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Has the Truth Been Photoshopped?

_DSC3665-EditThere is a word in the world today that has become synonymous with deception, illusion, and fantasy, the word is “photoshopped.”

The Urban Dictionary

def.:

1 photoshopped

1: Used to describe something that is fake. Can be a person, thing or act.
2: An image that has literally been drawn or edited with the program Adobe Photoshop

It is not unusual to hear someone ask about a picture, “Has that been photoshopped? Good photographers and illustrators know how to trick the mind into believing something that is not true, and do it in such a way that we are left feeling satisfied that we have perceived something correctly and that our veraciousness has not been assaulted.

The whole idea of marketing is built on nothing less than “perception;” after all, if we believe something to be true doesn’t that make it true? Well, that is certainly the truth in today’s world! But, truth and perception are incongruent, they cannot be used together, unless, of course, we have been deceived. If you say something is white, and I say it is black, we may both be wrong or one of us right and the other wrong, but we cannot both be right.

I saw a picture the other day of an actor in some movie and I looked at his picture which was set up in what is called in photographic parlance a, short lighting scheme, which resulted in this person having strong facial contours with dramatic effects emphasizing highlights and deep shadows, and I wondered if he really looked like that in-person.

Light is everything in photography; there has never been a photograph where “light” has not been the key factor. Light used in the right way can reveal truth; used in a different or wrong way can deceive and trick.

I had some time on my hands the other day so I wanted to do a self-portrait. I’m 65 years old so I have a few wrinkles and look a little weathered and I wondered what the light would do for me. I wanted to manipulate the appearance to project a tough but gentle look of one who has a history of overcoming a life filled with hard times. I set the stage and set the light, and took the picture; actually I took about twenty pictures till I got one that was close to what I wanted. After looking at the file I knew it needed something more; it needed to be “photoshopped.” I thinned the face and burnt in the wrinkles to make them stand out; I cropped the forehead and chin slightly and tilted the head a little to the right. Then I brightened the catchlights in the eyes and dodged the whiskers to lighten them, and last of all I ditched the color. After finishing the picture I stood back and examined it. I asked myself, “Is this who I am?” The answer to that question is “NO,” this is not who I am; it is all perception; the truth had been “photoshopped” out of the picture and the imposture remained.

Why am I saying all of this? What is my point? My point is that not only is the light everything in photography, it is everything in Christianity. We have been deceived and we have only a perceived idea of truth today, a truth that has been photoshopped. The Light has been manipulated to make it appear to be something it is not.

“Today not only in philosophy but in politics, government, and individual morality, our generation sees solutions in terms of synthesis and not absolutes. When this happens, truth, as people have always thought of truth, has died.” ~ Francis Schaeffer

Someone who understands Adobe Photoshop can many times pick out the tale-tale signs of a fake, and if you look closely at the picture above the signs are there; that picture is not who I am; it is a trick, a scam, a deception, it is a fraud perpetrated to try and control how you understand a thing, how you feel, and to elicit a certain kind of reaction.

Am I alone in this deceit? NO! the whole world is in on the scam, mostly unconscientiously, but it is true nonetheless. Why do you dress the way you do? Why do you wear that certain kind of perfume? Why do you drive an expensive car when a cheaper one would accomplish the goal of transportation? Why do we do most of the things we do? Aren’t we trying to get a certain kind of reaction. Because we do this in our life as a seemingly natural thing we conclude that we can do it with our approach to The Word of God. It is natural to want to force pure truth to conform to our perception of the truth.

There are many amateurs who use Photoshop with the results that their work looks, well, “photoshopped;” but there are others whose talent is nearly imperceptible and their deception hid under layers of, what they call, non-destructive adjustments. But, those same people will readily tell you that that is not exactly true. Every time and adjustment is made to the file there is damage done, maybe less than that of the amateur, but still some damage is done. Of course the longer one has used such methods the more proficient they become, and then they become teachers of the less skilled. After many years truth becomes only a relative term. Truth becomes perceived truth, generational truth, cultural truth, but not THE truth. Perceived truth is only another word for a lie, said in such a way as to not impinge upon a fragile modern day conscience.

Take two thousand years of truth, with the effects of photoshopping showing up from the very beginning, and project it into the twenty-first century and what do you think it would look like? The effect would be that truth would have become the exact opposite of what it originally meant. We know that is the case because we have the original negative and we can look at it and see the difference; and it is nowhere close. The truth has become a lie, just as Christ predicted it would. It is easy to see and it is easy to solve, if we will just believe the author of the original picture, that it does not represent His view point. This picture of me is a lie, it is not me, and how do I know, because I was there when it happened; the person behind the picture say so.

Some people will look at my picture and say it looks like me; my own sister said she could see my father in the picture, if only I would smile a little. Don’t you see? That is the power of deception; there is a similarity, enough to make the deception work. No one would believe the trick if I put up a picture of someone else. The whole idea of the ruse is to fly under the radar of detection.

Two thousand years of minor manipulations have finally presented us with a Christ who ends up being more like the Devil than the Son of God. How can that be? Photoshop my friend; the truth has been photoshopped by none other than the one who is the adversary of the Truth, and we have been deceived.

The only way to know if the picture of me really represents who I am is to really know me personally. Anyone who knows me will see that I have fabricated an illusion to force people to view me in a certain way, or they will think I have fallen ill.

If we are to discover the truth about Christ we must decide to know the truth and to accept the true testimony of the Man Himself. The problem is that we have been trained for many, many, years to look straight past what Christ says and let our eyes and ears land on the photoshopped version of truth, and discount Christ’s truthful words for a man or a commentary explaining what Christ meant. Scripture repeatedly declares, over a hundred times, that the things that are written, were written, so we would know the truth.

