Last month I wrote about the terms currently in vogue in our culture, terms such as “woke” and “cancel culture.” A new term that has just come on the scene is “Karen.” What is a “Karen?” Here’s how Dictionary.com defines it:
Karen is a pejorative slang term for an obnoxious, angry, entitled, and often racist middle-aged white woman who uses her privilege to get her way or police other people's behaviors. As featured in memes, Karen is generally stereotyped as having a blonde bob haircut, asking to speak to retail and restaurant managers to voice complaints or make demands, and being an anti-vaxx , Generation X soccer mom. In 2020, Karen spread as a label used to call out white women who were captured in viral videos engaging in what are widely seen as racist acts.
So there you have it. Are you a Karen? This term was used by Chicago’s lesbian, black mayor, Lori Lightfoot, to describe Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary. Fascinating! Anyway, add it to your backpack of slang terms flowing from the Black Lives Matter movement.
The more important questions I want to answer for believers is, “How can we not be drawn into the deception of the culture around us?” “How do we swim against the current of the culture?” and “How should we reasonably deal with the unreasonable?” Let’s tackle the first question of deception. How can Christians know the truth and keep from being deceived? The devil is a deceiver (Revelation 12:9). He loves deception. It is one of the chief weapons in his arsenal.
So with so many conflicting stories being echoed abroad today, how do we know the truth and keep from being deceived? There are two keys: 1. Know the Word of God. Compare everything you hear or see against what the Word of God says. The Bible is the standard for all truth and whatever is not consistent with the revealed truth of the Bible is a lie. For example, a biblical principle for determining if something is factual is every fact must be confirmed by at least 2 or 3 credible witnesses (2 Corinthians 13:1). Don’t believe what you are told by one person alone. There needs to be at least one or two others who say the same thing and these witnesses need to be people who have a reputation for truth-telling. 2. Listen to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will “guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). There are two witnesses to the truth: the outer witness of the Word and the inner witness of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit will convict and stir the conscience of a believer when something is a lie or a sin. Trust the Spirit to guide you into all truth!
With so much chaos in our culture, how do we go against the flow and swim upstream? All throughout history Christians have always gone against the flow of the culture. In many cases it meant martyrdom such as during the Roman Empire. Our allegiance is not to the culture but to Christ Jesus alone. He is Lord of all! We obey Him even at the cost of our own lives. If that means imprisonment, so be it. Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was martyred by the Nazis. Pastor John Piper was arrested for his stand against abortion. Pastor John MacArthur has been threatened with arrest for holding church services in defiance of California Governor Newsom’s unconstitutional order. It is cowardice to remain silent or passive in the culture wars. Be bold! Be brave! Take a stand and don’t be afraid. The Lord will be with you as your shield and defender (consider the apostles in Acts 4:18-20).
Finally, how should Christians deal with the unreasonable? So many people are slaves to their emotions and cannot accept logical, reasonable arguments. Rather than appealing to the unreasonable with logic, pivot the conversation by using questions and directing the focus onto Jesus Christ. For example, “Yes, I know you believe America was built on slavery and is a systemically racist nation but would it surprise you to know that God opposes slavery and racism too? God has a lot to say about those two topics and so does Jesus Christ. Can I share with you what He says?” Philip used this same approach of questioning and directing the conversation onto the person of Jesus Christ when he witnessed to the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-40). It works.
“You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free,”