Truth Is The Word

Good Tidings

Top ImageYesterday, I received both good tidings and bad. One was a forwarded WhatsApp voice message and the other an internet link.

Isaiah 52:7

Three weeks ago the Holy Spirit led me to re-read Isaiah 52:7: ‘How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

What I took away from this was that

I should focus my writing, at least for now, on encouragement, hope, and love. I guess that this is a pretty good mandate for all of us.
So, bearing this in mind, I now wondered how I should respond to the very disturbing voice message passed on to me.

The Voice Message

The message was from a man who claimed to have been informed by his GP that those living in Gauteng were about to experience the full might of the pandemic that has stalked us for the last three months. He went on to say that the virus was causing bizarre conditions not previously witnessed and that we should all place ourselves back into Level 5 lockdown. He added a lot of fear-inducing detail and advice. The timing coincided with the latest pronouncement by our Minister of Health of what he called the pending COVID-19 ‘storm’, and this gave the voice message an appearance of legitimacy.

The ‘bad news’ went viral and I even had it forwarded to me by a friend now living in the United States. Fortunately, the doctor who was ‘quoted’ as the source got to know about the message and immediately disclaimed it. The guilty party then owned up and made a public apology, claiming that the message was only intended for his immediate circle to shock them into being more careful. Hmmmmm!

My Response

I am writing about this because the dissemination of this sort of ‘news’ is such a serious issue. The message must have caused fear and anxiety to rise in everyone who heard it. This wave of fear will continue to many more people as it continues to be passed on, despite the disclaimers made. It was a blatant lie in parts and, at best, misinformation from someone not qualified to advise others on such matters. Any caution it could have instilled was overwhelmed by the negative effects of fear, anxiety, and anger.

However, it has made me think about the many people who must have received the message but did not pass it on. So, to those folks (hopefully you dear reader) I say:

  • Well done for exercising common sense, for applying logic and identifying the several ‘red flags’ that indicated that the message was ‘fake’.
  • Thank you for not passing it on ‘just in case’ it was true; you prevented many people from experiencing anxiety, fear, and confusion.
  • Thank you for acting responsibly.

The Good News Internet Link

The second communication I received yesterday was from my son. He sent me THIS. I scrolled down over page upon page of good-news stories from around the world. Not anecdotes or testimonies, but mini-presentations of things happening in our world that are positive, innovative, productive, and world-bettering. Now, this is something worth forwarding to others.

The Gospel

The news items in the ‘beautifulnewsdaily’ collection are economic, medical, financial, and so on. We Christians have good news that tops them all and is always worthy of being shared.

God reigns. Peace has been restored between the Godhead and humanity through Jesus Christ of Nazareth. All who believe can be saved. God is with us now and we can be with him eternally.
So, again: ‘How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”’

Footnote

I have previously written in more detail about the real plague of false news and I strongly recommend that you read THIS, even if for the second time 😉

Christopher Peppler

Christopher Peppler

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About Me

My name is Christopher Peppler and I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1947. While working in the financial sector I achieved a number of business qualifications from the Institute of Bankers, Damelin Management School, and The University of the Witwatersrand Business School. After over 20 years as a banker, I followed God’s calling and joined the ministry full time. After becoming a pastor of what is now a quite considerable church, I  earned an undergraduate theological qualification from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and post-graduate degrees from two United States institutions. I was also awarded the Doctor of Theology in Systematic Theology from the University of Zululand in 2000.

Four years before that I established the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), which today is represented in over 70 countries and has more than 2 500 active students enrolled with it. I presently play an role supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

I am a passionate champion of the Christocentric or Christ-centred Principle, an approach to biblical interpretation and theological construction that emphasises the centrality of Jesus

I have been happily married to Patricia since the age of 20, have two children, Lance and Karen, a daughter-in-law Tracey, and granddaughters Jessica and Kirsten. I have now retired from both church and seminary leadership and devote my time to writing, discipling, and the classical guitar. I have started a site called Classical Guitar SA to serve classical guitar enthusiasts in South Africa.