“I Read It On The Internet”
By: Brian A. Yeager
There is a commercial on television advertising for State Farm Insurance. The commercial has a conversation between two people wherein a naïve woman says: “they cannot put anything on the Internet that is not true” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmx4twCK3_I). The commercial is advertising a product and State Farm certainly has an agenda in putting that commercial on television. However, there is something to think about in that commercial.
A lot of people think that if something is in print that it must be true. Such is not just how people look at the Internet. People also look at books, pamphlets, television, newspapers, etc. the same way. Did you know that you could purchase a website for $4.95 (or less at times) and call it whatever you want? You could start a website called www.medicalfacts.com. You could write anything you want on that website. You could post studies that you make up all in your mind. You could call yourself a doctor. You could say that one can lose weight by standing on his or her head while drinking chocolate milk. You could say that 1500 people completed a study and 1300 of them got healthy. Some people would believe it and try it.
Right now, as I write this article, there is infomercial on television advertising a way to stop arthritis pain “naturally”. People see “naturally” and they think they need to try this natural solution to a health problem. Human dung is natural. Dog dung is natural, should you eat it because a doctor says it is an anti-inflammatory? Actually, you could even twist the point of a Scripture and argue that eating dung and drinking piss are Scriptural (Isaiah 36:12). Tobacco is natural, but “doctors” say it causes cancer. They speak out of both sides of their mouths. Truly, the wisdom of this world is foolishness (I Corinthians 3:19).
There is also an infomercial on right now advertising how to make millions selling real estate with little investments in time and money. The Scriptures warn us about wealth gotten by vanity (Proverbs 13:11) and working just to get rich (Proverbs 23:4). Yet, “get rich quick” schemes have trapped supposed Christians. What we all need to realize and/or remember is, information we receive is only as good as the source that gives that information.
Information Is Only As Good As Its Source
As Christians, we know that we must be honest (Ephesians 4:25). We know that we are to provide things honest in the sight of all men (Romans 12:17). We understand that eternal damnation is the consequence for lying (Revelation 21:8). We hold on to truth (Proverbs 3:3). We value truth (Proverbs 23:23). What we can easily forget is that the world, in rejection of God, does not share our love for truth (Jeremiah 9:1-6 and Hosea 4:1).
We live in a world full of wickedness (I John 5:19). That means your doctor, grocery store clerk, boss, favorite reporter, neighbor, relatives, etc. (providing these are not faithful Christians); are children of the devil (I John 3:8-10). Satan (and his children) is known to be dishonest (John 8:44). Think about that for a moment. What does that mean about the creditability of the sources you might often look to? Sure, there may be some truth in those sources, but there are also agendas. There are agendas even when there is nothing to obviously be gained from those agendas.
When we look to anyone of the world for information, we are looking to people who have made the stupidest decision anyone could make – disobeying God (cf. Galatians 3:1). Yet, if we don’t think it through, we find ourselves trusting in those people. WHY? What sense does that make? What sense does it make to trust a source that denies the very God you serve? The information we gain from those of the world may at times be spot on, but we’d be naïve to think it is always right.
Don’t Be Naïve
The word of God shows us that naïve [simple] people believe everything they hear (Proverbs 14:15; cf. Romans 16:17-18). The end of being a naïve person is not good (Proverbs 22:3 and Proverbs 27:12). God does not want us to be naïve (Proverbs 8:5). If you or I choose to be naïve, we will inherit folly (Proverbs 14:18). As sincere Bible students, we should be fully aware of the fact that people often appear one way outwardly, but inwardly they are not as they seem to be (Matthew 7:15-20 and Matthew 23:25-28).
Lest we get too trusting of people, consider the following Scriptures: “Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts… For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword… Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross. He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him; When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart. Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation. Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him. A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin… Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (Psalms 28:3, Proverbs 5:3-4, Proverbs 26:23-28, and I John 4:1).
Understand that we live in a world of misinformation. As technology advances and communication becomes easier, that world of misinformation is only going to grow. There may be times wherein you or I may feel as though all men are liars because of the frustrations we will see in this world of dishonesty (Psalms 116:9-11). What we cannot do is close our eyes to the reality that we live in the devil’s world of deception (II Corinthians 4:3-4). Remember, the world is full of people who do not fear God. They are full of self-flattery and work mischief even upon their beds (Psalms 36:1-4). They are deceived and that in turn spreads (II Timothy 3:13). Be wise with what this world tells you!
Volume 13 – Issue 32 - April 28th, 2013