Friday, April 3, 2020

COVID-19 Series: #6—Be responsible: Do not bear false witness

19 Pastoral Thoughts On COVID-19

“You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your father and mother” (Luke 18:20).

Of the various commandments that Jesus mentioned here to the rich young ruler, I am particularly interested in the one that says, “Do not bear false witness.” This captures the essence of the ninth commandment. Anyone who spreads lies is a co-worker with Satan, a liar and a father of lies. He misrepresented God to Eve and thus led to the human fall.

As Christians we must not repeat a story without verifying it. The spread of the coronavirus is a global disaster. Tens of thousands of lives have been lost. The virus has reached our country. People are fearful. It matters what you “copy and paste”. If it is not true, you are a false witness. You could also cause your hearers to harm themselves and others.

All it takes on social media is a click on “share” or “forward” and you could be guilty of spreading lies. A lot of videos are doing their rounds about vaccines and cures of COVID-19. Conspiracy theorists are also thriving because of human fear. By sharing their information, you can easily undermine the efforts of qualified individuals who are trying to save lives.

Truth matters. Let us be responsible as Christians. This is not time to be sensational. Too much is at stake. Let us take extra care to ensure that what we pass on has been verified as authentic. If you are unsure, don’t do it, lest you become a false witness and sin against God.

“Be the matter what it may,
Always speak the truth;
Whether at your work or play,
Always speak the truth.
Never from this rule depart,
Grave it deeply on your heart,
Written ‘tis upon your chart:
Always speak the truth.”
—Alfred Arthur Graley (1813–1905)

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