Tuesday, April 05, 2011

What a Gull-A-Bull

Thomas J. Watson was quoted as saying "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers," somewhere around 1943 when he was the head of IBM. This quote has lived in infamy for the past couple decades as computers pop up in every household (and now pockets and purses as well) around the world. The only problem with this quote is: he probably never said it. Researchers have tried, in vain, to find a document that supports that he said that phrase but there isn't even one.

The world has always been a safe place for bad information. Wars have been fought over events that never took place (anyone have a WMD lying around?). People have been imprisoned and even killed for saying things that they didn't say ("Let them eat cake"). Boycotts have been organized against companies that were not associated with whom people thought they were (Proctor and Gamble). Bad news has always travelled fast... and now, with the internet and satellite TV, it travels at the speed of light.

Last week, reports on the internet were that the rebels in Libya had taken the town of Sirt which, at that time, was essentially the last town before Tripoli. People were celebrating all over the world that Gadaffi's days were numbered. Turns out, it wasn't true. Today, the Colonel has almost taken back all of the cities and is tightening his grip on the holdouts.

Christians should be the least gullible people on the planet. The Bible tells us to be champions of the truth and to test everything before accepting it. This means that it's even kosher to question our pastors and teachers if we find some disagreement between them and the Bible (by the way, if you meet a pastor/teacher that isn't open to being corrected...or at least hearing a different perspective... run away). The head of the Church is Christ.. not the pastor, bishop, or some committee that meets in secret in New York... or Melville. The Word of God is Jesus as revealed in the Bible... therefore we use it as our "rule of faith and practice". The job of a pastor/teacher is to translate the truth of the Bible into today's language and culture (can you say "hermeneutics"). Not an easy task... I might add.

So, the next time you hear some newfangled idea, regardless of what sphere it happens to come from (health, theology, economics, politics, sociology, technology, etc) decide to take that information "under advisement" and then test it from the truth of the Bible... and your own common sense...before jumping in with both feet.

PS. Thomas Watson may have ended up being right by saying the thing he didn't say. We may end up with just 5 computers in the world.... 1. Facebook. 2. Google. 3-5... to be announced. Just some food for thought.

PPS. The Bible has been burned many times in many places around the world. While, it's a tad sad when it happens, there is no reason to be bothered because the book itself isn't sacred. The Word isn't a book...or 66 books (as in the Bible) rather Jesus is the Word... and the Bible reveals to us what/who that Word is. That Word can't be damaged by fire... or any other means of destruction.

1 comment:

NaomiF said...

Joell, I love this. I hate how news travels so fast and people lap it up.
Also, after burning the bible did Christians take up arms and blow people up? Well, maybe some did.
But the rest of us would/SHOULD say "why?".