Monday, February 27, 2017

 

It has become a byword in conversation, an epithet thrown at the media, a point of contention between the Trump administration and news outlets worldwide. FAKE NEWS! The cry goes out across the land, and both liberals and conservatives have their own idea about what it means. To President Trump it’s scurrilous rumors about shenanigans in a Moscow hotel. To liberals it’s almost anything that Press Secretary Shawn Spicer says in media briefings. Crowd size at the Inauguration, intelligence leaks concerning Michael Flynn – if it’s controversial it potentially qualifies. Fake news is a deliberate lie, hoax, or collection of misinformation, often outlandish, disseminated by social media or major news outlets, intended to mislead those not aware of the facts.It’s nothing new. But recently, this news about the news has become the news itself. Movie stars have been victimized by it in the National Inquirer and politicians have been bitten by it in blogs and mainstream editorials. It’s been around a long time as propaganda and satire. To be sure that you’re getting the facts about the facts, journalistic experts advise giving any sensational information the test of “considering the source.” It’s also good to read beyond the headlines and consult a variety of information outlets.

Perhaps the greatest example of fake news occurred nearly 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem. The Pharisees were fearful when they learned that Christ was risen from the dead so they created fake news. The gave a large sum of money to the Roman soldiers guarding the tomb of Jesus, and declared, “Tell them [the public and Roman officials], ‘his disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept'” (Matthew 28:13). The bribery didn’t work. Two millennia later, the Resurrection of Christ is believed by at least 2 billion people, for whom it is the cornerstone of their faith. And don’t forget the first example of fake news, in the Garden when Satan said to Eve, “You will not surely die.” The biggest source of fake news isn’t CNN or “The Onion.” It’s the devil!


An encouraging word: LOVE CONQUERS HATE
“Pray for those who persecute you,” Matthew 5:44 compels us. The “love your enemies” ethic of Christianity isn’t easy to practice. But if I’ve learned anything in all my years of dealing with demons it’s that love is more powerful than hate. Satan has a defense for almost every Christian counter-strategy, but he has no way to defend against unconditional love. Loving people is the path to their conversion and their liberation. The devil can’t understand Godly love and he is incapable of mounting a resistance against it.

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