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“The story of the first sin begins not with a choice, but with a lie. As much as we tend to emphasize “free-will” as the origin and dominant factor of human sin, we do well to remember the true nature of our lives. Things are much more complicated than freedom can account for. Rather, we act in the context of lies and deception, some from outside and some from within. It is only the “truth” that can set us free – that is – only reality as it is constituted by God can set us in the position of making a truly free choice. Understanding lies and the nature of deception is essential in the spiritual life.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“…the truth sets us free, lies take us captive. Deceits catch us and swallow us up in their world of make-believe. Falsehoods honor dishonesty and despise honesty. In short, the truth is a straight path. Those who forsake it get lost in a thicket of confusion…Our weak natures must learn discernment. If we are unprepared, we are susceptible to false modern ideas. The world does not encourage us to be critical of the spiritual assumptions on which its false teachings are based…contemporary wisdom brushes aside the idea of invariable truth and spiritual reality.” (Fr. Basil, Dynamis 12/4/2021)

“People deceive themselves not only by means of statistics, as we often see today, but also by distorting the facts of history to support their own desires and lifestyles…We must always ask, “What is right in the eyes of the Lord?”… Our lives and the very future of our families and nation depend on our doing what is right in eyes of the Lord.” (Dynamis 9/12/2022)

“There are many wolves going about “in sheep’s clothing,” but though they wear the coats of sheep, they possess nonetheless both talons and teeth. They wrap themselves in the gentle creature’s hide and with this disguise deceive the innocent only to inject with their teeth the deadly poison of their irreligion. We therefore need the grace of God, a sober mind and watchful eyes, so as not to eat tares for wheat and come to harm for not knowing better; so as not to mistake the wolf for a sheep and be ravaged; and so as not to take the death-dealing devil for a good angel and be devoured.” (St. Cyril of Jerusalem)

“Through its sacramental life, the Church offers us the way and the means of salvation and participation in the life of God through Grace. The experience of the saints is testimony to the salvation of humankind, renewing our life and affecting it directly and definitively through our membership of the Church and of the society in which we live. The saints are the living proof that God manifests Himself to us, that we’re transformed by our communion with God and that this affects every facet of our life. Living and manifesting the life in Christ, the communion of the Holy Spirit, the saints provide us with criteria for living, by which we can tell truth from deception…” (Georgios N. Manolis)

“Because they can easily deceive others, those who put on a show of virtue or religion are more dangerous than those who are evil outright. Thus, we must be all the more cautious among those who are outwardly virtuous.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 7:15)

“Deception is a major phenomenon of our own times. There have always been deceivers. But deception has become a far more integral part of modern life…Looking over the landscape of modern life, we see that the human community is still plagued by the same problems of people using other people, deceiving one another, and flaunting God. We see these things within our own communities and families, while the media floods us with reports of similar behavior from around the globe.” (Father Patrick Reardon, OCPM 10/11/2016)

Much of the world is governed by sophistry, wisdom has been ostracized, and decency has been lost. Lies and deception abound, revisonism has made history counterfeit, the Gospel is misinterpreted, schoolbooks are political tools mouthing the ideologies of those in power. There is a tendency to mimic false western ideologies, including sentimental pietism and painless social neochristianitiy. The life of the Church and its life-giving Sacred Traditions are ignored….By restoring our inner world, we increase our resistance, and in time become invincible to, the organized attacks of evil. By placing our whole life at God's feet and seeking the authentic life he wants us to live we begin to have a foretaste of immortality, where we are never alone but in the company of Christ and his saints...when the world gets worse, Christians must not be distressed or deceived...but rather persevere as good stewards." (Monk Moses, Orthodox Study Bible, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12)

“Sincerity and truth are extremely valuable because they are so rare. Many people are deceivers, liars, flatterers; they think they will get what they want by deception…We love the truth when it enlightens but hate it when it accuses. Because we do not want to be deceived and do want to deceive, we love truth when it reveals itself and hate it when it reveals us.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 12:6, Saint Augustine)

“The Lord Jesus warns, “There is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops” (Lk 12:2-3). By our words, contracts, and deeds, we are accountable to God; in the end, we cannot get away with fraud or duplicity of any sort.” (Dynamis 5/26/2019)

“In the fourth century AD, Arius of Alexandria taught that our Lord Jesus was the Word, born before time, perfect “beyond all other creatures, but a creature nonetheless.” This heresy precipitated a crisis in the Church. Arius used syllogistic logic to focus on the absolute singleness of God’s Person. To gain popular support for his views, he even set his doctrines to the tune of popular songs. Worst of all, his teaching could not be refuted simply by using Scripture, for he explained his concepts using the Bible.” (Dynamis 6/10/2019)

“Satan is a subtle adversary who works as an angel of light through false religious teachers (2 Cor. 11:14–15), and many will be misled.” (Foundation Study Bible, Matthew 24:10)

"…sin and evil break into this world, through a false attractiveness that can ensnare those who do not use their wills to resist." (Jeffrey L. Morrow)

“It’s fairly easy to recognize false teachings if you are spiritually alert. These teachings are usually dripping with messages of ease and comfort with little hard work involved if you are to adhere to them. They also often appeal through being entertaining and usually sound true due to the manipulation of Scriptures out of their proper context to support their premise. However, at the core of false teachings are usually messages of division and/or teachings that will cause division. Even when Christ was confrontational, what He was doing was rooted in love and desire that all may be one (John 17:21). False teaching is not rooted in love.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“The danger of deception is high for everyone. The defense against deception is to stay connected to the true apostles (v. 17) and to their doctrines, which encourage our growth in the knowledge of our Lord…Jesus Christ (v. 18).” (Orthodox Study Bible, 2 Peter 3:17-18)

“All of us are subject to spiritual deception. Awareness of this fact is the greatest protection against it. Likewise, the greatest spiritual deception of all is to consider oneself free from it." (Elder Daniel of Katounakia)

“Our culture is also characterized by an attitude of relativism, i.e. what may be true for one person may not be for another, or what is moral for one person may not necessarily be so for another. The challenge of these types of philosophies and ideas is that they are both appealing and deceptive. They are appealing because of our desire to "fit in"—to find ways to adapt peacefully with the culture around us and to be accepted by others. They are deceptive, as with many other ideas and attitudes, because they can lead us away from the truth of the Gospel and cause us to marginalize the role of faith in our lives.” (Archbishop Demetrios)

“Why is the soul not attracted by the promises of God, but more easily swept away by the deceptive things of the world?” someone asked. “Because it does not have faith," answered the elder. “When the soul, through faith, has tasted of heavenly good things, it is impossible for it to be tempted by the vanity of the world.” (V. Rev. Chrysostomos)

“Sincerity and truth are extremely valuable because they are so rare. Many people are deceivers, liars, flatterers; they think they will get what they want by deception." (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 12:6)

“Many are blinded by the deceptive influences of the world, and they need the illumination of their minds and hearts with truth…We begin to recognize lies when we know the truth…Sometimes truth is costly but not nearly as costly as deception.” (Archbishop Demetrios, Beth Moore)

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