The Liar’s Club

Long ago when I was young (this was before cable TV and Internet) our house had one TV that received its signals from an antenna located on the highest point of our house. We got two stations very strong. One was an NBC affiliate out of Erie, PA. The other was a UHF PBS retransmitter in Jamestown, NY of a station out of Buffalo, NY. We got two other Buffalo stations (CBS and ABC) that were also relatively reliable. The other stations were more unreliable depending on atmospheric conditions. Of the unreliable stations, the best was a strong station (Global) out of Toronto, Canada. They had interesting shows on there at times and when the weather was good the signal could be quite strong.

Not tied to the TV show… but a nice image anyway

A show that I really liked back then was one called “Liar’s Club.” It was a game show. The game was simple, if a bit strange. There would be contestants, a host, and a group of “liars.” The four liars were apparently people of some regional fame (a bit like the celebrities on Hollywood Squares). The host would bring out an object (typically an invention) and show it to the contestants and then it would be brought to the four liars. The first liar would say something like this.

“This is a dehusker for coconuts. You know a lot of people here in Canada buy coconuts in the grocery story and they think that this is how they look in the coconut trees. But no. Coconuts grow high up in very tall coconut palms. When they are ripe, or when they are harvested they drop 20 or 30 or 40 feet and hit the ground. If they were like the way they are found in the store they would crack open losing the coconut water, killing the seedling, and causing the coconut meat to spoil. Coconuts have a thick fibrous hull that protects the seed. In places like the Philippines, people are trained to use machetes to carefully remove that hull so that the coconut meat and juice can be harvested. But back in 1903, a Dutchman living in Aruba came up with this device to remove coconut husks cleanly, efficiently and safely. You see the barrel here with the internal ridges and holes, several coconuts are put in there. Then the dehusker is turned on and as it spins it pulls the husk away from the shell. The shredded husks fall through the holes and are gathered for later use. Very quickly, the coconut is ready to be used or shipped to supermarkets here in Canada to be purchased and enjoyed. What you have here is a coconut dehusker.”

Then the second liar starts his story.

“Now you might believe this, but I have actually operated one of these. I had an uncle who was a vermiculturist. A vermiculturist is, and I know this sounds strange but I swear it is true, a worm farmer. In this case, my uncle was an earthworm farmer. I know a lot of people don’t know that such a thing exists… worm farming… but my uncle was and is one. He made and still makes a good living at it. Earthworm farming can be done for bait purposes, worms for sale to fisherman. They can be sold to home gardeners for composting. My uncle didn’t sell the worms but the castings of the worms, for compost. Composting materials are put into this barrel here with earthworms. The ridges inside and the holes through it are for mixing and aerating as the barrel is turned daily . Eventually holes can be used to separate out the compost castings from the worms and uncomposted materials. Its a simple device but it and a handful of worms has made my uncle a wealthy man.

Two more people would give their stories equally plausible or implausible. Then the contestants must determine which person is telling the truth as the other three tell lies.

So what you ask?

Suppose the object being described is… YOU. Suppose different people are describing what you are created to be for.

  • Suppose one says that you are made to love God and love people
  • Suppose another says that you are made to expand the work of your church/denomination
  • Suppose another says that you are made to serve God and His Kingdom
  • Suppose another says that you are made to fulfill your gifting
  • Suppose another says that you are made to do what your mission board tells you to.
  • Suppose another says that you are made to save people
  • Suppose another says that you are made to plant churches
  • Suppose another says that you are made to hasten the return of Christ 
  • Suppose another says that you are made to be led by the Spirit
  • Suppose another says that your are made to obey God’s commands.

All of these (or at least many of these) sound fairly plausible. Can you spot the lies?

One thought on “The Liar’s Club

  1. Colin Edwards

    Bob, good article. It’s a reminder that we need to critically examine the inputs we receive — even from sources we might consider friendly, good, and “religious” — against the full truth of God’s Word. With so much “pick and choose,” “slice and dice,” and other than Christ-centered Christianity out there, we should search the Scriptures (like those noble Bereans Paul spoke of) and critically consider what’s being purveyed. I see some golden oldies on your “created for” list that I’ve known people to “buy – hook, line, and sinker” and then wonder why God doesn’t seem to be in it…


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