Some years ago being introduced to the name of Charles Colson had a profound effect on the time leading up to this moment. The Original Fake News was written on Easter Sunday after an amazing service at the church we were attending. Life would never be the same and that day the decision was made to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. On July 8, 2018, in a small church in Nashville, I was baptized in earnest. Here we are barely two years on and the depth of change is amazing.
With the writing of The Original Fake News the goal was to show how the authorities, 2,000+ years ago, are the same authorities we deal with today. Liars, cheats and if the people speak out against the current narrative, well, there is trouble for the people speaking the truth to power. Nothing has changed. The authorities, 2,000+ years ago, wanted the Apostles to shut-up and stop spreading the Gospel. The Apostles and the ministers they raised up, did no such thing. As a matter-of-fact they grew stronger and louder. We could use a whole lot more of that today.
Stephen, in front of Saul (who would become Paul) was murdered, stoned to death, by the authorities for reminding them of the truth.
“You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.” Acts 7:51-53 NKJV
For this crime, the authorities stoned Stephen. This is the original “cancel culture”. Stephen was merely reminding the authorities of what they themselves should have known and been living, but chose to ignore because it would have hampered their ability to extract wealth from as well as control the people. Where have we heard this before? Oh, that’s right, every single day on TV and radio.
When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. But he being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” Acts 7:54-56 NKJV
The authorities couldn’t stand the fact that Stephen was a simple man and was nothing more than a person proclaiming truth that absolutely exposed their unrighteousness. The tyrants of yesterday and the tyrants of today where the same coat, fly the same flag and respond in the same manner. Our reaction must be one that reflects our love for Jesus Christ.
Either the Gospel is divine inspiration, the Word of God teaching us how to live and how to act, or it’s nothing more than a historical account of events.