You hear a lot about “fake news” these days. I think what is meant by that term is news reported in the media that is made up news with little or no truth behind it. The online website, Politifact, says, Then there’s fake news, the phenomenon that is now sweeping, well, the news. Fake news is made-up stuff, masterfully manipulated to look like credible journalistic reports that are easily spread online to large audiences willing to believe the fictions and spread the word.
Much of the fake news being reported today is rooted in political hostility toward the opposition. Sometimes the fake news concerns doctored statistics to fit a political ideology. A recent article in the Drudge Report said that 56% of broadcast meteorologists don’t believe that man-made global warming is true. The media tells us that man-made global warming is an incontrovertible fact accepted by the scientific community. What about the 56%? Aren’t they scientists? Who are we to believe, after all, who would know about global warming and its causes better than a meteorologist? Fake news. All of this breeds distrust of the media and the belief that the media has a liberal political bias.
Has “fake news” invaded religious circles? Yep. As a pastor I used to hear the term “evangelistically speaking” bantered about by leaders. What they meant by that is the numbers attending any event were inflated because that’s what evangelists do. They exaggerate the numbers. If 500 people attended the evangelist’s meeting and 100 people made decisions to receive Christ, it was reported to the press and the evangelist’s constituents as 1,000 people attending and 300 decisions for Christ. That’s fake news. Another term for fake news is LYING!
Christians should never make up or pass along fake news. That’s lying and characterizes the devil, the father of lies not Christians (John 8:44). The Apostle Paul tells the Ephesians, “Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak the truth, each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another” (5:25) and the Colossians, “Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices” (3:9).
The good news is that God cannot lie and He has told us the truth regarding all matters of the Christian life (Titus 1:2). He is the absolute source of all truth. If He says it, it is true. If He says, “Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved” that’s truth, not fake news (Romans 10:13). No fake news with God. Aren’t you glad? I am.