Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fact versus reality

"I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” -Martin Luther King Jr

This is a quote that came out on facebook just after the news of bin Laden´s death was annouced world wide.  As this quote started circulating around the virtual world, it was received by many with ¨way to go¨, ¨touching statement¨, ¨too true¨, etc. etc., etc. I think many people whole heartedly agreed with what Martin Luther King Jr. said since he, an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader, is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world. He is most remembered for using nonviolent methods in seeking liberty of all people and is often presented as a heroic leader in the history of modern American liberalism. The only problem with this quote, however, is only part of it is from Martin Luther King. A girl named Jessica Dovey commented on what happened to bin Laden and followed it with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. Over time, as it was quickly posted and reposted, quotation marks were removed and left as stated. In truth it should read: "I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy." Jessica Dovey... "Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

Here is another example to consider. This picture was also posted on facebook immediately after the Royal Wedding with many compliments like "Too funny, I bet the wedding couple didn't even know!" and "I wonder if the sisters planned it after the movie", or "Wow!! They really look the same!!" 

But in reality, this photo is also doctored. With a little research, it should look like this:

In both instances, with the quote and the picture, people were commenting as if what they were reading and seeing were truth. They were taking whatever they saw and attributing as reality. But the fact is, they were commenting on only elements of the truth.

Who said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand"? Many would say Abraham Lincoln, which is true, and in one of his most famous speeches, but the actual author of the quote is Jesus Christ (Matthew 12:25 and Mark 3:25) Or thinking that some where in the Bible it is written "God helps those who help themselves". It's not there!! (Not even in the Message!!!! And I did double check, just to make sure even this fact was straight.)

How often do we do this? We misquote all the time believing it as truth. We let others tell us things and believe them without checking them out for ourselves. How often are our eyes deceived by false images and our ears fooled by what others say?!? Just this past week we all saw how one man told the nations that the end of the world and judgment day would come about on May 21, 2011. Many, many people were completely conviced by "Biblical proof" that the end was nigh. And yet how many actually checked what the scriptures said for themselves? How many took what one man said and compared it to the actual Word? The same Word that says the following (this is the entire chapter of Matthew 24 taken from

Matthew 24

The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times
 1 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
 3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
 4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
   9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
   15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
   22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.
   26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
   29 “Immediately after the distress of those days
   “‘the sun will be darkened,
   and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
   and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’[b]
   30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth[c] will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.[d] 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
   32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it[e] is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
The Day and Hour Unknown
    36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
   42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
   45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The point is, as a nation, as individuals, we need to wake up, to start asking again. In college, we were taught to research EVERYTHING (to the point of nausea at times), and then to quote our resources. We were taught to question, to research, and to learn. To struggle with ideas and theories. To accept some and reject others. But we often forget that when we get back into the "real world". I challenge you, and myself included, to start researching again. To start asking questions. When people "quote" other sources or give us "facts", instead of blindly accepting them, research them. Now a days it can be as quick as a google search. There are so many resources out there, it's pure laziness not to.

I pray that even as you read this, God will put a hunger in you for the truth. I pray that your hunger for truth will keep you from being deceived by the simple distractions of this world. I pray that you will know the truth and the truth will set you free and you will be free indeed.

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