This address was delivered at the launch of my booklet “The Big Lie” on 22nd March, 2009 at The Crowne Plaza, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Good evening and thank you for coming to this launch of my first book: family, friends and neighbours, and, as you know, neighbours become both family and friends over time. I thank God for bringing you here safely and I am also thanking Him in advance for your safe return. I thank Him too for having given me the opportunity to write this booklet. I had been writing articles, essays and poems on the internet for a little while and I had been asked to enlarge some of what I had written into a book. However, I ventured out into something quite different from what I had written before.
I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge those people who were not mentioned in the Acknowledgements’ Page in the book. People who have made life pleasant, interesting and worth living: Rev. & Mrs. Dewsbury, Leola, Lenore and the entire Waldron family, Willie and Margarita, Celia, Patsy. Mr. Braithwaite, Mr. Moyo, Mr. and Mrs. Pierre, John Cupid, the neighbours, Christian Printers, Madge, Meena, Helen, Tanty Dorothy, Marina, Tyrone, Debbie, Kadesh and last but definitely not least, Isabel.
The cost of the book is TT$30, $10 of which will go towards charity. The charity will be given either to an old people’s home or a home for abandoned or orphaned children. If sufficient of my books are sold then both groups will benefit.
The name of the book is “The Big Lie”. There should be an errata sheet in each book which shows on Page 27, last paragraph, third line, the name Jacob which should be changed to Esau. What made me write this book? When we look at the global situation we see the financial collapse has been based on lies and deception, fraud and mismanagement. It starts in one area and has a rippling effect all around bringing down economic giants. Our own society has not been exempt from this phenomenon. There has been an increase in the prevalence of lies and rumours and most often we cannot see the far reaching effects and the damage and hurt that lies and rumours cause to innocent persons. I want to quote from a comment made by a Mr. or Mrs. A. Sahadeo in the “Letters to Editor” page of the “Guardian” newspaper. This is what he or she said:
“I am sorry to say this about my country that I love so much but the truth is that we are a heartless and soulless nation. // We are a nation filled with hate and anger. We are very unkind people who are quick to judge and condemn.// We love to gossip and back stab and criticize. We jump to conclusions and we assume the worst about others without knowing the facts.// We are a country of law-breakers and liars. I challenge anybody to tell me I am wrong.// But worst of all we love to fool ourselves into believing that we are a very friendly people when the opposite is true. We are very cold to people in our own church, temple, masjid, neighbourhood, office etc. We are very snobbish towards people we don’t know who don’t belong to our circle of family and friends.// Tell me I am wrong.”
Now, this is a terrible indictment on our nation, our society, our community and our neighbourhood. There is a rippling effect that follows such behaviour, so we shouldn’t wonder at what is happening in our country today. Other societies have similar complaints. Many of us here today who were around fifty years ago will agree that it was not like that then. So what has happened? I am sure we can come up with many different answers, but we will leave that for another time.
Like many other people, I have been a victim of wicked lies. It is not always easy to deal with hurt and pain and so I found myself turning to God to clear my name. Why me, Lord? I would ask. This led me to the Bible. I had already read the whole Bible two or three times before, but I found myself reading it a little more earnestly, to see what answers I could find.
When we seek God, He brings us into contact with people who can help us, with material that can be beneficial to us, with creative ideas to improve our thinking and move us on to another level. There are many acts of cruelty in the Bible. Many of its characters had serious flaws, but the Bible writers didn’t try to gloss over their faults but showed them as they were. This to me adds to the authenticity of the Bible. Some people are critical of this Book, because, not understanding, they see God as cruel. The authors wrote according to the culture of their time and the language they spoke whether Hebrew, Aramaic or later on Greek in the New Testament, did not always easily lend itself to translation into another language. So there are ideas that may seem a little unwholesome for a book we consider to be God’s Word.
However, the lies and deception perpetrated by some of these characters had serious consequences not only for their victims, but also for the perpetrators themselves. They were punished in some form or other, as wrong doers are punished at some time or other. However, when they repented and showed great remorse for their actions, they were used by God for His purpose. Even the victims were used by God for His own purpose, as in the case of the Old Testament story about Joseph of the coat of many colours, whose brothers sold him into slavery.
I won’t tell you what the Big Lie is. You’ll have to read the book to see for yourself. But it traces some of the lies told in the Bible at different stages. I used quotations to support my theories – from the Internet, from poet, philosopher, playwright, critic, historian, the Bible and other secular and non-secular material. I tried to get a quote for my book from C.S. Lewis, who as you know, was an atheist, an intellectual, and an author, but who turned Christian. He wrote many Christian books since. However, I couldn’t find a suitable quote for my book, but found one from his “Reflection on the Psalms” that I want to share with you.
“We hear it said again and again that the editor of some newspaper is a rascal, that some politician is a liar, that some official person is a tyrannical Jack-in-office and even dishonest, that someone has treated his wife abominably, that some celebrity ….. leads a most vile and mischievous life. And the general rule in modern society is that no one refuses to meet any of these people and to behave towards them in the friendliest and most cordial manner. People will even go out of their way to meet them. They will not even stop buying the rascally newspaper, thus paying the owner for the lies, the detestable intrusions upon private life and private tragedy, the blasphemies and the pornography, which they profess to condemn.”
This is a British writer showing up the hypocrisy of his society. Are we any different? There have been other atheists who have turned Christian, and even some scientists, who have had experiences that brought them to the knowledge that there must be a God. We know also that archaeological findings have authenticated many events in the Bible that were thought impossible.
What I found was that even those persons we saw as heroes in films, like Samson and Delilah, Solomon and Sheba, and David and Bathsheba had problems with their personal lives. They didn’t live up to the promises they had made and suffered the consequences. I came to the conclusion that because we are human, we are going to fail at some point in our lives or in many points and that is the case with those in the Bible; they failed over and over. So do we fail in many ways, yet many of us can be kind, considerate, helpful and thoughtful.
I have found a great resource on cable: the 3ABN network. Although I am a Methodist, as some of you are in the audience, and have attended churches of different denominations, I’ve found myself drawn to this network. It is run by the Seventh Day Adventists and the pastors have been expounding Bible truths. They explain Bible prophecy and show the connection between the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. Revelation is one book in the Bible I never liked because I never understood it. The symbolism in it did not make sense to me, but thanks to some of these pastors, I have a better understanding of that book now. From their exegesis I was able to follow the explanation of the prophecy of Daniel regarding Jesus’ ministry – from the age of 27 to 31 and was compelled to change the age of Jesus’ death from 33 which I had previously in my book to 31. Apart from the prophecies in the Bible, they present programmes on health, nutrition, diet and exercise, especially for the elderly and demonstrate from texts in the Bible how God provided in His Word lessons for mankind to live a healthy life.
You may not agree with everything I have written and you may want to challenge some of the things I have said, but I hope you will find this work interesting. I hope those areas you are not sure about will set you on a search in the Bible to find out for yourself whether you agree with me or not. I have to admit that I truly enjoy my search for truth in the Bible and realize that my unhappy experience directed me along this path to understand more clearly what I had read previously but didn’t absorb. I am pretty sure that this is the purpose that God has for me and that is to share His Word with others. I pray that reading my book will truly be an inspiration and a blessing to you and that God will continue to bless you richly. Thank you for your attention.
(Anyone reading this address who is willing to read my book, “The Big Lie” can contact me either on the Private Messenger System of FaithWriters or write me at my address:
6 Fourth St. West,
Dinsley Ave., Trincity,