IT’S AN HOUR TO PUT OUR NARRATIVES ON THE THRESHING FLOOR
Rasmussen published the results of a survey yesterday. The stats shed light on how our evangelical culture is receiving truth and developing its narratives about politics, pandemics and the like.
This past April (2021) GOP and evangelical voters were asked if they believed the election was stolen from Donald Trump. 74% said “Yes.” 3 out of 4 of us believed the official results of the 2020 election were rigged against the former President.
This past month (October, 2021) the same group of conservative voters was asked this very same question. This time 84% (10% more of the very same population) now believed the official results of the 2020 election were rigged against the former President.
My friends. NOTHING new has been unearthed about the 2020 election in the last 6 months. In fact, what HAS been learned has only reenforced the official voting results certified by
The United States Senate
The Vice-President of the United States
Trump’s own cyber-security chief,
Trump’s own Attorney General,
200+ conservative state legislators,
15+ GOP pro-life Governors and Lt. Gov’s
More than 70 court cases,
and a highly partisan investigative team in the state of Arizona who very much wanted to find evidence of significant vote-tampering.
The results of the Rasmussen survey are telling us that SOMETHING other than the facts are driving a narrative that widely circulates within our household. Social psychologists call this type of narrative formation the power of “group speak”: when we say things often enough, attach enough emotion to it, add an unhealthy dose of threat to the plot, ascribe righteous virtue to “discerning the truth”, while ostracizing those who dissent from the forming narrative – viola! We’ve just built a kitchen where “cult narratives” can be made all day long.
I don’t have to tell you that creating a cult-narrative is always not a good way for a Christ-follower to live in the world. In a nut-shell, it means we’re being played by the father of lies – filled with his dynamics of fear, suspicion, malice and self-determination; operating with secret knowledge and using it for his destructive purposes while undermining the integrity of the gospel, all under the guise of “righteousness”.
When our world is shaking (because our Lord tells us He’s going to shake our world [Hebrews 12]) one of the great human temptations is to make sense of the shaking by leaning upon our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5) – even our religious, Biblical worldview understanding. The Lord calls this type of “truth accumulation” eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:17) The truth we embrace may be “a truth” that is meant to fit another conditon or timetable of the Lord’s real narrative. But when misapplied by principle, or because we’ve not come to the Lord to hear His application of truth to our context, in spite of our best intentions, it becomes poisonous fruit.
This dynamic is all the more accelerated when we hear many leaders in the family calling for the saints to “stand up for truth”. Now you’ve added fervor, haste and emotion to the already destructive elements of the “group-speak” kitchen.
Beloved. It does us no good to simply demand our right to assemble if all we’re doing is further entrenching ourselves in our prefabricated storylines. Our family urgently needs a spirit of waiting on the Lord and seeking His face in this hour. Urgently! MUCH of the narrative we believe is true is in fact corrupting our hearts; undermining the preeminent narrative we’ve been commissioned to communicate; and, it’s bringing the judgment of the Lord’s rebuke and punishment upon us as a people – collectively.
With all this on the table, it behooves us to relentlessly and thoroughly put our narratives on the threshing floor.
Here are two practical encouragements:
1. Stop turning to the unrepentant false prophets, and pundits for information and insight into what’s happening in our world re: rigged elections and plagues. If they were not able to prepare us for COVID, incorrectly predicted the pandemic’s demise (several times over) and also falsely prophesied a mighty landslide victory for our former President, the Lord has not sent these prophets. (Jeremiah 14) Neither are we “to fear them or their words”. (Deuteronomy 18) “And the Lord said, “The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart.” (Jeremiah 14:14) “You may be wondering, ‘How are we to know if a word has not been spoken by Adonai?’ When a prophet speaks in the name of Adonai, and the prediction does not come true — that is, the word is not fulfilled — then Adonai did not speak that word. The prophet who said it spoke presumptuously; you have nothing to fear from him.”
(Deuteronomy 18:21-22) Heeding Jeremiah 14 and Deuteronomy 18 is being people of the book.
2. Seek the Lord’s face for yourself; with your small group; your prayer group; your church. Learn how to engage the Lord in a prolonged and focused way that lays all our paradigms on the table, and listens for His order, His priorities, and His values. This won’t happen overnight. Paradigms and belief structures aren’t built in a day. Your’s weren’t. However, a resistance to laying our paradigms on the altar as we seek His face IS a 100% sign that we’d still rather reach for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil than receiving His peaceable fruit of “the right order of the King”.
There are many good ways to Seek His Face in this hour. He is so making Himself wide-open for dialogue and inquiry. Many churches and ministries are hearing the invitation and equipping the body to respond well to His voice of grace and His zeal to strengthen His Bride in this hour of confusion and calamity. If you don’t know of any other way to begin this process of seeking His Face, I encourage you to pick up a copy of our book “Seek My Face: A Guide to Praying Through the Judgments of the Lord”. You can get it on AMAZON here: tinyurl.com/SeekMyFaceTheBook. Or if you write me at firstname.lastname@example.org I’ll send you a free PDF copy of the manuscript.
There will be a real end to the unrighteousness and deceit, and a real dawning of His everlasting truth and righteousness on the earth. In preparation for that day, He is training His people to lean into Him tighter so we may respond to the pangs of His heart.
JSB • October, 2021