Christians waste too much of each other’s time (ie the Lord’s time) carelessly circulating hoaxes. A hoax can usually be spotted by the fact that no hyperlink or reference is given to back it up. But don’t rely on gut feeling. It is so easy to check whether an email is a hoax by typing some of the key words into a search engine with the word ‘hoax’. If it is a hoax, up will come Snopes, Urban Legends, Hoax-Buster or one of the other sites.
The usual hoaxes are virus warnings, scare stories, too-good-to-be-trues, petitions about this and that - and feel-good stories. Circulating hoaxes, and false feel-good stories in particular, devalues and ridicules our faith in the eyes of the world. After all, are we not meant to be people of truth? Does not the Ninth Commandment say: ‘Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour’? Do not the Apostle Paul’s letters warn against tale-bearing, gossip and chasing after fables?
Our advice on possible viruses is: Don’t open attachments anyway, and get yourself a free virus scanner like AVG if you don’t want McAfee or Norton (and who does?)
By the way, when you forward, do not put all your contacts into the ‘To’ box. Don’t even put them into the Cc box. Click on Cc then put your contacts in Blind Carbon Copy (Bcc). That way, you do not broadcast all your contacts to everyone on your list.
But don’t forward hoaxes. They waste the Lord’s Kingdom time. As more come our way (groan) we shall add them to the list.
These are some of the more popular ones:
Churchilll’s father paid for Alexander Fleming’s education:
(the ‘Gay Jesus Play') is to be made into a film:
Charles Darwin recanted and converted on his death-bed:
That AFA Dobson petition on broadcasting:
Bill Gates is sharing his fortune:
General Motors issues caustic Press Release vs Bill Gates (but still amusing):
Billy Graham led a march down
It takes guts to say Jesus (It does, but the virus warning is a hoax):
The Lord Jesus kept buried Muslim girls alive:
Olympic Torch Invitation and Osama Bin Laden hanged viruses:
Pin Number Reversal
Valentine Virus (a hoax, but our advice, again, is: don’t open attachments!):
'Life is Beautiful' Virus (Just don't open attachments. Any of them, including apparent Power Point files, can carry viruses):
Julia Gillard / Kevin Rudd / John Howard has told Muslims to leave
(it was Peter Costello - in part)
Sniffing perfume leads to robbery http://www.snopes.com/crime/warnings/perfume.asp
450 Palestinians married child brides in