That News You Heard
I read the news last week: ""Apple May Be Working On A Top Secret Asymmetric Screw To Lock You Out Of Your Devices Forever."
The article came with the requisite warnings you'd expect about leaked plans from Apple, but the picture and article looked genuine.
Turns out that the whole thing was a lie. Lukasz Lindell of the design company Day4 writes:
One afternoon we sketched out a screw in our 3D program, a very strange screw where the head was neither a star, tracks, pentalobe or whatever, but a unique form, also very impractical. We rendered the image, put it in an email, sent it to ourselves, took a picture of the screen with the mail and anonymously uploaded the image to the forum Reddit with the text “A friend took a photo a while ago at that fruit company, they are obviously even creating their own screws”.
Then we waited …
It's amazing how quickly we believe a lie, or at least grant that it may be true with the flimsiest of evidence.
Christians aren't exempt. I've almost sworn off reading some blogs because of how quickly they jump to spread rumors. It's not just blogs either. Just the other day I was told that someone - you'd recognize his name - is an emergent leader. Never mind that he is as orthodox as they come, and has distanced himself from emergent teaching.
I have to admit that I've been tempted to denounce others. It's hard not to when the entire sections of the blog world has done so. But I've never regretted holding off, especially when the initial charges often turn out to be less than the full story.
John Frame writes:
The reputation of a person is a delicate thing, not easily restored after it is compromised...
Christians have often attacked one another with a total neglect of biblical standards of evidence ... Many writers invoke the rhetoric of anathema and condemnation, without any adequate argument, and without any meaningful attempt to seek peace...
It is time for Christians to recognize that this behavior is sin. It is gossip, often slander, and Christians should not support it. The church needs to wake up to the problem. Theology, especially on the Internet, needs to become accountable to the body of Christ. We need to demonstrate to the world that we adhere to God's standards of evidence, and that we deal with sin in a way that is principled, but also gentle and winsome. (The Doctrine of the Christian Life, pp.842-843)
Wise words for all of us. That news you heard, about Apple's screws or about that person, may turn out not to be true.