Over the past weeks, I’ve engaged with three different people seeking out the Christian faith. Nothing excites me more than to point people to the One True God! It’s my favorite thing. Interestingly, all three interactions left me feeling impulsive. I wanted to clutch these earnest seekers by the shoulders and urgently shout, “Stay off the internet! Do NOT start by googling any of this stuff!”
When looking for God, clicking around on the internet is just about the worst thing a new believer can do!
It’s never been harder to decipher fact from fiction. The amount of information and content has metastasized beyond the galaxy: most of it published to score the ever-hallowed click. (Who could have foreseen that a click would be so economically, even socially powerful?) The recent Netflix film, The Social Dilemma, poignantly branded our current era “the Age of Disinformation,” and that’s exactly how it feels.
Properly validating a topic via the web now takes more time and is less reliable than ever before. How can we know what we are clicking on is accurate? How can we be sure the images we see haven’t been altered? There’s an *inconsumable* amount of content to sift through. When we are seeking to know something as important as God Himself, why would we go anywhere near a chasm that precarious?!
Is this where we’re at? Has the internet become an information hazard zone?
In the olden days…say, a time prior to 2007…didn’t the Bible seem colossal? After all, it’s 3 inches thick, has tiny writing and so many long sentences! Back then, its content felt endless, and it seemed impossible to remember what it was saying. I just assumed that you had to be about 50 years old before you had time to know most of it.
Think about it now through the lens of 2021. Everything the God of Creation wants us to know about Him can be found in a…three-inch…book? In half of a generation, we have an entirely different perspective about it! In stark contrast to the infospew sprayed on us day in and day out, the Bible has never looked more simple, succinct, and knowable! What a gift!
For my friends looking to find the Truth, I insist with impassioned urgency, please, stay off the internet! The fastest way to get the information we need is to skip the middleman, and just read it for ourselves. We say it’s hard and we don’t have time. It’s true, we must make time for these things. But remember, at this point we don’t even have to chop our own onions in America.
So we do have time.
I hope in this burgeoning culture of disinformation, we can look at our scriptures with a sense of relief. How simple, brief, accessible and thorough our Lord has made his Word.
It’s absolutely glorious to be on the side of history where we have it in its entirety, translated into nearly every language! It’s no small thing. We take it for granted, pass it off as boring, and make the excuse that it is too hard to understand. Worse, we forget about the blood, sweat and tears shed by countless saints for this to be so.
Anyone who wants to brush up on what a Christian believes…or is supposed to believe…can easily go to the primary source, and discover it. It’s there. And just because people around us do not live it out properly doesn’t make it less true, less valid, or less relevant.
In order to know and understand the nature and character of the God we serve, we gotta find out for ourselves. So let’s turn off the apps, memes, and Christian-lifestyle-sub-niche “influencers” seeking advertising revenue from clicks.
One last thing. We can’t look to our right and left, or scroll up and down to figure out how to live our best life–each of us has been dealt a different hand of cards. It feels generally unsatisfying to scroll through these influencers because life is actually messy.
Isn’t it a breath of fresh air to have less to consume? What a gift. God is so relevant! Eliminate the possibility of missing out! Just read.