Truth and Fiction!


December 2003

Dear Ministry Partner,

Is Santa Claus bad for people? Is believing in elves and a North Pole toy shop going to cause any problems? What could a little pretending hurt? Allow me to communicate there is a well-known, growing disease silently harming and disabling millions of people in America. This disease does not spread through an organic biological medium — it is promoted and spread through television, movies, videos, DVD’s, and the printed page! It is a spiritual illness which psychologists would probably call psychosis. And it may be affecting you or your loved ones!

This teaching is not a medical or psychological study of psychosis. But think about people you know around you while reading this definition of psychosis: "a mental disorder in which contact with reality is lost or highly distorted." One medical dictionary said, "Psychosis includes...mental disorders which are characterized by...impairment of a person's ability to think clearly, respond emotionally, communicate effectively, understand reality, and behave appropriately." How many people have you known who were like that? Now wait before you say, "My spouse!" or "My teenager!" This condition is said to sometimes include "delusions" — a false, fixed, odd, or unusual belief firmly held by the patient. Again, have you ever tried to convince someone of something that was clearly obvious to you — but they just couldn’t see it? It seemed like they had a "false, fixed, odd, or unusual belief firmly held?" I am not trying to assert that most everyone is mentally ill. But I do want people to see the parallel of "spiritual psychosis" with the medical illness called psychosis.

How does a person get into this condition — and how do you get out? First of all, realize that "reality" and "truth" are the same thing. If someone is not in touch with "reality", he or she is not in touch with "truth". Also realize that "fiction" is not reality or truth. So the more time someone spends with "something not true", the further they get from reality or truth. Our society is immersed in fiction. Nearly every popular movie, video, or DVD is either totally fiction, or largely fiction. Even the ones that say they are "based on a true story" have really been changed so much that you might not even recognize the true story if you study the historical facts. I am not saying all fiction is of the devil. There is a good use for every legitimate tool, and God can and does use fiction — but He never intended for us to swim and drown in it. It should be like a spice — it adds a little to life, but should be consumed sparingly.

The Word of Faith movement (which was a needed restoration of truth to the Body of Christ) emphasized having faith for things through prayer in spite of what current reality was. Unfortunately, this was taken to extremes to the point of denying the existence of current reality. Denying reality is actually the Christian Science religion, not Word of Faith doctrine. But never-the-less, many Word of Faith people — even a leading minister or two — lost touch with reality and they lost their ministries and marriages. We have to be aware of the reality of what is happening around us. "Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds." (Prov. 27:23). I know people who have actually died because they denied the reality of cancer in their body, and refused medical surgery which easily could have saved their lives.

What a person needs to live, eat, and breathe is truth. "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." (Matt. 4:4). Certainly the most important "diet" issue is that we spend time in God’s Word every day. This is literally spiritual strength with which to overcome. This cannot be emphasized too strongly, even though we all "know it" in our heads. The Bible reminds us, "If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them." (John 13:17).

But beyond the issue of God’s Word is whatever else we spend time in. Jesus said, "Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it shall be measured to you; and more shall be given you besides." (Mark 4:24). What we "sow" into our lives multiplies, and we reap a "harvest" of it. If we dwell on things that are "true and honest" (as it says in Philippians 4:8), we will reap more of that. But if we dwell on things that are not true (fiction), not honest (made up, distorted, pretended, deception), then we will reap an inner world of make-believe (not in touch with reality). If people live in an "unreal" world, then they can’t see the solutions, the path of escape, or even avoid the traps laid for them by the enemy! They can’t "hear" the voice of God because they have focused their attention of the "voices" of movie actors, TV, fictional reading, and the main stream media outlets. Their view of reality is obscured by too much un-reality. They often unconsciously have their world view altered through insidious design of un-Godly individuals who are actually pawns of the devil. People have taken the "bait" of so much fiction, deception, and outright lies — because it was "packaged" as entertainment, humor, action, drama, and "interesting" images & information.

God actually designed us to experience the process of becoming like what we see. What we focus on — what is important to us — we become sensitive to and we grow toward. A simple example is the "hand-eye" coordination of playing baseball. My coach used to tell me, "Keep your eye on the ball." What he meant was don’t look up when swinging, but keep watching the ball as it comes toward you all the way until your bat hits it. You have a God-given tendency to unconsciously move toward what you are watching. (The same is true of watching TV — your life moves toward what you watch.) An example of this principle is how a mother becomes sensitive to a baby crying at night — while the husband sleeps right through it. A more dramatic example was a minister I know personally. He served in the U.S. Army as a Chaplain's assistant in Vietnam and was stationed on a jungle Fire Support Base. He learned to sleep through artillery being fired continually and at any time. The only danger was the Base being over-run at night by the North Vietnamese. So even though he could sleep through cannons going off, if the hinges of his bunker door creaked — he would instantly wake up and reach for his M-16. That is what he focused on — what was important to him — so he became sensitive to it.

Truth needs to be important to us. We need to hunger and thirst for it. The Bible says, "Buy the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding." (Prov. 23:23). But most people pay more for their cable TV subscription each month than they spend for truth. My father once told me that more money is spent on pet food in America than is given to all churches and ministries. I researched it to see if he was right, and I regret I have to say he was correct. An investment in truth is an investment in eternity. Truth can sometimes make us uncomfortable, but it will save our lives. We can choose to live for the flesh and for comfort, but "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Prov 14:12). Your commitment to the truth is appreciated by God & by us. Keep living for the eternal Word!

Treasuring the Truth,

Dale & Judi Leander

P.S. — Feel free to request one of our Bible Reading Guides to stay in God's Word this next year. We are also offering our How to be Led by the Spirit tape sets for guidance in your new year. This tape set includes a teaching touched on in this letter — Developing Spiritual Sensitivity. And any end-of-the-year financial offerings are always appreciated to expand our ministry.


FINANCIAL PARTNERSHIP: You can help us continue ministering and making many of our resources available without charge by sending a monthly or one time offering to: Words of Life, P.O. Box 701045, Tulsa, OK, 74170. To give by credit card, you may call and leave a secure message at 1(800) GET-WORD. To order ministry materials or give by credit card, you can also visit our web site,

REPRODUCTION AGREEMENT: Paper duplication or electronic forwarding of this teaching is permitted for non-commercial purposes provided that the complete message and contact information for Words of Life is included. Thank you. Copyright 2002 - 2006, Dale W. Leander.

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