March 4, 2009 by Stacy McDonald

Don’t Believe Everything You Read…

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Don’t Believe Everything You Read

By Richard Abanes

We live in an era of too much information; an era wherein anyone/everyone can post whatever they want to post on the Internet—unchecked, unverified, unaccountable, unhindered, and unstoppable. Rumors, gossip, baseless accusations, outright lies, fear-mongering, hate rhetoric, hoaxes, slander/libel, and false information now litter the Internet.

So today’s word of advise from me to all of you is: BE CAREFUL!!!

Most tragic is how so-called “Christians” are contributing to this proliferation of misinformation and disinformation throughout cyberspace. It’s almost beyond belief that individuals supposedly indwelt by the Holy Spirit could be partakers of such activity. But the facts show that a significant number of “Christian” blogs & websites have indeed become dedicated to attacking others; more specifically, dedicated to attacking other Christians!

And such attacks are not just limited to simple assaults on other points of view, but penetrate into the realm of questioning another person’s Christianity, misrepresenting the faith of others, and deliberately seeking to destroy the reputation of various public figures (i.e., fellow believers). These persons have actually formed a new “cult” of sorts.

Please read the whole article HERE – This is truly a MUST READ!

The artwork in this post is from Allposters.com



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14 Responses to “Don’t Believe Everything You Read…”

  1. NYLass says:

    Thank you, Stacy, for this post and the link that goes with.

    How awful we treat others when we do not remember the grace that was given to us! How I have often wished that there was something that I could wear or keep close that would remind me – I have been given grace I didn’t deserve!

    Having hurt and been hurt by Christians, I am grieved at how easily offended we all are with each other. Instead of bearing each others burdens many have become poster children for that saying: ‘hurting people hurt people’. I was one of them. I was hurt beyond my own comprehension. I first handled this by hurting others (and somehow I justified this?), then I hurt myself, finally I hit ‘the valley of the shadow of death’ and all I could do was lay prostrate, wounded. There is something very profound about not being able to do anything but wait for help… that is where I learned to be grateful.

    I would say to all those who have hurt or been hurt, I am so sorry that you are hurting. God loves you and has a balm for that hurt and it WILL heal you. Please don’t try to heal this on your own (Gal. 3:3), it won’t work. Please let Him love you and heal you. It might burn for a moment, so please let your brothers and sisters gather round and hold your hand.

    One day you will look back and be grateful, because you have a FAITHFUL God. Trust me. I’ve been there…
    Anne

  2. Ginger says:

    I know exactly what he’s talking about. And I love the new name for them: ODMs. How appropriate.
    God alone will be the defender of the attacked. Praise God!
    I am more convinced than ever that the end times are not so evident by what is happening in the world, but by the destruction that is happening in the Church. How easily we have been deceived.

  3. gloria says:

    Wow that was an insightful post. We truly need to be like the Bereans and test all things and also compare what we are reading and hearing with what God’s revealed states. The Bible is the final standard of truth and God’s authority for us to use.
    There is much deception in the world around us, even in the body of Christ. We need to be watchful and prayerful. The Lord warned us that there would be many wolves in sheep’s clothing, going about to deceive even the elect of God.
    The need to dig into God’s Holy Word is more needful than ever before. Believers truly needed to be armed with the truth. We need the gift of Discernment.
    There are many false teachers out there today — we need to be ever vigilant. Jesus said that if we “continue in His word, we will be His disciples indeed”. So critical to be continousy in His word.
    Thanks for sounding the warning cry,
    gloria

  4. Amanda Read says:

    That is so true! It is amazing what people get away with saying – simply because it is so easy to publish words publicly, and where there are many words, strife is inevitable. Unlike the days of slow communication and travel when people were more likely to put lots of thought into what they were going to say (considering the price of communicating – I’m reminded of people sending letters in Pride and Prejudice – though gossip and slander have been present ever since the Fall), now words are cheap and easy.

    It is troubling to see how many people extrapolate things based on so little evidence and then make it their business to proclaim it. It seems to be a reflection of thinking in this era as a whole – like Darwin’s hypothesis of evolution, etc.

