible is more up-to-date than the nightly news. People will continue lying to, abusing, and killing each other until Jesus Christ returns and creates a new earth (Revelation 21–22). Peace on earth will not come from the United Nations, but only from Jesus Christ (Micah 5:5; Isaiah 9:6).
What a lot of people don’t realize is that a child in Sunday school has a greater understanding of reality than many of the world’s greatest scientists. Sure, a kid couldn’t build a rocket ship or a cell phone, but that is not the point. My children understand that there is a God (Genesis 1:1) who originally created a good world, man sinned (Genesis 1:31; 3:17), and every person is descended from Adam and inherits his sinful nature (1 Corinthians 15:22). They also understand the purpose and meaning of life (Revelation 4:11), the reality of life after death (Hebrews 9:27), the reason for death and suffering (Romans 5:12), the original source of all false teaching and error (2 Corinthians 4:4), and that Jesus is the ultimate cure for all of life’s problems (John 6:35). Many books have been written on these subjects, but my children had answers for all of life’s major questions by the time they were age six!
Given this biblical foundation for right and wrong, forget psychobabble like “GroupThink,” “bad faith,” “indoctrination,” and “cognitive bias.” The root of all deception is simply the sinful human nature we each inherited from our great-granddaddy Adam, who gave in to the original deceiver, Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4). People will go on “
deceiving and being deceived” as long as Adam’s descendants go on living (2 Timothy 3:13; e.g., “
blind leaders of the blind,” Matthew 15:14).
Okay, so people are “
deceiving and being deceived” because of sinful human nature. Since a deceived person does not know he is deceived, what can one do to know for certain if he or she is not deceived, especially on this matter of origins? It is a significant question because what you believe about God and where you came from strongly affects how you live your life. Worldviews have consequences. If there is a God who made us, then He sets the rules by which I am ultimately judged. If there is no God and life is a product of meaningless, random processes, then I can do what I want, whether that means living in peace with the rest of society or not.
As I said earlier, the only way to know for sure you are not being deceived is to have all relevant information from a source that does know. Let me break down all the arguments, philosophies, and teachings on the origin of the universe to give you two basic choices:
Do you really want to stake your eternal destiny on the changing opinions of men? Is it possible you have been deceived, as Jesus put it, by the “
blind leaders of the blind” (Matthew 15:14)? You know you are deceived about the origin of life if you continue to follow those who do not know where the material came from that makes up the universe, whether there is a spiritual realm or not, if a person has a soul, what the meaning of life is, and if there is life after death. Do you honestly think you are not deceived when you follow someone so blind or ignorant? A deceived person does not know he is deceived. The only way to get past the deception is to consider all relevant information from a trustworthy source. The Bible is that source of truth!
Why will Ken never abandon his stance on creation and biblical authority? It is like a man who was born blind having his eyes miraculously opened, never to be blind again. As 2 Corinthians 4:6 (KJV) puts it, “
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” The same is true for me. For my eyes have been opened by Jesus Christ, who not only created me but is God manifest in the flesh who died on the Cross for my sins and rose from the dead. Seeing Christ as my Savior has opened my eyes and removed the deception of humanism, making me to see clearly for the first time in my life. I now understand where I came from and where I am going. Jesus Christ casts out all doubts, fears, and spiritual blindness.
Are you deceived about God? You wouldn’t know it if you were. Are you so blind you do not know Jesus Christ as Creator and Savior? Today, this April Fools’ Day, would be a perfect day to discover who Jesus really is. I leave you with a Bible passage profound in its understanding, revealing in its explanation, and life-saving in its truth:
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:3–6, (KJV))
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.