Fake news has been around for a long time. Satan must be given the “First Fake News Award” when he told Eve that she could be as knowledgeable as God if she sinned and ate the apple. The problem with fake news is that it represents nothing more than lying to accomplish nefarious goals. It divides people, creates anger and, for those who cannot control their emotions, the spreading of hatred results in crimes against our society. Today, there are those who celebrate violent acts against those with differing opinions. This should never happen in a civil society.
This study is not going to look at opinion news or commentary that just take differing sides. Any democracy thrives on opinion and civil discourse. Instead, lets take a few of the warnings that God Himself extended throughout history and see how to apply them today to our media, politicians, teachers, and anyone else who seeks to falsify information to enhance their agenda.
(Proverbs 29:4)1NIV New International Version Translations – “By justice a king gives a country stability, but those who are greedy for bribes tear it down.”
Where is the peace and stability that we all seek today? One might say that there is complete chaos in our economy, world affairs, borders, and personal safety. Who is complicit? If someone spreads untruths or the withholding of truths (both are lies) that result in crimes against the innocent, does God hold the deceiver accountable?
(Proverbs 28:10) – “Whoever leads the upright along an evil path will fall into their own trap, but the blameless will receive a good inheritance.”
First, it is important to establish that there is aways going to be accountability with God. If deceit is present, punishment is inevitable. It doesn’t matter what you may personally believe. God’s Truth is God’s Truth. To look at a biblical example, Jeremiah comes to mind. Jeremiah prophesied during the 7th century BC, when there were great political problems. It is the longest book in the Bible. He has a lot to say. While Jeremiah loved God and loved his country, many people attacked him personally, even to attempt to take his life. What was going on? The northern Jewish kingdom, Israel, had been defeated. The southern kingdom called Judah, were having a leadership problem. King Manasseh and King Amon had allowed all kinds of pagan acts into their nation’s religion. Leaders had even allowed people to sacrifice children.
We see today that religion is still under attack and being forced to accommodate our sinful world. God’s original idea was that “religion,” belief in God, would make a positive difference in His world. Instead, the world is busy convincing people that the Bible is nothing special and is not God’s inspired Word. One might argue about subtilties such as the use of the word “literal” in a recent Gallup poll.2https://news.gallup.com/poll/394262/fewer-bible-literal-word-god.aspx However, if fewer people are believing there is a God and only about twenty percent of the people in the US believe the Bible is God’s inspired Word, we are really in trouble.
Just look at the impact of the changing beliefs in our country on children. It is not hard to agree that they are being sacrificed to drugs, trafficking, and an educational system that makes everyone hateful about their sex, color, ethnic origin, and family history. Our society is no longer accommodating to people with special needs and mental illness. We may be entering a period in history where it is no longer safe to send a child into public education. History tells us that when deception becomes an accepted practice and a prized skill, the slippery slide into Marxism, Communism and Atheism is usually not far behind.
(Jeremiah 9:6) – “You live in the midst of deception; in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me, declares the Lord.”
Speaking on God’s behalf, Jeremiah is quick to point out that deception, lying, fake news, is paramount in affecting the opinions of the people. Is the deception wining? According to Gallup, yes. Jeremiah shares an important insight into Satan.
(Jeremiah 14:14) – “Then the Lord said to me, ‘The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries, and the delusions of their own minds.’”
In verse 14:14 above, the first thing God points out to Jeremiah is that others are claiming his credentials as a “prophet.” They lie but do so by claiming that their own lies are coming from Jeremiah. Have you heard this before? Might be something like, “unnamed sources have heard what Jeremiah really said!” The first clue God is giving us in the sorting out of His Truth is to watch for someone usurping the credentials of others. We have entire industries established on that premise. God says their own credentials are false. What do we get then from this group, delusions of their own minds? That is an interesting sentence Jeremiah uses. What could be considered delusional? Men getting pregnant.! Over fifty sexes. One race is better than another. What about no longer requiring repentance and reparation for crimes. And then there is the big delusion, the Bible is not the inspired Word of God!
