There is “fake news” from all sides on the internet and as believers it is easy to get offended by things making the rounds that seem to be infringing on our religious beliefs. However, before you just forward something on because it tells you to, make sure you do a little fact finding. Failing to do so only further entrenches the idea that we are all biased, agenda crazed, Christian conspiracy theorists.

So why does this matter? It matters because that stereotypical perception hampers our ability as believers to effectively communicate the seriousness of the gospel with people. If we constantly pedal false information, how will anyone know what to believe when it truly matters.

Here is an example of what I am talking about. This is a “forward to everyone you know”  that is making the rounds again.

The following is a TRUE story of something that happened over the holidays that will really make you think & it could happen to any of us. (I heard it in my Bible study class this morning)

A young 17 yr. old boy was shopping in St. Cloud at a sports store, called Shields.

The cashier was a Muslim lady who was wearing her headscarf. The 17 yr. old was wearing a necklace with a cross on it. She told him he would have to put his cross under his shirt because it offended her. He told her would not do that. Then he told her that he thought she should take her headscarf off. She then called for the manager. The manager came out & told the 17 yr. old to just put his cross under his shirt and everything would be fine. The boy again refused to do so & at that point he left the items he had intended to purchase & walked out. Several customers who had been in line behind him had heard the conversation & also left their carts full of items & walked out of the store!!

I SAY KUDOS TO THE 17 YR. OLD!!! We all know we are in some very changing times, & given the same circumstances, I pray we would all have the courage this young lad had.

Our Bible class spent a few minutes talking about the challenge we are facing for our first amendment right of religious freedom.

(I have to wonder what’s next?? Are they going to try to ban the jewelry store owners from selling any jewelry with a cross on it?????)

Please pass on, & be ready to defend your religious rights!
God bless you, & God bless America

A story like this is designed to get us up in arms. I get it.  It is designed to get us to rally the troops because it has everything: drama, persecution, intrigue. It pits two major world religions against each other. It pits two people against each other and it drags thousands more into the drama. The problem is, it simply is not true.

We have to make sure we are not furthering the divide. My general rule of thumb for this kind of stuff is: if it sounds too crazy to be true, investigate. Don’t propagate.

snopes.com is a great place to start researching stories that get forwarded to you.

Here is a link to the Snopes article debunking the urban legend.

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