Too Good to Be True?

Everyone loves a survivor story.  Especially when it involves a family pet.  Thanks to the internet, everyone knows Bobi, the Portuguese mastiff, who had comfortably clinched the title of the oldest dog ever by the time he died last October at the apparent age of 31. According to the story, he was born as one of four male pups, in an outbuilding where the Costa family stored wood. “I was eight years old,” said Leonel Costa, now aged 38. The family had many dogs and could not keep any more, due to the number of animals they already owned. The family thought they had removed all the new puppies, but left one behind. Leonel and his young brother found “Bobi” and kept him a secret from their parents. Upon discovering him, the family had no choice but to allow him to stay.  Bobi was a reject, that was saved by two young brothers.  A true heart-warming story of a runt that survived to be the oldest dog on record.  Guinness World Records was given the story and evidence that Bobi (b. 11 May 1992) was not just the oldest dog living; he’s the oldest dog ever. Bobi was 30 years 266 days old as of 1 February 2023. He has lived his entire life with the Costa family in the rural village of Conqueiros, in Leiria, Portugal. He died in October 21, 2023.

As a celebrity, the world mourned Bobi’s death.  Guinness honored his life and news outlets made him famous.  Now Bobi is back in the headlines. Shortly after Bobi’s death, experts started raising questions about his advanced years. “Not a single one of my veterinary colleagues believe Bobi was actually 31 years old,” veterinarian Danny Chambers told The Guardian. “For the Guinness Book of Records to maintain their credibility and authority in the eyes of the veterinary profession, they really need to publish some irrefutable evidence.” After reading The Guardian article, Matt Reynolds, a senior writer at WIRED, did a deep dive investigation into the potential fraud.  What he discovered was a conspiracy at the highest levels of Guinness and the pet food industry.  His conclusion: So this is where we’re at: The government authority in Portugal that was supposed to have verified Bobbi’s age has no data about the dog’s birth date. Guinness World Records is staying tight-lipped until its investigation is complete. Dog-aging experts aren’t totally convinced that we have enough evidence to verify Bobi’s age. Other people think, with no evidence, that it might all be a ruse by the pet food industry to shift more cans of Purina. The one person who could clear all this up—Bobi’s owner—is not responding to my messages.
Is this where we have arrived in our world? If Reynolds findings are true, people are willing to lie about the age of a dog for a Guinness title? Guinness is willing to continue the lie for sake of their reputation and the pet food industry disputes Bobi’s age because they want to sell more dog food? (If you didn’t read the article, Bobi was raised on human food).  I cannot help but tie this human behavior to what we are warned about in Scripture.

In Romans 1:25 (They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.) Paul explains how people will believe what they want to believe.  If they don’t want to believe in God, they will ignore all the evidence around them. They get together and agree that they are correct and the evidence can be ignored. Media personality Neil deGrasse Tyson has admitted this on several occasion. His message: We must believe the credentialed group, because of their expertise, over the evidence that the common person can observe.
These “experts” don’t stop at science, they believe their credentials make them experts in all areas of life. Thanks to the rise of social media and the access to information, we have developed into a society of individuals that demands attention for their thoughts.  They are fixed on being accepted and celebrated for all their opinions. They want to be credited as being right no matter what the evidence shows and they want to be important!  Look no further than former Harvard President Claudine Gay's short, scandal-plagued tenure.  In her arrogance, she was publicly humiliated and outed as a fraud. She cheated her way to the top and when she was exposed, blamed racism as the reason for her departure. However, the facts don’t lie. It was in October of 2023 that the New York Post begin asking Harvard about Gay’s plagiarism. It wasn’t until December of 2023 that she appeared before Congress to defend how they handled antisemitism on campus. It was the facts, not her race that led to her departure.

Paul warns an older Timothy to have nothing to do with foolish and stupid arguments.  Yes, he is specifically warning him about internal, Church debates.  However, these current events and social climate are having an impact on how we as Christians engage our communities.  If we are to be salt and light, we must be aware of these things and educate ourselves on how to respond.  When we are correct, stand by the facts.  When we are wrong, admit it and learn. In the face of overwhelming evidence, if people will defend a lie about the age of a dog to protect their reputation and to sale more product, what else are we capable of doing?  Study the history of mankind as recorded in the Scriptures.  God gives us the pattern of where we are headed, if we don’t correct our direction.
Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:23-26  
Serving the Savior,
Bro. Jonathan  

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