Prioritzing Truth in a “Fake News” Culture

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Prioritizing Truth in a Fake News Culture

6 out of 10 people get their news from social media, with 9 out of 10 of those being millennials. Millennials are currently shaping the world as we know it.

They are by far the most influential in every area of society, including the church.

With social media being primarily shared stories from many sources that are not credible, it is not hard to conclude that most people aren’t taking to the internet for truth anymore, but rather to feed the insatiable desire to prove what we think is right. Ultimately we seem to be seeking acceptance and identity in knowing we are right.

There isn’t a single day that goes by that I don’t see at least a half a dozen news articles shared that simply aren’t true.

This “disease” has spilled over into the church of today. Many Christians don’t go to the Bible for truth anymore, but rather to validate what they already believe about something.

From this terrible practice, verses get taken out of context, commandments of men get made into doctrines, & groups of people become terribly imbalanced in their lives.

Media is a monster, there’s no doubt about it. But it isn’t the media that’s to blame, it’s people who aren’t “studying”, being workmen that need “not to be ashamed” because they are “rightly dividing the Word of truth.”

Christians who have never been discipled and rooted in the truths of Scripture are easily led astray by trends, pop culture, & social justice issues of our day. They lose their focus, and change their minds very easily.

Some take the extreme of trying to pull everyone away from social media, or the news all together, but this is entirely impossible and there’s a better way.

I remember the preaching against objects like the TV, the computer, the internet, social media, the smart phone, etc.

It was a weak and ultimately a failed attempt to guilt people out of society into a very flawed way of thinking- “I can just close my eyes and plug my ears, and I’ll be ok.”

This is not the answer!

The way to easily spot the counterfeit is to be very familiar with the authentic, the truth.

When my thinking is constantly tethered to the truth, things that aren’t true are seen more readily, and cast down more easily.

Yes, there are things we shouldn’t watch, or listen to, but ultimately the way to strengthen the mind is to fill it with truth, not to just empty it completely.

The mind is meant to have knowledge. The Christian is called to have wisdom.

The wisdom we receive from God’s Word, directs us with what to do with all the knowledge that we have.

Empty things that are meant to be filled create vacuums.

If I don’t fill my mind with truth, it becomes a vacuum taking in all the information around me, much of which is error.

The “itching ears” mentioned in Scripture is a direct reference to a people who have cast off the source of truth, and now have a vacuum in their minds that needs to be filled. Instead of listening to the truth, they look for “teachers” who will tell them what they want to hear.

It’s what we see in the news today. People are wanting to validate what they already believe, so they turn on a network they know is biased to their way of thinking and they consume it.

People do this with the Bible. Instead of studying it out, they listen to a Pastor in their circle of beliefs, and they find validation according to their own bias.

This is polluting our minds from truth.

This is what the Bible describes as a people that are “ever learning, but unable to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Here’s my plea, friends-
Study the Bible for yourself.

Stop allowing everything you know to be shaped by how someone else frames it. You are putting a lot of confidence in a man by doing so.

The Holy Spirit is able to teach us, “all things”.

My next plea is-
Get into a Bible heavy and centered body of believers.

A group of people where even the teachers are held accountable by the truth of the Word, and aren’t allowed to cherry pick it or twist it.

God has gifted pastors and teachers to the church to help believers. This is a vital relationship for every believer.

My last plea-
Check every thought and idea against the truth of Scripture.

“Try the spirits” (voices you are influenced by), and see if they are of God. Not every voice is a truthful one. The deeper you root yourself in truth, the faster you will be able to cast down “every thought” that lifts itself up over truth.

You’ll find that you’ll even be better at discerning the articles you consume from social media and our society.

God bless you in your pursuit for truth!

 

Here’s a recent message I preached at Open Door on this topic:

 

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