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Return to 3rd Quarter 2021 articles.

The title of this article is Living in an Age of Fake.

We live in an age of irrationality. The list of wild claims seems to grow every day. People are claiming “fraud” about everything. It is not just an election or a question about global warming. It is a willingness to attach the label “fraud” to everything.

When the Salk vaccine became available in the 1950s, I had friends who were dying of polio. As a science student, I followed the work of Dr. Salk and knew it was valid. Nevertheless, full-page newspaper ads claimed that the polio vaccine was fake and that taking the vaccine was likely to kill a child. Here we are in 2021, and the same thing is happening. The scientific evidence indicates that we have a way to stop the virus, but many detractors say it is a dangerous fraud.

A doctor making a vaccination

What has happened in recent years is that outlandish claims have significantly increased. Health issues have been a major subject in modern times. People widely circulate untested and unproven claims about cures for cancer. This is personal for me because my son-in-law bought into the claim of a marijuana treatment for his cancer. That claim proved to be worthless and ultimately took his life when conventional medical treatment would have allowed him to live for several decades.

False claims are nothing new. The Bible contains stories about people suffering from bogus solutions to human problems. In Acts 8:9–24, we read about a man named Simon who “bewitched the people with sorceries.” In Acts 19:13–16, there is a funny story about the seven sons of a Jewish priest named Sceva. They tried to practice a cure on a person who “had evil spirits.” In Mark 5:25–29, we read about a woman who had been fighting an “issue of blood for 12 years and had suffered many things of many physicians and had spent all she had and was no better.” Finally, she “heard about Jesus,” and unlike the other two cases, she operated on evidence and investigated for herself.

The lesson for us is do not trust any individual who offers us information that you cannot confirm. Politicians are likely to have a vested interest in what they are encouraging us to do. The media outlets are connected to groups that are selling a political platform. Religious claims are suspect because the promoters have an ulterior motive in what they offer.

What did Jesus do when John the Baptist sent his disciples to see if Jesus was the promised Messiah? Matthew 11:4–6 records the response of Christ: Go and show John again those things which you hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. Notice that Jesus did not tell them to go to another source for the information. Jesus told the disciples of John to report those things which YOU HEAR AND SEE. They were to witness for themselves the things that answered the questions they were asking.

You cannot rely on humans to tell you what the Bible says. Please read it for yourself! Do not take someone's word regarding global warming. Look at the evidence! Do not rely on someone's assertion that the covid vaccine is dangerous. Read for yourself the studies of how the vaccine works. Please do not take anyone's claim of a cure for a disease or ailment until you have checked the facts yourself. The bottom line is, never take anyone's statement that something is fake or a hoax until you carefully review the evidence.

Our focus should be on the teachings of Christ and living according to them. When something is being done that runs contrary to what Jesus taught, it is wrong. Read Matthew 5–7 and follow it. Christians should be the leaders in saying that everyone's life matters. No one should be pushing an agenda that deprives others of the necessities of life or of the right to live as a child of God. Instead, we should recognize everyone as precious and important. We live in an age of uncertainty, but the one thing that is certain and never fake is God's message for life which we find in his Word.

— John N. Clayton

Picture credits:
© Elnur. Image from BigStockPhoto.com.
© PramoteBigstock. Image from BigStockPhoto.com

Scripture links/references are from BibleGateway.com. Unhighlighted scriptures can be looked up at their website.