Being a Christian in an Era of Fake News

February 24, 2022

“Did you know: tech billionaire Andre Kirchov of H-Co Enterprises Kabul is being investigated for allegedly funding an insurgent organization in Butuan City? And, could it be true that a Filipino megachurch pastor known for his anti-government sentiments is also under investigation for receiving love gifts from Kirchov?”

If you heard this news, what was your first reaction? How did you respond?

My initial reaction was shock. I immediately did a mental scan of who the alleged pastor could be, from among the megachurches I knew about. But then, I realized I should not let my thoughts run amok and should instead check against trustworthy resources to verify if this news was indeed true.

In case you’re wondering, that newsbite above is untrue.

Fake News: Ignore or Debunk?

Dealing with fake news is now more challenging than ever because our world has embraced the notion of cultural tolerance, which implies that we should recognize and respect every claim of truth as valid. Not doing so would make others view us as intolerant. Propagators of lies are taking full advantage of this.

So how do we deal with fake news in a world that deems truth as relative? 

The methods of spreading lies may have changed over the years, but the way to address them stays the same.

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ… (Ephesians 4:15)

As followers of Christ, we are compelled to speak the truth, and we are to do so in a respectful and loving manner, as modelled by our Lord, who Himself is full of grace and truth (John 1:14).

No matter how triggered we are, let’s ask ourselves, “Is there a more loving way to speak the truth without arguing? How about a chat, phone call or meet-up?”

We may wish that debating in comment sections can magically uphold the truth and resolve tensions. But, more often than not, it doesn’t. I’ve encountered many people who left the church because they were offended by Christians who they thought were being self-righteous and judgmental.

Other Christians choose to be completely mum about the truth, afraid of displeasing others. This dishonors God as well, because we ought to fear Him rather than man, and staying silent about lies is akin to holding up injustice and unrighteousness.

People may be stuck in a cloud of deception or are simply stubborn. Whatever the case may be, let love be our primary weapon to soften their hearts and rethink their positions.

Being People of God Who Reflect His Truth and Love

In this fallen world, we can expect that lies will continue to spread. More money will be spent to twist the truth, drive the narratives, and push forward the personal agenda of certain groups. It’s only a matter of time before suspicion and mistrust become the norm.

But there’s a place where people will find refuge. In an attempt to escape the ever-increasing toxicity, people will be searching for the one place that offers a refreshing alternative.

It’s a place where truth is upheld and celebrated.

It’s a place where we don’t have to be apprehensive and suspicious.

It’s a place that God has instituted to be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14-16).

The place is not a physical location. It’s the people of God–the Church, the Body of Christ.

As children of God, we have a great calling and responsibility to reflect His character of truth to a world that desperately needs it. That’s why there’s never an excuse for using, spreading, tolerating, enabling, and praising lies. We should be vigilant and never be passive. We should be the church God has called us to be: truth-proclaimers, respectful listeners, and welcomers of the lost.

May God bless us in this endeavor.

Lowell Caunan is a Christ-follower. He enjoys walking with his wife daily. He loves playing board games and outdoors with their two boys.

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