Fake truth?

Don’t rely on what you think but what you know, including what a church might teach. Always check your sources before embracing a truth. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.

Fake news is in the news. Due primarily to the proliferation of Internet news sources and smart phones, news is now more impacting than it ever has been before; and the term “fake news” gets tossed around commonly these days. What exactly is fake news? Let me give you an example. Let’s say that a certain real politician has made real news in recent days. All the major networks online or otherwise are broadcasting the real news about the real politician. As with most news stories there are those who support the politician and those who don’t. Since he or she is in the news for real it presents a prime opportunity for a supporter or a detractor to “enhance” the real story to make it either more negative or more positive, depending on the aim of the news fabricator. People like you and I read the enhanced story and believe it to be true since we read the first real story and believed that the enhancement is nothing more than a followup while in reality it’s totally false–fake news. Unless you’re discerning and willing to check your news sources thoroughly, you may be easily duped by these fabricated stories whose ultimate motive is not to report the truth, but to establish the lie.

Ultimately the problem with fake news is that it usually contradicts something, logic, reason or, as in most cases, the truth of the real story in first place. Opposing truths can’t both be right. The challenge is finding out who is opposing whom?

Here’s a story. Two men had an argument. To settle the matter, they went to a Sufi judge for arbitration. The plaintiff made his case. He was very eloquent and persuasive in his reasoning. When he finished, the judge nodded in approval and said, “That’s right, that's right.” On hearing this, the defendant jumped up and said, “Wait a second, judge, you haven’t even heard my side of the case yet.” So the judge told the defendant to state his case. And he, too, was very persuasive and eloquent. When he finished, the judge said, “That’s right, that’s right.” When the clerk of court heard this, he jumped up and said, “Judge, they both can’t be right.” The judge looked at the clerk of court and said, “That’s right, that’s right.” (Roger von Oech, Ph.D., A Whack on the Side of the Head, Warner Books, 1983, p. 23.)

As Christians we’ve been confronted with this sort of duality for a long time, ever since time began in fact. Satan, the Father of Lies, has employed a fake news concept ever since he deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden. It was effective, so he’s made it his primary and most effective tool ever since; tweaking it each time to make it sound very real. History is full of examples, some more subtle than others. First there are the concepts: “God took her child because she loved it too much” or “God requires sacrifice to atone for what he has done for us.” Both are utterly false, but many believe them to be true. How about quotes from the Bible that aren’t in the Bible? “God helps those who help themselves?” Not in my Bible! Then there are the more subtle fabrications that come close to what the Bible teaches but differ enough to cause wrong thinking. Did you know God’s Word doe not teach that there are 7 deadly sins? Deadly sins are the concoction of the church, with a little help from Proverbs 6:16-19 centuries ago, and a push from the Father of Lies to make sure that sinners believed there were spiritual goals they could aspire to reaching and not moving beyond. Both God and Satan can’t be right. We need to be discerning, not only with the fake news around us but with fake truth that is everywhere. There can only be one source for truth and it’s God’s Word. All other spiritual broadcasters are imposters. Don’t rely on what you think but what you know, including what a church might teach. Always check your sources before embracing a truth.

We pray. Thank you Lord for your Word, presented to us by the Spirit of Truth in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Forgive us Lord, when we make assumptions about the truth that are based on what we have heard or what we might think instead of what we actually know by reading and studying your Word. Protect us from the lies of Satan, including the half-truths and near truths that seem so real. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)

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