Before we can effectively engage cultural ideas and the spiritual lies that undergird them, we must be informed. God wants His people to be knowledgeable: “Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge” (Prov. 18:15). Indeed, it is difficult both to identify and to counter spiritual lies when we are uninformed.
Becoming informed begins with being aware of what is happening in our communities. However, awareness is only the first step. Knowing about something is not the same as understanding the matter. Likewise, knowing what we “should” believe about something is not the same as being informed.
Far too many people are happy to outsource their critical thinking to a particular news source, the host of a talk radio show or a podcast, a trusted friend, social media polls, memes, or a political party. However, Proverbs warns, “Only simpletons believe everything they’re told! The prudent carefully consider their steps. … Simpletons are clothed with foolishness, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge” (Prov. 14:15, 18).
Granted, we live in an information age where it is easy to become overwhelmed by the quantity of information vying for our attention. It is far more convenient to simply memorize talking points than it is to sort through the noise and to piece together the relevant details necessary to critically evaluate the matter. Nonetheless, God expects His change agents to be knowledgeable about the cultural lies we are confronting. This does not require that we be highly educated on everything transpiring around us, but it does mean that we should have a robust understanding of the issues we choose to confront. Proverbs warns, “Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish” (Prov. 18:13).
True understanding of cultural issues will necessarily involve news networks, social media, talk radio, and podcasts, but while these may serve to supply us with facts, they should not be our wellsprings for determining what we ought to think and for judging between right and wrong. While such resources are helpful in providing facts and educated opinions, they are often devoid of a biblical foundation and worldview. God’s people should view all things firstly through a biblical lens—not a partisan political perspective or according to a cultural narrative. We should be able to engage ideas from a familiarity with the Bible and God’s heart, not just a familiarity with political talking points and cultural norms. After all, the “fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge” (Prov. 1:7a).
As we pursue understanding, our prayer ought always to be, “I believe in your commandments; now teach me good judgment and knowledge … Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow” (Psa. 119:66; 25:4). Becoming God’s cultural influencers necessitates becoming informed—not only of the facts, but also of God’s heart on political and social matters.
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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. Biblegateway.com.