The Little Church that Cried Wolf

This is the last straw!

Did you hear that the Obama Administration is trying to pass legislation to prevent Christians from owning a Bible without also owning a Quran?

It’s true. I saw it on Facebook. On the same page I saw proof that President Obama is really a Muslim terrorist. Guys we really need to take back our government from these liberal nuts. We need God back in the White House. So write your senator today and tell them “Quran? We don’t need no stinkin’ Quran!”

The above snippet has never actually appeared on Facebook, but it might as well have. Every week there is some new report of the government taking away our religious freedoms. And 90% of the time they are shown to be gross exaggerations or totally false.

Ed Stetzer sums it up well:

Too often, Christians are in a state of perpetual grievance, where each passing day brings another new controversy about which we must act or else Christianity in America will crumble.

When we hear a story about government attacks on Christians and we disagree with the politics of those in power, we assume the worst about the individuals in the military and our government. We live out the exact opposite of James 1:19. We are slow to listen, not giving time for all the facts to come out. We are quick to speak, gullibly forwarding the emails, retweeting the links and sharing the Facebook photos.

We are quick to anger, behaving as if every rumor deserved our righteous indignation and called for temple tables to be overturned (at least on Facebook).

This concerns me. First it concerns me because it shows how little discernment we actually have as believers. Secondly it shows how much we are driven by fear instead of confidence in Jesus Christ to move along history. Such fear is ridiculous in light of a sovereign Lord.

What also concerns me is that we are becoming like the little boy that cried wolf. Every time that we cause an untruth to go viral, and then that lie is debunked, we start to look like the crazy uncle that talks about his night spent in a UFO. We cry “wolf” and then its discovered that the “wolf” was nothing more than a Chihuahua and our active imagination.

Then when real concerns actually show up we no longer have a voice. We’ve been branded the crazy uncle that sees a conspiracy theory everywhere. Everyone assumes that this cry of “wolf” will soon be exposed as another over-eager Christian, motivated by fear, over-exaggerating and getting all worked up over nothing. Then our freedoms get eaten.

My advice, stop being motivated by fear. Trust in the Jesus that rules history and you won’t fall for every new Facebook exposé. Don’t share something if it could be true. Wait until you are certain that it actually is true.

You can follow Mike on Twitter (@mikeleake), his personal blog, or by hacking into the various systems that the government has been using to track me all these years.

Comments

  1. William Thornton says

    I used to get the feed from Snopes just to have an awareness of the latest nonsensense circulating among the doom-and-gloom evangelicals because, inevitably, a viral bogus story would be forwarded to me by well-meaning but unsophisticated Church members. I would also get hit with these things in the church hallways from time to time.

    Having some real knowledge gave me an opportunity to do a bit of educating. Sometimes the story would have a kernel of truth which I was able to share.

    If you want to find something that really harms folks in your church, research the sky-is-falling conservative political groups (Huckabee is as bad as most of them) who prey on your seniors for $25 or $50 a pop. That is a deplorable scandal. Some of the seniors get dozens of solicitations every day and cannot grasp that they are all software-driven, impersonal money grubbing semi-scams.

    • says

      William,
      You have spoken truth in what you have just written! Your last paragraph is needs to be read by every Senior Adult and those about to be, in America.

      It is sad. It is pathetic. It is out of control!

  2. Bruce H. says

    We would be better off if we simply turned off the TV and radio. All we need to do is fill ourselves with the truth of scripture and minister as we go. When the laws change we just keep going the direction God has declared. It is straight and narrow so it must be simple. Let God do His thing and we just do what He has said of His will.

    • Bennett Willis says

      Or perhaps will face… “There you go again.”

      I get the Hillsdale distributions. While they are usually well written, they are not a lot more reasonable than much of the “sky is falling” materials you can find everywhere.

      I think that the Hillsdale writers are “true believers” and intellectually honest, but keep in mind that much of the commentary that you read on the Net is put there by people who don’t believe it. They enjoy throwing rocks at wasp nests to see what they can stir up.

  3. Chief Katie says

    Anyone remember Pastor Michael Salman from Phoenix who claimed that the city was trying to interfere with his right to hold a bible study in his home? He carried on for months about his 1st amendment rights being violated. Ultimately, he did his 60 days in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Tent City.