    ~Amanda~

  5. Stacy McDonald says:

    The biggest problem with online busybodies is that they are given a podium whether or not they have pure motives – and whether or not they know what in the world they’re talking about. “But I read it on the Internet…”

    Something similar happened with us, and while the people involved had some of the facts right, they didn’t have enough to make their statements come even close to resembling the truth – and sadly I think sometimes it’s intentional, especially when embellished “facts” are added to gain an emotional response.

    When this happens, the biggest problem I see is that in order to set the record straight, you have to wrangle in their mud – and possibly even gossip about others to clear your name. I just don’t see how any of it honors God.

    I have been so thankful for people who read their Bibles and, rather than listening to and beleiving gossip, check out both sides of the story (if they even find it necessary).

    I like what Jennie Chancey said on her blog yesterday:

    “If you don’t hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, you haven’t heard it. We need to treat others with the same courtesy and kindness we’d like them to extend to us, following Matthew 18 when we have a disagreement. Publicly airing disagreements online or off is not only unbiblical, it is just plain crass and rude. Far better to pursue private communication and reconciliation, which is the true way to purify and unify the Church.”

    Jennie has been on the receiving end of such nonsense and has learned a lot in the process. For those who find themselves in the same position, she has this bit of encouragement:

    “It can be a real temptation to become an online “expert” or to be the go-to person for the latest (mis?)”information” or tasty tidbits. Let’s choose instead to be busy about the good things God has given us to do (Ephesians 2:10). For those who do run ministries, write for magazines, produce books, etc., my top recommendation is to ignore the blogosphere of gossip. After dipping one toe in two years ago just to see what was being said about LAF, I’ve never gone back. If someone really wants to confront you in a pure and honest way, he will make the effort to write you or call you. Posting gossip online is a foolhardy pastime, but trying to find and read it is just as foolish. Live the life God has called you to live, be accountable to real people, and be open and approachable when someone does take the time to get in touch with a sincere question. We should all be open to the loving, sincere correction of our fellow Christians.”

  6. Stacy McDonald says:

    Another excellent article on this subject:

    http://exultingchristian.blogspot.com/2009/03/troublemakers.html

  7. Amanda Read says:

    You have found some good links!
    I also wrote an article touching on this topic last year:

    http://thecrusadingchemist.com/amandaread/2008/06/18/farewell-with-a-challenge/

    ~Amanda~

  8. Persuaded says:

    stacey… i was completely unaware that this whole “underground” even existed until last year. as jennie said, i “dipped my toe in” and was saddened and appalled. the really sad thing though, is that many many people give credence to these gossipers (for that is all they really are!) i have a dear friend who began to frequent some of these gossip/hate sites. praise the Lord she has realized how harmful this is and has sworn them off, but still she was forever changed by even the contact with such kind of talk/behavior.

    How we wound each other and how the ministry of Christ is damaged by this sinful foolishness!

  9. Dawn says:

    Stacy,

    Thank you for sharing that article. I think I will post about it on my blog next week. It was very good…and timely actually.

    The blog post from Exulting Christian was wonderful too, will have to tell my bloggers to read that one as well. :)

    I myself have gotten caught up in blogs like these mainly for the sole purpose of entertainment if anything, but the more I stayed there, the more I realized these ‘Christians’ were not being Christ like AT ALL in their demeanor, words and actions and actually it made me feel sorry for them that they would resort to an all time low such as that.

    Blessings from TX,
    Dawn

  10. Patti says:

    My comment is not so much with regard to online gossip people, as I can’t really think of any sites that I visit that do that (I don’t go online much, and I read only a few blogs, and they are very non-judgmental).

    My comment is with regard to the fact that most Christians seem to think there is only one way to live the Christian life—their way. Meaning that if you don’t do it their way, you’re doing it wrong, and you’re a crummy Christian…or not a Christian at all. I did a long post about this very thing about 2 weeks ago, entitled Different Doesn’t Mean Wrong. For nearly all of my Christian life, I’ve been trying to measure up to what other Christians think I should be doing. Whether that is in what I wear, what I watch, what I listen to, the Bible translation I use, how often I am at church…and on and on. People continually criticize one another all because we have very different opinions and preferences about things. Instead of feeling free to do and be the things God has put on our hearts to do and be, we are continually beaten down by others in the Christian community who think that everyone’s Christianity will look the same (ie dress length, hair length, music style,rural vs. urban living, etc.) Only, God made us individuals, and it really is okay to be different.

