Even the name Fake News tells you that the sin of lying is involved. But to the individual who can’t identify news that is faked, there will be little ability to defend real news let alone see it as factual.
Part of the confusion is that there is truth in Fake News. What makes it fake is that it contains only the truth that the reporter wants to give you not the whole truth.
Another issue could be the way it’s slanted — to favor the side of the story the reporter wants to feed you.
There is also the inclusion of opinion (or editorializing as its known in journalism) in stories and headlines that cause the reader to take sides.It is also not responsible — again journalistically that means it’s not researched. The only truth in it is that someone did say it not that what was spoken is actually true.
Underneath this is foundation of criticism and negativity — not constructive uplifting writing that ultimately reveals itself to be veiled hate speak designed to make readers angry and hostile toward the reporter’s target or to “tattle” just to see someone get punished.
How, though, can Fake News undermine the Good News — by rewriting people’s thinking of the Gospel.
Think about it like this. You get into a disagreement with someone at work. You both go to your boss to recount the incident but he can’t see you right then. A week passes. When your boss calls you in to discuss it, you’ve forgotten many of the details. Such is how history works — we forget the details and then it slips into obscurity. But God had His works and deeds of His Son and disciples written down so we wouldn’t forget.
So it should be rock solid, right? It is unless Satan can make you think it’s not. And he’s been doing it since Jesus’ resurrection and exit from the grave.
The guards at the tomb were reported to have left their posts, fell asleep or were derelict in their duties and “allowed” Jesus to escape. That could only be possible if He was not really dead — which scholars have speculated. And the are debates on how He rolled away the stone. By introducing doubt into the Resurrection it begins on undermine the very foundation of Christian faith.
God knew this and is likely the reason He anointed atheist Lee Strobel with the task of proving it false. Strobel failed but in the process was saved and gave his heart to Christ and has subsequently worked tirelessly to win hearts to Christ.
Slanting helps the reporter redefine perception. True, Jesus said to love others but by changing what he meant rather than his words themselves and putting this on the hearts of the right audience, we will allow evil into our homes and country because we are showing love for our neighbors and incest will be overlooked because the pair genuinely profess love for each other.
Since the devil can’t prove any inaccuracies in the Word, the alternative is to rewrite history with lies.
This is how Fake News helps to achieve that: it incorporates more doubt into the scripture you read by devaluing the information you get on a regular basis thus causing you to distrust any news or fact you come across. It other words, it conditions you think all fact is fiction.
If the Bible is viewed as Fake News Jesus’ sacrifice has no meaning and we have no hope.
A perception of slanted Good News invites the skeptic to discredit the Bible for only telling God’s side of the story.
Can you imagine how Judas’s betrayal would be portrayed on social media today: Judas shamed for lawfully turning over wanted blasphemer; accusation of betrayal drives man to suicide.
The use of hearsay is a great way to spread Fake News and misrepresent what is said — that’s why the Bible doesn’t use it. The epistles are actual writings by people who actually spoke to and often walked with Jesus. The commands and commissions they provide are direct from the source not passed along like an interview at a riot.
Reporter: Can you describe what happened here?
Witness: Well, I wasn’t actually here but my friend was and she said that one guy was just hittin’ that guy and his girlfriend and somebody’s sister started screaming and then the gun went off. ... And those are being reported as fact?
Hearsay at the Crucifixion might go something like this: My friend said it wasn’t all that bad. They were nice to him and didn’t break his legs or nothing like they usually do. Yeah and she said when he died people were tryin’ to say there was an earthquake but I think they was just trippin’.
Ultimately Christians need to be aware that the very fabric of our beliefs will be challenged by Fake News and how it will rewrite a non believer’s perception of the Good News.
While questioning The Word has always existed as the End Times draw near, the task set before us becomes that much more daunting if we are unaware of how the enemy is trying to outmaneuver own efforts.
God wins in the end but not everyone will be won for Him. We must be prepared to lead all we can to Him. There is a reason the Commission is called Great.
The works in these posts are written by either Randy S. Gerardot or Gregory C. Jones, web masters for betheone.co. Guest writers will be credited individually for their work.