    It seems that he graduated to a felony conviction for healthcare fraud.

    http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2013/02/pastor_michael_salman_guilty_o.php

    Strange enough, he was only given 3 years probation because he was able to pay restitution of $120.000 (give or take) right away.

  4. says

    The thing is, some very serious things are happening in this administration – things I believe to be genuine threats to our freedoms.

    But when we have trumpeted every wild conspiracy out there, it lessens our credibility greatly when something REAL comes along.

    Kinda like that old story of the boy who cried wolf. You should have tried to tie that in, Mike!

    • Frank L. says

      The difference this time around: the sky IS falling. Thanks for the balance, Dave

    • Dave Miller says

      Don’t know if the sky is falling, but some serious issues are at stake. Thus we need to be more careful about speaking truth and avoiding conspiracy theories and wild nonsense – which just undermines our credibility.

      • Frank L. says

        Dave. Agree. However it seems historically Christians have suffered from saying too little rather than being “wide-eyed conspiricists.”

        Case in point: Roe v Wade 1972.

        My point is that silence is no improvement over nonsense. I am thinking most here agree with that. The Devil uses both in the battle for souls.

  5. Adam G. in NC says

    I really like this article, and largely agree, but…I think I remember Ed Stetzer commenting on how we need to just agree that global warming is real and man-made because every credible scientist says the same thing…kinda like evolution.

    I believe a lot of what is wrong is how we actually respond to our opponents. “Wise as serpents and innocent as doves” comes to mind.

    Eyes open and mouths shut.

  6. says

    Mike, this is a good line of thought to consider. Sometimes on twitter I just RT things that look interesting. If it looks too far out, I refrain from sharing.

    Sometimes, whether we cry wolf or not, the stories are hard to believe. I.e. the AP phone records taken by the gov’t, the Benghazi situation, the IRS abuse of power, etc. It’s as if some want to mix the true stories with the exaggerated so virtually nothing gets believed.

    Note: My apologies for the comment high-jack.

    • says

      Mark,

      No worries, friend. I think the article that you had previously mentioned makes good points and is one that does need to be discussed….albeit probably not in this particular thread.

  7. Max says

    “First it concerns me because it shows how little discernment we actually have as believers. Secondly it shows how much we are driven by fear …”

    Mike, you nail it on the head! There is a scarcity of discernment in the organized church, with a particular paucity in SBC ranks. Discernment, wisdom and understanding do not characterize us much these days. I remember in my early Christian journey running across James 1:5: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” So I did that and began to see things differently. However, I wish I had read Ecclesiastes 1:18 first: “With much wisdom comes much sorrow.” I have carried a burden for the condition of the church since. Once you see it, you can’t un-see it.

    I’ve also learned that fear is not faith. Once that is in your knower, you can’t un-know it.

  8. Marty Gordon says

    But it’s not all-or-nothing–go overboard or trust God to move history along.

    We are His instruments in the earth. We should pray for guidance and write our representatives and letters to news sites and speak up for what’s right, as the Lord leads.

    The worst evil happens when good people–God’s people–do nothing. And we’ve done an awful lot of that and they took prayer out of schools and done many other things we all could name.

  9. Dwight McKissic says

    Mike,

    I like everything about this article except for the accompanying picture of President Obama dressed in the headband & garb he’s wearing. I doubt if he was actually photographed in that outfit. What is the thought process behind this picture? Is the purpose of the picture to accentuate the point of the article? Or does it underscore and feed into the fearmongers bogus & baseless fears? Or maybe I’m just missing the purpose of the picture. Please help me.

    • Dave Miller says

      Dwight, Mike was intentionally trying to warn us about the dangers of buying into the hype out there – specifically (I think) the “Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya” nonsense.

      Mike was not trying to feed into the fear mongers, but to confront them with the silliness of their pronouncements.

      • Dwight McKissic says

        Thanks. I appreciate the response. I assumed this was the case; just needed assurance.

    • Mike Leake says

      You are correct. It is a doctored photo by those that have often cried wolf. It’s point is to accentuate the article and to fit with the spoofed piece at the beginning. It’s a ridiculous photo and that’s the point.

