Taking Back Our Culture — Defining Your Narrative

Written by John Renken on June 9, 2013

MH900250531Matthew 22:15 – Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words.

I had a friend from Arkansas, who would often, in the face of an outlandish story, say, “It’s your story, tell it however you want.”  As I look back at those times I laugh as the country wisdom of such a statement.  As I sat here the other day thinking about his comments I began to realize how Biblical that statement actually is.

In Matthew 22, the Pharisees, who are trying to come up with a way to entangle Jesus in His own words, approach Him with a dilemma.  In other words they are trying to trap Him.  They asked Jesus about paying taxes and even tried a little flattery by suggesting that Jesus always tells the truth and isn’t held sway by public opinion (a post for another day). 

Jesus is no fool.  He immediately recognizes their intent and calls them on it.  I guess the most shocking thing, to me, is that Jesus recognizes that they are setting a trap for Him and He still decides to play their game by springing their trap for everyone else to see!

When we take a good look at this passage, Jesus sees their argument and instead of answering their trap, He turns it back on them with a question.  He took a coin and said, “Whose image does this bear?”  They answered “Caesar’s”.  He responded, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s”.

What is the lesson here for us today?  Simple, don’t let others define your story.  In the context of our current media talk — don’t let others define the narrative.  

Right now across our country, Americans have been losing battles over important issues, because we have been letting others define the narrative.  We have not taken the time to search the truth for ourselves.  If we are going to have a chance in shaping the direction of our culture we must begin to define our own narrative and not fall into the trap of blind belief — unless we know how to properly respond to it.

If you take a good look at the political and religious landscape of our country with issues like: gay marriage, abortion, Benghazi, IRS Scandal, and DOJ invasion of privacy of the press – ask yourself who is setting the narrative?  How can we begin to redefine the narrative and begin the process of shifting our culture to a culture that loves and honors God?  I can tell you upfront it is going to take educated men and women within each particular topic who are willing to think outside the box in order to accomplish this. 

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A self proclaimed “scrapper” since childhood, John Renken grew up with a burning interest in physical challenges and a strong competitive spirit which has led him to develop quite an impressive reputation in the professional fighting community. Reaching the pinnacle of his career, Renken now has over 68 professional mixed martial arts and boxing matches under his belt and many first place titles spanning three different continents. A former Satanist, Renken’s life has taken many interesting twists and turns along the way to redemption. He now pastors a church called Freedom Church and writes about topics of interest in our country.