Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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April Fool

April 1st came and went, and I managed to get through the entire day without being made a fool. Maybe it was because I spent the entire day in my office, working to get Watchman Magazine posted for April, and didn’t see anyone all day.

Of course, the day is a favorite of children and pranksters, as they try to play practical jokes on others.

I subscribe via email to a list which supplies little tidbits of arcane knowledge each day. On April 1st, the message concerned practical jokes which have been pulled upon the general public. For example, the most famous picture of the Loch Ness monster, a grainy, black and white picture taken in 1934, turned out to be a molded piece of putty mounted on a toy submarine. Then 90-year-old Christian Spurling admitted to the hoax in 1993.

The famous video of Bigfoot, shot by rancher Roger Patterson near Eureka, California in 1967 is also a hoax. Though Patterson thought he was videoing the real thing, it turned out to be a lady dressed up in a Bigfoot suit, the wife of one Ray Wallace. Once Wallace died in 2002, the family finally owned up to the deception. It seems that Wallace loved a good practical joke.

Another famous hoax was a supposed archaeological find named Piltdown man. In 1912 an amateur geologist named Charles Dawson found skull fragments in the Piltdown quarry near Sussex, England. For decades, Piltdown man was trumpeted as the “missing link” (something, by the way that archeologists have still not found). By 1953, the find was recognized universally as a hoax, a combination of “doctored” human and orangutan skull fragments. Still, textbooks for many years following continued to give credence to the find.

The lesson is clear. We need to be careful about what we hear, lest we be “taken in”, and made fools. Jesus said something about this, encouraging his disciples, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16).

It is especially important that we examine carefully what any man says about the word of God. We should be as the fair-minded Bereans, as they “searched the scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). Peter warned of those “pranksters”, who he said, “speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage” (2 Peter 2:18-19).

Don’t let anyone make a fool out of you!