During the American Civil War a
general named John Magruder found himself with about ten thousand men,
staring across the battle lines at the Army of the Potomac. His opponent,
McClellan, was a cautious man—and Magruder gave him something to be cautious
Magruder, you see, was a man fond
of amateur theatrical performance. He was an enthusiastic if not
particularly able actor, and he gave the performance of his life that
day. The bulk of his men were set to convincing the Union Army that they
were faced with a numerically superior force. One deception in particular
is worth noting.
A band of forest ran through
Magruder’s front. Normally, any soldiers marching through the forest
would be unseen, but there was one patch not so concealing. Magruder
lined up a few men and sent them through that patch—over and over again.
The Union observers dutifully counted all the marchers, confirming McClellan in
his opinion that he was about to be attacked by an overwhelming force!
Deception—an art of war as well
as theater. Our enemy uses it too:
is deception of the body—you must have the right tan, drink the right drink,
wear the right clothes, eat at the right restaurants.
is deception of the mind—life consists entirely of the toys you buy; when the
woman gets older, divorce her and get a younger model; drive the right car and
show the world how important you are.
is indeed deception of the soul—the weariness of things obtained; the truly
sophisticated think this way; indeed, to the point where Saturday night never
meets Sunday morning in your mind.
But through a little clearing the
Truth may be seen. You have arrived at that clearing, for in the Lord’s
Supper you proclaim the Truth:
proclaim Him to be both God and man—worthy to be worshiped, human to be our
proclaim His death on the Cross, atoning for our sins.
proclaim His Resurrection, the triumph over the grave.
proclaim His coming again (soon, Lord, soon).
Fear not, little flock; the
Truth is ever in the Light.