The last decade or so has given rise to a new terminology; it is the word “Influencers.” As the name would imply, these individuals hold a given amount of “sway” over a particular group of people. We find them opining on social media, on blogs, and on podcasts. They have a proven ability to successfully endorse products, and more importantly, impact cultural ideology.
I suppose most of us would say something like, “I don’t follow any of those folks,” or, “I won’t let them into my brain.” But, in reality, we do! Maybe unintentionally, but we still do.
In everyday life we are surrounded by influencers.
Corporations are no longer merely committed solely to the “bottom line,” but now include a social agenda with each pair of sneakers or cup of coffee sold. Rather than simply enjoying the competition at a sporting event, we are assaulted with a boatload of ideology.
Big Tech feels free to promote their own corporate morality, and censor any of those with whom they disagree.
Public Agencies, the FBI, Department of Justice, Congress, the Executive Branch and other governmental agencies feign neutrality, but feel free to offer their bent on current evolving ideology.
Media, books, and entertainment and are in no endless supply to offer compromising sin to be the acceptable norm. Even Amusement parks demand the right to impose their moral dogma upon otherwise carefree visitors.
Across the board, academics are at the ready to influence the minds of subsequent generations.
Even the Church at times has bought into errant ideologies and becomes an accidental “influencer” in a poor direction.
The list goes on–friends, neighbors, politicians, and families contribute to our worldview and values. For better or worse, we are surrounded!
We should not be surprised that we are being bombarded daily. A broken world will ask us to compromise, even demand for us to compromise, to bow the knee to the image of pagan philosophy. They will ask us to change. These parties will not step forward and announce, “We are proffering vain philosophies to be eschewed; won’t you let us corrupt you?”
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul commands– “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8).
Still, every so often– in fact, too often, the Christian community is all too eager to drink the contemporary flavors of corruption. The new prophecy! A block-buster movie promoting a non-biblical Christ. A heretical fictional book revealing a new “revelation.” A media series presenting an authentically fictional Jesus. And yet, we open our minds all too freely. I think these kinds of influences are what Paul is referring to in his warning. As we expose our minds to the cords of chaos, we become the prey and prisoners of the Enemy.
It isn’t that we should shut down all ideas and input, but we need to be constantly on guard, to protect our minds from errant ideology; we do need to be open to Biblical Truth as it is rightly delivered to us – as Paul says, those truths “according to Christ,” And that takes an increased measure of discernment.
When it gets down to it, we are influencers too! At least, we are meant to be. The candle, the light within is not to be left under the bushel. And the talents we are given were intended to be used for His glory, that we might use them in our circles of influence.
It’s a brutal world out there; there is a war going on!
Let’s be careful. Let’s be wise.