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When Liars Deceive the Masses

The definition of corruption is dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery. Other signs that something fishy is going on includes deceit, lawbreaking and misconduct. Another identifying indicator involves bending the rules or stretching the truth in one’s favor. This is accomplished by deemphasizing the context of a regulation while overemphasizing a key component of this same statute.

While they were on their way, some of the [Roman] guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 And when the chief priests had gathered with the elders and had consulted together [to develop a plan of deception], they gave a sufficient sum of money [as a bribe] to the soldiers, Matthew 28:11-12.

When Jesus rose from the dead in Jerusalem, sometime between year 28-33, the Roman guards in charge of overseeing his tomb faced the punishment of death. Fearful of losing their lives when the truth about Jesus’ resurrection got out, these guards made a pack with local religious leaders. This plan of deception was so successful that following Jesus’ ascension into heaven 40 days later, these liars deceived the masses. Today, agnostics, atheists and scientists all accept this rumor as fact.

And said, “You say this, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him while we were sleeping.’ 14 And if the governor (Pilate) hears about it, we will calm him down and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So they took the money [they were paid for lying] and did as they were instructed; and this [fabricated] story was widely spread among the Jews, and is to the present day, Matthew 28:13-15.

Unfortunately, this war against Christianity continues today. As secular humanism prospers in this progressive age, science has replaced faith as a guide through life. This climate has allowed the power of the press to attack America’s spiritual heritage daily. As revisit historians have taken control of public education and higher institutions of learning, the cards have been stacked for liars to deceive the masses. If lies continue to spread throughout social media without being exposed, truth will be replaced by deception.

by Jay Mankus

The Danger of Bearing False Witness

At some point over the last 25 years, exaggerating and lying have become a part of American politics.  The value of honesty and integrity have been replaced by a “do whatever it takes to win” attitude.  If this current trend continues, society will experience the side effects of bearing false witness.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor, Exodus 20:16.

When individuals begin to hold worldviews that believe absolutes are not realistic to obtain, a vacuum is created for falsehood to reside.  Meanwhile, the media understands if you repeat a lie over and over again, the public will likely begin to believe this as truth.  Until corruption, deceit and untruths are daily exposed, politicians will continue to lie.

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another, Ephesians 4:25.

A growing number of churches are encouraging their members to fast and pray in the weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election.  The more who join this movement can shift the spiritual momentum in this country.  Yet, without faith in action from godly leaders, this climate will not change.  May the power of the Holy Spirit move you to speak the truth in love to make this world a better place.

by Jay Mankus


Stop It or Drop It

Some where in the distance past, coaches, educators and school officials looked the other way so that elite athletes could bring fame and fortune to their institutions.  Exhibit A is Dexter Manley, former defensive end for the Washington Redskins,  who was never able to read above a 4th grade level, yet teachers covered up this glaring weakness.  On the field, he was a terror in college and in the NFL, yet every time Dexter opened a book, the fear of reading gripped him.

Meanwhile, if you wanted to play basketball at the University of North Carolina, apparently going to class was optional according to Rashad McCants, a member of the 2004-05 national title team.  In their ivory tower in Indianapolis, Indiana, their national headquarters, the NCAA talks a good game, yet corruption, double standards and power has gone to their heads.  Like participants in the Tour de France, its hard to know who is cheating and who is playing by the rules.  If the media would forgo favoritism and begin to address this series issue, using athletes to make colleges millions of dollars annually, perhaps professional sports would not have as many problems as they do today.

Unfortunately, no one can escape the words of Galatians 6:7-8, “you reap what you sow!”  If all students were treated equally, several of today’s star athletes would have never made it past high school.  Nonetheless, like a good soap opera, the media plays along for a while until public pressure forces them to pull the plug, exposing players, teams and leagues for their cover up.  However, its time for the media to do their job early on, to address these scandals quickly .  If not, staying quiet due to powerful and wealthy boosters, cable news might as well drop their complaints since they too are part of the problem.  Stop it or drop it!

by Jay Mankus


Restrained From Giving

Recent history suggests that immediately following the next devastating earthquake, massive hurricane or destructive tornado, a request for immediate aid will be communicated using the media.  Commercials, hotlines and organizations will use death tolls, images of desolation and pictures of orphans left behind to stir the hearts of Americans to give.  While the money collected does help some, corruption, mishandling of these funds and scam artists prevent these needs from becoming 100 % satisfied.  Thus, a lack of trust has restrained many from giving to these noble causes.

