On Fake News

A Devotional by Pastor Emmanuel Ilagan

    Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.  (James 3:4-5 ESV)


Before there was only “good news” or “bad news”.  Today there is a third category: fake news or fake information.


Instantaneous messaging tools like Twitter or Facebook although helpful in themselves, have been used by unscrupulous people to put out “news” or “information” that are partial truths or outright falsehoods. Fake information in politics, culture, health, etc., have misled people, robbed them of their money, damaged their reputation and broken relationships with loved ones.

The first fake information came from the devil. The devil tricked humankind by casting doubt on God’s word and faithfulness.  The serpent said to the woman, that they will not die if they eat the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden.   

“You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  (Gen. 3:4-5 ESV). 

The falsehood served as basis for humankind’s disobedience to God,  resulting into separation from God and corruption of the whole Creation.

But God never wavered in God’s love for humankind.  God sent His only Son Jesus into the world, born of a virgin, to bring back humankind to Himself.


The devil continued to try to thwart God’s plan of saving humankind.   Upon learning from the wise men of the birth of the king of the Jews, Herod feigned a desire to worship Him and told the Magi to tell him the place where the baby Jesus was born; but Herod’s intent was to eliminate Him (Matt. 2: 7-16).


During Jesus’ life on earth there were other instances where the devil tried to foil God’s plan of salvation.  After Jesus’ resurrection from the dead the devil used the religious leaders to use fake information to sow confusion.   The chief priests bribed the guards and told them to spread the fake news that the disciples of Jesus had stolen His body.  (Matt. 28:4-15).


The devil is the source of falsehoods and fake information. “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”  (John 8:44b ESV)


The 8th commandment, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” forbids the use of the tongue or other communication media in spreading fake “information” that will harm other persons.  Deliberately putting out fake news is a sin.


Maybe we have been instrumental, even if unknowingly, in spreading fake news or fake information that has hurt other persons. Maybe we have been the victim of fake information.  We need God’s mercy and help here.   This is precisely the reason why Jesus Christ became a human being to take upon Himself the punishment for our sin on the cross of Calvary.  By God’s grace and through faith in Christ God forgives our sin and helps us recover from any harm done to us. 


Here are some ideas on what we can do as we encounter various news and information in the electronic and social media:


  1. We are careful about immediately sharing “information” or “news” that we receive on social media if we are not sure that these are true and helpful to others. Like the Bereans, we check the “information” we receive; we do our research as needed. (Acts 17:11).

  2. We listen to persons in authority and experts, and not to rumors or to persons who have political, financial, or personal agenda.

  3. We “avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.”

We avoid conspiracy theories that do not have basis in truth (Titus 3:9 ESV).


  1. Above all, we remain anchored to God’s Word. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105 ESV)


Dear Jesus, deliver us from the lies and tricks of the devil.  We ask the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth and light.  Amen.