Everyday, we are bombarded with “facts” and “news” that are grounded not necessarily in truth but in someone’s agenda. They are attempting to persuade us that their slant is the truth. As we so often find in the Bible, there is nothing new under the sun, and fake news is not a new phenomenon but has been around for a long, long time. In Colossians 2, Paul repeatedly urges the church at Colossae to not fall for it (and neither should we!)
Colossians 2:8 – See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than Christ.
Things to think about:
· We can identify fake news through two lenses – the Message and the Messenger
· Fine-sounding arguments with lots of detail
o Colossians 2:4 – I tell you this so that no one may deceive you through fine-sounding arguments
o Col. 2:18 – “…goes into great detail about what he has seen”
· Hollow and deceptive
o Col. 2:8a – through hollow and deceptive philosophy
· Human-based and worldly
o Col. 2:8b – depends on human-based tradition and the basic principles of this world
· Worthless Works
o Col. 2:23 such regulations have an appearance of wisdom with their self-imposed worship, their false humility, and their harsh treatment of the body but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence
§ Don’t touch this! Don’t taste that! Don’t go near this!
§ The Forbidden Fruit Effect
· False humility and unspiritual
o Col. 2:8 – Do not let anyone who delights in false humility
o Col. 2:23 – “…their false humility…”
§ The pretend to be lowly in spirit but really are high in pride
o Col. 2:19 – “his unspiritual mid puffs him up with idle notions”
o Often based on a “special insight”
· What’s the antidote to Fake News?
o The Good News of course!
§ Just like a Treasury agent is trained in spotting counterfeit currency by studying the real thing, we must have a strong grasp of the truth to see the lies
§ Jesus is the source of truth, not man’s fine-sounding and idle thoughts
· John 14:6 - I am the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by Me
§ Acceptance by God is found in faith and obedience, not self-abasing works, and false humility
· Isaiah 64:6 – all of our righteous acts are like filthy rags
o Next time you hear about a special insight or a new “ism”, call it out for what it really is – Fake News