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Fake News


Recently the term 'fake news' has been applied to those in the media who present information as true when it is selected, distorted, or even fabricated to push a particular political agenda. While the phrase is relatively new, the process has been long established. One reporter commenting on his coverage of the presidential election of 1960 mentioned that he was talking with his friend (a fellow journalist) who was assigned to travel with Nixon. He asked his friend if he was disappointed to be stuck with Nixon. His friend said that he thought he would be in a better position to help 'Jack' this way.

Even many reporters in the 1930s considered themselves 'fellow travelers' (closet communists). However, the insurgency of social manipulation was not limited to those presenting themselves as heralds of truth, the entertainment industry also was busy advancing distorted images of life such as presenting men as stupid dolts worthy of ridicule. Radio and movies had advanced this long before television.

Even before the 20th century, Marx, Freud, and Darwin were heralded as prophets of truth, understanding, and progress that would sweep away simple-minded and outdated thinking represented by religious faith. Perhaps the earliest example we have of fake news was when Satan told Eve 'Thou shalt not surely die' (Gen 3:4).

If we consider that Satan is the 'father' of lies (John 8:44), and we can see his hand throughout history, we should ask ourselves to what purpose. As Christians we should be able to recognize the schemes of Satan (2 Cor 2:11). However, our ability to discern is coupled with spiritual maturity (Heb 5:14) and that is often lacking in the modern Christian life.

The use of lies and deception is usually for the purpose of manipulating us to work to accomplish the objectives of Satan. As 'fake news' becomes increasingly obvious, it may indicate that our deception is no longer needed as much. In a way, the world is divided into two groups, those who value truth and those who find comfort in deception. The reason so many are deceived, is because they failed to receive a love of the truth. (2 Thess 2:10).

Truth does set one free (John 8:32). However, most people prefer to feel good rather than have freedom. In fact, many find truth so uncomfortable that they become hostile to it. Jesus prayed that his disciples would be 'sanctified' by the truth (John 17:17). Sanctify means to set apart. This division can be seen when Jesus told his disciples that the world would hate them (John 15:19). James writes that friendship with the word was to be an enemy of God. (James 4:4)

Christians who have seen themselves as more integrated into the world, may be beginning to see that they will have to choose on which side they will stand. John described the hatred people had for Jesus by saying that light had come into the world, but people hated the light because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19). The use of the word 'hate' indicates a depth of passion that may not yet be fully appreciated. Those who stand for truth can expect to be reviled. It may be that martyrdom will soon be as common in the West as it is Muslim countries.

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. - 2 Timothy 3:12


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