In the Old Testament, Israel appears selfish after enduring 400 years of slavery in Egypt.  Despite receiving manna from heaven and quail, their hearts lacked gratitude, always wanting more.  Subsequently, their faith wavered, eventually creating a golden calf to worship once a rumor that Moses had died spread throughout their camp.  Perhaps, God’s punishment and the deaths of 3,000 countrymen finally got their attention.  Between Exodus 33 and 35, a transformed took place within the hearts of God’s chosen people, from restraint to generosity.

When Moses expressed God’s plan for the Tabernacle, Ark of the Covenant, Courtyard and all the resources necessary for construction of each sacred item, entire families were moved by the Spirit of the Lord.  According to Exodus 36:3, a free will offering was received every morning during the building process.  Instead of giving once, the spirit of giving flowed day after day, inspired by the big picture, seeing God’s plans completed.  The workers received so many supplies that Moses had to announce an order to stop giving, Exodus 36:5-6.  If only this Spirit could be recaptured today, the poor, needy and helpless would be eliminated, restraining giving until the next crisis.

by Jay Mankus

Don’t Be So… Naive

The essence of naive is lacking experience, judgment and wisdom.  Words like guileless, sucker and unsuspecting give a clear depiction of coaches, parents and teachers who are lost in another world.  This state of denial is afraid to openly profess that their child, favorite pupil or prized athlete has been corrupted by a world full of moral pollution.

Unfortunately, Moses didn’t get the memo in Exodus 19:23.  Based upon his own words, Moses assumed that everyone in Israel would just follow the rules because God said so.  Surely, everyone is going to listen to the Lord.  Yeah, the One who parted the Red Sea, defeated the Amalekites and brought manna, quail and water into a barren desert.  By the time his own people created a golden calf, shortly after they thought he died, Exodus 32:1-7, Moses became painfully aware of the truth spoken by the prophet in Jeremiah 17:9.

People are like cars, we all have blind spots, areas where we can’t see objects that are right next to or behind us.  Thus, when someone crashes into us, breaks your heart or lets you down, its shocking.  Yet, if you adjusted your rear view mirror, maybe you could have seen this coming or possibly warned your friend before it was too late.  If you have been like an ostrich with their head in the sand or a turtle hiding in their shell, wake up now and don’t be so naive!

by Jay Mankus

Inside Information

Not much has changed since the days of Jesus: corruption, injustice and religious hierarchies still exist.  In the first century, tax collectors and prostitutes were tied at the top, labeled as the most immoral of all occupations.  While tax collectors stole money from individuals, overcharging hardworking citizens to create a private slush fund.    Prostitutes robbed husbands, wives and boys of their innocence, breaking the vows and unions of matrimony.

Luke 19:1-4 suggests Zacchaeus’ status as a tax collector provided some inside information to Jesus’ route through the city of Jericho.  Like a modern day politicians with access of an upcoming parade map, Zach was able to plan ahead, climbing a tree in front of the crowds to get Jesus’ attention.  According to Luke 19:5, his plan was executed flawlessly, earning a private meeting with Jesus.  Despite the negative stereotypes of his occupation, Zach had connections others weren’t privy to because of his service to Rome.

Inside his house, Jesus provided a spiritual message that transformed Zacchaeus business practices, Luke 19:6-8.  Although the specifics of their conversation is left unknown, Zach’s change of heart shines some light on this private meeting.  Jesus did not come to coldly judge sinners, pointing his finger in faces proclaiming, “oh no you don’t!”  Rather, Jesus has come into this world to seek and to save that which was lost in the garden of Eden, Luke 19:10.  This inside information gives hope to anyone looking for answers to the questions Nicodemus pondered in John 3:1-17.

by Jay Mankus

There’s No Change Without Pain

Self gratification has become like a cancer within the human soul, slowing eating away white blood cells of common sense.  This obsession fed by commercialism, “you can have your cake and eat it to,” has left individuals blinded by empty promises.  In a quest to fulfill this hunger, people have forgotten a simple truth of life: there’s no change without pain.

