Fake News

Fake News

The term ” Fake News ” has been utilized frequently in recent years, particularly surrounding the issues of politics.  It has been directly aimed at a sensationalized public media which for its own purposes, whether for ignorance, profit, power, agenda, spitefulness, or other reasons, frequently promotes false news stories as truth.  Such activity shapes the minds of those who hear it for the worse.  Yellow Journalism, propaganda, blatant lying – call it what you will – harms those who come into contact with it.  Even good brothers and sisters of our Lord have been exposed to such tripe, accepting and promoting false information in ignorance.  How simple it is for falsehood to travel quickly in this digital era.  A few minutes on the computer and hundreds, thousands, millions of people can be misinformed.  Such an atmosphere reminds me of the concern of the apostle Paul in his second Corinthian letter  because fake news disseminated across the globe is the product of or initiates the sins he mentioned there:

2 Corinthians 12:20 – “For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish–that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.”

In the days of Jesus, John the baptizer came heralding the messiah and kingdom of God .  Fake News?  Was the Messiah of promise coming (Mark 1:7-8)?  Jesus came and was baptized by John and God and the Spirit confirmed John’s teaching (Matthew 3).  John spoke the truth.

fake news

Do you verify what you consider truth before you share it?

Jesus would call upon men to “repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).  Fake News?  Jesus would confirm His teachings with demonstration of the power of God.  He would heal all who came to Him, removing their diseases and sickness (Matthew 4:23-24).  Whether they were crippled, blind, insane, from birth or circumstance, Jesus made them all whole again (John 21:24-25).  Jesus spoke the “Good News”.

Jesus, the savior of the world, chose the 12 apostles and the apostle Paul to share the Good News.  Was salvation from hearing (Romans 10:17), believing (Mark 16:16), confessing (Matthew 16:16-18), repenting (Acts 2:38), baptism (Acts 8:36), and faithful living (Matthew 7:21) all Fake News?  The message given to the apostles was from the Holy Spirit (John 14:26).  They confirmed it with wonders and signs (Acts 2:43).

Proverbs 23:23 – “Buy the truth, and sell it not; Yea, wisdom, and instruction, and understanding”.

The truth is something which is valuable.  Truth is something which we are to hold on to and treasure.  When we receive information, we need to be cautious with it.  We certainly won’t be receiving miraculous confirmation as the folks in the first century, but we can absolutely take a moment to consider the source of information, the evidence supporting that information, and the impact of sharing the information.  The Berean Jews of the era of the apostle Paul did not simply accept his words as truth.  They searched the scriptures to confirm the accuracy (Acts 17:11).  In the words of former United State President Ronald Reagan, “Trust but verify”.   If it is something you feel is worth being shared with others, it is worth confirming first.

Most folks know the story of the little boy who cried, “wolf”.  We can be considered as the little boy was, unreliable as a source of truth, a false teacher, a liar, if we continually spread fake news.  The example of being a Christian, preacher, or elder can be destroyed if you become known for sharing false information whether in regard to worldly happenings or God’s Word.  You will be known for what you say and do (Proverbs 20:11).

1 Peter 3:10 – For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit;”

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Hezekiah: Tomorrow You Shall Die

Hezekiah: Tomorrow You Shall Die

While many know the details of the lives of some of the kings of Israel like David and Solomon, their lives would be so blessed today by studying the details of the life of king Hezekiah. He was king of the southern kingdom of Judah when the ten northern tribes were destroyed by the Assyrians. Assyria’s army then came and surrounded Jerusalem. The prayer of Hezekiah moved God to annihilate 185,000 Assyrians who had surrounded Jerusalem without Hezekiah’s army having to shoot a single arrow (2 Kgs. 19).

death stone hezekiah

What will you do with what is left of your life?

Shortly after this great victory Hezekiah became sick, and Isaiah came to him with this message from God. “Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live” (2 Kgs. 20:1). What an amazing message, and what a blessing this horrendous day can be to us if we just imagine we had been that king. How would you respond if you knew that this would be the last day of your life and that tomorrow you would die?

Read all the details of what happened that day and what Hezekiah did when the message came to him. Because of the king’s actions, God added fifteen years to Hezekiah’s life. Tragically, he made grave mistakes in those years.

