‘Fake news’ is one sad product of our digital age.
During the recent Presidential campaign, a news item flashed on social media, boldly announcing that Pope Francis was supporting Donald Trump.
While most would have thought it unlikely that His Holiness would make an undiplomatic intrusion into the internal politics of any nation, there were others who swallowed the lie, hook, line and sinker.
The so-called news item confirmed the old adage that lies are half-way round the world before truth has got its boots on!
The great Jonathan Swift once remarked that if a lie be believed for only an hour, it will have done its mischievious work.
Fakes come in all shapes, of course.
A current BBC programme is entitled ‘Fake Britain’, and focuses on the fake items sold under well-known brand names.
One programme dealt with the fuses so essential to the electrical goods we use in our homes.
Cheap fakes are being sold, minus the sand which prevents the fuse from over-heating.
These potential fire hazards were being sold cheaply to unsuspecting customers.
Once, on holiday in Tunisia, I haggled at a wayside stall for two watercolour paintings, already mounted and wrapped in cellophane.
Unable to agree a price, I walked away, but the salesman pursued me down the street, offering to accept a lower sum.
I relented, and a few weeks after returning home, I decided to have the paintings framed.
Imagine my dismay when the original mounts were stripped away, and it emerged that I had bought, not two original watercolours, but two postcards cunningly disguised!
But in God’s world, while fakers may enjoy a sense of wicked achievement and immediate profit, they are ultimately exposed.
No lie lives for ever.
As the playwright Berthold Brecht once said, ‘Truth is concrete’.
When John was granted his vision of the heavenly city, he listed those who would not enjoy citizenship within its’ walls.
After mentioning murderers and idolaters, he tells us that a ‘all liars’ will also be excluded (Revelation 21;8).
Followers of Jesus, who is himself ‘The way, the truth, and the life’ are obliged, as Paul tells us to think on ‘whatever is true’(Philippians 4;8)