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Objective Truth and Personal Faith

In choosing teaching as a career and mathematics as my discipline, the objectivity and certainty of solving equations or evaluating expressions appealed to me. To adapt a phrase from the 1970‘s that I expect will be familiar to my readers, “When Pythagoras talks, people listen!” There was a satisfaction when the answer reached on my homework matched the answer in the last section of the Mathematics textbook. This same math put astronauts on the moon and allowed the bank customer to reconcile her accounts with the monthly bank statement. What chaos would ensue if a set of addition and subtraction problems was prone to two (or even worse several) answers!

Author George Orwell in his dystopian novel 1984 introduced his readers to the idea that government propagandists will force “2+2=5” as a (changeable) fact on its citizens. Orwell in an earlier review of a Bertrand Russell piece wrote, “We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.” I have wondered if Orwell‘s math was the inspiration for a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode during which Captain Picard‘s Cardassian captor insisted he state he saw five lights when both he and the television audience could clearly see there were only four lights.

Truth, belief, propaganda, post-truth – what to make of it all? My naïve sense that mathematics bore an immunity to these nuances and deceptions now requires new scrutiny in light of a publication titled, A Pathway To Equitable Math Instruction which states, “We see white supremacy culture show up in the mathematics classroom even as we carry out our professional responsibilities.” In support of this premise, the article cites traditional mathematical protocols like:

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The Age of Deceit - Part 2

In Part 1 of “The Age of Deceit,” we show that all mankind is embroiled in a war that has been raging since the dawn of time, where man is both the prize and the pawn in this deadly conflict. Therefore, the Bible warns us to, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” We are further told that we should use discernment based on the Bible…“…lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

To identify Satan‘s “devices,” we need to understand his M.O., which is short for Modus Operandi; a Latin term used by law enforcement authorities to describe the particular manner in which a crime is committed. Quite literally we have Satan‘s fingerprints, or his M.O., at the scene of his crimes throughout the Bible. Therefore, we would do well to be aware of Satan‘s M.O. because deception wears many different masks.

Deception by Conversation

We will start our forensic investigation of Satan‘s deceptive methods by examining the first recorded conversation between the Nachash and mankind. Now, just to set the stage here a little bit, I wonder if maybe a relationship already existed between Satan and Eve because they appear to have established a rapport. Otherwise, I think it would be strange that they would dive directly into such a serious conversation at their first meeting. After all, he seems to already know of the prohibition given Adam and Eve by God.

Genesis 3:1-5 records the conversation.

“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”

Genesis 3:1-3

By entering into this conversation, Eve has opened herself up to the beguiling personality of Satan. Here we see that dialogue with the wrong kinds of people can very quickly lead us onto the path of confusion and compromise.

The Bible gives us clear protective guidance by stating,

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

Psalm 1:1-3

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