Pilate’s question to Jesus, “What is truth?” never seems to lose its relevance.
Yesterday I caught a story on NPR about something called “Deepfake” Technology. Basically, this is technology that allows for the digital manipulation of videos in order to make people appear to say something that they never said. The story reported that this kind of technology is coming. In fact, its practically here already.
This really is not too surprising. Last year a manipulated video went viral on social media that had been slowed down to make House Speaker Nancy Pelosi look drunk.
Similar tech has long been available for still images via software such as Adobe’s Photoshop. Just yesterday a US congressman tweeted a doctored picture of President Obama and Iranian leader Rouhani that had clearly been manipulated.
All of this concerns me because Evangelical Christians sometimes appear especially eager to share these kinds of photos and videos on social media as evidence of the corruptness of their political opponents but without giving attention to whether or not these things are true.
This is a strange thing indeed for those who follow the One who declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”(John 14:6).
I am reminded in all of this, that for believers, truth cannot be that which is convenient, or comfortable, or likeable, or serves our purpose.
Truth cannot be whatever we want it to be and the church must be vigilant about seeking the truth, speaking the truth, cultivating the truth, and sharing the truth. We do not have the luxury to be lazy when it comes to the truth.
Because our whole movement, the very raison d’ etre of the church depends on our effectiveness in proclaiming the truth of Christ’s death and resurrection. And when we become lazy about truth in other areas of life, whether it be politics or entertainment or whatever, we loose the right to be heard on the most important truth of all–the truth about who Jesus is and what He calls us to.
We as followers of Jesus cannot just shrug off facts when they become inconvenient. We should in fact be more concerned about truth than anyone.
And perhaps the best way to avoid sharing doctored photos and videos, is simply to not share them at all. Ever.
After all, why risk sharing fake bad news, when you can always share very real Good News?