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Recognising the biggest fake news story of all

Recognising the biggest fake news story of all

Recognising the biggest fake news story of all

26 July 2017

By David Robertson

Did you see the story about the pastor who was eaten by crocodiles in Zimbabwe after trying to emulate Jesus walking on the water?

The story, published in newspapers around the world, was seized upon by our secular humanist atheist friends with glee. “Words fail me” posted one secularist official. “This is what religion does to you” stated another.

They could hardly contain their excitement. The only trouble is the story was completely fake. Of course, any intelligent person who didn’t have their prejudiced glasses on would have worked out fairly quickly that it was fake.

I loved the bit when the church deacon said: “One minute he was there and the next all we saw was a pair of sandals and his underwear floating on the water” ... as if the posh crocs undressed him before ingesting!

Why was this story spread by numerous newspapers? The answer is straightforward – sheer prejudice and ignorance. Some of that prejudice is racial: “Oh, look at those dumb backward Africans”. But most of it is anti-religious: “Oh, look, this is precisely the kind of thing that religion leads to!” This is why so many atheists/humanists posted this story on their feeds.

Speaking of prejudice, there was a recent story saying that the notorious British moors murderer Ian Brady was a professing Christian and wanted to be buried by the Catholic Church.

Again the secularist/humanist websites could hardly contain themselves: “Religious murderer seeks absolution”. Except that this story was also fake news, but this is not what the secularists/humanists reported on their websites. However, if Brady had professed any kind of faith or gone to Sunday school or announced his conversion they would have jumped upon it as quickly as a crocodile on a sandal-wearing pastor!

What is true is Brady was a humanist and, according to some media reports, allegedly requested a humanist funeral. And the response from the secularist websites? Silence. Not a word. I wonder why? 

Thankfully, for our humanist friends, Christians (usually) are a little bit more logical and rational. We don’t necessarily see the direct connection between supporting a particular philosophy (like humanism) and being a mass murderer!

We realise that human beings and situations in this world are usually far more complex. Because we take a bigger picture view we try to avoid those silly prejudices that come from a narrow focus that sees truth only in what we can understand and grasp.

For us, all human beings are made in the image of God – even the worst sinners. I sorrow for the death of any human being; it’s an indication of the broken and fallen world we live in.

People are so desperate to suppress and escape the knowledge of God, that they will believe anything. But there is a fake news story going round our world. And it’s most predominant in the West, and especially among those who consider themselves to be educated and wise.

It’s the news that there is no God. “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’,” (Psalm 14:1). “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:21).

Despite the evidence of creation and the evidence within (the moral law), the evidence of history and, above all, the evidence of Jesus Christ, people are so desperate to suppress and escape the knowledge of God, that they will believe anything – including crocodiles having crazy walking-on-water pastors for dinner!

They wanted that story to be true so that they could continue their mockery and laughter. But the last laugh belongs with God: “The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them” (Psalm 2:4).

But you need to be aware of this. Just as the fakeness of the pastor-eating crocodile eventually came to light, so the truth of God and of the judgment day, and of everything we have ever thought and said and done, will come to light.

Maybe instead of waiting for that day, we should take the opportunity to get ready for it, and seek the Lord while he may be found. “For he says, ‘In the time of my favour I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.’

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

David Robertson is the Associate Director of Solas Centre for Public Christianity

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