Servants of God
“A measure of bitter truth is included in my speech today,
but I offer it as a friend, not as an adversary.”
-Russian dissident, Alexander Solzhenitsyn at Harvard University
“Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD,
but those who act faithfully are his delight.”
Communism requires lies be treated as truth. When American politicians promise free healthcare and free college and plenty of solar energy so oil can be abandoned, they are lying. And they know it. But all that is required is for gullible citizens to act as if the lies are the truth. Once that happens, the liars are in charge. Living by the lie creates a slavery to which the gullible must (at least initially) willingly assent. In the United States in the year of our Lord 2020, we are very nearly dominated by lies.
We know that removing God from education and public life is wrong. We know babies should not be murdered in the womb. We know men and women are not identical and that a person cannot change his or her gender by wishing it to be so. We know that two men or two women united in a sexual union is not marriage. We know children deserve both a father and a mother in the home to rear them into responsible adulthood. We know that fossil fuels (the most natural kind of resource) are not poison to the earth. We know that life is more than the love of money and possessions. We know we are not mere beasts and that we are created for higher, better and spiritual things. But far too many of us are living by these lies and our nation is in grave danger because of it.
When Alexander Solzhenitsyn dared to urge Russians to “Live not by lies” in an essay by that title, he got himself expelled from the Soviet Union. He made his way to the United States and was for a time the darling of the American Left until he told the truth at the Harvard University commencement in June of 1978. Among the ironies of it all, is the fact that Harvard’s motto is “Veritas,” the Latin for “truth.” The original motto, “Truth (Veritas) for Christ (Christo) and the Church (Ecclesiae),” was adopted in 1692. When Harvard became awash in secularism in the twentieth century, the words about Christ and the Church were removed from the Harvard shield. It is beyond sad that a school founded to train Christian ministers is now a bastion of humanism. Harvard dismissed God, but in doing so, welded itself to a fundamental lie while still claiming to be interested in truth. This sort of behavior is the epitome of living the lie.
Solzhenitsyn knew that denying human fallenness meant that humans would deny needing to be saved and regenerated by God. He knew that it would lead to blaming systems and society instead of taking personal responsibility for human sin. He famously wrote that “the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.” He knew that fallen humans need a divine rescue by God in the person of Jesus Christ.
Solzhenitsyn told the Harvard crowd of 20,000 that the West was spiritually sick and warned that unless there was a revival of the spirit of the West that the demonic lies that had eaten the heart out of the Soviet Union would do the same to the Western democracies. He made no exceptions for the United States. He flatly declared that the West was too sick itself to genuinely help those in oppressed countries around the world. He boldly proclaimed that one of the certain signs of decay in the West was the fanatical focus on Human Rights to the neglect of Human Obligations. He knew humanity was indebted to God to be what God had created humans to be. Of course, this was a slap in the face of those who were determined to get God out of education, government and the public square. Solzhenitsyn quickly lost favor with the elites in the West. After the Soviet Union collapsed, having done what he could in the West, Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia and remained there until his death.
Christians know very well that living the lie violates the will of God. God in His essence is truth. The entire universe is ruled by God’s decree. Light, space, gravity etc. all belong to Him and do His divine bidding. The creation realities, including the created order of human maleness and femaleness, are fixed by God for a purpose—humans are to be fruitful, multiply and gain God-glorifying dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:28ff.). To be truly human is to live in accord with the truth that God has declared and arranged to be. Humans flourish—even in a fallen world—when they live according to the truth. Because men and women have human wills, they can refuse to honor God. Humans do not have to recognize, live by or speak the truth, but they are disordered and degraded when they act in such a manner.
Ours is not an Alice in Wonderland world where we make up our own reality and determine our own meaning. It is a world created and ordered by God. Meaning and purpose are determined by God. We can choose to deny that there is such a thing as a fixed nature of humanity, but it will not change the facts. Lies ultimately must be enforced by violence. Recently, we have watched groups like Black Lives Matter and ANTIFA attempt to force their lies upon the American public using violence. Unless Americans begin to call the lies by their right names and openly reject them, there will be more violence. This is what Solzhenitsyn knew so well and warned us about so boldly. Of course, the insight was not new with him. He got it from the Bible. His dramatic conversion to Christ in the gulag shaped him.
Solzhenitsyn spoke and acted like a man who believed God. Jesus claimed to be the embodiment of truth in the flesh (John 14:6). American Christians have a wonderful opportunity to speak and live by the truth in a culture that is trending toward a violent abyss. If we do not challenge the lies now, when would we? Today is the only day we know that we have to be faithful to God. Tomorrow may be too late. I pray you will think about these things and choose not to live by lies.