News is noteworthy information not previously known. There are all kinds of news: good news, bad news, interesting news, funny news. But fake news?
It’s a contradiction in terms. The essential quality of news is that it is accurate information; that it is correct, that it is truthful. Otherwise, it is not news but a lie.
I’ve heard it said cynically, ‘It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, just so long as people believe it.’ A lie is a lie no matter how you dress it up. In the book of John, Jesus identifies the Devil as the father of all lies:
“He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.” John 8:44-45
It is in the Devil’s character to lie. Jesus, on the other hand, said they wouldn’t believe him even though he told the truth.
The Gospel means good news. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6) “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
Jesus gives us good news, truthful news. It’s so good, it’s for everyone and it’s free. Yet today, like in Jesus’ day, people don’t want to believe it. However, his promise to those who do believe and accept the good news is that they will become the sons of Almighty God.
“But as many as received him, to them he gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” John 1:12
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