Beloved followers of Jesus,
This has long been burning in my mind—but I believe now more than ever, we desperately need a bold return to the truth.
There is so much confusion in our society today, and amid all the chaos, events, and tragedies in our nation from the past year, I have been continuously contemplating several questions over the past many months.
Jesus calls us to shift our minds and perspectives to Him; His reality, words, wisdom, and discernment of the times; and His revelation of the truth (Colossians 3), so that we will be able to rightly discern reality from error and will not be led astray into a deceptive fog that seems right to a man but ends in destruction (Proverbs 23:7).
And if you think about it, all of our battles—whether about who we are, who God is, or what’s happening around us—are about truth and lies. The entire story of creation and mankind is about a kingdom of truth and a kingdom of lies; God and Satan; Yahweh’s perfect creation and Satan’s corruption of it; light and darkness; reality and mirage.
So I hope we all continue to challenge and align our thinking with the truth, especially amid our postmodern culture, so that we can experience the abundant life of the gospel every day and in every battle facing us and our nation.
1. When it comes to important issues of our day, do we simply go along with the loudest popular storyline, or do we ask questions, dig deeper into the facts, read multiple news sources and perspectives, and make sure our information is accurate and in context?
Oftentimes, conclusions on broad topics are made solely from seeing snippet headlines, opinions, and hashtags.
2. Do we take the time to read the complete story of our nation’s history—our triumphs, atrocities, and progress? What sources do we read and listen to? Do we know how we arrived at our current point in time and where we’re at now?
If we only know a snippet of our history, our view of our country and the issues of our day will be foggy and skewed.
Karl Marx said, “A people without a heritage are easily persuaded,” and this is certainly happening in many different issues in our society, such as the redefinition of the family and role of the Church in a society—topics where we as Christians desperately need discernment of the truth.
3. Are we quick to speak when it’s culturally safe and accepted, yet silent when it’s not?
For instance, it is culturally safe to censor, accuse (often without facts or due process), and berate President Donald Trump in every way.
And while he is certainly flawed, he has done many things worth celebrating as Christians—he affirmed and supported Israel and Jerusalem (Genesis 12:3), defended religious freedoms, brokered landmark Middle Eastern peace deals, and made arguably more progress than any president in the last four decades to prevent more babies from being killed by abortion.
Yet we seem to ignore those and numerous other historic accomplishments; we only post to jump on a bandwagon of criticisms, yet we remain silent on his efforts in stopping an abhorrent human rights injustice we say we care about.
4. Why do some believe the lie that it is somehow “unspiritual” to be involved in influencing government?
Indeed, our entire mindset of “politics” can quickly become misguided and dysfunctional.
Government is not some celebrity contest, some team sport cheering on “R” or “D,” or some pointless bickering over meaningless things; it is groups of people who have been given the vital stewardship role of enacting justice in a society, deciding what to allow and celebrate as good and what to punish as evil.
When we stray from God’s reality of good and evil, we decay into legalizing and approving practices such as killing babies in the womb.
(Last year alone, over 42 million children worldwide were put to death from abortion, by far the leading cause of death on earth. For context, 1.8 million globally have died from COVID.)
I’ve heard it said many times that when it comes to these issues, we should just focus on the kingdom of God, that getting involved in the trenches of the fight to stop these injustices in our government is “idolizing America.”
But what does that mean?
If the colleagues at your workplace ran an illegal operation where people were being harmed or abused in one of the office rooms, would we dismiss it and say that we shouldn’t speak out or try to stop it?
Would we say it’s unspiritual and claim, “This office place isn’t the kingdom of God,” or would we use the voice God has given us to bring His light, truth, and justice into the situation?
If we worked in Hollywood, would it be said that we shouldn’t try to create music or movies that declare the gospel, nor should we try to expose and stop the exploitation of children and abuse of women, because that’s “making Hollywood an idol”?
What happened to testifying to the light and truth of the gospel in every corner of society and protecting the innocent, abused, and vulnerable who cannot defend themselves? Isn’t this what Jesus wanted us to do, bringing His kingdom come and His will be done on earth, as it is in heaven?
Remember Queen Esther, whom God used to stop a heinous plot in the Persian government that would have exterminated the Jewish people?
Or all of the Israelite kings of the Old Testament who enacted justice in the land and other kings who corrupted it, calling evil good, and how that impacted the people (Proverbs 14:34)?
Remember the bold kings, prophets, and warriors God directed to remove wicked rulers, bring people back to Him, and reform the laws of the land to align with God’s ways instead of Satan’s destructive deceptions?
Remember when the Son of God—the perfect embodiment of grace and truth—lashed a whip and overturned tables in the Jerusalem temple because of the people’s rotting corruption, or how He and brash men like John the Baptist rebuked the religious/governmental leaders for hypocrisy and leading people astray?
I wonder how many of us, with some of our modern mindsets, would have chided Jesus or people like John the Baptist as being “intolerant” or “unspiritual.”
Of course, America is not our ultimate kingdom (Romans 14:17), but God certainly cares about bringing individuals and nations of people back from the decaying deception of a counterfeit good and evil to instead align with His reality—how he designed for us to wholly live (Psalm 89:14).
Jesus said the world will know us by our love. But how can the world experience the life-altering love of the living Father within us—the kingdom of God (Romans 14:17, Colossians 1:27)—if we never say or do anything to protect, care, or lead people back to Him and His truth?
All of us need the truth, and all of us are learning. The good news is that the living Jesus said He is the way, the truth, and the life we seek.
We have full access to seek and ask Him to show us what is true (John 16:13), to avail ourselves in all of the various battles of our day to dig deeper, ask questions, learn history, and discern truth from error (Romans 12:2, Ephesians 6:12).
We can be a markedly distinct people, who know the truth that sets us free, who personally know Who lives within us, who renew our minds on God’s reality, and who boldly live the beautiful and restorative kingdom of God every day, wherever God has placed us—for such a time as this.