Summary: 500 years ago people were asking the same question. The year was 1517 and people were asking the question, how can I know if what I believe is actually the truth?
NAIL IT DOWN
“Fake news: how can I know the truth?”
2nd Peter 1:6-2:3
Glad you are all safe today. You may have heard Just last week there were reports that if Irma kept growing it would become a category 6 Hurricane. Sharks were being sucked up into the air from the water and we would see sharks coming down. All of this was on the news on the internet. There are no category 6 hurricanes and sharks will not rain down. By now you’ve heard of fake news. President Trump has been talking about it in most of America is now talking about it. This has been going on for years now. For decades now it has been said that Madalyn Murray O’Hare was working to have all religious programming removed from TV and radio waves and would also ban schools from singing Christmas carols. According to many people she is still working hard to do this-I still have people who bring petitions to me to ask the church to sign them to stop her-by the way she has been dead for 22 years now. It’s a hoax. It’s fake news. But somehow it just won’t go away.
Are you aware that a man named Cameron Harris, during the presidential campaign last year was actually hired to create fake news. He bought a domain name and started publishing all kinds of fake news in an effort to sway the campaign. If you listen frequently to Pres. Trump or follow him on twitter as I do your then aware that he speaks out against fake news every single day. How can we know the truth? It ss now a question that we ask daily. Because with the Internet today it is possible to spread fake news, to ruin someone’s reputation, to close down a business, to start a rumor that may never die and it’s possible to do all that quickly so it leaves us asking the question, how can I know the truth? How can I know that what I believe is actually the truth?
500 years ago people were asking the same question. The year was 1517 and people were asking the question, how can I know if what I believe is actually the truth? The apostle Peter who was one of the early followers of Christ wrote a letter to early believers... Listen to what he had to say. 2nd Peter 1:16. 500 years ago the world look very different than it does today. In Western Europe in what we call the holy Roman empire, people practice their faith in a radically different way than we do today. They knew about Christ, they had been taught about Jesus but they were simply not sure what to believe.. Addresses the question by telling us this-there will be a day when day will dawn-when you will know the truth; Paul says when we will know is we are known, but until that day; listen to v. 19.
Now 500 years ago people were struggling with this. Things were different. The church controlled every aspect of life. In Western Europe the church controlled everything from the cradle to the grave.
• You were baptized as an infant in the church
• you were confirmed in youth by priest
• you were married, and if the church approved, by a priest
• you received last rites by a priest on your deathbed
• and along the way you needed mass given to you by the priest
• you also needed to confess your sins to a priest
And it was through each of these areas, that you received grace. The church and priest controlled the path to God.
There was also a huge gap between the priest and the people. The biggest separation by the way at that time was in literacy. People did not need to be able to read for their jobs. The priest did and just a few other professions did so the priest could read the Bible. But the people could not. In fact in that day most people had never held a book in their hands. So the priest had to read the Bible for them. They depended on him in order to understand the Bible.
Now in 1440, the printing press was invented and everything changed. Suddenly people could get books and someone said, hey the Bible needs to be put in print and not only that, needs to be translated from Latin into a language the common people can actually read. So John Wickliffe translated the entire Bible into English and he did it by the way without permission. And when he died there were so many people who hated him for doing this that they dug up his body and burned it and through his ashes into the River declaring that the act of translating the Bible into modern language so people could understand it was completely unacceptable.