Imprisoned for his faith between 1955-1980, Wong Ming-Dao was a leader in the Chinese house church movement until his death in 1991. We are blessed by having some of his writings translated into English, including a collection of devotionals entitled Day by Day from which this selection is taken:
Peter asked her, 'Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?' 'Yes,' she said, 'that is the price.' Acts 5:8
Many believers today are like those described in Acts 5: I-I I in that they utter untruths in order to achieve fame. Although their love is not very deep, they want other people to say that it is. The work in which they are engaged is not particularly good but they want people to say that it is. Their life is not particularly pious but they want people to say that it is. They have not laboured on behalf of other people to the point of becoming fatigued but they want other people to say that they have. They have not made any striking sacrifices for the Lord but they want people to say that they have. They thus resort to telling lies as the only way to attain their objective of becoming persons of repute.
Their lying takes various forms. It may simply be a case of exaggeration; it may be making something out of nothing, the fabrication of facts; or it may simply be a case of robbing other people of their rightful merit by claiming it for oneself. The practice of giving utterance to untruths in order to gain prestige is not at all uncommon in the churches today. It is particularly grievous that many church leaders set this kind of example and thus encourage ordinary believers to do the same.