Apr 20, 2017
In An Age Of 'Fake News', We Need God's Truth More Than Ever
'Fake news' is a term that that has been thrown around for a while now. Brought into the public eye through the soundbite-laden speeches of President Donald Trump, it has been legitimately invoked to explain farcical headlines or exaggerated narratives. Other times, however, it is tossed around without any care, and winds up instilling mass distrust in every news outlet available!
But here's the thing, over 60% of adults in the US receive their dose of daily news via their social media feeds. We read at lightning pace, so it can be somewhat of an arduous process to fact-check every article you read. The simple truth? You are going to read some fake news along the way, particularly if it shrouded in hyperbole. So how, as Christians, should we respond to this phenomenon?
Well, we need to do our best to figure out if we are consuming falsehood. Validate your news items, even if it does take you a few extra minutes over your morning coffee. If it sounds too good to be true, or even too bad to be true, it probably is. Hit Google News and do a whizz around to check the story has been published at a few reputable sites. The big hitters rarely miss a beat when it comes to a good scoop!
Here's the thing: we, of all people, should know that truth matters. The Bible, and the story of Christ should be our ultimate truth, our first port of call, and our plumb line when it comes to tackling this stuff. Indeed, we cannot decipher levels of journalistic spin or political bias without God's word, and the discernment of his spirit. This must be our starting point when sifting through our news feeds. Let your God-given conscience go awol, be critical, and assess that which seems a little 'off.' Get to the heart of the matter, and don't hit 'share' before you do so!
The enemy is at work in our world, and he is prevalent in the perpetuation of fake stories that seek to embellish, slander and lie, all for the sake of a juicy headline. "Satan is “a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). We must be alert to his schemes in this area, and having our spiritual antenna switched on is a great help in sorting through the mayhem of our everyday news feeds.
We must also seek to be conscientious in our perpetuating of the truth. We must always seek to be honest in our story-telling, be it with friends, via a Facebook post, or as a fully-fledged journalist. Only then will be able to turn the tide of fake news into a gracious dissemination of accurate information! We really, really need God's help with this.
As the Bible testifies to us, Jesus is the eternal logos. He is truth incarnate, and in His name resides the greatest news there ever was: He died so that we might live. So let's tell the world of this gospel. Let's be careful about the type of media we inhale and ensure the utmost accuracy in the messages we exhale. In all things, may we honor Him. We won't always get it right, but I pray we will strive for spiritual integrity in this area. May we follow His lead as we wade through the murky, fast-flowing waters of modern-day news media.