I sat silently in my parked car, staring at the steering wheel. Jenny sat in the passenger seat, staring out the window. We had been dating for a few months. Already marriage seemed likely. However, she had just told me she believed a U.S. politician I deeply admired was not trustworthy and that some of his key policies and actions in office were based on lies.


This disagreement might have been trivial for some couples, but not to me. I had always been extremely loyal to my political party and its leaders. I believed, in large part, they were good, moral, Christian men and women. Her suggestion was so offensive to me that I seriously questioned whether we could stay together.


Thankfully she diffused the situation by sharing that she was not that into politics and this wasn’t something she felt super strongly about. She was willing to listen to my perspectives or just drop the topic altogether if I preferred. I appreciated her openness. I thought to myself that in time I could shift her perspective to something more accurate. Meanwhile, she prayed in her heart that God would open my eyes to the truth. Years later, He did just that.


In fact, an overhaul of my political views was instrumental in God delivering me from a spiritual deception that nearly destroyed my marriage. Why? Because a number of the deceptive Christian leaders I followed for over ten years were also active in politics. Therefore, when I finally began to see how unbiblical their political positions were, I started questioning their other teachings as well.


Gradually, the entrancing aura these leaders held over me unraveled. How could they be led by God, I asked, and still zealously throw their support to politicians and government actions that, in addition to being far outside of the biblical mandate for civil government, were thoroughly rooted in lies and deceit? This question perplexed me for a long time.


I spent thousands of hours researching to find answers. One author’s observation particularly stood out to me. She said if she had to choose just one word that best characterized evil, it would be duplicitous.


I eventually concluded that one of my most fatal flaws was misplaced confidence in my ability to discern influential religious and political leaders. I realized that their ability to come across as heartfelt and genuine, and their ability to say just the right things in just the right way to convince people to follow them, is precisely how many leaders reach their platforms. Their words and teachings may actually have nothing to do with what kind of people they are or what they believe in private. It is all about how effectively they present and manipulate. I found this to be true across the political and religious spectrum, including across Christendom.


As we will learn in coming chapters, the Bible has a great deal to say, both directly and by logical extrapolation, about topics like the proper role of civil government, freedom of choice, labor, money, property, taxes, banks, regulations, social programs, education, and how and why to go to war. We will also learn how many of America’s systems and institutions are diametrically opposed to scripture at every turn. Coming to understand this was a crucial step in my journey out of deception.