But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.” So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. They produced false witnesses, who testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.” All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel. Acts 6:10-15 NIV
When people are determined to ruin others–by any means possible–they conspire with others to spread false rumors–thinking that the more the lies are repeated, the greater the likelihood people will believe them–eventually.
Stephen was not the first person to fall victim to this malady of envious human nature. He was simply the victim of egotistical people who thought if people heard the truth, they would lose whatever control over them, they had.
Jesus suffered this fate–when the Pharisees–the religious sect were afraid of losing their influence and control over what people did. They conspired with Judas to have him arrested and many false witnesses testified against him.
Unfortunately, when we don’t know history, we cannot learn from it or perhaps, our egos just get in the way and we determine to plod through another episode of falsehoods, lobbied against a person. We see this in our political climate and quite frankly, it’s enough to make a person physically ill–just the hatred demonstrated by those who claim to be followers of Christ. The same was true with those who falsely accused Jesus and Stephen–they claimed to know God.
How do people create lies out of partial trues to support their falsehoods? They take bits and pieces of truth and coat it with layer upon layer of lies and repeat it and repeat until they believe the lie to be truth. In the case of Stephen, the naysayers said, “he never stops speaking against this holy place and the law,” which was truly stated, but not the truth. Stephen was proclaiming the Good News–that we were no longer under the law (observing various religious acts), but under Grace and the temple that we worship–was not a building made by hands, but the body God created where Holy Spirit dwells. And because those in authority were upset about losing their influence, they had Stephen stoned to death. This is what happens when religious people–who do not understand how Holy Spirit works–are in a position to destroy others.
If we look at the Republican party–the “so-called party of religious liberties” we see the same scenario being played out over and over again. Some have conspired to lie and create falsehoods that others can repeat until they believe them. And the perpetrators are more dangerous now since we have “instant” technological advances that portray images–most of which are laminated with lies.
Pictures–have been used to distort truth by those in position to broadcast it on television stations that produce false news as a living.
People with grudges write books filled with lies and those who are gullible and not interested in truth–attempt to use the lies as evidence for their contempt. And then there are those who create manipulated videos to further compound the lies and since people don’t realize how “digital technology” can be manipulated–they believe what they see because it is what they want to see, not necessarily a representation of truth, but they promote it–anyway.
Events–have been distorted by truly stating something happened, but layering it with lies so the truth is no longer recognized.
And even when truth is revealed–with evidence–the lies have been told so long that people are not interested in the truth because the truth does not support what they want to believe about a person. That is really sad, but also destructive and God is watching. He knows what the truth is and He knows who is conspiring to distort the truth for personal advantage.
No matter who is conspiring to promote lies and deception, Truth will always win and history will always expose the conspirators–because they cannot hide from God.
If people are conspiring to lie out of fear–for any reason–it is evidence that love does not reside within them since perfect love casts aside fear.