Fake News that Many Christians Believe

Frankly, I’m tired of hearing about fake news. Fake news draws in the gullible at an alarming rate. You’ve certainly had friends on social media post links about all sorts of deliberately crafted lies in order to press an agenda. And It’s not just the world outside the church. We see incredulous, hyperbolic news to support the Christian worldview also. But we all know that the concept of fake news is not new. And it’s not confined to social media. It’s not only from TV preachers and Christian music that doesn’t square up to the truth about life or God. Lots of fake news just sneaks into our consciousness like a theif, stealing our joy, courage and authenticity. The enemy has been posting fake news for centuries. Here are four examples of fake news many Christians believe.

God will accept you once you get your act together.

We so often fail to approach the throne with confidence because we feel that Jesus is angry and dissatisfied with us as followers. We magnify all our failures and live in a shadow of shame and self-condemnation.

Here’s a truth bomb from Brother Paul:

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Romans 8:1

After the resurrection Jesus pursued a reunion with a denier, a doubter, and a number of deserting disciples.

He’s not the ogre waiting for us to forget to floss so he can swat us with his golden fly swatter. He’s not a passive god who sits around drumming his fingers on the throne, watching CNN for the latest on world-sized problems while yawning at our infinitesimal requests.

That’s not who God is. He is with you and He is for you.

Salvation happens when you get all the facts right.

Salvation is not an intellectual hoop to jump through. It is belief in Jesus even though you are sometimes struggling to understand everything. Children certainly don’t understand everything and yet Jesus tells us to come to Him as children with all our uncertainties and struggles.

The church often minimizes the process of salvation to a doctrinal game of jeopardy. On the contrary, your faith is not dependent upon you having the correct view of the 70 weeks of Daniel. Thank you, Jesus!  It has always been about faith and faith is not without its mysteries. In fact, faith is all about the mystery. Celebrate the mysteries and love Jesus.

If you pray right, you’ll get everything you request.

One of the greatest struggles most believers experience is the perplexity of unanswered prayers.  It’s easy for us to view prayer as a giant vending machine with the candy bar stuck in the machinery. The more we invest in it the more frustrating we become with the process. This is the time to move forward in prayer knowing that God has a better view of our lives than we do. Trust that He will work in His own way and His own time. But NEVER stop partnering with Him in prayer. You will find the reward of unanswered prayers: greater faith and dependence upon God.

God wants you to be pain free. 

Pain is one of God’s greatest teaching tools. The pain you experience will further your growth, cause you to depend on Him, and allow you to help others.

Paul’s thorn in the flesh, though a mystery, was painful. Still he writes:

But he (Jesus) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:8-9
Pain is actually a sign that God has not given up on you!

 

So there you have it–Four fake news items all Christians struggle with from time to time. What fake news have you discovered. I’d love to here about it. Hopefully discovering fake news is good news today!

The Birth and Crucifixion of Christ

A scripture reading that works well for Christmas or Easter.

Scriptures: Luke 2:6-14; 23:43; Mark 15:12-32; John 19:30

Reader 1: So it was that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

Reader 2: And Pilate answered them, What shall I do with this man you call King of the Jews? And they cried out, Crucify Him!

Reader 1: And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.

Reader 2: And they clothed Him in purple and fashioned a crown of thorns about His head.

Reader 1: And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night.

Reader 2: And they smote Him on the head with a reed and did spit upon Him, and bowing knees, worshiped Him.

Reader 1: And the angel said unto them, fear not, for I bring you good tidings of great joy that will be to all people.

Reader 2: And Jesus said unto him, truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.

Reader 1: For unto you is born in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord.

Reader 2: Likewise, the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, let this Christ King descend from the cross that we may see and believe. When Jesus, therefore, had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished. He bowed His head and He died.

Reader 1: And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace . . .

 

Amazing Grace

Use these monologues in between singing the verses of “Amazing Grace! How Sweet the Sound,” No. 330, The Baptist Hymnal, 1991. Costumes are not necessary. This could be done as a reading.

Soldier: I looked at Him as He died on that hill. The passion, the sorrow, the love in His eyes consumed me. My comrades hurled insults and cast lots for His clothes—the only possessions of His young life. I executed Pilate’s judgments for years, but never like this. Amazing, the strength and power this man displayed, and now, so willingly, He laid it all down. I saw His works, His healing power. Now I’m forced to expedite the will of a wicked ruler. I stand before the King of creation. Surely this man is the Son of God!

Criminal: I looked over at Him as I gasped for air. I had no right to address Him. I deserved death; this man had done nothing wrong. I knew my time would soon come to an end. I turned my head to look at Him, and I found Him looking at me. He smiled. A man, who had been beat- en beyond human recognition, looked at me and smiled, as if He knew the end was near. I called out to Him and asked Him to do what seemed unthinkable: “‘Remember me when you come into your kingdom.’” He smiled through the torment of the dying day. “‘Today you will be with me in paradise.’” Moments later I saw Him once more. Not as a dying, tortured victim, but the ruling Lord of creation. And what’s more amazing, He reached out and brought me home.

John the Beloved: His eyes were fixed upon me just before He drew His last breath. Why could I not see what was happening at that moment? I heard Him say, “‘It is finished.’” A term that a merchant would use to close a sale. Now I understand. Isaiah’s words came rushing in: “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities.” I understood at that moment why He did it. That’s why He didn’t resist the scourging and the nails. It was for me.

Scripture: Luke 23:42-43John 19:30Isaiah 53:5

My Journey

I don’t know your journey. But as for me, I needed radical salvation. I needed a Warrior that could battle through the jungles of flesh. I needed a Savior who would run through the firestorms of catastrophic thoughts. One who would withstand the galloping wildebeests of my vain ambition. One who would swim the channels of my stormy seas and into the cavernous passages of ancient strongholds and shame. I needed one to climb over the perilous heights of my doubts. I needed that kind of hero. In you, he may have found a much gentler passage. But mine was and is a profound redemption. And right now He is fighting for a million others as He fought for me—Our hearts… His prize…

The Net

Narrator: The kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down in the lake and caught all kinds of fish.

Narrator: When it was full, the fisherman pulled it up on the shore. (Actors pantomime pulling a net out of the water with much vocal effort.)

Narrator: Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away.

(Actors pantomime the separation of fish from waste.)

• I hate seaweed. It always seems to clog the net.

• Remember, the Master said only fish.

• Sure are a bunch of clams!

• Hey! Get that octopus out of here!

• Oh, great! A holy mackerel!

• Look, a large mouth bass!

• In salt water? That’s impossible.

• Use your imagination—this is only a play!

• Oops, I forgot.

• Why are the eels always on my side of the net?

• A crab!

• There’s another one.

• They sure are good to eat, but remember what the captain said . . .

All: Only fish.

• Too bad.

Narrator: This is how it will be at the end of the age.

Narrator: The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous.

• I hate sin. It always seems to clog the net!

• Remember, the Master said only the redeemed.

• Sure are a bunch of fornicators.

• Get that blasphemer out of here!

• Oh great, a Christian!

• Look, a short-winded pastor!

• That’s impossible.

• Use your imagination—this is only a play!

• Oops, I forgot.

• Why are the gossipers always on my side of the net?

• A church member!

• Hey! There’s another one.

• They sure do look good, but remember what the captain said . . .

All: Only Christians.

• Too bad.