You’re Being Checked

Should you share that story from the pulpit? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday sitting in church, I heard my pastor tell the story of Patrick Greene. Greene was an atheist activist wanting to remove a nativity scene from the area where he lived when he came down with a condition that needed surgery. The church in the area raised up the money to help him get his surgery. Shortly after that, he actually converted to Christianity.

I found the story interesting and decided to look it up to see if it’s true. Turns out not only is it true, but Greene is now looking to become a Baptist minister. This was a relief because too many times when I have heard other pastors share stories from the pulpit like this, they have turned out to not be true.

Go back a few decades and this might not be the big deal it is now. Today though, it is a major deal. Your church has especially young people (Let’s hope it does!) who are technologically savvy. They know how to get up on their phones immediately and look up what you said.

If they find out in a search that what you have said is false, they are less inclined to take you seriously. If they cannot take you seriously on a minor point they can look up on their phones, why should they take you seriously on the resurrection? That’s a very valid question. Why should they?

Seriously. Why should they? If you can’t bother to fact-check a story you are going to share that will take only a couple of minutes, why should they trust you on what would take much more time to test?

Now suppose you’re not a pastor. Are you safe? No. If you don’t fact check what you are sharing on the internet, which never forgets, then you are doing the exact same thing as a Christian.

Recently, I shared a Babylon Bee story on a friend’s page who had shared a Babylon Bee story of her own. Both of them were about the VP debate. Someone commented and asked if I know the Bee is satire and that Trump supporters will seem to believe anything.

I replied saying I knew it was satire of course. My friend had shared one and I shared one I thought was even funnier. I also shared that as a political conservative, I have had to take to task many of my fellow conservatives often and I hate it. Of course, that could be because many of my company is also conservative and so that’s what I see the most.

I have taken down false information from liberals before, but I really hate having to do it with my own side. Why do it though? Because if you only care about taking down falsehood on the other side, you don’t really care about truth. You just care about ideology.

Pastor. Today, it’s more essential than ever that you do your best to fact-check your account. If you’re not sure, you could possibly share the story and say “There are differing opinions on the story so I’m not saying it’s absolutely true, but I want you to draw a lesson from it.”

This is especially true if we want to reach youth for Jesus. If our churches do not do this, they are more likely to die when the older generation dies off. If my wife and I go into a church and we’re the youngest people we see there, I start predicting a soon coming death for the church. Older people die of and you need others to replace them and if you aren’t drawing in people, you’re not really winning anyone ever. You’re more of a social club.

I’m thankful my pastor’s story was true. I have heard too many that are not. I know enough about Christianity to know it’s true despite messengers that don’t do their homework. What about that newcomer though? What about that skeptic?

Are they worth a brief fact-check?

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Another Complaint About Falsehood On The Internet.

What’s the best way to take down opposition? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday I’m looking on my Facebook feed and I find a news story that gets me suspicious. The post comes from Reclaim America. I will include a picture of what I saw.

IslamicscienceonreclaimAmerica

This seems awfully problematic when you see it. A Muslim leader still believes in a flat Earth and even thought that a movie like Gravity should be banned? How on Earth can these people be so backwards?

Now to be sure, I am no fan of Islam. I do not care for Islam at all. I have in my debates with many Muslims seen that they are incredibly uninformed, often so bad that the new atheists seem to be more informed than they are. Since I place the new atheists quite low on the intellectual pole, that is saying a lot. Still, I saw this post and decided to do some brief checking. What do I find out? I find out the whole thing is phony.

Let’s start with that twitter account. Is it real? No. It was a fake set up for entertainment purposes. If you really want to know what Naik believes, instead you need to go and ask him yourself, such as was done right here.

So this is the great irony in something like this. Unfortunately too many people are posting on the original thread in just disbelief on what Muslims will apparently believe and how stupid they are. The sad irony there is that these same people are doing the exact same thing. By their posting on a thread like this and in fact ignoring anyone saying otherwise, such as myself who had already posted a brief version of this, then they are the ones who are falling for a lie.

Okay. Why do I care so much about this? Why do things like this tick me off? Let’s go with some possible reasons.

Is it because I’m not conservative? No. I consistently vote Republican and oppose abortion, redefining marriage, and want a limited government. I am also highly in favor of us practicing capitalism and prefer the economics that came out of the Austrian school of thought.

Am I fan of Islam? Not at all. I am not at all shocked when I see about a murder that has taken place because of Muslim terrorists. I consider Islam to be a wicked belief system and I in no way support it.

Am I a pluralist? Hardly. I’m a conservative Christian apologist who holds to the bodily resurrection of Jesus and that there is no salvation apart from the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. I am an ardent defender of Biblical reliability.

So why do I care?

Because I am a person who cares about truth and on the internet, falsehood can spread quickly. I want to take Islam down, but I don’t need to invent a fake story to take them down. I can do it using truth itself. If you want to show errors in Islam, try doing this instead. Try reading the Koran and the Hadiths and Muslim scholars and really studying the work of Islam and then sharing that information. If Islam is false, and I’m convinced it is, you will find more than enough and you will be better educated for it. Also, try studying your own Christian worldview and seeing what you can learn from it.

Furthermore, if you’re a Christian spreading this nonsense, think of the harm that you’re doing. You want people to believe that God Himself came down in the person of Jesus Christ and died and rose again and is the reigning King of this world right now. Now I do hold to that, but that is a pretty tough belief to have. You don’t just hear something like that and say “Sure! I believe that!” You would actually need some evidence. Now this person you’re sharing this information with sees that you’ve shared some false information about another that can be found to be false with just a few minutes of a Google search. Why should they take what you have to say seriously on this bigger claim? Answer. They shouldn’t.

Please do your checking people. When you spread falsehood like this you embarrass yourself, you empower your opponents and give them further justification to see you in a negative light, and you give others less reason to embrace your own worldview.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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