    This is probably a rambling comment and doesn’t really pertain to what you posted about, but the article really spoke to my heart since it talked about Christians slandering one another for a whole lot of reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with doctrine.

    Blessings on your day,
    Patti

  11. bushbobo says:

    I agree with you that gossip and dissemination of false information is harmful, but you accuse them of questioning another person’s Christianity and then you yourself refer to them as “Christians” with quotation marks, how is that any different? To be fair, Stacey, aren’t you doing exactly the same thing as those you condemn when you make it appear as though one cannot be a Christian if they don’t buy into the courtship/betrothal hoopla; if they don’t wear dresses or skirts; if they don’t homeschool?

    I am assuming this comment won’t be published, though I tried my best to be polite, but I thought it was something worth saying.

  12. Stacy McDonald says:

    Thank you for your effort to be polite. I’m glad that we can agree that gossip and dissemination of false information is harmful.

    First of all, please note that I did not write the article you’re referencing. I simply posted it, and believe that it made some excellent points. So your assertion that I accused anyone of anything is incorrect. In addition, I don’t “condemn” anyone, and I certainly do NOT believe, claim, insinuate, or “make it appear” as though “one cannot be a Christian” for any of the reasons you listed. We believe that faith in Christ is the ONLY thing that makes one a Christian. You can find our statement of faith here:

    http://familyreformation.wordpress.com/statement-of-faith/

    May the Lord bless you.

  13. Webfoot says:

    Hi, Stacy,
    I hope that it is okay for me to say what I am going to say. You decide.

    First of all, I want to thank you again for your beautiful blog. Sometimes I just like to come to your blog to stare at it, it’s so beautiful and inviting in appearance. It is an oasis on the internet, IMO.

    Then, second of all :-), I am not technically Reformed, nor am I technically patriarchal in the sense that you good folks teach. I am a strong Complementarian, which is a form of patriarchy, really, but most Complementarians don’t want to “fess up” to that.

    Then, third of all, I loved your book. I bought it at Amazon, and then went there to review it.

    That was about a year or so ago. Well, I was shocked at what was going on there, and still am shocked.

    You are not talking about some little criticisms from someone on a blog or in a discussion group. What has been done to you is much, much greater.

    At Amazon, I saw that there was a discussion opened for those who wanted to say positive things about Vision Forum and Ladies Against Feminism and groups like yours. I also saw that anyone who dared to post anything positive was not just disagreed with. They were insulted, name-called, sworn at, and in my case, threatened – and the threats were carried out.

    There are people who don’t just oppose what you are doing. They also oppose anyone who even dares to look into your teachings for themselves, based on primary sources instead of gossip and hearsay.

    So, I don’t know if you want to post this or not, but the more I read from the VF materials, the more impressed I am. That is coming from an outsider looking in.

    I even bought a video from VF about the Scottish Covenanters.

    Another thing, I no longer purchase books or anything else at Amazon. I tried to inform them of what was going on, and they could care less. I refuse to give them one dollar more of our money.

    Anyway, take this FWIW, or just take it for yourself, Stacy, but God bless you and please take care. I know a little of what you have been through, and it is pretty serious stuff.

    You are being very self-controlled in what you are saying given the nature of the intense attacks you and your family have suffered. You are a good example to me.

    I know what you mean about not getting down and dirty with these people, but I’m afriad that I have done that in some ways. I came away sadder, but wiser, too – and better informed about what you peple are all about. You bless me.

    So, I hesitated to post, but I think that it might be a good thing. You decide. I am praying for you.

    God bless,
    Mrs. Webfoot

  14. Jennifer says:

    Mr. Abanes wrote a follow-up blog post to the one you quote from in your post:

    http://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/abanes/11601195/

    I thought you and your readers might find it interesting.

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