"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Fake News, Fake Truth, but You Can't Fake Love

60 Minutes did a story on Fake News last night. Our TIVO recording only allowed us to watch a portion of the segment because local weather broadcasts kept interrupting 60 Minutes issuing tornado warnings. If only there were Fake Tornadoes in Oklahoma.

Anyway, of the portion of the 60 Minutes piece I saw, I went slack-jawed when the producers showed that some people and websites actually invent falsehoods and publicize them as "truth" for monetary gain. The more duped people click on their websites, the more money they make from ads. Unbelievable. 

Yet, what is even more tragic than the publication of Fake News are the highly educated, otherwise non-gullible, even Christian people who swallow Fake News as legitimate. And, yes, this occurs on both sides of the aisle, whether conservative or liberal. 

I came across one such Fake News story today about the exhumation of the body of Vince Foster. Some of my Christian friends shared this Fake News in praise of conservative Representative Trey Gowdy, who allegedly petitioned the courts to have the body exhumed to prove Foster's death was actually murder and not suicide; all in an attempt to smear Bill and Hillary Clinton. The story is false, but it doesn't keep the authors of the lie from making money on their websites. We Christians hand gold to the Egyptians (an allegory from Exodus) when we spread Fake News. 

With the advent of intentional untruth spread as "newsworthy fact," it would be an appropriate time to remind us who follow Jesus that we are to be known for our love and truth - in that order. The Royal Commandment is love (see James 2:8).  People will know I am a follower of Christ by my love, not my truth (see John 13:35). The love I show is more important than truth I know, because in reality my Truth is a Person, and He tells me to love you as He loves me.

Here's the good news about love. You can't fake it. You either have it or you don't (see I Corinthians 13:4-8). 

Love is patient.
Love is kind. 
Love does not envy.
Love does not boast.
Love is not proud.  
Love does not dishonor others.
Love is not self-seeking.
Love is not easily angered.
Love keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil.
Love rejoices with the truth. 
Love always protects.
Love always trusts.
Love always hopes.
Love always perseveres.
Love never fails

I may tell you I love you, but if I don't show you I love you, then I'm faking love. The good news about true love is that fact checking it is easy for me. Before I condemn those who pass on Fake News as gospel truth, I ought to examine to see if I am attempting to hoodwink you with my fake love. 

I think the latter is worse because it often involves self-delusion. 

At least the Fake News purveyors know they are liars.

15 comments:

Christiane said...

there was a time when people didn't brag about loving the 'fake news' that denigrated the groups they hated

there was once a time when the office of the President was respected

http://www.wadeburleson.org/2012/01/office-of-president-belongs-to-american.html

I think when a people have opened themselves up to hearing 'what they want to hear', they have in fact opened a Pandora's Box and can no longer control what the outcome will be

Aussie John said...

Wade,

A very timely warning to all, but especially to Christians, whom are sadly not immune from making "fake news". "Fake news" often degenerates into "my truth versus your truth" which is all about ego.

Either way the real truth of a matter, and even Biblical truth must make way for the relativized or subjectivized "truth".

Rex Ray said...

I guess fake news has been around a long time since Mark Twain said, “Those that don’t read the newspaper are uninformed; those that do are misinformed.”

Christiane said...

Hi REX RAY,
I love your Twain quote!
I hope you enjoyed your trip to the Holy Land, and I hope you will share some of your insights into what you encountered.

Todd Harvey said...

Wade, you may enjoy Stefan Molyneux's presentation on the 60 Minutes show. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWHFue_QMHg

But for you all in Oklahoma, check out his discussion with Michelle Malkin on the Holtzclaw trial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqXJbMYbrx8

Rex Ray said...

Hi CHRISTIANE,

Judy has made a notebook of many pictures of Israel with their explanation. The one I like best is sunset in Jerusalem. The clouds cause sun’s rays to extend almost to heaven.

I was amazed how Jews took land that the Palestinians considered worthless and made it into a ‘garden of Eden’. They covered ‘rows’ of thousand of acres with cloth with underground irrigation to produce delicious food.

Riding a cable car to the top of Masada with the huge ramp the Romans made was fantastic. It was heartbreaking to learn how fathers killed their families and then themselves. Only two mothers with their five children hid and survived to tell the story.

It was Judy’s first trip but my fifth as our missionary son had babies, we would babysit. The closest he heard a Muslim say he would be a Christian was when one said he would if he knew God would give him five sons (as our son had.)

Rex Ray said...

Off Topic
Roots of Catholics and Baptists start in Acts 15

Acts 15 is a record of the first Church Council in deciding how Gentiles were saved. These two roots were ‘Jesus plus something’ and ‘Jesus plus nothing’.

