Fake News Mason Tanner // September 30, 2020
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I am sitting here in the airport on my way to Austin, Texas to speak at a DNOW (Disciple Now) Weekend, where hundreds of students of all ages will pack into a venue to hear me speak about truth. And as I write this article, I can’t help but think about “fake news.” The millennials of today—and really just any of us with a smart phone—are constantly bombarded with blurbs and news on various social media platforms. And only a handful of the perpetual barrage is true.

Many people say, “there is a news problem.” Some are brave enough to say, “We need to fix the news!” Honestly, I don’t think we have a news problem. We have a truth problem. As a society, we have become so obsessed with what gets likes and viewers and what grabs the attention of the reader, listener, viewer, audience, congregation, member, followers, and friends that we have lost the value that should be bestowed on truth. At best, we have made it really hard to discern truth amidst all of the distractions we have created. I would go as far as to say that we don’t think truth is exciting anymore.

So here is my question: How do we find truth in a world full of fake news?

We first have to self-diagnose. The reality is every one of us is born into sin. Being born into sin is like being born hearing-impaired. Everything that is said feels like noise, and we spend most of our lives just trying to understand the murmur or decipher the hums, hoping to arrive at something clear, meaningful, or real. Life this way is wildly sub-par.

But everyone has an opportunity to get a hearing aid. This hearing aid is called repentance. When we realize that our hearing is impaired and that we need a doctor, we can admit that we are incapable of living how we are made to. We can admit that we cannot hear apart from the doctor. When we repent, we actually have the chance to hear for the first time. And as repentance continues, we can begin to discern the voice of the doctor.

We can read the notes that he has written to us. How our hearing aid operates is revealed through his writings to us. And we can find out why we were hearing-impaired in the first place.

We grow to love this doctor so much that we begin to bring our friends to him, and they begin to get their hearing aids. The hearing aids hurt to get put in (as most repentance does) but once they’re in, we know that the pain was worth it.

Before we know it, we become close friends with the doctor. We hang out all the time and talk about everything that is going on in the world around us. It is at that time that we realize that the doctor’s name is Truth. And it was the doctor himself that we had been trying to find all along. From this point on, we know that we can trust everything the doctor has written and spoken to us. He is truth. And truth comes from him.

If you believe that Jesus is truth, I dare you to post a picture today, tell your story, and use #JesusIsTruth.

The problem that I believe we face today is that we have forgotten that Truth is a real person. And his name is Jesus. (John 14:6)

As a college student and young adult, you are going to walk through the many deceptions of today. The only way for you to discern truth in a world full of fake news is to spend time with Jesus. Pay attention to the things that he is paying attention to. Listen to and obey his words.  You need truth more than you need likes or even entertainment. He wants to meet you and help heal you. First, you have to admit that you are not well. This is good news because he is a good doctor, and he always speaks the truth in love.

Is the truth boring? No. Not only is it exciting, it is exhilarating, awe-inspiring, sobering, loving, peace-giving, gut-wrenching, scandalous, joyous, and full of life. Truth is a man, and his name is Jesus. You don’t have to just find him in a world full of fake news, you can introduce him to others who have been looking for something for so long without resolve.  And they can finally find what they are looking for…Truth.



Mason Tanner

Mason Tanner

Mason is a husband, a father, and founding Pastor of Dwelling Place College and Young Adults Ministry. Mason received a B.A, in Philosophy and Religion from Auburn University and a M.A. in Intercultural Studies and Church Planting from Asbury Theological Seminary. He is passionate about the Gospel spreading through the avenues of media and seeing young people come alive in Christ.