Expert Sources?

I wrote this several years ago, it’s been sitting on another site I use, I’ve shortened it and edited out some excess, but it’s very relevant to what we live around today. We need to keep ourselves accountable.

In this age of advanced technology and free access to the venue of the internet it is relatively easy to set up a free blog and draw followers. The rule of law in blog country seems to be “If you follow my blog, I’ll follow yours”. As a result, large numbers of followers can be gained by following many blogs of others. Many very gifted and aspiring writers now have a great and easily accessible venue by which they can share their talents with many. It is even possible to make a profit off of a blog post. Which would catapult one into a very respectable writing career. That’s wonderful, if you’re sharing truth. The kingdom is the pillar and ground of the truth. We can prosper using the free enterprise system of this great nation at it’s best to broadcast the goodness and justice of God. If we live circumspectly and honestly before God.

There are many voices and we must be aware that if there is not a firm foundation on the love and truth of Christ underpinning the counsel it is just noise. A close exploration will leave a discerning heart continually amazed at the volume of personal opinion being passed around and taken by many as respectable fact. The pressure to post something, to give our followers something interesting to read so that they will keep coming back is intense. And also, for many, the more we post, the greater the chance of greater income. Very often, the character of the writings take second place to the volume and the truth of the content. Sadly, but truly, the major content of some which are considered popular sources of information are heavy on gossip, innuendo, and outright lies. And many adopt the mindset of “Someone with a large following spoke this as truth, so I will pass it on as truth.”

A good example of what I am sharing is illustrated in the story below, from an anonymous e-mail I got recently….

It’s late fall and the Indians on a remote reservation in South Dakota asked their new chief if the coming winter was going to be cold or mild.

Since he was a chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets. When he looked at the sky, he couldn’t tell what the winter was going to be like.

Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he told his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect firewood to be prepared.

But, being a practical leader, after several days, he got an idea. He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked, ‘Is the coming winter going to be cold?’ It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold,’ the meteorologist at the weather service responded.

So the chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more firewood in order to be prepared.

A week later, he called the National Weather Service again. Does it still look like it is going to be a very cold winter?’ ‘Yes,’ the man at National Weather Service again replied, ‘it’s going to be a very cold winter.’ The chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of firewood they could find.

Two weeks later, the chief called the National Weather Service again. ‘Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?’ ‘Absolutely,’ the man replied. ‘It’s looking more and more like it is going to be one of the coldest winters we’ve ever seen.’ ‘How can you be so sure?’ the chief asked.

The weatherman replied, ‘The Indians are collecting firewood like crazy.”

Now, as I use this parable as an example, I do confess that is not literally true to life. We have very trustworthy weather bureaus who have labored many years to learn how to foresee what is ahead in weather by reading signs and interpreting patterns based on many years of statistics. The difference is that I have not tried to present this as a factual event that is really happening. It is an allegory, used with humor to show an example one can relate to. It does not malign either weathermen or Indian chiefs as men we should be wary of respecting. My point is that It is wise to present fables as fiction, not true facts.

So I challenge you, are your experts really expert? Is there any basis in fact to what you are writing, and offering as fact in the marketplace of ideas and opinions? Is what you are offering as kingdom counsel truth from the heart of God? Is it uplifting and educational, in truth, or is it simply to achieve personal success at the expense of truth? Do you labor to sow seeds of good which would serve to make one who reads it better off than before they came? We are gifted in many ways by God and his intent is that we become a trustworthy blessing to many.

I confess that the inspiration to write this came because I was grieved to read some writings by people who say they belong to Jesus Christ, but misrepresent him by the content of their writings, and the spirit they are offered in. I had to spend some time examining myself but as I did I saw how serious it is to misrepresent the word and character of God. My hope is that this might stir someone to rethink some things.

Blog away, but aim high! Do frequent reality checks. Truly, a man will reap what he sows. Remember that a desire for righteousness is always rewarded.

Author: rita sue

The love of Jesus invites us to come and drink of new life.

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