The Voice of Truth … in a world of panic

Jesus said, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32

Today I want to ask: “What resources — and maybe articles — are giving you hope, concern, or perspective in these crazy times?” (Send me stories that are grabbing you right now! Hope? Concern? Perspective? I want to know what’s grabbing you. And I’ll link you to a few!)

In the meantime, let me tell you what’s grabbing me …

For me, some articles are pure encouragement. I shared last week the story of a woman driving by a tornado-devastated church, seeing an unscathed piano in the midst of the rubble, and unbeknownst to her, wound up playing joyfully in the midst of a TV interview, saying — with hope and joy — that this instrument “had more music left in it.” I like those kind of articles!

The second kind of article that draws me are the one that present opportunities — especially for the church. Last week, for example, I presented an article that says that 21% of NON-Christians have been reading the Bible during the current shutdowns. Some are looking for hope. Others see this as a sign from heaven, a call to return to God. Still others wonder if there might be apocalyptic implications. But, whatever the motivation, this clearly spells opportunity for the church. People are hungry. Are you (and I) feeding them … or even engaging them?

The third kind of article that grabs me are those that reveal the condition of the human heart. And guess what … crises tend to powerfully reveal people’s hearts! From an intellectual, spiritual, and psychological perspective, then, times like these can be a wonderful teaching moment for our culture.

With this in mind, I was struck by recent observations of a Jewish commentator. He said, “[In our world today] science is the secular religion, and ‘experts’ are its prophets and priests. In fact, they have greater authority among the secular … than the pope of the Catholic Church has among Catholics. Whereas popes have invoked the doctrine of ‘infallibility’ twice in the history of the Catholic Church, ‘experts’ invoke it every day among the secular faithful.”

Isn’t that interesting?! In my lifetime, experts have said that coffee, for example, has been “good for you,” “bad for you,” “good” again, “bad” again, and … 

Well, apply that to our current medical crisis, our Jewish commentator says. “A large swath of the ‘expert’ community [has] cloaked itself with unscientific certitude. [Thus] beginning on March 16 with a model from the Imperial College London … — which projected about 2.2 million Americans and half a million Brits would die — governments … deci[ded] to [shutdown] their economies. … But [was] it true?”

Here’s what this got me thinking about: Who is anointed as the “expert” on this — or on most any other issue you follow? Often, we need to pull back the curtain a little further. Sometimes it’s not the “expert” that we’re following, it’s the “priest” who anoints which opinion gets presented and heard. Until a scientific law is establish, there are many theories which wax and wane in credibility as more data is uncovered. And so we must ask, at any given moment, who is picking winners and losers in any debate? Who are we really listening to? Indeed, what are we consciously or unconsciously – bowing down to?

In 1 Kings 18, one lone voice stood up to 450 “experts.” Jezebel had anointed 450 followers of Baal as priests over Israel. She was the high priest. She was the anointer of the anointed. They were her “experts.” But truth did not respect the culture’s anointed experts! One lone prophet – Elijah, the voice of truth – defeated her agenda.

We all have opinions. We all have agendas. We all think the world would be better if more people subscribed to our way of thinking! But we mustn’t bow to our own ideologies. And we mustn’t bow to those in our culture who anoint themselves as the anointers of winners and losers, ‘experts’ and scapegoats. Instead, we must continually listen for the voice of the truth. 

In this case of current events, the so-called “experts” have been, according to our commentator, among “the primary stokers of panic”?

And yet there’s been a powerful alternative. I don’t know about you, but I’ve also seen the power of the Prince of Peace through all of this! In fact, I’ve repeatedly watched the level of anxiety in people directly correlated to …

  • how much people are tuning into God, faith, and scripture vs. tuning into experts, media, and state and federal briefings.
  • I think it’s the difference between focusing on the voice of truth vs. opinion, best guesses, and political motives.
  • I think it’s sometimes also the difference between having a greater hope in heaven than being consumed by a whelming fear on earth.

In Christ’s Love,

a guy who is an ‘expert’

… at absolutely nothing.

(Therefore, a guy who

keeps trying to listen

for the voice of truth,

rather than the ‘news’)

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