If you ever have spent any time on the internet you have seen them. The ads pose as news that have some shocking statement or breaking story that promises more information is just a click away, then you click and well it isn't quite what you expected it to be. This form of advertising is known as clickbait. The way it works is the ad provides just enough information to make the reader curious, but not enough to satisfy their curiosity without clicking through to the linked content. The content is usually isn’t very good or accurate, but that is not the point. The goal isn't to inform you but to drive you to the site and increase advertising revenue. They aren't meant to provide you content or real information just garner your attention.
Clickbait may be a relative new phenomena but the concept is as old as the hills. False religion has been using it for thousands of years. Promise all you have to do is sacrifice to this idol and all your wildest dream will come true. Lots of promises but little payoff. The goal isn't to improve your life but for the person to gain attention and hopefully some of your money. The sad thing is with both clickbait and false religion is we know better but we keep falling for it. We've seen the scam before yet we fall for it again and again.
Even worse is now I see some in the Lord’s church doing the same gimmicks. Rather than promote truth, they live to shock and gain attention. They dance on every controversial line in order to be “relevant”. Study of the Scripture is set aside for dealing with the topics of the day. Pet doctrines and hobbies are more important than encouraging faithfulness. The concern isn't in promoting Christ but promoting self. Your attention is more important them than you are.
They dealt with this in the first century as well. As Paul wrote to Timothy in 1st Timothy 1:3-6;
As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion,
Sometimes the worse thing we can do to these false teachers is give them our attention, because that is all they really want. I sure Satan loves it when we do, because it goes nowhere and give us less time to focus on what we really need to be doing. As we are trying to solve problem down the road we forget to be looking where we are stepping right in front of us. Just like the wrong click on the net can drag you into a timewaste, chasing after the “shock jock” in religion can pull you away from true service in Christ.
Don't fall for the bait.