Fake News Vs. Good News

Jon Burgess


“Don’t be so easily shaken or alarmed by those who say that the day of the Lord has already begun. Don’t believe them, even if they claim to have had a spiritual vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us.” ‭‭2 Thessalonians‬ ‭2:2‬


The Apostle Paul was telling the church in Thessalanica there was no need to panic. They had been victims of some very convincing "fake news" that somehow they had missed the Lords return. The fearmongering of these leaders was wrapped in religious words, spiritual "proofs" and even forged letters from Paul to manipulate the church and distract them from their true calling. Paul gets them back on track by asking them a question that we should all be asking those who are caught up in the fake news of the day: "Don't you remember that I told you about all this when I was with you?" (Vs. 5). Then, just as the Holy Spirit does with us, Paul reminds them of the truth of Christ's return in contrast to the counterfeit claims they had been hearing. He then calls them back to their purpose which is share the Good News rather then being distracted by the fake news (vs. 14). He ends the passage with a reminder to all of us who traverse the endless onslaught of questionable information on a daily basis: "With all go in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter." (Vs. 15).


Fake News is everywhere these days. While some fake news is produced on purpose by teenagers in the Balkans or entrepreneurs seeking to make money from advertising through "click bait", much of it is perpetuated by the misinformed. How many of us have received and email in our inbox from an exiled Nigerian prince who simply wants to give us money if they can get our credit and checking information? Most of us wouldn't fall for that. Yet, many of us fall for fake news because there's truth to it. The best lies deceive the most people when 95% of the lie is truth. We are to live the ever present expectation of Christ's Return. This is true. The false teachers of Paul's day played off this truth to manipulate the church and grow their crowds. According to this passage the best way to combat "fake news" is to immerse myself in the Good News of Jesus Christ. Keep a tight grip on the genuine article and you will never fall for the counterfeit. This daily discipline of learning from Gods Word and Gods Spirit through the Life Journal is how we keep a tight grip on the genuine. The discipline of gathering together with Gods saints in worship on a weekly basis and learning from God's Word is another essential way to keep a grip on what is true. A sure sign that we have been taken by a lie is when we find ourselves in the paralysis of fear. A sure sign that we are walking in the truth is the fire of faith burning bright in our lives so that all we know may come to know Jesus- The Way, The Truth, The Life!


I woke up this morning with news feeds all around me profusely propounding reasons to panic. Instead I run to the truth of Your Word and am guided by the power of Your Spirit. I have nothing to fear when I am in You. Yet, it's very obvious that in order to get a grip on the truth I must let go of my grip on the salacious and scandalous all around me. I hold on to You. You are Truth. You are immovable no matter how changing everything else is around me. Forgive me for being distracted from my purpose which is to share the Good News in a world of Fake News.

Devotions for May 18

1 Kings 3
2 Chronicles 1
Psalms 78
2 Thessalonians 2

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