Heresy, Part 3

Once more I will go into the fray around transgender concerns. It seems that another “pastor”, this time of the megachurch Calvary Chapel in Chino Hills, CA, is labeling what he calls the “transgender agenda” as being created by Satan himself. He also calls it a mental illness and blames trans-folk for all the fuss in schools and communities at large. He is a big fan of Charlie Kirk, another evangelical pastor who believes that transpeople created inflation and are trying to turn humans into machines. And while the article tries to counter his argument by pointing out that many Protestant denominations not only have members who are trans, but also clergy, I would like to counter that by saying that this pastor (and people like him) don’t consider most of us to be Christians. It is also important to remember that when Pres. Trump and others were saying Pres. Obama was not a Christian, Sen. John McCain stood up for him and challenged the haters.

It is heresy for any person of faith to bear false witness. This is often considered the same as lying, but it is actually a little different. There is a difference between a child lying about taking a cookie and an adult purposely trying to ruin someone by telling lies. The 9th commandment is really about standing in a court of law or any other forum and making an oath that isn’t true. And I don’t want to say that any lying is okay, but we all do it to some extent. Who hasn’t told someone they look great when they really didn’t believe it? Who hasn’t sat at a restaurant and said everything was okay when it wasn’t? These kinds of things are very different from bearing false witness, and this is what is happening in politics and against the LGBTQ community. Especially the T part.

Like the tobacco industry lying about the effects of secondhand smoke, people who gaslight and use propaganda to win arguments are bearing false witness. They are swearing that their testimony is true, and others believe them. This transcends party and nation; lying seems to be endemic to the human experience, which is probably why bearing false witness made the Big 10 Rule List. And I challenge any person who believes that following the 10 Commandments would bring back Eden to look at their own life and belief system. I would bet that all of us have lied in some way or another, and many of us have born false witness. If we have done the latter, we need to make up for it, because this heresy ruins lives and do not go away easily. Tell the truth – it’s a lot easier to keep track of than if we don’t. 

Prayer – Help us, God of truth and light, to speak the truth with love, just like the Apostle Paul told the early truth. Teach us to be honest in loving ways, especially about ourselves. Help us to remove the planks from our eyes so we can help others with the specks in theirs. Amen.

Today’s art “False Witness” by dor-2018.