A dear uncle sent us a package full of newspaper articles and magazines. They were either about nature or religion. While flipping through a Focus on the Family, I saw a blonde woman in front of a computer with a heading “Gullible’s Travels”.
I was shocked. Was Focus on the Family following D’ma? http://gulliblestravelsdma.wordpress.com/ Were they going to appreciate her wisdom or find a way to vilify this beautiful and strong woman? Of course, the woman in the picture looked much older than D’ma.
To my delight, the article was about fact-checking and how to verify urban legends. Some of the stories in the article were so ridiculous, they could only be rivaled by magic god-men floating above water and sending fire from the sky.
My favourite was the one about a hole drilled in Siberia that went so deep people could hear screams from the souls in hell. This supposedly sparked a revival in Russia. I couldn’t believe that educated adult Christians could believe this. But it reminded me of the email that was sent when I was in high school about a mountain climber who fell 100 m and was about to crash into the ground and die when his rope snagged on a rock and stopped his fall a few feet from the ground. The friend who sent this prided himself on his superior intelligence. I told him this couldn’t possibly be true unless the rope was really a bungee cord that had started breaking his fall much before the ground. My friend told me he was well aware that this was impossible, even if we only had grade 11 physics, but that this story would inspire faith and no one would take it as fact.
Perhaps the people who passed on the Siberian hole into hell story did not believe it either, but thought the story of revival would inspire people. The author from Focus says “As we damage our credibility, so do we damage our ability to witness to the ultimate truth of the gospel.” When truth is secondary to faith, credibility is already damaged.
I hope he inspires people to fact-check other inspired truths as well.