By Boyd Sellers
I grow weary of people commending false teachers like Billy Graham, James Robison, Jimmy Swaggart, or those of the same stripe “because they teach some truth” or “they stand firm on moral issues.” Are we not aware of the fact that sin wears a mask? Error thrives because the false teacher uses some truth. If you want to see such teachers as they really are, along with the results of such teaching, recall the People’s Temple, Jim Jones, Guyana, and the mass suicide of his loyal followers. He was a “wonderful man.” He was doing 9 ‘so much good.” The reports were glowing with praise. The truth is that he was a false teacher all along. It was not so apparent at first because sin was masquerading with its mask on! It appeared to be “wonderful.” However, the events in Guyana show us sin with its mask off, and it’s not a pretty sight. God has warned — He has shown us such teachers with their masks off. Peter tells us, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not” (2 Pet. 2:1-3).
It is likewise distressing to see whiskey, wine, and beer glamorized as being “refreshing,” “beautiful,” and providing one with “real gusto”-especially when so many are deceived by the ads. The he-man has to have it to unwind after work. It helps him to relax. The society couple must have it “to have a good time with friends.” They see their liquor as a friend. They are deceived because they are looking at the creature with its mask on! But, let them enter the home of the drunkard (there are millions of them in our country). Let them view an auto accident in which innocent men, women, and children are killed and/or injured. Let them visit the skid-rows in any big city where they can view otherwise productive, intelligent human beings who have been reduced to naught by their “friend.” (They can call it a “sickness” if they like, but the Bible calls it “sin” [Gal. 5:21].) There you can see it with its mask off! There you can see sin for what it really is! “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Prov. 20:1).
The tobacco ads are really something now-a-days, too. If you smoke, dip, or chew, you really have something to be proud of-at least that’s what the ads would have us to believe. Young people, don’t you ever forget that there (i.e. in the ads) you’re seeing sin with its mask on! Don’t be deceived! If you want the real picture, you can get a good look at it with its mask off. Go to the cancer clinics. Try M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas for one. I won’t try to describe some of the sights, but many are there because they were deceived by the tobacco ads. They have had the chance now to see both sides. They have seen sin with its mask off, and it’s an ugly sight to behold!
The fornicator often glorifies his/her sin. She is having an “affair” (the Bible calls it “whoredom”) and they are “sG4riuclrin love” (the Bible calls it “lust”). She is looking at sin with its mask on. She needs to visit an unwed mother’s home or talk to the husband or wife whose mate “ran off” with somebody else. It would probably help to see sin for what it is if they could go with King David after his “fling” with Bathsheba to watch his baby die or see him later, after he learns that his son Absalom has been killed, trembling, weeping, and crying out, “O Absalom, my Son, my Son.” Folks need to be realistic enough to see sin with its mask off!
Sin is funny to some. Every form of immorality is right and proper to them. They drink and smoke, lie and cheat, gamble and steal, dress immodestly, and commit fornication, etc. They have been deceived by sin. They have seen it with its mask on and it looks wonderful then. Their only hope is that they come to themselves, repent, and turn to the Lord before their “lovers” destroy them. Don’t ever forget-sin wears a mask!
Footnote: Since writing the above article, it has come to my attention that an organization called S.A.D.D. (Students Against Drunk Driving) has been formed at Brownsburg High School. I know little about the organization, and thus I do not write to condemn the organization. However, this organization which is against drunk drivers is being partially supported by a local liquor store which illustrates the point of the article. The liquor store provides the stuff to make drivers drunk, then they switch their mask to appear as the “good guy.” They are “wolves in sheep’s clothing” trying to promote their immoral product among our young people. Truly sin does wear a mask! Don’t be deceived!
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 24, p. 741
December 20, 1984