“The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it’s difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine. ~ Abraham Lincoln”
Every time the quote above appears on Facebook or in other various places on the internet, I get the biggest laugh. We all know, of course, that Abraham Lincoln could not have made this quote as there was no such thing as an internet in his day and age. The reason I get such a laugh is because, when pointing this quote out to some people, you will invariably get a blank look on someone’s face and the response, “What’s wrong with that?” As long as it appears in print, it must be correct.
The phrase “fake news” has been rampant over the past few years. There have been many “news” stories printed on social media that are glaringly false. There have been many stories printed that have pointed the finger wrongly at others because facts were not checked before something went to print. But once the story is printed, it begins to spread as if it were, indeed, true. It then becomes difficult to determine whether or not something is genuine, something is real.
The same can be said for our faith lives. There are, sadly, ministers across all faiths who brand a certain kind of theology and preach it as if it were the truth handed down to them by God. Theologies of wealth and prosperity, theologies of entertainment, cults of personality, these, and many other false theologies cause confusion at best and grave harm at worst. All one has to do is study those who have died in cults because they gravitated around someone claiming to be God’s own anointed.
We need to be genuine in our faith so that as people look at us and listen to our words, they may see and hear the truths of Christ. We cannot package convenient theologies that leave out what we do not like about the faith or include our own little peccadillos. Jesus has said on more than one occasion, woe to those who lead others astray.
In order to be genuine, we need to know our faith. That means learning it from competent places and not picking it up from people with chips on their shoulders or internet sites that are far from accurate. If anything is important to us, we need to go the extra mile to learn about it so that we can embrace it as totally and as honestly as possible.
The world needs genuine disciples of the Lord so that they can understand the rich, deep, and abiding love of God. We do not need God’s teachings watered down. Instead, we need to see people living the faith authentically.
FAITH ACTION: Ask God to give you the grace and the courage that you need to live the faith authentically today so that you may inspire others to choose to follow Him as well.