Too Much Information
April 5, 2019 | by: Shea Oakley | 0 Comments
Posted in: Follow Up From Sermons
I had to laugh when Pastor Chris advised us last Sunday to “pray for the mind of Christ and then Google.” (Italics mine).
A couple of months ago I was dealing with a health issue and he asked how I was doing. I said fine, but indicated I wanted to check out a couple of my symptoms on a Google search. His response was something to the effect of “oh, man, are you sure you want to do that?” His concern, of course, was that after checking out a couple of more alarmist websites I would decide I had approximately a week to live!
It is truly a good idea to pray for wisdom from God before looking for any important information on the Internet. Why? Because we are suffering from information overload in this culture to an extent never before equaled in the history of the human race, and far too much of that information doesn’t line up with scriptural truth (or even, for that matter, common sense).
This is particularly important to understand when what we are looking for on line, or in any other kind of our constantly proliferating media, is truth by which to live.
What has happened to the 21st Century American is sensory overload, or as the old band “The Police” used to sing: “Too Much Information.” This is as true for Christ-followers as it is for the general population. At one time the average believer got much of their guidance for the believing life from the Bible, from a Godly pastor, and from other teachers in the church. Christians learned the basics of orthodoxy and Christian living from these primary sources and lived out what they learned from those sources. Now we have to pick through innumerable voices, all of which sound like they have equally valid truth claims. This is a problem even for intelligent, seemingly seasoned, believers who have been in the faith for quite some time. It certainly has been a problem from time to time for me.
These days everyone with an opinion has a voice, an electronic soapbox on which they can stand and pontificate on any subject, including spirituality. This poses a danger to individual believers and to the Church as a whole because far too many of us do not do what Chris wisely advised us to do: put on the mind of Christ before stepping into the stream of voices out in the “virtual world”.
I suspect our pastor would go beyond this to advise us that “putting on the mind of Christ” means being in his Word as the primary source of our information about God, asking for the Spirit to help us truly understand what the that Word is speaking to us, and checking that against fellow believers who we’ve observed long enough to see the fruits of the Spirit of Christ apparent in their everyday lives.
This approach is the best solution to the “TMI Problem” and it is one that is absolutely vital for us to apply in this time and place in history if we are to stay on the narrow road of right belief of which the Bible speaks.