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Plausible deniability Created: December 2013

Plausible deniability is a term used in politics, intelligence and law to describe 'the reasons' why a person who should otherwise have been accountable for a misdeed cannot be held liable. Though party to the misdeed, in a credible way it denies their knowledge or participation of some wrongdoing. Plausible deniability smacks of cover-up or abdicating responsibility.

It seems undeniable that many Christians believe that they enjoy plausible deniability as far as it pertains to the state of affairs on this earth. It is true that the whole world is under the influence of the wicked one (1 John 5:19). As such, increasing levels of overt rebellion towards God will manifest, much like the men of Sodom who overtly insisted on the rape of the angels who visited Lot (Genesis 19:1-17). Today, general rebellion towards what is good and godly is as unashamed as then.

For some time I entertained an attitude towards these current day developments with a degree of apathy - not because I didn't care for those who are not saved but because I reasoned that 'the worst things became, the sooner the Christ would come again' to restore all. That was until someone reminded me of Jesus' reference to (real) believers being salt and light. He said that wherever you find belevers, there you will also find a preservation of good (salt) and an exposure of evil or falsehood (light) as much as this was what Jesus did.

Now I had always believed Christians are salt and light. In a sense to me that meant that Christians were mere bearers of hope, which I still believe they are. But that is not all. Certainly not. That I now know for sure. What I have come to realise is that whether we like to believe His truth, or not, it still remains true and it still will work itself out. Then when I looked at what will work itself out I came to understand that for Christians also there is no time to waste (Ephesians 5:16). God calls us into His body (John 6:44-45). Then we choose to deliver His fruit (John 15:1-7). Thus, we CHOOSE to be known by Him by virtue of Him working through us. Those who choose to be known by Him have life. Those who choose not to be known by Him, these He will not know. The contrast is stark (Matthew 7:21-22).

So, when Jesus gave us the option to be that agent of preserving good - salt - and the agent of exposing evil - light - what have you elected to do? No, this is not designed to put you on a guilt trip; this is meant to be a serious question. What salt (preserving what is good) and what light (exposing what is evil) are you? What salt and light ARE YOU AND I IN REALITY? Are we known by Jesus in a way so that we may answer, 'Yes, your majesty. I have been your arms, legs and mouth piece on earth.'

Before you answer the question, let's look at some of the ways in which we may "prove ourselves worthy of His calling" (Epesians 4:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:11):

- deep, meaningful, persistent prayer for godly government (1 Timoty 2:1-4)
- deep, meaningful, persistent prayers for labourers to be sent out into the fields to 'bring in the harvest' (Matthew 9:38)
- not being ashamed of the Gospel in any situation (Romans 1:16)
- personally reaching out to the poor and the needy (Luke 10:25-37)
- personally reaching out in terms of your financial means to help a Christian brother or sister in need (1 John 3:17)
- refraining from setting an ungodly example by rooting out hypocrisy from your life in an authentic presentation of yourself in both general public and personal relationships (Luke 12:1)
- in genuine humility refraining from setting an ungodly example by rooting out pride from your life (James 4:6)
- refraining from setting an ungodly example by rooting out self-centeredness from your life (Phillipians 2:3-4)

There is no way to work yourself to heaven. That's not what this is about. Realising your accountability as a Christian to genuinely be Jesus' salt and light every day is what this is about. It is coming to terms with your very real obligations as a Christian. It is about realising that time is running out. It is about realising that your time or mine may run out before THE time runs out. And by then we will want to have done what needed to get done; preserve what is good, expose what is bad, having been SALT and LIGHT (Matthew 5:13-16).

The world and everybody in it is the business of Christians. It is our task to preserve what is good and to expose what is evil, especially what is evil amongst ourselves or within the institutional church. It should not be up to non-Christians to expose the bad things that we harbour - we should judge ourselves first.

That also does not mean that we are the 'moral police' of the planet, having the mandate to implement 'Christian laws'. But it does mean that we shall bring God's standard to a situation, particularly through focussed, persistent prayer and not being ashamed of our Gospel.

As Jesus struck a clear difference in Matthew 7, we may know:

1. There are many ways to prove yourself worthy of your calling (Ephesians 4:1). And,

2. There are many ways to fool yourself into thinking that your own Christian version of plausible deniability will be accepted by God (Galatians 6:7).

Seriously, don't kid yourself, which one is it?

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Please consult the Bible and test what is written here. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom in this area. Keep that which is good and reject that which is not Scriptual. Should you come to a different understanding than I please let me know - perhaps I can learn from you.

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