Liar, Liar, Church on Fire

The general public is getting dumber every day.

I’ll stand by that statement. I believe it’s true because we’re willing to swallow lies like vitamin supplements along with our morning coffee. Every half-truth the media serves that we ingest kills vital brain cells required to distinguish truth from deception. Stupidity is a choice.

The apostle Paul warns us: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (ESV)

As we conform to the world, we lose our ability to test, discern, and know what is good from what is bad. We inhale deception and when we exhale, unless we’ve filtered that deception through the word of God and the spirit of discernment, we’re likely to pass the pollution on to others.

Take this simple statement I hear from people every day when discussing the news: “Well, there are two sides to every story.” Raise your hand if you’ve heard or said this line in the past seven days. See, I told you it was widespread.

I suppose this statement has its roots in truth. There is a Biblical proverb that reads, “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” Proverbs 18:17 (ESV) This provides wise counsel not to judge a case before hearing both sides. This practice of reserving judgment until all the facts are available is a sound one.

Still, I don’t think the writer of Proverbs intended this to signify that the truth could never be revealed or that one person’s truth invalidates another’s or that the storytelling should go endlessly on so no judgment could ever be rendered. This seems to be the modern understanding of the phrase. People toss out this line as if to say, “We’ll never know the truth so why bother searching for it, seeking evidence, or trying to choose one side? If you’re bothered by someone’s story, just change the channel and listen to another one.”

Putting this false notion into practice provides a cloud of justification for apathy, indifference, and disinvolvement but it negates justice, allows bullies to rule, and gives comfort to the enemy of humanity, the evil one.

Think I’m overstating the faulty logic of this well-used statement? Let’s try it on some recent headlines. There are two sides to every story so:

Let’s interview the leaders of ISIS in Mosul and then let’s interview the Christians of Mosul. What? There are no longer Christians in Mosul? How will we hear their side of the story?

Let’s interview the guilty parties who shot down Malaysian Airline Flight 17 in the Ukraine and then let’s hear the victims’ side of the story. What? None of the victims survived? How will we hear their side of the story?

Let’s interview Kim Jong Un and then let’s hear from some North Korean Christians. Wait, what? They can’t be located? We need to fill out documentation to locate them in their labor camps? Hm, how will we hear their side of the story?

Let’s interview some parents who chose to end the lives of their unborn children and then we’ll interview the . . . right, that won’t work either.

So, what’s true is that there are two sides to every story but sometimes one storyteller uses violence to silence the other or locks the other storyteller away in a labor camp or an invisible cell created by threats and fear or lies and lies more and lies well because that storyteller is practiced in lies or pretends that they don’t want the other storyteller dead – when actually, they do.

This is not a political post. This is a post about reasoning, about truth, about keeping our minds from being polluted by the world. Do you know how easily it can happen? At one time, an entire country of people swallowed enough lies with their morning coffee, enough carefully placed propaganda, enough charismatic speech, to participate in the attempted annihilation of their neighbors. There are two sides to that story, too, but 6 million storytellers were silenced.

How do we defend against the mustard gas of deception floating in our direction daily?

Read God’s word. Consume it with the same zeal you consume reality tv – and more. Gulp it in like oxygen after a near drowning. Don’t settle for nibbling verses; devour entire chapters, stories, books. The pure truth of heaven is the antidote for the toxic lies of hell.

Question what you hear, read, and repeat. Ask yourself – what does what I’m saying, reading, hearing actually mean? What is its source? Who is telling me this story? What are their reasons for telling me? What are my motives in repeating it? Discuss what you hear with mature believers and discuss it with God in prayer.

Measure every story against God’s word.

Vow to speak truth aloud, to write it on social media, to communicate it at every opportunity. Right now, deception rules the airwaves and our silence clears a path for it to rule. Truth is to be stated, proclaimed, and lived so that everyone hears THAT story.

This is not easy. This is not simple. Our world isn’t easy or simple but here’s a long-forgotten secret – neither are we.

