“It’s on the internet, so it must be true, right?”
Well, maybe. Maybe not.
As I write this, I’m enjoying a glorious day and celebrating my **th birthday. Yes, I’m not going to reveal my age, but (*switching to a cranky old guy’s voice*) “I’m old enough to remember when that newfangled innerwebs thing came out.”
(*Switching to my regular voice* now) The internet is a wonderful thing, don’t you agree? Vast amounts of news and information to absorb, and online music, videos, shopping, and games to enjoy – a plethora of distractions from the real world at your mouse-clicking fingertips!
Personally, I’m a newshound. I have a list of sites that I’ve vetted for truth and accuracy that I go to daily to see what’s going on in the world. No, I don’t go to the standard Lame Stream Media sites precisely because I’ve vetted them. I’ve learned by experience to do my own fact-checking from a variety of sources (fueled by a heaping helping of healthy skepticism born from being burned so many times!). What I’ve learned about the Lame Stream Media is that most of them are liars.
Blatant, shameless liars. Merchants of Misinformation. Deliverers of Disinformation.
I realized that when I started comparing what they dished out to first-hand info through my own research. I saw that much of their drivel was 1) inaccurate, or 2) deliberately falsified to spin the narrative. This isn’t limited to the news media either.
I find the same thing across social media. Many people post unvetted information that later proves to be inaccurate. Oops, egg on their faces! And yes, I’ve eaten my share of face-egg so now I’m very careful to do my due diligence before I post anything.
Fakebook, Twaddle, and other social media sites sometimes catch this wrong information and they post their smarmy little misinformation warning labels on the post. However, sometimes what they mislabel as misinformation isn’t wrong, but accurate. Their misinformation label is, well, misinformation.
For example, I recently posted a video produced by a COVID Crisis Response Nurse who has worked in a hospital ICU since the beginning of the declared pandemic. What she presented in the video were cold medical facts backed by her knowledge, expertise, and experience. Stunning stuff.
Yup, you got it. Right on cue, Fakebook “fact-checked” it and declared it MISINFORMATION.
Really! I had no idea Fakebook fact-checkers knew more than a COVID Crisis Response ICU Nurse. They must have a whole warehouse of highly educated, medically trained experts just salivating to tag posts they deem as MISINFORMATION (because it doesn’t fit the disinformation they want you to swallow).
And yet, Facebook itself promotes information I know for a fact is incorrect or false. How do I know that? Because I read medical articles with real data sets and analyses. Sheesh! Here’s your egg facial Fakebook!
But what’s worse is that anyone reading a Fakebook post can declare it MISINFORMATION if they want to and then waddle off regardless of whether their awesome assessment was inaccurate or accurate. Seriously. Anyone. For whatever reason. And to confirm what I just shared isn’t misinformation, here’s the proof: “How do I mark a Facebook post as false news?”
Sadly, this whole Misinformation/Disinformation thing is getting ridiculous. On the other hand, it’s a good thing because it forces people on social media to do their research before posting incorrect information online.
So, misinformation and disinformation. What’s the difference? Well here’s the accurate info on the two words straight from the online dictionary’s mouth:
Misinformation = “To provide with incorrect information.” (Source – "misinformation." American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. 2011. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company 23 Aug. 2021)
Disinformation = “false information intended to deceive or mislead.” (Source – disinformation. (n.d.) Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014. (1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014). Retrieved August 23 2021)
The difference between the two is that misinformation is unintentionally incorrect while disinformation is intentionally incorrect to deceive or mislead.
Here are some misinformation examples.
· “Electric cars run on clean energy.” Inaccurate. Why? Because the energy to run the car comes from power plants driven by the dreaded “dirty” fossil fuels, coal, and natural gas. All you’re doing is moving the pollution somewhere else, from tailpipe to exhaust stack (hat tip to Dale Johnson). But rest assured, you’re not polluting. Only the energy company is, right?
· “Masks block COVID transmission.” Inaccurate. Why? Because after almost two years of intense study, “Blue surgical face masks are only 10% effective in preventing COVID infection, new study finds” (Source) But don’t worry. Someone will come along with another study that says masks prevent COVID along with flatulence and halitosis. (Soooooo, we’ll have to wear a mask on both ends? Asking for a friend.)
· “The climate is warming/cooling/changing, and the earth will be finished in 7 years.” Inaccurate. Why? Because I’ve lived long enough to experience how inaccurate that oft-repeated information is. And finally,
· “Rap is a legitimate form of music.” Total misinformation. True, because I vetted it via my personal music standards. Discussion over.
And now some examples of disinformation, false information intended to deceive or mislead.
· “The AR is a weapon of war. The “AR” (as in the ultra-scary AR-15 rifle) stands for Assault Rifle and is designed to wipe out great numbers of people.” Wrong. This is a deliberate deception to scare people into accepting politically driven gun control measures. The “AR” designation is for Armalite Rifle. The “AR” started as a sporting rifle. The military wanted a rifle that could be used as a semi-auto (one round per pull), select-fire (three rounds per pull), and fully automatic (which empties the magazine) weapon. So, they commissioned the AR sporting rifle to be adapted for the military.
