Page 3 - May 2019 - Truth & Tidings
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illions of dollars are made  “in the know” and those who are close to
                 every day on fake news. The  “important people,” our reputations are
        Mtabloids in the supermarket  not being enhanced. Eventually, others will
        checkout line remind us that fake news is  fail to trust us as credible sources and the
        an industry, and a very lucrative one. Even  reputation most harmed will be our own.
        somewhat reputable television networks  We Interrupt This Broadcast …
        are accused of spreading and profiting   When we are tuned in to a negative
        from fake news.                      report about a fellow believer, are we
          Flooding our inboxes are emails    willing to interrupt? Do we stand up for
        containing bombshell articles about   one another, assuming the best rather than
        important political or religious figures,   the worst? If you challenge the accuracy of
        stories so good (or bad) that we are   the report, the flame of fake news just might
        tempted (and instructed) to forward   flicker away. “Without wood, the fire goes
        along to everyone we know. We take a few  out. Without a gossip, contention stops”
        minutes (hopefully) to check our sources  (Pro 26:20 ISV). We should refuse to give
        and discover that no trustworthy news  gossip an audience either by challenging
        agency is reporting any of it. Or perhaps  it or, if that fails, removing ourselves
        a story circulated years ago and, although  from its presence. Additionally, be ready
        now debunked, is resurfacing again. Some  to respond with accurate, positive news
        recipients check no sources and prefer  about the person being discussed. Your
        instead to carelessly forward the story. And  interjection may change the atmosphere
        thus begins the fallout of disseminating  of the conversation and steer it into a more
        fake news.                           healthy direction.
        Credible Sources                     The Hard and Humble Task of Retraction
          How do we respond when the news      It’s always a humbling experience to
        isn’t about some high-ranking official but a  admit that we were wrong. But if we’ve
        brother or sister in Christ? Is the person who  allowed ourselves to be the mediums of
        shared this news with us a credible source?  harmful fake news, the task of retracting
        Are we certain that they have no agenda  what was said is not only humbling
        or personal vendetta? Are they spinning  but incredibly hard work. It is almost
        the story to their advantage? Do we take  impossible to track down every person
        the time to do the appropriate amount  who heard and spread the false reports but
        of fact-checking or do we unhesitatingly  we should be willing to make the effort.
        circulate what could very well be fake  Above all, we should confess this sin to the
        news? As “death and life are in the power  person maligned and humbly seek their
        of the tongue” (Pro 18:21), the fallout of  forgiveness.
        spreading fake news can be devastating.    The Lord Jesus said that “on the day
        Reputations can be ruined in a moment  of judgment people will give account for
        and take years to rebuild. Not only is the  every careless word they speak” (Mat
        subject of the story susceptible to a ruined  12:36 ESV). Fake news, though financially
        reputation but also the person circulating  profitable as an earthly industry, will incur
        it. While we may enjoy spreading gossip in  heavy heavenly losses when we stand
        order to enhance our reputations as those  before the Lord.

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