The truth is that whether we die today, tomorrow or fifteen years from now really does not matter. Some day I will die. Some day you will die. Hear the words of God, “It is appointed for men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). We have the appointment to die, but unlike Hezekiah, we do not know the time of that appointment. The message for us is so obvious. All of us must make sure we are ready to keep that appointment and the event which follows.

The reason for this urgency is found in the last words of this verse from Hebrews—”…after this the judgment.” Daniel Webster, the American statesman, said that the most sobering thought he ever had was that some day he must stand before God and give an account for how he lived. Consider the fact that the lives of all men would be changed if they never forgot this sobering thought, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10).

Unlike what happened to Hezekiah, God has not sent the prophet Isaiah to come to our house to tell us that we should set our houses in order for the end of our life has come. However, is this not the message found repeatedly throughout the scriptures? We may not know for certain the time of our death, but we know for certain that we shall die. How would you live today if you knew that this would be your last day on this earth? It could be!

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Do Angels Walk Among Us?

Do Angels Walk Among Us?

Let’s first define the term “angel.” It comes from the Greek word angelos and literally means “messenger.”  Many are not aware that the Bible uses the word “angel” or angelos to simply refer to a human messenger at times. Rev. 2-3 cite seven examples of this, when Jesus tells John to write to “the angel of the church of Ephesus/Smyrna/etc.” He wasn’t telling John to write to a celestial angel; rather, he was telling John to write to the messenger of that particular congregation, most likely referring to the preacher of that congregation, since preachers are to preach the message of God (2 Tim. 4:2). So in that sense, one could answer this question by saying that human angels, literally human messengers of God, walk among us today. In a sense, God wants all Christians to be his messengers.

angel messenger

Angels among us?

However, the question most likely has a different kind of angel in mind, celestial angels. The Bible speaks of the existence of celestial, heavenly angels also, as seen in many places, chapters 5 and 7 of Revelation being cited as just two of many examples.  Concerning celestial angels and whether they walk among us today or how they walk among us today, the Bible gives very, very little information.

Hebrews 1:14 is talking about celestial angels and says, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” So this verse tells us that celestial angels are sent out to serve for the sake of Christians. Notice though that this verse does not give details as to how that happens, nor does any other verse in the New Testament.

Over in Matthew 18:10, Jesus is warning about not placing stumbling blocks in front children, and he gives the reason why we should be careful not to do this when he says, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” Notice that Jesus says that children have angels (“their angels”). However, also notice that he gives no other information about these angels of children other than that they see God the Father’s face in heaven. We don’t know what that means. A lot of people read into this verse and conclude that this verse is talking about guardian angels, but if you read the verse you’ll see that guardian angels are never explicitly mentioned. In fact, nowhere in the entire Bible do you read the term “guardian angel.” Now, angels are said to serve for the sake of Christians, and children are said to somehow have angels. Does that mean that these angels guard Christians and children in some capacity? The Bible doesn’t say. Maybe they do and maybe they don’t. Without further biblical data, we cannot say for sure.

Over in Hebrews 13:2 Christians are commanded, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” We see a biblical example of this in Genesis 18-19, where Abraham and Lot separately brought angels into their home without at first realizing it. Now, is that what Hebrews 13:2 is referring to? Is it simply telling Christians that we need to be hospitable because at some time in the past Abraham and Lot had angels in their home and didn’t know it? Or is Hebrews telling us that we need to be hospitable because even now, today, angels might walk among us and come into our home and we are not aware of it? The verse doesn’t specify either way.

In the end, notice the word “unawares” in Hebrews 13:2. That word best answers this question: “Do angels walk among us today?” Biblically, Hebrews 13:2 tells us the answer: We don’t know. (Deut. 29:29)

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Notes from a Recovering Narcissist

Notes from a Recovering Narcissist

What is narcissism? The word originates from Greek mythology in the story of Narcissus, a man who was cursed to be infatuated with himself. He wasted away his life staring at his own reflection. This caricature epitomizes the essential nature of the narcissist—self-absorption, egoism. Narcissism involves how the self selfishly processes its own experiences. Here’s the kicker: everyone has narcissistic thoughts, desires, feelings, emotions, and motives. The only person who did not was Jesus, though he was tempted; He always did the Father’s will, and He was completely selfless (John 8:29).


