All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV)
If you keep up with the news, you have probably seen the most recent iconic news photo, taken by award winning photographer John Moore. The picture, literally viewed by millions, shows a 2-year-old Honduran girl in her little pink top and pink shoes crying as her mother is searched by a border patrol agent after trying to enter the U.S. without documentation. The picture is heartbreaking and stands alone as an example of the sadness and desperation of immigrant families trying to migrate into America to start a new life in a country that obviously they believe offers a better life - so much so that they are willing to risk the consequences of apprehension, arrest, incarceration, deportation or all the above. I, like you, and the vast majority of Americans can’t begin to imagine the desperation that prompts a parent to risk not only their own safety and well-being, but that of their toddler, to enter this country.
The problem (well, one of our country’s many problems) is apparently some believe this desperate and sad situation is not sensational enough to stand on its own. News agencies around the world reported that this little girl is one of hundreds of children who have been torn away from their parents and held in cage-like conditions as part of the current administration’s zero tolerance policy on illegal immigration. A leading newspaper in England reported, “The girl's plight has come to symbolize the controversy over illegal immigrant families being separated at the US-Mexico border.” Time Magazine even superimposed (i.e. Photo-shopped) a picture of this precious little child beneath a harsh grimacing photo of the president to adorn the cover of its July 2018 issue, and thus this precious pink clad toddler has literally become the poster child for forced separation of mother and child.
Problem is, it has been revealed that the child never left the mother’s custody and thus once again, outcries of “Fake news!” Fingers are being pointed faster than at a UFO sighting and the division between liberal and conservatives grows wider and wider. We are now at a point where news isn’t news unless it’s a circus and both news reporters and news makers are thought more of, as “News Fakers.”
As Christians, we are called “not” to be part of the circus (and yes, social media continues to serve as leading ringmaster.) The Bible encourages us to be “aliens and strangers in this world” (1 Peter 2:11). In addition, we are encouraged to, “Be on our guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love” (1Corinthians 16: 13-14 NIV). Most of all, it is incumbent of us to seek our “truth,” from the only online and in print publication and source that is completely NOT Fake News, and that is God’s word. The Apostle Paul wrote to his younger protégé, Timothy, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV).
Regardless of one’s politics and opinions, dissenting voices are not being listened to by those who oppose a particular viewpoint, and more and more research indicates that the intended effect of persuasion on social media is actually backfiring with opposing viewpoints being cemented by divisive and seldom original, well thought out and balanced commentary. This is the completely opposite effect of the Holy Spirit, Who can breathe reason, relationship building, and love into the most hardened of hearts. Your prayers are more potent than your “posts,” and addressing someone face-to-face (and in private) will always be more effective than Facebook (Check out Matthew 18). As Christians, it’s time we stop hiding behind our computers and electronic devices, preaching to a choir of cohorts who share our views. It’s time we speak God’s truth in love, conviction and understanding.
The Apostle John wrote, “We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood” (1 John 4:6). But here’s the thing, the only way for us to be from God is to deliver the messages He wrote through the scribes He ordained to pen His Holy Bible, and that comes solely from His Word, not ours. Anything else is false teaching and fake news.