Well we are seeing it in the media everyday, aren’t we? This idea of #fakenews…primarily stemming from a certain President and a certain cable news network. “Fake news” has become one of the buzzword phrases of 2017 and for good reason: we no longer seem to have a grasp on what stories are indeed true and valid. It’s gotten to the point where I’m trusting less and less in the majority of the “news” I see on my social media feed!
It’s not a new phenomenon. It’s been something that’s always existed in every avenue and aspect of communication. But it seems more widespread and rampant today as social media has exploded and everyone’s opinion (whether right or wrong) has been posted for public viewing. With all viewpoints being expressed, there is bound to be news which lacks substance or merit. News which is downright fake and phony.
I have no desire to get political on this post. Rather I’d like to spend time focusing on what is true, lovely, admirable, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). Today’s headlines, many of which proclaim fake news, really have no chance against the best news ever heard…the Gospel of Jesus Christ; the Good News!
If you struggle to bear up against the things you see and hear everyday, let me encourage you do something: unplug and go read some Scripture. Romans 15:4 states: For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. In considering that the Bible holds the words of life, let’s look at what Good News really means for us:
1. Good News is a weapon
When we talk about weapons, we imagine guns or tanks or bombs; physical things used to conquer and destroy. What we don’t often realize is that in the spiritual realm, there is a war going on as well. It is a war for our very souls and it is fought with different weapons and strategies than in a physical battle:
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:4,5
The Bible is actually referred to as a sword and as such, we can wield it to fight against untruths and lies. The Gospel living within our hearts and expressed through faith and obedience proclaims light against the falsehoods of darkness. The Enemy’s goal to kill, steal, and destroy stands in exact opposition to all we have in Christ. The Good News of redemption and salvation found in Christ breaks the bondage of sin and death.
2. Good News is a reminder of who we are in Christ
I cannot speak enough these days about identity. It seems the world has fixed itself on this other “buzzword” of choice as it has said “Allow me to have my own identity. Allow me to be whatever I choose…and then be ok with it.” It’s a man-centered approach and it’s even capable of telling God, “Leave me alone, I want no part of you.”
For the Christian however, we lay aside any identity of our own and cling to the personhood of Christ as what defines us. It’s hard because our sin nature always wants to rear its ugly head, convincing us that we’ve got it all wrong. But in Christ we truly have life and we realize what we were ultimately created for. Good News reminds us of this and it's a reminder we need to contemplate on a daily basis.
3. Good News is always true and its motives are pure
Consider with me the motives behind the machine that is producing the fake news headlines we see today. There is a constant angle or bend that is portrayed. In being deceptive, it seems some just want to advance an alternate story or a contra-narrative to the reality that is going on. If people can accept that alternate reality, the fake news market has won a victory and successfully promoted whatever agenda they have in mind.
With Good News, there is no such angle or bend. It is truth for truth’s sake. It the message of salvation for the sake of reaching lost souls and to roll back the forces of darkness and evil. Good News is motivated out of love of the purest kind. I’ve posted it before, but the words of the “love chapter” are worth repeating (this my friends, is Good News):
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13
Dear friends can I make a suggestion? As you approach the stories around you and have your phone (or electronic device) in one hand, cling tightly to the Word of God in the other. Evaluate everything you read, see, and hear against the lens of Scripture. Good News is not a fairytale. Nor is it some utopian ideal that we’ve somehow drifted away from. It is truth and it is relevant…today as much as ever! Fake news has a short shelf-life and won’t be remembered for long. Good News; the very Gospel of Christ will remain. It is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Be blessed today! If you are in need of prayer, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org