Facebook Sharing and Trusting News Sources

Recently two stories were shared on Facebook with reckless abandon. First, there was a story about a pastor who received a one year sentence for failing to marry a same-sex couple in Vermont. As you well imagine the response was intense and immediate. One problem, the story was not true. Careful investigation of the url, the address in your web browser, revealed that article was not in fact from NBC but from someone intentionally using NBC to attract readers but with no other connection.

Second, an article made the rounds of a gay man suing Zondervan over the use of homosexuality in their Bible translations. The story was seven years old. It was gone. If you are familiar with Happy Days, the old TV show, then you will recognize what it means to say those who shared the piece “Jumped the Shark.”

Anyone may build a website. Anyone may “Share” whatever they care to on Facebook, true or not. And, anyone can forward emails that upon investigation are simply produced to get your blood pressure up, not to provide you with any accurate information.

Last week Pastor Todd interviewed Marty Duren. Earlier this year Marty, a former pastor and friend of Pastor Todd’s, began producing a podcast. For those who are not familiar with podcasting, think of it as a recorded radio program. If you have a DVR and are able to go back and watch a television program when you are ready, that is similar to a podcast only in audio format. Hundreds of these are produced on a spectrum of subjects.

Marty named his podcast The Fourth Estate. On this podcast Marty believes that for Christians truth matters. When he sees Christians sharing information that is erroneous, he cringes. Taking up a microphone and a recorder, Marty provides illustrations and tips for reading online and elsewhere. He hates it when Christians rush to believe without verifying its truthfulness.

Pastor Todd believes this is an especially important time to consider how we read and respond to news less we are both manipulated and worse that we help spread falsehood. Click here to go over and listen to the podcast. If you have an iTunes account, you may subscribe to Marty’s podcast by visiting his site and clicking the appropriate link.

Remember, as Christians, when we talk about truth it is important that we know what we are sharing and repeating along the way.

Jesus invites people into his life and his way. He takes what is and points to the new way of the Kingdom of God.  Come see what this journey is all about!

One way to think about the mission of Jesus - He calls into question the way things are and points to the way things may be in the Kingdom of God. 

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