· “What you’re carrying in your uterus is just a blob of tissue.” This is a decades-old disinformation campaign to deceive the masses into accepting the murder of a pre-born baby. Science and commonsense stamp this claim as disinformation.
· “The climate is warming/cooling/changing, and the earth is done in 7 years.” Ridiculous disinformation when you realize this “information” is used to gain political control and unlimited access to tax dollars for a socialist agenda.
These three examples are patently false and carefully constructed with the intent to deceive or mislead. Ergo, disinformation.
We are deluged with information every day. We swim in an ocean of information claiming to be true and accurate. We’re hit with wave after wave of information not knowing if it’s correct, incorrect, or deliberately deceptive. How can you accurately vet your information?
Go to the source!
Don’t let other people tell you what to believe or what is true. Get off your butt and check it out yourself. If you don’t, you can become guilty of passing on misinformation or worse, disinformation.
So why this rant? Because of this article, I came across: “60% of adults under 40 say Jesus isn’t only way to salvation; equal to Buddha, Muhammad” (Source) WHAT? 60%?
From a biblical point of view, this can be rewritten, “60% of adults under 40 deny the only hope they have for life with God after death.” But when you get into the article, you read this (read carefully now!), “More than 60% of born-again Christians in America between the ages of 18 and 39 believe that Buddha, Muhammad and Jesus are all valid paths to salvation and over 30% say they either believe that Jesus sinned just like other people when He lived on Earth or aren’t sure, according to a new study.”
Did you catch that? “Born-again believers.” Not your average pagan, mind you. BORN-AGAIN BELIEVERS! Born-again believers who deny two foundational truths that determine the basis of actually being born-again.
According to the source (the Bible) per the authority of the One (God) who revealed the information about salvation (finding eternal life), the only way to eternal life is to be born again. “Jesus replied, ‘Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’” (John 3:3). And yet, the above “born-agains” deny that.
Furthermore, the only way to heaven is through Jesus. “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). So not only do the “born-agains” deny the accurate information (per God) that one must be spiritually transformed, they deny the qualifications of the only Person able to cause that transformation on their behalf. The whole idea of Jesus being our substitute rest solely on the requirement that Jesus was sinless. “He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
If Jesus sinned like everyone else, then the exchange of sin for right standing with the Father is invalid and the born-agains’ claim of being born-again is worthless. Born-again means a fresh start, a new beginning, a new life. The “born-agains” noted above claim the way and the means to eternal life, yet deny it at the same time. How do people come to embrace this contradiction?
They are misinformed. The information upon which they profess their belief is incorrect. This kind of spiritual misunderstanding comes from listening to unvetted sources and authorities. Their misinformation is a reflection of Cultural Christianity, not Biblical Christianity.
How can they correct it? By going to the source, the Bible, to vet their information about Jesus and salvation! Or if they won’t, then someone has to stand up and tell them why their information is erroneous by telling them the right information. No, I’m not advocating stamping their forehead with a big Fakebook MISINFORMATION warning label. But on second thought, that might help keep genuine God-seekers away from them for the time being. Just sayin’.
They are disinformed. Another way these “born-agains” come to embrace the above beliefs is via disinformation, i.e. false information intended to mislead or deceive.
Satan is a liar and the father of lies. Disinformation is a lie. Spiritual disinformation is a lie about spiritual matters. The enemy has spread disinformation around for millennia to mislead and deceive God’s people into believing false information. To what end? To lead God’s beloved children to destruction by denying the only way and means to find eternal life.
In the Hebrew scriptures, the prophet Hosea laments, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). Knowledge comes from information. Proper knowledge comes from proper information. Incorrect knowledge comes from incorrect information. And false knowledge comes from false information.
Misinformation and disinformation come from the lack of accurate information. Being uninformed of the truth opens the mind to error and lies, all of which can have eternal consequences.
You can fix this for yourself! Go to the source. Compare the info you have to the original.
Don’t get your information from the cyber realm first. Read the Book first! Read it before you surf the net for spiritual information. It’ll save you a lot of time and confusion because you already have the accurate truth. That way, you can more easily screen out the misinformation the world tries to ram down your throat about Jesus. Plus, it reveals and shoots down the disinformation about Jesus the enemy chucks at you through man-made religions that steer you away from eternal life.
All you have to do is read it.
You can do it.
I’ve read through the Bible in a year, in 6 months, and 3 months. Yes, it takes time to absorb the information God has revealed to us.
But really, isn’t an eternal life with God worth it?
Isn’t walking with God in this life worth it?
Counter the mis- and dis- information.
Go to the source.
Pastor Jay Christianson
The Truth Barista, Frothy Thoughts