Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. 1 John 4: 1
There is nothing new about fake news. It’s been around for thousands of years. The news stories have changed but the basis and motivations are the same.
Fake news takes advantage of our desire for certain things to be true. In politics, for example, we want the worst to be true of those with whom we disagree. We light up at stories that confirm that belief.
Fake news also takes advantage of our fears. We are afraid that those we respect and follow will not be all we believe they are. We reluctantly accept as true stories that confirm these fears.
In spiritual matters fake news include teachings that promote cheap grace that say we can have salvation without repentance, joy without sacrifice, that believing is enough without following. We want things to be easy and there will always be those who will tell us they are.
We also are subject to fears that the gospel is too good to be true. We doubt that we can be forgiven or that we can be secure in our salvation. We fall for lies that say Jesus is too good to be true or that he isn’t coming again.
Fake news isn’t new and that’s just sad. Don’t fall far it. Test the spirits.