What is your importance in the unraveling of life?

If the word narcissist has a negative sound to it, that’s because it is. Narcissism is false self-love. There is a notion of self-love that is godly. Jesus told us to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:39). This godly sort of self-love is based upon God’s love for us. We should love ourselves like God loves us. Such love is based in the character of God. Narcissism makes self the standard for self-love and every other kind of “love.”Narcissists often do not know that they are being narcissistic because they are blinded by the selfish attitudes through which they filter all of their experiences. The first step in recovering from narcissism is to admit that you are one. Hello, my name is Kevin, and I am a recovering narcissist.

Everyone has narcissistic feelings, desires, and thoughts because narcissism is simply the unhealthy focus of self upon self; it is the basis of all sin. That doesn’t mean it need define us, but sin may be so deep that we don’t consciously recognize it. We need to think about what we are doing and why we are doing it. This takes brutal honesty with self. We must know our own motives, and we must be hyper aware of what we are saying and doing. The human heart is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9), and it is easy to buy into our own rationalizations regarding our motivations.

One of the most deceitful things that a narcissist will do is place the focus on others in a selfish way. This is not just an external “blame” thing (he does that too), but an internal thought process. It is deceitful, because when asked why he is behaving the way he is, the narcissist can say that he is just showing concern for other people. The truth is that the narcissist is focusing on others because he doesn’t want to take ownership of his own life. It is so much easier to focus on other people’s issues because it is difficult to effect needed change in his life. The narcissist can sit back, criticize, evaluate, opinionize, and judge others. He takes great comfort in exposing other people’s sins, weaknesses, and difficulties; it makes him feel better about his own sinful life. He is, essentially, the Pharisee who lifts his eyes to heaven and thanks God that he isn’t like this publican (Luke 19:9-14). His narcissism blinds him to his own faults. Comparing self to others is the essential fault here (2 Corinthians 10:12); instead he should compare himself with Christ Jesus.

The narcissist seeks to find validation in whatever will justify his lifestyle. He already has his mind made up as to how he is going to proceed through life, and he is going to proceed his way, the way that he thinks is the right way, and no one else is going to tell him what to do. However, when he tries to do things his way, he finds himself running into obstacles, problems, and resistance. A lot of this comes from other people and their narcissistic behavior. A lot of this comes from the fact that the narcissist thinks he knows how the world works when he really doesn’t. This resistance creates tension between his ego, other people, and the world around him, and he inwardly doubts himself. He thinks it is a strange thing to doubt himself at all since he is so right about everything. Nevertheless, to assuage his ego, he must find external validation that his way of doing things is right. He is not looking for correction. That would be to admit that his project is fundamentally flawed, which he doesn’t believe. Instead, he looks for systems, beliefs, people, and practices that will support his chosen behavior. When he finds these things, he feels validated, and can assure himself that his way of doing things is indeed correct. He knows this because the things he chose validates him! He never stops to think that self is the problem to begin with, and that his ego really can’t be trusted to get the right answers, but with his validation, he can continue to pursue his own desires awash with the approbation of the systems, beliefs, people, and practices that he deliberately chooses to prop up his ambitions. Proverbs 14:12 states, “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”

A common problem among narcissists is judging others. It goes something like this: some Christian does something wrong, or just something the narcissist does not like. He immediately thinks in his mind how awful that person is, and tries to avoid him because that “sinner” is condemned. He would never try to approach the sinner and talk to him about his behavior. He tells himself, “I am so much more righteous because I don’t do that.” He feels validated. He believes this is proof of righteousness, but he isn’t righteous or spiritual at all; he is motivated by the flesh, and the flesh’s desire to justify and preserve self.  The spiritual narcissistalso fails to deal with his own sins such as lust, greed, gluttony, anger, envy, and pride. The whole project of judging is about putting the spotlight on another, so that the narcissist doesn’t have to take ownership of his own problems. He isn’t righteous because he does not repent of his sins. Jesus taught against this kind of hypocritical judging in Matthew 7:1-5:

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”


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Evolution – Back to School Series

Evolution – Back to School Series

Decades ago the problem was more of a minor irritation. Evolution was mentioned in classrooms, but teachers often voiced their own beliefs in the Biblical account of Creation or they skipped the section entirely. Fast forward to the modern “no child left behind” era of standardized testing and atheistic lawsuits, and we find the pendulum has shifted to an environment that is predominantly teaching man’s origins from organic evolution.

