Have you heard that the government have stopped track and trace for any cases that happen in schools?
Do you remember Donald Trump posing in front of a church holding a Bible high in the midst of race protests? Did you know that Hitler did the same? That’s scary, isn’t it. Look – you can see it here:
On the other hand, isn’t it encouraging that 58 years ago CS Lewis, in his book The Screwtape Letters, foresaw the global pandemic and wrote this:
Satan: I will cause anxiety, fear and panic. I will shut down business, schools, places of worship, and sports events. I will cause economic turmoil.
Jesus: I will bring together neighbours, restore the family unit, I will bring dinner back to the kitchen table. I will help people slow down their lives and appreciate what really matters. I will teach my children to rely on me and not the world. I will teach my children to trust me and not their money and material resources.
That would be encouraging – except Lewis never wrote this, in The Screwtape Letters or anywhere else for that matter. It’s Fake News.
And Hitler? Fake News. A photoshopped picture.
Track and trace in schools? You guessed: Fake News.
Or let’s use the right word: Lies.
And it’s never been easier to fall for them.
Type in ‘Fake News’ in Google and you will be led to pages and pages of ‘news generator’ sites. A few clicks of the button, a few images taken from the net and hey presto, you can create your own. You can do it for a laugh. Or you can do it for more sinister reasons. But here’s the thing. If you are creative enough, people will believe you. Those Facebook posts get liked and Tweets are shared before you know it. And you can sit back in the glow of your achievement!
I don’t think any of you reading this are creating these sorts of sinister posts. But I do think it’s easy to be taken in by them. Especially the ones that we fear might be true.
In Acts 17, Luke writes about Paul’s visit to a small town called Berea. He did what he always did, went to teach his fellow Jews about Jesus being their Messiah. But these Bereans were impressive. They weren’t going to believe Paul without checking things out, no matter how good it all sounded. They were willing to listen to all that Paul was saying, but they wanted to check it all out in the Bible before believing it. They were ‘more noble’ than others. No one would fool them.
It’s easy to be swept along by the well meaning claims of others. It’s easy to be frightened by alarming ‘facts’. It’s easy to ‘like’ or ‘share’ without thinking too much.
As Fake News gets more sophisticated every year, it’s going to take ‘noble’ people to refuse to be taken in.
So before you worry about what you’ve read, check it out.
Before you get too spiritually encouraged (!), check it out.
Before you press share, pause.
Ask yourself: Am I sure this true?
And get help to discover the truth – after all it does set you free.
Snopes.com is a good site for checking stories that do the rounds. It’s where I found the Hitler and Lewis stories.
For British fact checker, this site looks helpful and independent: https://fullfact.org/latest/. It’s where I got the track and trace story from. https://fullfact.org/health/schools-contact-tracing-not-escalate/
It’s always a joy when people become Christians. For some it’s a decision that looks like it’s been quick, for others it’s a slow burn over years. You’ll be encouraged as you listen to Tim’s story.
1. Sunday Gathering
The link to this Sunday’s Gathering is here:
Meeting ID: 836 810 848
Or you can join us live on YouTube.
2. Prayer Ministry on Sundays
After each Sunday service, the prayer team will be available to pray for those needing support in breakout rooms on Zoom. You can either let Ian know in advance or just wait around after the service.
If you have prayer requests but don’t want to be prayed with, you can also let Ian know and the prayer team will use that time to pray on your behalf.
3. Time off
As you know Ian takes Monday as his day off and Neil takes Saturday, but occasionally they get holiday time as well! They will be both be taking a week’s break from Monday 26 – Friday 30 October. If there’s an emergency, please don’t hesitate to contact us, but if there are other things that you’d like clarity about then, please contact one of the Governing Body: Steve, Charlie, Jumi or Judith.
4. So there will be NO Coffee Morning this week.
5. Prayer Meeting: Thursday 7.45-9.00pm
Praying for the Persecuted Church
This last six months has been really tough for everyone; the isolation, the uncertainty, the fear. But imagine if we lived in a country like North Korea, Pakistan or Afghanistan where, even before Covid-19, believers couldn’t meet publicly, couldn’t own a bible, couldn’t let anyone know they were Christians?
This Thursday at 7.45pm, we are going to use the freedom we have to pray for some of our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world and to hear how the gospel continues to spread, even in the midst of extreme poverty and persecution. It’s a chance to expand our vision and share the joys and sorrows of others. Do join us if you can.
Also, if you would like to lead a future prayer meeting or suggest a theme to pray about, let Ian know. You might have a heart for a particular country or topic. You might want to pray for revival! Whatever it is, let’s make prayer, both privately and corporately, one of the core foundations of our church.
The link is here:
6. Non-Zoom prayer meeting
On Friday 10.30-12.00 there’s a prayer meeting in a non-Zoom meeting! Using Whatsapp, contact Corinne Baines or Gill Oldham or Neil and they’ll make sure you are able to connect.
If in doubt
All the links to the meetings are in Church Suite and on the ‘Calendar’ section of our church website: https://www.salfordelimchurch.org/events/
You’re not alone
If you need help and don’t know where to turn, you are always welcome to contact Neil on 07771 558058.
Links and Resources
Here’s this week’s Kids Resources from Morag, with a variety of videos, crafts and other useful things to help your child/ren read and learn from this week’s Bible passage.