When the news of Carrie Fisher’s death hit the internet, the blame was universally directed toward one perpetrator: 2016.
Actions speak louder than words. Perhaps that is why God chose Joseph to be the human father of Jesus. Joseph is often called the “Silent Partner of the Incarnation.” He is the original “silent type” for not a word that Joseph ever spoke is recorded for us in the Bible. But although Joseph’s words are not recorded it is his actions that make him a truly “righteous man” (Matthew 1:19). Joseph’s walk talks louder than his talk talks. Joseph’s life helps us answer the age old question: “What kind of a man does God use?
GOD USES MEN WITH CHARACTER
Joseph, like Mary, had no idea what God’s plans were for them. They had fallen in love and were engaged to be married. They had maintained the purity of their relationship and trusted in God’s morality. God, however, had picked them BOTH to be Jesus’ earthly parents. Mary, of course, becomes pregnant supernaturally, whilst Joseph is chosen to be the earthly father of Jesus.
Knowing what’s false and what’s true on the internet isn’t easy, even if we’re being careful. There’s a chance you might do your homework and share something that some people will try argue is fake. You might look into something and find several sources that say it’s wrong, but on closer study you conclude it’s not. But there are instances of news stories that are flat out false, with not a shred of evidence or truth behind them. And there are people, some who claim the name of Christ, who are buying in and reposting. So here are four thoughts on fake news stories from a Christian perspective.
Emotional Christians are Gullible Christians.
Satan’s masterstroke of misleading, isolating, and weakening Christians in America is now paying off. He has fooled many gullible Christians into sharing undeniably false news stories and in so doing the testimony of Christ has been tarnished. I see so many links to false sites all over my Facebook feed. Often times they are shared by otherwise intelligent people and yet they share a link to an article with the headlines like “Hillary Clinton LIED to us all” or “Donald Trump gets DESTROYED by the CIA.” (By the way, if a word is an all caps it’s probably not true).
When in the throes of discouragement over spiritual failure, nothing rings more hollow than the exhortation, “just shape up and try harder.” It sounds insensitive--oblivious to deeper struggles, like the words of a bystander yelling “just run faster!” to a dehydrated, crawling marathon runner at the twenty-fifth mile.
If you were struggling with a habitual sin about which you’re deeply discouraged, how would you respond if you came to me, asked me for words of comfort, and I said to you, “Shape up! You just need to start acting more like a Christian”?
How insensitive, you might say, Don’t you think I already know that? Such a statement in the midst of spiritual discouragement would indeed sound insensitive, but is it really bad advice? After all, doesn’t Ephesians 4:1 say, “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called”? Couldn’t we paraphrase that verse by saying, “start acting like a Christian”? I would say that, yes, the statement is indeed Scriptural in its content--If you are struggling with a habitual sin, you do, in fact, need to start acting more like a Christian. The question is, when do you need to know it? At what point in our interaction would it be appropriate for me to tell you “you need to start acting more like a Christian”? Is it possible that such advice is scripturally accurate in its content, but unscriptural when given in certain contexts?
Is it possible to use Scripture in an unscriptural way?
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