The church sounded the alarm, and we occasionally hear sermons on the topic, but the fact remains that we are still years behind. While we are busy pointing out the lies of evolution in science books, textbook publishers have now shifted the topic into just about every academic field: math, English, home economics, history, etc.

evolution fraud

Be prepared with truth, not theory.

Combine three decades of vigorous teaching in textbooks and spotlights from the mainstream media, and you begin to see why many have fallen prey to this godless theory. (And make no doubt about it, at its root is a theory that all creatures evolved from a common ancestor which itself came from a non-living source—without any plan or design from a Supernatural Creator.)

Having preached all over the United States, I have met literally hundreds of Christian parents whose children have left home with a belief in God, only to return months later with an allegiance to evolutionary “science.” This theory is so prevalent that many Christians today have tried to marry both evolution and the Creation account. Church leaders don’t want to feel ignorant, and so they allow Bible class teachers to indoctrinate members with concepts like the Day-Age Theory or the Gap Theory.

Here is what I intend to teach my children about evolution.

Evolution is true — that is, microevolution is true. We know today that things can change within limited parameters (e.g., dog breeds). This is a scientific fact. However, science has never observed a dog reproducing into a fern or giraffe or anything other than a dog.

Macro – or organic evolution, on the other hand, the theory that everything evolved from a common ancestor, is unbiblical and unscientific. And while many teachers and professors will try their best to use intellectual intimidation to convince you that all knowledgeable people believe evolution, the fact remains that it is illogical and irrational.

When I first sat down to consider what I would tell you in a single short article regarding evolution, I laughed, as I could easily fill a book with solid evidence. However, if I were to try to distill it down, here are some key points I would expect you to know:

1. Evolution cannot explain the existence of matter.

2. Evolution cannot explain how nature progressed from gases and non-living rocks to living material.

3. Evolution cannot explain how the first cell self-assembled (especially in light of the fact that the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics states things are going to a state of increased disorder).

4. Evolution cannot explain the existence of separate male and female genders.

5. Evolution cannot explain human emotions (love, tears, etc.)

6. Evolution cannot explain the division between plants and animal (e.g., why can plants make their own energy through photosynthesis and animals can’t?)

7. Evolution cannot explain morality.

8. Evolution cannot explain the design found in nature and the human body. (Design always demands a designer).

9. Evolution cannot explain the sudden explosion and diversity of fossils that appear fully formed in the fossil record.

10. Evolution cannot explain polystrate fossils that completely undermine the geologic column.

11. Evolution cannot explain soft-tissue in dinosaur fossils.

12. Evolution cannot explain the origin of language and consciousness.

The evolutionary theory provides those who have stiffened their necks against God a worldview that excludes a supernatural Creator. If Genesis 1-11 is tossed aside as merely a mythological story, then we must toss out the entire Bible because the one major theme that is taught throughout the Bible is redemption.

G. Richard Culp summed it up well when he wrote, “One who doubts the Genesis account will not be the same man he once was, for his attitude toward Holy Scripture has been eroded by false teaching. Genesis is repeatedly referred to in the New Testament, and it cannot be separated from the total Christian message” (1975, pp. 160-161).

While men may occasionally grab 2 Peter 3:8 and claim that a day is a thousand years to God, they have done so by taking that passage out of context. As Guy N. Woods pointed out, this passage simply means that time does not affect the performance of God’s promises or threats (Woods, 1976, p. 146). The context is when Jesus will return, not how long it took to create the heavens and earth.

Honest Bible scholars will admit that only four books in the Bible do not refer back to the opening chapters of Genesis as real and historic:  Jude, Philemon, 2 and 3 John.

Does this fact mean all other books in the Bible should be cut out or not trusted? Should Christians place their allegiance in evolution? Absolutely not —indeed the two theories are at war with one another! A New Testament Christian realizes the two are incompatible.

This article is an excerpt from Dr. Brad Harrub’s new book “Heart of the Matter 2: A Second Helping of Letters to my Children”. You can pre-order the book here.

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