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Dion Goh• Timely Word •

How Deep(fake) is your Commitment? 

By 29 October 2022No Comments

Deepfake videos (or simply, deepfakes) are artificially created media posing as actual video recordings. A commonly seen example involves the face of a person in a video being swapped by someone else who is originally not in it. Many are produced for nefarious purposes such as pornography and the spread of misinformation. Imagine a video of a church pastor spewing hate speech when he actually did no such thing. Instead, someone else acted in the video and then AI algorithms were used to swap in the pastor’s face. Put differently, deepfakes are a form of fabricated reality accomplished via a thin veneer of pixels.

Like deepfakes, the Bible recounts numerous examples of purported followers of Christ with antithetical underlying realities. John 6:66 tells us, “As a result of this many of His disciples left, and would no longer walk with Him.” These disciples refer not to the twelve apostles but Jesus’ other followers or students, those listening to His teachings. Many of these people likely witnessed and feasted on the miracle of the five  loaves and two fish the previous day (John 6:1-14), but    could not stomach the spiritual truths taught to them subsequently. Here, Jesus referred to himself as “… the bread of life; he one who comes to Me will not be hungry, and the one who believes in Me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).

Jesus was asking his followers for total belief and commitment to Him so that they would have eternal life. This call to commitment was too much for some. These people wanted Jesus for what they thought He could give (John 6:26-27) and not for what He actually came to give. Their commitment faltered and they turned away.

As God’s children, we are called to be committed to Him. It is something required, not optional. Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment” (Matt 22:37-38). Likewise, Paul appeals to us in Romans 12:1, ”…to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.“ Total commitment to Christ may sound daunting, but in 2 Cor 5:14, Paul offers a different perspective, “For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died.” Jesus’ love was so motivating that he cannot help but to remain committed to Him and to the preaching the Word.

Just as real videos have characteristics that enable  them to be distinguished from deepfakes, committed Christians have a distinct set of traits. First, a personal relationship with God. As in human relationships, communication is key, through prayer, the reading of His Word, and worship. Second, committed Christians perform God’s work wherever they are, fulfilling the Great Commission whether through local or global missions, at home, at play, or at the workplace. Third, committed Christians understand and have counted the cost of following God. This means making sacrifices for His sake, surrendering fully to God, and putting His will first and foremost. Finally, committed Christians put their trust in God. They understand their inadequacies and the challenges of making a difference in this sinful world. They rely not on their own strength or wisdom but in Him who is called “Faithful and True” (Rev 19:11).

by brother Dion Goh