If It's Too Good To Be True...

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Just its name (“The Adobo Chronicles”) ought to have raised suspicion. Had people took the time to explore the website, they would have seen this disclaimer: “When writing stories for this blog, we let the news sizzle and simmer in our mind in a mixture of fact and fiction, then we spice it up with figments of our imagination.” Sadly, when it posted that the “U.S. Announces ‘No Visa’ Policy For Filipinos,” people got so excited that it went viral on social media. The U.S. Embassy had to issue a statement that there was no such policy change.

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Though it’s debatable whether it’s a harmless satire or a cruel joke, it seems that one of the reasons why many people fell for it is an apparent lack of critical thinking among us. They forgot the cliché that, “If it’s too good to be true, it’s too good to be true.” 

It seems that one of the reasons why many people fell for the satirical news is an apparent lack of critical thinking among us. Image credit

I also see this dire need for discernment in the way many believers take as Gospel truth the New York Times best-selling book, “Heaven is Real.” (The movie version already came out this month.) It’s based on an alleged near-death experience (NDE) of Colton, the four-year-old son of the author, Todd Burpo. An NDE “is the subjective recollection of an experience that occurred during a state of unconsciousness precipitated by a medical crisis, such as an accident, suicide attempt, or cardiac arrest.” (Source: CRI)

Colton Burpo and his father, Todd. Image credit

Though I believe that heaven is real, I don’t put much stake on such experiences. “Subjective experiences are notoriously unreliable; thus, they must be tested in light of an objective frame of reference—which in Christianity is the Bible.” (Ibid) 

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First Thessalonians 5:20-22 commanded us, “Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” (ESV) To be discerning is not to be divisive or judgmental. In his “Reckless Faith,” John MacArthur wrote, “The discerning person is the one who draws a clear contrast between truth and error.” Every and any truth-claim must be tested according to the Word of God. If it’s the truth, we must hold fast to it. If it’s error, we must abstain from it or reject it.  

Brethren, let us be discerning.

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