The Internet is a great resource for Christians. Through the Internet, the Gospel can reach places and people that otherwise would never have had the opportunity, or desire, to hear God’s Word. The Internet can also destroy the testimony of all Christians in the eyes of non-believers when used recklessly.
As email became a common form of communication for the world, email hoaxes became more and more prevalent. Some are rather harmless, but others are misleading, deceptive and even dangerous.[ad#blog-content]
While most of these Internet hoaxes are not related to Christians or Christianity, a small number attempt to make false claims in order to promote the cause of Christ. These emails are naively forwarded by thousands of Christians every day to everyone on their email lists. These Internet hoaxes make grandiose claims that attempt to validate Christian beliefs or further the cause of Christianity.
Think about all of the ramifications of these emails! Does God want His cause promoted through deception? Obviously not. This goes against the very principles of Scripture.
One such Internet hoax gives a detailed account of how Charles Darwin accepted Christ and denounced evolution on his death bed. This story is completely fabricated. By spending five minutes doing a little research you could find the truth behind Internet hoaxes such as this. On the other hand, by blindly forwarding such an email, you risk losing your credibility and damaging your testimony with every person that reads your email.
But it goes even further than your own credibility and testimony. You open all Christians up to ridicule and further close the minds of those that haven’t accepted Christ. In their eyes, Christians are small minded people who blindly follow a false God.
Do YOU want to reinforce that view of Christians… and our Savior? Verify the validity of any email before sending it to your friends. Most Internet hoaxes can be found at Snopes.com.
Here's a prime example of how many Christians get in trouble and if you think bad intelligence is dangeerous for thCentral Intelligence Agency in the War on Terrorism, think about what hoaxes look like to your non-believing friends, families and if you have a web log your readers! Check, double and even triple the accuracy of your information with this site and other sites like it as well.
One of the most annoying and potentially disruptive e-mail hoaxes that is still going around, is the alleged RM2493 "Remove all Christian broadcasting" petition. It originally started as a warning that Madelyn Murray O'Hair was trying to get Christian radio banned. Then it "evolved" after her death, to refer to American Atheists continuing her work. Then it evolved again to mention the TV show, "Touched by an Angel" and even made reference to Dr Dobson of Focus on the Family.
In one form or another, this miserable hoax has been circulating since 1975! Since that time, it has caused millions of people to waste literally millions of dollars sending mail to the FCC, trying to stop this from happening.
The next time you see an e-mail about this alleged petition, respond IMMEDIATELY to the sender, informing them that it is a HOAX. This message preys upon NEW Believers, who have suddenly discovered the joys of listening to Christian radio, and they react without thinking. You can't blame them! I, too, reacted to it when I was a new Christian, and a sweet little old lady brought me a photocopy of it! (That was in 1988… before we had the Internet!)
I just watched The Lazarus Phenomenon on TBN. I found it to be very interesting but not biblicial. The Nigerian Pastor is dead for 42 hours and goes to heaven and hell. While witnessing hell the angel told him that he would be sent there if his book was closed. The pastor was confused since he told the angel he was a born again christian. The angel told him that he would be sent to hell because he did not forgive his wife the day of his accident. The bible says there is only one sin that would send us to hell. That is the sin of unbelief. If Christians died without forgiving all who did them wrong none of us would make it. Although I believe to forgive everyone who done me wrong Christ took our punishment when he died on the cross. I’m tired of people and churches preaching perfection in our body when it is impossible for us but for Christ it is not impossible.
Can anyone tell me why so many of these stories are passed around? Is it to put fear in us.
Actually, If all christian broadcasting was removed from the air at least in America, it would be a good thing, sind the majority of what passes for "christian" broadcasting is in fact UNBIBLICAL and FALSE. The real christianity of the bible, the true gospel, is not preached on any television program that I know of. The whole network callled TBN is nothing but false teaching and prosperity/positive thinking con-people.
Unfortunately America suffers greatly from biblical illiteracy and can't tell the difference between biblical preaching and unbiblical preaching. Famous talkers like Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Hal Lindsey, and their ilk are mainly hucksters who do not preach scripture at all, but people don't know scripture so they haven't got a clue what is truth and what is lies.
As an attorney representing Christians, I semi-regularly receive email mail hoaxes from clients. These hoaxes often relate directly or indirectly to matters of interest to Christians. I often receive the same urban legends periodically and repeatedly. It is recommended that before forwarding any email with seemingly outrageous claims or allegations, that one first do their due diligence and verify the truth or falsity of the allegations.
There are websites that research urban legends, folklore, rumors, myths and hoaxes on the Web. One such website is <cite> ;www.snopes.com.</cite>
Don't forget about virus's and trojans that are attached to some of these forwarded e-mails. I get so many danger warnings from Firefox for so-called Christian sites that it is ridiculous. Just searching for Christian coloring pages for my Sunday School class could infect me with a virus.
If you have a web site please monitor the security of the site to prevent infecting others.
Hi thank you for addressing the email spam issue. I cringe when I get the Christian chain mails since they just make a mockery out of our faith since they are usually trite and silly.
Thank you for this reminder. I usually check for facts before forwarding. I've received the Madalyn Murray O'Hair message numerous times and always refer the sender to the disclaimer on the Focus on the Family web site. I do wonder, though, about the veracity of snopes.com. That site seems rather left-leaning. Does anyone know where it originates?