Religious Deception: The Era of Euphemism

2 Corinthians 11:14,15

       Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

E. J. POOLE-CONNOR (1872-1962): In order to carry on religious befoolment successfully various methods are required, according to time and place. Whatever may have been the special power required in earlier ages, the power most required now for successful befoolment may be described as euphemistic ability—namely, the knowledge of how to call nasty things by nice names; and by its means—the highest as well as the lowest stratum of society—all fall an easy prey to those bent on befoolment, and who know the infinite power of a name.

SAMUEL RUTHERFORD (1600-1661): Sins―especially gross sins―have a bloody, black face, so that men must put on a mask before they kiss them… Sin can go out at one door, when conscience [threatens] it; and comes slipping in again with a new garment, it being that same sin…If vanity of apparel lose the name of pride, and commend this that it is called the ‘fashion,’ it is thought good enough. But if your clothes be proud, your heart cannot be humble.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): The greatest wickedness often conceals itself under a mask of piety.

SAMUEL RUTHERFORD: The Colossians worshipped angels (Colossians 2:18), but they did it under a pretence of humility.

E. J. POOLE-CONNOR: See today how men of intellect and men of no intellect alike are seen helping to increase priestly power—the very thing which has smitten the world as with mildew and blasting—are seen accepting, with childish credulity, the absurd tenet of transubstantiation; and upholding as a power for good and an apostolic institution, that swine-sty called the Confessional. It is euphemistic ability that does it. Call priestcraft “the influence of God’s servants for the good of nations;” term the Confessional “the consulting room for the sin-sick soul;” speak of Ritualism “uniting the glories of the old and new covenants,” and you can, with this juggling of words, befool nearly all you meet.

JONATHAN EDWARDS (1703-1758): It is by mixing counterfeit with true religion, that the devil has always gained the greatest advantage against the cause of Christ. It is by this means principally that he has prevailed against all general revivals of religion since the founding of the Christian church. By this he injured the cause of Christianity in the apostolic age, and in the period immediately succeeding, much more than by all the persecutions of both Jews and heathens; by this he prevailed against the Reformation, begun by Luther, Zwingli, and others, far more than by all the bloody persecutions of the church of Rome.

GILBERT TENNENT (1703-1764): As the magicians imitated the works of Moses, so do false apostles, and deceitful workers imitate the apostles of Christ.

WILLIAM TYNDALE (1490-1536): Antichrist will ever be the best ‘Christian’ man.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): What marvel if, under some men’s shifty talk, people grow into love of both truth and falsehood! People will say, “We like this form of doctrine, and we like the other also.” The fact is, they would like anything if only a clever deceiver would put it plausibly before them. They admire Moses and Aaron, but they would not say a word against Jannes and Jambres (II Timothy 3:8)…We have nowadays around us a class of men who preach Christ, and even preach the gospel; but then they preach a great deal else which is not true, and thus they destroy the good of all that they deliver, and lure men to error. They would be styled “evangelical” and yet be of the school which is really anti-evangelical. Look well to these gentlemen. I have heard that a fox, when close hunted by the dogs, will pretend to be one of them, and run with the pack. That is what certain are aiming at just now: the foxes would seem to be dogs…There are extant ministers of whom we can scarce tell whether they are dogs or foxes.

CHARLES BRIDGES (1794-1869): A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies, Proverbs 14:25. If the responsibility be so great to the witness in court, how much more to the witness in the pulpit! Oh! is the minister of God a true witness, by the declaration of his message, assured, that no other truth, no adulteration of this truth, will deliver souls? (I Timothy 4:16). Or is he speaking lies, holding back or denying truth, to the ruin of the souls whom he was charged to deliver?

C. H. SPURGEON: The pilot who should pretend to steer a ship towards its proper haven, but who should meanwhile occupy himself below with boring holes in her keel that she might sink, would not be a worse traitor than the man who takes the helm of a church, and professes to be steering it towards Christ, while all the while he is ruining it by diluting the truth as it is in Jesus, concealing unpalatable truths, and lulling men into security with soft and flattering words.

ANDREW FULLER (1754-1815): So long as a large proportion of the professors of Christianity receive not the love of the truth, error is certain to meet a welcome reception.

WILLIAM GURNALL (1617-1679): Truth and error are all one to the ignorant man, so it hath but the name of truth.

C. H. SPURGEON: The world is the great house of sham. Go where you may―sham is staring you in the face; there are very few real things to be discovered. I allude not merely to tricks in business, adulterations in food, and such like. Deception is not confined to the tradesman’s shop. It prevails throughout society.*

E. J. POOLE-CONNOR: But there is an awful doom for those who befool their fellows; and the doom is that―after a while―they believe their own lie: for it is written, For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie; that they might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness, 2 Thessalonians 2:11,12.

C. H. SPURGEON: Be not deceived; God is not mocked; whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap,” Galatians 6:7.


*Editor’s Note: Does anyone doubt that Orwellian euphemistic deceit prevails throughout our modern society? Commercially, a used car is only “pre-owned.” Politically, politicians don’t lie, they only “mis-speak.” Socially, birth control and abortion are matters of “reproductive freedom;” opposition to homosexuality because it is a sin of sexual perversity is itself termed a malignant social disease called “homophobia.”  Militarily, genocide is “ethnic cleansing;” torture is no longer torture, but rather an “enhanced interrogation technique.” Educationally, students no longer fail, they are merely “held back.” Religiously, unequal yokes of believers with unbelievers are “inter-faith dialogues,” and the term “fundamentalist” has now become synonymous in the public mind with being a dangerous religious extremist. As the lyrics of an old 1960’s rock song said, “and the beat goes on―the drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain…”


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