Monday, 7 August 2017

Being People of Truth in a World of Fake News

Use common sense, desire discernment, and cultivate accountability.

One of the hottest topics in our culture is fake news. I’ve written about it, and others have as well. Obviously, not all news is fake. At the same time, not everything that calls itself news is real news. When one of the leading stories in USA Today is about someone wearing a thong, we are reminded how far the media have fallen. But fake news is not just an industry issue or a cultural issue. It becomes a discipleship issue because we are people of truth in a world that has been dealing with alternative facts since the Garden of Eden.

The growing problem of fake news gives pastors and church leaders a great opportunity to teach and challenge Christians to be more discerning about the stories they consume. What we are talking about is helping people think more critically about the world in which we live.

Nothing is true simply because it is believable, or because it fits our worldview or preference. Nothing is untrue simply because it is unbelievable, or doesn’t fit our worldview or preference. As Christians, we believe some things that would qualify as unlikely, or straight up unbelievable. The gospel has changed us. That gospel is ‘good news’.

We need to remember that what we call good news (God became flesh, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died, rose from the dead, and is coming back on a white horse to receive His people into eternal life), the world calls fake news. The fact that we are known as “believers” tells us how much our identity is tied up in accepting things others do not. We are banking our eternity on what we believe. But with our faith comes responsibility.

In a rising tide of fake news, what can we do to not become part of the destructive flood that is washing away ...

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