Depending on which predictive source you choose, the sum of human knowledge doubles every 12-18 months; until the 20th century the sum of human knowledge had doubled every century. Before the printing press humanity had the “luxury” of absorbing the wisdom of the ages as it was generated. That luxury has dissipated as computers exponentially increase in their capacity to create and disseminate material. We rarely take the time anymore to reflect and ponder on anything, afraid we’ll miss out on the next discovery, bargain, newsflash, or the next cat video on Facebook/YouTube (heaven forbid). The advent of the “Internet of Things” combined with advances in neuroscience and nanotechnology will soon bump the rate of doubling to perhaps weeks or even days, a frightening possibility.
How one deals with this ever increasing mountain of information is complicated by two “variants” of information: misinformation and disinformation. Misinformation is when information is jumbled with error, when it is given in a faulty form, or when it is shared at the wrong time and setting by the wrong person to a wrong audience. Disinformation is when intent is involved, when deception and misdirection are deliberate (this can be innocent sleight of hand by an illusionist, or destructive if a foreign power desires to unduly influence our government’s decision on x issue)
Two factors we use to deal with information are 1) sources and 2) standards. We choose the sources for our information based on trust (is this source truthful in how it handles information) and affinity (we gravitate toward information which affirms our current beliefs/preferences). Our standards against which we measure information vary greatly: what our parents believed; what we were taught in school or business; our personal experience; or (the best, in my opinion) the Word of God, our holy Scriptures.
In a world devoid of belief in absolute truth, and where trust is at an all time low in institutions (how can ‘they’ be telling us the truth if there’s no absolute truth?), one’s starting point must be the Bible. Jesus, Paul, John, and James warned repeatedly of false teachers, those who would mix truth with error to make it palatable and plausible. We cannot afford to be swept up in the increasing flood of information and just give in to the technological tsunami, accepting whatever we are told is truth as truth. The best way to detect counterfeit anything is to be utterly familiar with the genuine article. (2 Tim. 2.15; 2 Tim. 3.16; Ps. 25.10) The more we know the living Word (John 14.6) and the written Word (John 17.17), the better we can navigate the information deluge in which we live and operate. Learn to recognize His voice (John 10.4) in the din of data.
--Please be in prayer for the following events:
--Pastors Roundtable, 5/15---our MSBA pastors gather for a free meal that evening to discuss the future of our convention, our association, and our churches with the WVCSB executive director, Dr. Henard
--Cuba Mission Trip, 5/26-6/2 (pray for Allan, Jerry Sawyers, Emory Marchant, Shawn Bragg, Mildred Catron, Rachel Pitcher, Freda Dillon, Jessica Whitehead, Joe Dinger, & Alan Harrison, our liaison); your church’s contribution to the Cuba trip (see flyers in the church) are needed by 5/15. (later $$ accepted!)
--Clifford Compton offering for assoc. missions---be watching for new materials on this time-honored missions offering. A large offering is essential as we attempt to minimize and reverse deficit spending
--Kingdom Advance: major format changes this fall as we open up enrollment to any area church