“Fake News”

Pastor Ron Burcham

I was just on Facebook, and one of the side ads showed an intubated Tom Selleck with the caption, “Hollywood Loses a Legend!” I thought “Oh no! Not Tom Selleck!” I love Magnum PI, Jesse Stone Movies and most anything that has Tom Selleck staring in it, and now he’s gone!? As it turns out, Tom is alive and well – I checked.

It is called “Fake News,” and it is the topic of the day. It came to the forefront during last year’s election, as false news stories were plastered all over the Internet. They looked legit and sounded legit, but they were completely bogus. The stories range from the ridiculous, like “California Breaking Off Into the Pacific” or “New Government Program Gives Homeowners Thousands of Dollars” or “Patriots Come Back From 25 Point Deficit to Win Super Bowl” – Well, okay, the last one was legit, but you have to admit that it sounds like fake news!

The real problem with fake news, in my opinion, is not the false stories. The real problem is we don’t know whom to trust. Where does one go to receive unbiased, truthful and accurate news? It seems we cannot even rely on the major news sources. Last November I was flipping between CNN, MSNBC and Fox as the polls were closing on the presidential election. All three were reporting the same numbers, but to listen to the news anchors, you would have thought there were two different elections happening. At first, I found it humorous, but that soon turned to despair. Who can we trust? What is true and what is false?

I don’t have any answers about the reporting of the news, but I do know someone I trust and I do know a source that I trust. The person I trust is Jesus who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) The source that I trust is the Bible. “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness.” (II Timothy 3:16). The Bible tells me the good news that there is God who loves me. In fact, He loved me enough to send His Son to rescue me. The Bible lets me know that I can trust Jesus because He offered His life for mine.

This doesn’t solve the problem of where to get accurate and unbiased news of what is happening in our world. Yet, there is one teaching from scripture that, if all of us could agree on and practice, would change our world. Jesus said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39). That would change how we handle our differences, what we say about one another and even the news that is reported. That would be one piece of news I would like to read about.