Matthew 9:6-8 – But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.

Psalm 43:3 Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!

Matthew 22:16 And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances.

John 8:31-32 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 17:8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. (Jesus speaking)

Psalm 15:1-2 O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart;

2 Corinthians 4:4  In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Nothing photoshopped, no man, no commentary, only the original, unadulterated words of Truth. Believe them.

Steve Blackwell

7 replies on “Has the Truth Been Photoshopped?”

I thank you so much for this article, now I don’t feel so alone. I can’t believe how few people want the truth. It breaks my heart, some time I wonder why I bother. Out of all the people I have ever offered the truth to I have had only had one young fellow receive it. Some times I get discouraged, but God showed me all seeds planted will grow, it just takes time. God gave me a poem similar to your poem, I will try to find it and share it.
I was very discouraged this passed weekend after my e-mail to the church board was rejected as non-sense. Sunday morning God gave me the verse come out from among them. I typed it into Google and found you. You lifted my spirits and I was recharged and able to go back and face those people with love, God has also shown me that it is time to move on, my work here is done.

God Bless you!!

Norma Jean

Norma,

Thanks for your response. I know the pain you feel as do many others who are struggling to produce fruit in this dry and barren land. Be assured you are not alone. Our job is to remain faithful; it is the Spirit’s job to produce the fruit.

The world of institutional Christianity has convinced its followers that it is their job to grow the Church, Church planting is not a Biblical concept, it is simple worldly marketing to produce numbers, but nowhere in Scripture is the idea promoted. We are to spread the seed of the Good News and the Lord gives the increase, as He sees fit. We have been taught to read into the words of the Scriptures many, many, things that simply are not there. As Paul warns us in Colossians, “Watch and pray that you be not deceived.” Honestly, we do not watch and pray, but rather accept wholesale anything that comes from the pulpit. We must read the New Testament and pray like Paul says that we would receive the Spirit of knowledge and understanding and revelation in His word. Our earnestness will be acknowledged by our Lord and He will, as He promised, give us light in this darkness.

Your letter in a great encouragement to me; sometimes I wonder if I am reaching anyone. I see where my stats show that many people visit IndyWatchman, but few ever respond. What I write has little appeal to those stuck in commercial Christianity, but to those who desire truth above all things it is a breath of fresh air. When I first discovered the true light I felt I could walk on water; the weight of commercialism fell away and I was free; that was about nine years ago, and I have never regretted a day of it.

I experienced the same rejection from the Church leaders as you have, after a few unproductive sessions where I posed some difficult question to them, which culminated in an open letter to the whole body of believers. It was a bold move but a few were challenged to investigate and came away from the organization. That once conservative Church is now heavily in to mystical new age stuff and leaning toward Rome.

God has assigned us to fight for the truth and to look at those people as a mission field; they are precious to Him, and we mustn’t be offended when they respond negatively to our efforts; we are “Christ” to them, so we must suffer their rebukes with humility and love. Study the Sermon on the Mount and understand what Jesus is saying apart from any commentary; I think you will be surprised how much you have missed, I was.

Thanks again for your letter. Feel free to read, download, and distribute any articles you wish, and may the Lord bless you and your family,

Steve Blackwell

Steve,
Good story. And, yes, I rest in the promise that Jesus made to build His church. I am also reminded of the warning in 2 Thessalonians 2 that those who do not receive a love of the truth are deceived by the coming of the lawless one.

Steve,
Have you ever read the book “Amusing Ourselves to Death” by Neil Postman? Even as an unbeliever (as far as I know) he makes a case for how the medium (in 1970, TV) inevitably affects the message and that TV alters our perception of reality (interesting in light of what the seeker-friendly and emergent proponents claim about how the method does not affect the message). Postman also argues that the written word has distinct advantages over visual media in communicating the truth. Anyway, in today’s “photoshop” world, one wonders if truth can survive?
David

David,

No I have not read that book, but it sounds interesting. I remember as a child, sitting in our small hallway, listening with my brother and sisters, radio programs, and my mind would manufacture the scenes in my head that were being verbally portrayed. A few years later when we bought a TV I didn’t have to use my mind any more to imagine a scene, everything was done for me, all I had to do was to relax and accept this virtual reality. That is the power of words and pictures, they very easily distort the truth.

Truth has never had many followers and at times it does make us wonder if it can survive, but it has, and it will. Somehow truth will even prevail against the horrible odds of the twenty-first century, but Christ will pull it off as He has promised.

Steve B.

This article is so true. Almost everything about Christianity in the present world has been photoshopped. Religious leaders of all denominations make grand pronouncements that speak of the Gospel message but have changed the truth so much that it does not in any way reflect what the true Gospel message is. It’s all about maintaining the religious hierarchy and legalism the Jesus actually spoke against very clearly which eventually cost Him his life. When the Pope is lauded by a magazine like Time, everyone is so impressed. To me it shows that the Catholic Church has finally compromised so much that a worldly publication praises him- it has really gone over to the dark side. As your article states, there are little naunces of truth photoshopped into Jesus’ message, but actually very little or nothing of what He really came to teach us. We need to pray hard and speak up against this false teaching.

Hi Mary,

If a person would deliberately read Scripture with the earnest intent to discover truth instead of reading the Bible as a devotional, or only some plan to complete a certain amount in a set time frame, then maybe the Spirit would speak to them. It is very disturbing to see what Christianity has come to. When I wrote the poem, “I Saw Death,” that death kept pressing itself on me as the last pulsating beats of a dying Church; a cold and dying thing, not warm, alive, and vibrant, but dead and disturbing. Winter time is a good time to take inventory and to consider our plight. There is only one answer for the Christian, and it is the Spring time of truth. We must endure till our Spring time comes.

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