  10. Scott Shaver says

    Purpose of the picture appears to be the attraction of Homeland Security internet analysts.

    • Dave Miller says

      Now that’s funny.
      Oh, wait, I’m the editor here. Never mind. That is not funny at all.

    • Mike Leake says

      They are already on to us. You know that SBC Voices is the home page in the situation room.

    • Dave Miller says

      Marty, I think you can post to facebook without the attached pic. I posted it with the pic. Thinking it might draw some of my friends to read it.

  11. Frank L. says

    I see that the “Muslim Parody Picture” struck a nerve with a few folks.

    I find it interesting that people so quickly dismiss Obama’s Muslim leanings as “fear-mongering, etc.” Just Google the times Obama has made pro-Muslim statements and perhaps the picture is more accurate a parody than pro-Obama types like.

    Remember, Obama apologized to Muslims right after Benghazi. He has bowed before Muslim kings. The fact he might not have been born in Kenya does not seem to ameliorate his strong Muslim support.

    I realize pointing out the facts of his views is not popular, but trying to dissuade the discussion of the facts by labeling any such discussion as “fear-mongering” seems over the line.

    Part of the possible problems coming out of a post like this is that the enemy will be able to hide in plain sight. I personally think the picture is creepy, but I don’t think the association is “ridiculous.” I think the parody serves a purpose whether one disagrees or agrees with Obamanationalism.

  12. John K says

    Yea it is not like the IRS or some other governmental department would prevent church’s from getting tax exempt status. Just silly facebook ranting

    • Dave Miller says

      John, I’m not sure exactly how lighthearted your comment is, or how serious. But the fact is that while there is certainly reality to recent issues – Benghazi, the IRS, the phone records thing, there have been some wild, unsubstantiated and ridiculous rumors floating around the internet.

      And, if you will remember the point of “the boy who cried wolf” story, there was, one day a real, live and ravenous wolf. But no one listened to him because of the fanciful and silly stories he had previously told.

      The fact that there may really be some wolves out there makes it all the more important that we not be guilty of spreading every internet rumor that goes around.

      • says

        This was a problem back in 2008 with a political group I started to spend time and effort on—and then I backed off because the state party leader stated he did not have time to double-check things before he forwarded them out, and he was sure some were true.

        It’s only gotten worse.

        There are very real problems. If we will let the problems speak for themselves, they are quite enough. And if we will let many of these speak clearly for the problem of *general* governmental overreach into our lives in a freedom and liberty-crushing manner, rather than to make political points against the current ruling party of Democrats, I think that would be better.

        Because, honestly, are we convinced the other side would be better? Or just that they would be more on our side for the time being? I think it’s too often the latter, and so we still are not out for truth, justice, and the American Way, much less the Way of Christ. We’re just out for our own self-interest.

        So, yes, check it before you forward it. And consider whether or not it’s actually going to help anything to forward it.

      • John K says

        Dave,
        Some of my comment is meant with humor and some is meant and very serious. Just because some tangents are easily disproved does not mean every one is disproved.

        If only source of proof is LAT, NYT, or WaPo we will be hiding our head in the sand. There is some solid and good reporting going on regarding IRS targeting Churches and slow rolling their status within the IRS.

        You are probably aware of the IRS attorney involved in the scandel at the IRS who has been promoted to Obamacare head attorney who had knowledge and may have directing slow processing of church IRS status. You may be aware that there is evidence of doctored Bengazi emails by government departments. Have you heard the executive branch say they will prosecute anyone who breaks our constitutional laws. Can you say fast and furious. I am not a conspiracy type person I never thought you could have a conspiracy if more than one person knew about it. Then Bengazi happened and 20 to 30 people were wounded and yet know one can really find them. I keep a close view on creditable military blogs. They do not speculate and they are very cautious on what the report. It is more than sicking on what our media has allowed to go unreported that is easily verifiable.

        Do I take Mike’s article seriously!
        Yes!
        Do I have great concern over the rapid direction of media reporting bias?
        YES!

        What I said about the IRS and Bengazi is very easily verifiable if you are not one to wait for Chris Matthews to report it as fact. I do not give the sources and links because you are more than capable of finding out the facts with just a easy google search and will find more current and credible data than what I read last week.