What should you do about it?
Made popular after the 2016 United States presidential elections, the term Fake News, needs no definition. It’s simply, news that’s deliberately false.
Fake News also called “alternative truth” have three main characteristics:
- Omission of facts: key information is intentionally excluded in order to mislead
- Selective Outrage: sensational reporting of events that support a particular view while opposing events are ignored.
- Emotive: it preys on our vulnerabilities, biases and emotions
According to Merriam-Webster, “The concept of fake news has likely been with us for only slightly less than that of real news. However, we seem to have only begun putting these two words together to refer to reports given with deceptive intent in the late 19th century.”
To the contrary, fake news have been around since the time of Creation, long before the inception of real news, as the secular world knows it.
The greatest fake news of them all was perpetuated in the Garden of Eden by the serpent (Satan) and led to the fall of man. Satan was at it again in Matthew 4:6-7, attempting to thwart God’s plan of Salvation for mankind by tempting Jesus.
Let’s look at the occurrence in the Garden of Eden.
The Truth (Gen 1:27, 2:15-17):
- God created man in His own image
- Adam and Eve could eat of any tree in the Garden, but if they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil they would die.
The Lie (Genesis 3:1, 4-5)
The serpent to Eve:
- “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Omission/Misleading)
- “You will not certainly die,” (Selective Outrage)
- “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Emotive)
If only Adam and Eve had spoken the Word of God back to the Serpent, like Jesus did in Matthew 4.
Created in the image of God, Adam and Eve bore His righteousness and the essence of His holiness. Eating from the tree of good and evil would not make them like God—they were already like God—it would separate them from God.
The Lesson for Today
In today’s 24-hour news cycle, we are constantly served up a variety of events, information and opinions as facts. This mainstream discourse often sits outside Jesus’ teachings. However, as Christians, we know that God’s Word is the Truth. We must therefore navigate, interpret and dissect all news and events within the context of God’s Word.
If the narrative cannot pass the Litmus test of God’s Word, then let’s call it out for what it is—Fake News.
How do you determine fake from real news? Email us your tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.