Friday, December 22, 2006

Time's Person of the Year

While I intend for this to be a blog dealing with news and issues within the Christian Church at large, I wanted to take a few minutes to mention Time magazine's announcement of their Person of the Year. And yes, this does relate to the church, as you'll see in a few moments.

If you haven't walked past a magazine rack yet this week, or you haven't seen the news stories (man, where have you been?), Time has named you (yes YOU) their "Person of the Year" for 2006. Why? Because, in their words, you, and I, and all of the millions of Internet users, have changed the information age. From social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, to YouTube, to the myriad of blogs that exist today, information and the way we share it has significantly changed in 2006. Blogger, the site that hosts this blog, along with and other blog hosting sites, have also played a big part in this, allowing anyone with access to the Internet to start a blog.

As with just about everything, the ease of entry into the blogosphere has it's positive and negative effects. While blogs and bloggers have added a myriad of unique perspectives on the news of the day, and can provide local content in a way that big news agencies can't match, it is also very easy for disinformation to spread. It's a bit like the chain emails we've all received on a variety of subjects. Have you seen the one about Target being French-owned? (It's not true, by the way). Unfortunately, the disinformation and half truths that can be (and have been) spread in the Christian blogosphere can be far more damaging. Their consequences can be eternal.

I say all that to say this: Whatever you read, be it here or anywhere else on the Internet, especially in the blogosphere, don't accept it as absolute truth. It's the old addage; don't believe everything you read. Read the blogs, certainly. But if something doesn't seem right, research it for yourself. Read something about what Rick Warren wrote in The Purpose Driven Life? Stop by the library or your local bookstore and check the citation for yourself. Read something about John MacArthur's latest book? Again, check it for yourself. Did someone cite a Scripture you're not familiar with? Crack open your Bible and look it up, and read the surrounding verses too. If you'd like to look at a different translation, Bible Gateway is a great resource. Above all, don't just accept what someone else says is true. Find out for yourself if it's true.

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