Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Is it True...?

We all get the emails. They're usually forwards from people we know, and are heart wrenching. They cause outrage and call for sending it on to everyone in our cyber sphere. Sometimes they promise blessings if we do, or bad luck if we don't.

But what if the stories of courage and faith aren't true? Does it matter? If it builds our faith and makes us *feel* good about being a Christian, isn't that enough?

I think Truth should speak for itself. When I get these forwards, Nialle always suggests looking them up on the Snopes site, (see link) to see if they are fact or fluff.

I agree. God doesn't need lies or exaggerations to get his point across.


Kathleen said...

I definitely agree with you and Nialle, Arlene. And I usually just delete emails that say, "FWD: Fwd: fwd" anyway, right off the bat.

Karyn/Mom said...

I disagree. God is not limited to facts in order to communicate truth. He has reached many people through fiction which leads to truth. Jesus himself taught mostly through fiction - some of it a little "far-fetched", at that. If I receive a forward in my email box that makes me reach out more to God, that inspires me to increase my faith, what does it matter if it is actually factual?

Karyn/Mom said...

P.S. most forwards are not worth reading and the threats or promises at the end are all trash, but there are jewels (factual or not) amongst the dross - I find that a quick skim of the first few lines gives me a good idea if it is worth perusing or not.

arlene said...

Karyn, you make a good point. are one of a few logical thinkers I know who reasons and thinks things through before you let your feelings take over.
And you're right about Jesus' teachings! He did use *fiction*, parables, to create pictures in peoples minds that they could relate to, and therefore receive His message.

My problem is with stories that encourage people to make decisions and draw conclusions out of fear or false premise.
If I am led to believe something because of an emotional response I had to a supposed true incident, and it turns out it was a lie, there is a loss of credibility and a growing tendency toward cynicism.

There are jewels out there, that is true. I appreciate those who share the jewels with a caveat..."no proof is available, but this makes me feel kinder and more full of awe". (You do that when you share stories!)

I called you tonight and Dan told me you were off on your trip...good for you!!! He told me to catch up with you on your blog...but then I checked my emails and here you are.

Hope you're having a wonderful trip!!

Karyn/Mom said...

it is true that cynisism is on the rise - and for good reason, if you think about it. I, for one, am very cynical. I believe NOTHING I get from the internet unless it can be verified. Most people I know do not believe the forwards they get - but then most people I know are my kids and you - people who think. Maybe I am a little niave to think that most people don't fall for the stuff that circulates. But then, I need to think how many times someone has forwarded me the letter saying that so and so's daughter is missing and here is her picture and could you please pray (or send money) so that she will be found. Amazing that they would still be sending out the same email for the missing child years later. I guess I give people too much credit.