Stories Shift the Culture

Right now I am beginning to write the second book in a 5 book series tentatively titled “The Throne in the Earth.”

This is the “why” behind Belonging House–we do what we are doing to build Jesus a throne in the earth. This throne is preparing a culture that reflects the culture of heaven. Why? Because Jesus is returning to reign on the earth.

In the West, and in the United States especially, we have been embroiled in a culture war for half a century. Last spring a leading evangelical ministry in Boston changed it’s position on homosexuality. The director’s reason was this: “The culture wars are over, and we need to move on.” In essence, we need to concede defeat, because we have important stuff to do.  I heard a similar cry 20 years ago in the Episcopal church: “Can’t we just focus on mission?”

My new book is on Mary, and primarily the image of Mary in chapters 11 and 12 of the book of Revelation. The author John unites the image of Mary with the image of the Ark. And this image appears in the context of a war between the Great Red Dragon, and the Archangel Michael. I think it is interesting that the mystery of the Incarnation is inserted into a cosmic culture war–the culture of Heaven and the culture of the Dragon. Ultimate God becoming flesh is essential to understanding this battle. It is a war to the death for humanity, and every choice is a decision for life or for death. The Apocalypse describes a culture war that will not end until all things are put in order by our Lord Jesus Christ. Only the uninformed or willfully ignorant concede that this war is over and that we must join sides with the Dragon.  Ironically, those who embrace bits of the Dragon’s culture soon discover that eventually they are forced to accept all of it.  It’s a zero-sum game.

As I watch what’s happening around me in the world, the church, and the culture, two things are clear: First, the church has to get a clue that culture is shaped through story. Second, any cause that depends on lies, half-truths, or deception is demonic in nature, no matter how much someone claims that it is for the “greater good.” A truly moral cause demands the truth.  I have watched from the inside how lobbyists, denominations, and political structures have all lied to get the public to embrace things that were unjust or evil. This is the culture of the Dragon having its way. I guess it’s no surprise that the handbook for many who are trying to impose this agenda is a book that has been dedicated to Lucifer, Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. (Yes. It sounds like a bizarre conspiracy that I wish I was making up, but I’m not.)

We all need to stop and ask ourselves–if Planned Parenthood, same-sex marriage, Hillary’s emails, the Iran Deal, and Bernie Sanders’ socialism are all so great; then why does the media have to hide parts, lie about others, or completely fabricate still others.  Lies are lies.  Period.  And the Father of Lies is making war on the saints.

Revelation 12 lays this out: the servants of God overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. It is the saving work of God and the telling of stories that overcome the Dragon.  Stories are the weapons in this cosmic culture war, and this is why some sections of society are policing the language and words you can use.  It is about who and how you can tell stories.

I keep challenging people where ever I go that all we need is one compelling story and we can shift the culture of this nation in a day. It has happened before, remember “Brokeback Mountain?” Remember “Uncle Tom’s Cabin?”

These stories shifted the culture. Political activism doesn’t shift the culture. Truth does. And not in a speech, sermon or rally. Truth in story reshapes culture. I’m encouraged, because truth and time go hand in hand. Eventually Truth will win, and Truth is a person, the child in Revelation 12 coming to make sure all the lies get exposed.  According to the text that child will rule the nations with an iron rod.  This should sober all of us.  Even so, come Lord Jesus.

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