Recently, at an online social media site, I saw a photo of a man, gruesomely disfigured, with the statement:
“Stop! Don’t just ignore this! Pray for this man, and Share (1 Share equals 100 prayers).”
Various people had written prayers underneath until one person commented,
“This photo is a screen shot from an action movie.”
By golly, he was right. My first thought was,
“I’m glad I didn’t fall for this,”
and my second thought was,
“How much of this stuff goes on?”
In answer to the second question, I’d say, a lot — photo manipulation software and video editing programs are no longer the province of highly experienced, skillful graphic designers, and just about anybody with determination and a warped sense of ethics can create photos — and videos — that look like real life, but aren’t.
What we see isn’t necessarily what we get — but it never has been. Throughout history, humans have used what technology is at their fingertips to change people’s perception of reality, and frequently it takes no more than an unsubstantiated rumor: “The bad guys are coming! I heard it at the watering well! Run!”
So there are people out there whose primary goal is to fool others into thinking a certain way, and these people are very very good at what they do. If they weren’t, then why hire them?
As Christians, we walk in the light of Christ’s truth, wisdom, and guidance, but in order to keep from stumbling, we have to stay in that light, as opposed to taking a detour into the world of men — its media, its politics, its education system, its scientific pronouncements — and accepting everything we’re told, unquestioningly, as truth.
This includes what we are told in the religious arena — perhaps the most important area, because who we are spiritually defines essentially who and what we are.