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Get the Facts, Jack!
by Annie Glasel
2/25/2009 / Leadership
Hebrew National brand hot dogs has ran the same commercial for years. It ends with their slogan "We answer to a higher authority" and the Orthodox garbed rabbi looking heavenward.
The other day, a friend of mine forwarded an email attributing Joe Wright's awesome 1996 Kansas City House of Rep Opening Prayer to Rev Billy Graham. A few days later, I received another email attributing the same speech to Paul Harvey.
I hastily shot back a response to say that "let's get the facts right." She sent a resounding rebuke that God does not care about credits and that I had missed the actual point - the message in the speech.
I beg to differ.
To be a credible witness in a court of law, the witness has to be above reproach and has to get the facts correctly and exactly the same, each and every time he gives the testimony.
As a Christian, our life is on the stand. We are witnesses. And we witness with not just our lives but what we say. What we send and forward in emails.
In order to be taken seriously, we need to answer to a higher authority about getting the facts right.
In the recent election, numerous Christian acquaintances forwarded emails about Obama that were not entirely true or entirely false.
I am sure that these individuals did not intend anything malicious; they were just forwarding what they thought was important valid information. However, in their over zealousness and lack of discernment, they have unwittingly slandered, gossiped and perpetuated lies.
So please, brothers and sisters in Christ, let's all stop for a minute before we hit the forward key. Do some research and figure out what's fact, fiction, myth and outright lies. There are so many good places to do this now - google.com, snopes.com, factorfiction.com... There is just no excuse.
If we cannot be counted on to get the facts straight on simple things like attributing a quote, why should anyone take us seriously when we share with them about the Gospel - the truth above all truths?
If people doubt our words once or find the information we forward is often unreliable, we will become someone that people cannot trust and count on good information. When we next speak or send some "important information, " we and the testimony we give will be discredited or discounted or even dismissed.
So Christians, answer to a higher power, get the facts, Jack!
I've written to ease my pain; I've written to hear my voice; I've written for vanity; I've written for sanity; I've written for fun; I've written for laughs; I've written for me; I've written for money. But until I write for God, this talent is for naught.
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