(Jeremiah 23:32) – “Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,’ declares the Lord. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,’ declares the Lord.”
Here Jeremiah shifts to looking at the results. There are no benefits for the people that are coming from those who claim their high positions. We see it now. Can you name the benefits we are receiving from our institutions today? As a result of our government, are you better today, safer, healthier, happier? You don’t live longer by the way! The average life span is dropping not rising! What about our educational systems? Are the students prepared for life with basic skills, can they work, can they contribute to society or just confused about things? How’s the supply chain been treating you? And then there is the elephant in the room, our media. Can you be sure what you hear is truthful? Is it consistent? Does it bring people together in peace or is it spawning more violence and hate?
(Jeremiah 27:14-16) – “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who say to you, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon,’ for they are prophesying lies to you. ‘I have not sent them,’ declares the Lord. ‘They are prophesying lies in my name. Therefore, I will banish you and you will perish, both you and the prophets who prophesy to you.’”
Jeremiah himself is appealing to the king that he should not listen to the false prophets. God did not want His people to die in war or die because of hunger and disease. The king and other leaders ignored Jeremiah. So, he went directly to the churches and people. The false prophets, the leaders were telling the people, everything is going to be just great. All your existential threats will be mitigated. However, no one listened to Jeremiah. History remains Jeremiah’s only witness to the truth of his prophecies!
The Bible was penned by human hands, but its Truth was inspired by our Creator Himself. It is time God’s people turned to His Word, not away. It is time churches taught His Word, not their own opinion. It is time to elect leaders that respect God and His Truth once more! Without God and His Word, Jeremiah’s prophetic warnings are but a noise in the wind. Jeremiah’s prophecies were right!
(2 Timothy 3:16) – “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,”
A few Facts about God’s Word
- The word “bible” is from the Greek ta biblia, which means “the scrolls” or “the books.” The word is derived from the ancient city of Byblos, which was the official supplier of paper products to the ancient world.
- The full Bible has been translated into over 500 languages. It has been partially translated into over 2,800 languages.
- The Bible has more sold copies than any other book in history, over 100 million copies each year. One hopes that it has been the most read book in history!
- The Bible is not a single work but a collection of works from a wide variety of authors, such as shepherds, kings, farmers, priests, poets, scribes, and fisherman. Authors also include traitors, embezzlers, adulterers, murders, and auditors. There are over 40 contributors. Yet their messages are amazingly consistent.
- The Bible was written over 15 centuries with the New Testament originally written in Greek and Old Testament originally written in Hebrew. Yet it is ageless, wisdom even for today.
- There are approximately 2,500 prophecies in the Bible with over 2,000 prophecies that have already been fulfilled. With that track record. You would think people would notice!
Only a world with a Creator can be blessed to have His wisdom packaged neatly to share with each other. The Bible is the greatest story ever told because the Bible is True!
- Are people today just too lazy to research what they hear and see if it is the truth?
- Ideas to Explore: Are sources we use for proof unreliable? Do we rely too much on media? Are those profiting from deceit too powerful? Is it fear that keeps us ignorant?
- Why do people believe what they hear in the news and read on the Internet?
- Ideas to Explore: Are we too trusting of sources? Should we do more reading of alternative sources for comparison? Is it the inherent sinful nature of humans that keeps us from God’s wisdom?
- Are people just biased?
- Ideas to Explore: Have we been educated and trained to harbor specific biased opinions? Where might our biases come from? How should we remove them?
- Why do people allow themselves to get so worked up that they hate someone and are willing to hurt them?
- Ideas to Explore: Is it mental illness? Is it a poor education? Has hatred been planted by family experiences? Are they whipped up into a murderous frenzy by deception and lies for a nefarious purpose?
- Are we too busy to care?
- Ideas to Explore: Why do we tolerate harm to our country and families from poor leadership? What causes a city like Chicago to tolerate death every weekend for years and years?
- Do you personally believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God?
- Ideas to Explore: Why or Why not? Do you think it is time for you to form a decision? Your decision will have eternal consequences!
- 1NIV New International Version Translations