December 13, 2016

Fake News

Hillary Clinton suggested that fake news not only thwarted her campaign, but has “real world consequences.” Although Christians haven’t labeled it as such, we’ve been dealing with fake news for 2000 years. When the chief priests learned that the body of Jesus was missing they paid the soldiers a large sum of money to fabricate a story. They told the soldiers, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day” (Matt 28:13-15 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----Why didn’t that fake news extinguish the Gospel two thousand years ago? The foremost reason is that God sent the Gospel out. There was no extinguishing it, because it was the truth. But for many people, the fake news became their truth, and by them it was widely circulated. What is there about fake news that makes it able to survive?
-----First, recognize that fake news is successful more by the information it lacks than it is by the misinformation it presents. The story went out that the disciples stole Jesus’ body during the night. It fails to mention they ran like cowards the day Jesus was crucified, and they later gathered to hide and sulk. Nor does it mention they were obviously busy gathering up funerary preparations after the crucifixion instead of stealing the body, for the women took the preparations to the tomb Sunday morning, where they expected to find the body. Nor does it mention that many formerly dead saints were now alive and wandering around Jerusalem (Matt 27:53,) probably having gone straight to their homes first. Imagine the fuss that caused!
-----But the most important reason fake news works is that the patrons of it are fake people. They are not what God intended people to be. He gave people investigative minds. And He intended them to culture hearts thirsty for the truth, hearts which would lead their minds to seek and consider information and its sources. For as many as have a heart for the truth probe their surroundings for clues, then assemble those clues into logically valid structures which do not themselves invalidate any of the clues. This is why one good polystrate fossil ruins the entire structure of evolution; it is a clue as foreign to the structure of that fake news as vinegar is foreign to oil. Being real, the clue can not go away. Being a theory, evolution can go away. Polystrate fossils abound throughout the world, and pictures of them are abundant. But when a heart does not want to acknowledge, the mind will not look. And the more the heart refuses to acknowledge, the more the mind accuses clues instead of investigating for them.
-----This is the way you know truths from lies. Which story denies real facts? That story is the lie. “There are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree.” (I John 5:8) The Holy Spirit is the most undefeatable fact of Christ’s resurrection. Granted, its movements leave a very subtle trail of clues. But those clues are not indistinguishable, nor are they deniable. They are merely subtle enough to cover up. Of course, in the few years after Jesus’ resurrection, the Spirit was not so subtle, ask Ananias and Sapphira. The story about the disciples didn’t spread widely because it was believable; it was actually laughable. It spread widely because fewer people are investigative than who are, thus culture is not the thing of facts and information which would blast away even the best of lies, but a thing of assumptions primed to accept anything.

Love you all,
Steve Corey