God created us and we’re amazing. Our minds are incredibly capable of understanding and our spirits have the capacity for Holy Spirit informed discernment. Paul says in I Corinthians 6 that believers will be entrusted with judging angels. He argues that, of course it follows, we’re able to judge matters on this side of glory.

Are there two sides to every story? Maybe. But sometimes one storyteller is evil or deceived by evil and wants the other storyteller dead so even after hearing both sides, those on the side of truth and justice must act to protect the voice at risk of being silenced forever.

Rise up against the lies, loved ones. Remember the truth we’ve forgotten. In the end, there is only One True Story and only One reliable Storyteller. Don’t be afraid because He loves to let us in on the truth. They tried to silence Him once. He cannot be silenced. His Story lives forever.

In every war, truth is the first casualty but loved ones, there is a resistance in this battle. Join the resistance and embrace truth. Speak for those voices evil has silenced. Use the words of the One voice that will live forever.

This is the time. Storytellers of Christ arise and tell the truth you were created to tell.

Are you ready to join the resistance? We travel a narrow road. We all need company along the way. Let me know you’re walking this way with me by sharing, commenting and subscribing to the blog. Let’s make this a two way conversation, okay?


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16 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Ginny Jaques says:

    I’m with you, Lori. Sometimes it’s hard to sort out the truth, but we need to do it, prayerfully and lovingly. With determination and quiet strength. Thanks for being a prophet in our time.

    • Wow, Ginny. I surely don’t claim that role but if we are one with Jesus, we are One with His spirit and speak the truth in love. Glad you’re here on the road with us! “Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 19:10 (ESV)

  2. Dale says:

    You nailed it again, Lori. Thanks for not being afraid to say some hard things and get us thinking. God bless you!

  3. Maxine D says:

    Thanks for once again provoking me to think – life has been chotic at the moment, but I treasure your posts, even if I don’t comment on everyone. I believe that this is a very timely word.
    Blessings
    Maxine

  4. Joyce says:

    Excellent post! I think what I find even more disturbing than what the media may put out as truth and people will accept, is those who put the label “Christian” on something and other Christians are quick to accept it as such. Walk into any Christian book store and you can find numerous books and materials that are questionable at best. But because they’ve been given the “Christian” label they are offered without reservation. Sadly, too many Christians have so little knowledge of basic Christianity that they lack discernment. And it doesn’t require a Doctorate in Divinity to be able to exercise discernment; it just seems people find it easier to decide that if it makes them feel good it must be Truth.

    • Yes, Joyce, there is a lie out there that one needs a degree in theology to understand God’s word and put it into practice. WE need to compbat that lie with the truth.

  5. Christopher Trueworthy says:

    Lori,
    I just wanted to take the time to tell you to keep up the good work of sounding the alarm. Like the many posts this one encourages me and challenges me to stay close to Jesus. Working in a foriegn country I am pulled in two directions often. In one direction of concern for my home country, USA, and in the other direction of concern for the country I work in. I see deception creeping in my home country from this distance. BUT, the country I work in their culture is so seeped with deception I am working with God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit to combat that deception here. You encourage my soul, I use your blogs as addition to my daily devotional study to challenge my thinking. It helps me not to loose my focus on the tasks at hand. Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Be blessed my co laborer in the front lines…..

    • You have no idea what a blessing your colabor is, Christopher. May you be blessed in return. Mercy and grace, Lori (Please message me anytime you are in need of specific prayer.)

  6. Carla Allaire says:

    We are to be watchmen. The watchmen of old stood post during the night while the townspeople slept. If danger was coming, the alarm was sounded. ‘Watchmen, what of the night?’ God told Ezekiel ‘go warn them. they won’t listen, because they are stubborn and stiff-necked. but if you don’t warn them, they will die in their sins, but their blood will be upon your head.’ The watchers and the warners weren’t and still aren’t popular, but this is NOT a popularity contest. So God continue to bless you, Lori, every person we talk to, whether they actually heed or not, HAS BEEN WARNED. We aren’t judged according to how MANY actually listen, but that we DID try to warn them.

  7. Karin says:

    Yes, there are two sides to every story – well, actually three – yours, mine and the Truth! Thought provoking post! Thanks!