Don't believe everything you read online.

If you've been on the internet this week you may have heard that Chipotle is closing (they're not), Christians hate Starbucks (they don't) and Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton are expecting a baby (the jury is still out on this). 

We live in a media-saturated culture where we glean wisdom from headlines. Except, a truly wise person knows not to believe everything they read online.

The simple believe anything, but the wise give thought to their steps.
— Proverbs 14:15
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I know we all make mistakes and jump the gun on some things before we know all the facts, but this seems to be a common, recurring theme on social media these days. I think part of the reason to blame is that the silent killer built into the DNA of social media is competition

People want to be the first to know things. Instead of waiting for the truth to be revealed - some just start making stuff up. Other people believe it and start spreading the same lies. It's a viscous and never-ending cycle. 

Usually the lies are minor and don't really affect my personal life. But this week, I felt the sting of this attack. It gets personal to me when the subject of the lie relates to my faith. Early Monday I got online and saw several people, mostly non-believers, criticizing and mocking "Christians" for their apparent intolerance of the new "red" Starbucks holiday cups. I looked into it, before becoming defensive. Truly believing that maybe there were some Christians in an uproar over this Starbucks-cup thing. It wouldn't be the first time. There are several reasons Christians have stopped supporting this coffee place (and I gotta say, it's just a coffee place to me, not somewhere I go and expect a Christian worldview to be present). But after I found the source of this allegation, it was so obvious that this was a media-attempt to attack the Christian culture as a whole, based on the remarks of ONE guy with a social media platform. 

This is the world we live in. And really, guys, it's just going to get worse. 

As believers, we need to have wisdom before spreading false truths. We need to do our research and protect the name of not only our brothers and sisters in the faith, but Jesus Christ

The world is truly desperate to prove that Christians are intolerant, hateful bigots. And they wouldn't be wrong. We can be all of those things. They just seem to find the wrong examples. We should be unapologetically intolerant and hateful about the evil in this world. Sex-trafficking. Racism. Murder. Adultery. Jealousy. And ALL sin. We should hate it. 

Why? Because Jesus hated it enough to die for us. And what kind of society, long-term, does a completely tolerant one look like? I imagine a lot like the one we're turning into. 

It was never really about the cup in the first place. It was one guy trying to find a way to make Starbucks celebrate the "true meaning of Christmas" by encouraging everyone to tell the barista their name was "Merry Christmas" so they would have to write it on their "plain red cup." Another gimmick that was probably mostly driven by selfish ambition. Everyone is looking for one these days, it seems. 

So I guess the moral of this post is don't let your faith turn into a gimmick, be wise and please, don't believe everything you read online.