The apostle Paul speaks to this corruption while writing to the church in Ephesus, Ephesians 4:22.  As standards continue to decline, its easy to compromise, “well, everyone else is doing it?”  This futile thinking darkens understanding, leading individuals toward the cliff known as addiction.  Once formed or established, a continued lust for more can steer the disciplined into unhealthy habits, craving the latest junk food the world throws your way.

Snapping your fingers and poof, your request is granted is a mirage, a lie that the weak want to believe.  Real change requires developing a mindset of an Olympic  runner, ignoring pain so you can reach your desired destination, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.   Regardless of what your body longs for, keep your goal in sight, Philippians 3:12-14 to avoid being sidetracked.  Like the song from Rocky IV, there’s No Easy Way Out.  Therefore, throw off any excess baggage, endure hardship and run with perseverance until change becomes reality, Hebrews 12:1-4.

by Jay Mankus

Mere Images

The expression “you are what you eat” is nothing new.  Nor is practice what you preach.  However, the prophet Hosea brought me something fresh and poignant this morning.  According to Hosea 9:10, you become a mere image of that which you worship.

If you study time management theories, you will stumble across the Pyramid Theory, which attempts to break each day into 24 one hour time slots.  Since the average individual sleeps roughly 8 hours a day, every person has 16 hours to invest their time.  If work consumes another 8-10 hours per day, people may only have 6 hours for their own personal use.  Thus, how you treat these precious hours will reveal your character, interests and priorities.

Israel had wasted their free time indulging in self gratifying practices during the days of Hosea.  This decision caused most of the Jews to become like grapes rotting in the desert heat.  As a result, their hearts shifted toward corruption, radically transforming their lives.  Instead of dedicating their bodies to the God of Abraham, most desecrated their flesh to shameful idols.  Looking into a mirror, their witness became just as vile as the images they worshiped.

Today, golden calves have been replaced by the internet, television and twitter.  While Jesus calls people to go into the world to tell others what God has done for you, Mark 5:19, the real question is, are you living in this world or of the world?  When people look into your day planner, where are you investing your time?  Do people see Jesus living in you or in something else center stage?  May the month of March serve as a transition, a restoration project to erase sin from your life by allowing Abba Father, to mold and shape you into the precious image of Jesus his son, 2 Corinthians 4:1-6.

by Jay Mankus

Poisoned Minds

Poisons are often odorless, unseen and invade internal organs.  According to Webster, poisons vary from toxic substances, negative influences or elements that corrupt and undermine somebody or something.  According to Romans 8:5-8, the human mind has been poisoned by a sinful nature, contaminating bodies by spoiling souls and tainting one’s thought life.

The other night I was talking with a co-worker as we were working on a project together.  As this man shared details from his past, he pointed out a character flaw of another person.  Prior to our conversation, I didn’t have any preconceived notions about this individual.  However, during my next encounter with the person my co-worker  judged, I began to clearly see this same weakness.  Thus, I allowed my mind to became poisoned, spoiled by someone’s opinion, inhibiting my own ability to think for myself.

If you are looking to make sense of the 2012 Presidential Election results, its actually pretty simple.  President Obama spent nearly 1 billion dollars on ads geared toward attacking the credibility of Mitt Romney.  Based upon the data received by pollsters, these claims, although misleading based upon the context, were effective in convincing 51% of Americans.  If you tell a lie over and over again, eventually people will accept it as a fact or the gospel.

Unfortunately, when you seek to win at all cost, minds become poisoned along the way, leading people to believe whatever they hear or see.  Whether you are discouraged or excited about the outcome of this election, don’t forget the real battle taking place inside your mind.  God has provided believers with the Holy Spirit, Romans 8:9, to stop this poison from spreading and the word of God, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, as an antibody to purify our minds from the disease called sin.  Take your thoughts captive now or you will be taken captive by what other people believe, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.

by Jay Mankus

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