The first thing that came to mind for me was this:
Revelation 13:5 New International Version (NIV)
5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months.
I can’t say WHY, exactly. I myself have not experienced this VR thing. My son has though, and he talks about how it makes everything so “real”. The best VR anyway. (Apparently some were not done as well as others.)
I know from playing World of Warcraft some years before I was saved and those years were many, how easy it was to get lost in that world and to take things “personally” (as the admins called it) then to be taunted for having done so.
My question to them was always “Is it not a real human being playing a character who has said or done these things?” They wanted to just laugh it off as though it were nothing and even the best admins were only counselors who said “Oh, you poor dear” and would have handed out kleenex if they could have within the gaming world.
I learned to turn off everything: chat, dueling, etc. I learned to treat all players as though they were Non Playing Characters (a.k.a. NPCs) meaning characters made up and given robotic roles within the game such as merchants and quest givers. This does not promote “good will toward men”. And it certainly put me in a position of doing what God calls “despising” my fellow man. To God, if you dismiss any bearer of the image of God, you “despise” or hate that person. This was not good, as I think you can see. Though this was not VR, I know that I was not the only person who experienced this sort of frustration and eventual decision to shut other people out. We have not yet gotten to the point of truly realizing that we are responsible for what we do on-line as we are in the real world. We still think we can lie and get away with it, treat others bad and get away with it, and the worst thievery that is done world wide is now through cyberspace. Knowing the heart of humans (including mine) are desperately wicked according to God, I don’t see that this will improve much. It will mostly get worse.
We have now advanced far enough in video to fake one another out. There are many deceitful photos that people circulate and they become viral before someone proves it a fake. There are even videos that do the same. We also are an overly entertained culture.
With all of this in mind, I think that is why I thought of that scripture.
What do I think about how manipulating reality will affect our faith?
Well, those who are truly saved are safe in God’s hands. However, even those can be tempted and led astray for a time.
The worst is all those who are not saved will see it as “spiritual messages from God”. Mainstream Christianity in America (health and wealth false teachings, word of faith false teachings, NAR, charismatic, etc.) are based virtually entirely on experiences. People become great defenders of their own experiences far more than defenders of the Truth in God’s Word.
Those people will fall under it’s spell and begin to claim religious experiences. I find it striking that this “offering” is being made. Like a temptation from the devil’s back pocket, folks. “Here” says the Tempter “I will give you Jesus!”
Whether or not my concern will ever have any sway is negligible. However, I know that God is sovereign, and if this is part of something He chooses to allow in order to bring about His Will in the world, it will happen and it will spread.
As for me, I stand by the Word of God. I need no “special experiences” to believe and this life is but a shadow compared to the Truth and Light and Justice to come.