Christian Pharisees expressed ‘Jesus plus something’
“Some of the believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and insisted, “The Gentile converts must be circumcised and required to follow the law of Moses.” (Verse 5)

Peter expressed ‘Jesus plus nothing’
“Why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke…We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.” (Verses 10-11)

James’ judgment expressed ’double talk’ (should not; but should)
“Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble [no circumcision] those Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood.” (Verses 19-20)

James’ reasoning was tradition
“For these laws of Moses have been preached in Jewish synagogues in every city on every Sabbath for many generations.” (Verse 21) In 1545, Catholics by following James’ reasoning gave tradition the same authority as the Bible.

James said, “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay no greater burden on you than these few requirements.” (Verse 28)
Horrors! Did the Holy Spirit disagree with God? Peter said burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke would be challenging God.

Paul agrees with Peter
“This is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the good news share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 3:6) “…Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. (Verse 17)

Notice Paul did not mention the ‘burden’ of requirements James put on Gentiles. When Paul said, “Your roots will…keep you strong”, I believe he was referring to Ephesians and not Jews. I believe the descendants of thousands of Jews that were “zealous for the law” started baptizing babies for salvation around 251 AD. They were named “Catholic” in 312 AD. Christians that would not join them became know as Anabaptists. Anabaptist eventually became known as Baptist.

Anonymous said...

Great post!

Louis

Rex Ray said...

George the Preaching Prisoner

At one time George was a Mexican policeman who had gone wrong. This ‘dirty’ cop became a large ‘drug lord’. He had many warehouses of marijuana in America. He was on a “most wanted list”. His wife became afraid of him because of his ruthless behavior. She took their small boy and fled for their lives.

This broke his heart and he trusted Jesus to forgive him. He had been searching for them in America. He told the police who he was and Jesus wanted him to turn himself in.

He was sentenced for 50 years at Macalister, OK. This was a bad prison where gangs killed each other very often. George started preaching Jesus to them and the killing stopped.

After three years, the Chaplain told him, “I’ve got bad news for you; tomorrow they’re kicking you out.”

“They can’t do that; I have a ministry here!”

Years ago, our church had a vacation Bible School near a Baptist Seminary at San Jeronimito, Mexico. George was taking classes to be a pastor. It was between semesters and he was the caretaker and lived in the men’s dormitory. I was asked to stay another week and finish making a guard rail for the second story balcony. I did the welding and he did the painting. I stayed with him and saw on his desk a plaque from Macalister State Prison: “George xxxxx, thank you for making our job a lot easier.” (I omitted his last name because some in America want him dead.)

Last year, Judy and I went with our church for a vacation bible school at his church. Our church is going back again this year.

Christiane said...

Hey REX RAY,
great story!
Your stories are the best!

Rex Ray said...

Hey CHRISTIANE, yourself
You're the best!

Wade Burleson said...

I agree - Rex's stories are the best!

Christiane said...

I find this revealing. And frightening:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgkqW4cJOFQ

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

I agree: “even Christians…swallow Fake News”.

IMHO, one example is believing the author of Revelations was Apostle John.

Some take up for James’ food rules: “…to abstain from eating food offered to idols…” (Acts 15:20) by claiming Jesus said to the Church in Pergamum: “…I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman—that Jezebel…She teaches them…to eat food offered to idols.” (Revelations 2:20)

“James and John…said to Jesus, ‘Lord, should we call down fire from heaven to burn them up?” (Luke 9:54) “James and John…Jesus nicknamed them “Sons of Thunder.” (Mark 3:17)

Do not the bold die first? James was the first apostle to die by King Herod Agrippa. Would his brother not be far behind? It wouldn’t surprise me if John shook his fist in the King’s face and called fire from heaven. That might explain why history records the King had him boiled in oil.

His death by boiling oil would fulfill the prophesy of Jesus asking James and John: “Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink?”…You will indeed drink from my bitter cup…” (Matthew 20:22-23)

To believe Apostle John wrote the three Johns and Revelation and died of old age would remove the prophecy of Jesus.

Whoever wrote Revelations didn’t know Jesus said: “It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.” (Matthew 15:11) ”…Can’t you see that the food you put into your body cannot defile you?” Food doesn’t go into your heart, but only passes through the stomach…” (Mark 7:18-19)

Paul wrote: “I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food in and of itself, is wrong to eat...” (Romans 14:14)

The logic of not eating meat sacrificed to idols because heathens did is about like the SBC proclaiming we could not state ‘our guideline is the Bible’ because the Church of Christ had that guideline. (At one time the SBC wanted our guideline to be the Baptist Faith & Message 2000.)

Hundreds of years past before Revelations was added to the Bible. That means early Christians didn’t have it, and they did well, I believe I can get along without parts of it.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Other thoughts:

The whole thing is about what others think and not what Jesus thought. When we eat a hamburger, do we ask if the meat is a cow from India? I mean we wouldn’t want to eat some dead ancestor would we?

James food rules didn’t have anything to do with salvation or being saved. His claiming the Holy Spirit was in agreement with the burden he put on Gentiles (Acts 15:28) was his trying to give authority to his weak judgment.