I often hear people say to me, “ They say ... [fill in any informational statement]. They say you shouldn’t swim for 30 minutes after eating. They say you should only buy alkaline batteries. They say you must always use a debit card at a gas pump. They say.... blah, blah, blah. I don’t know who “they” are. I always ask for their phone number but as yet I have never gotten one. I want to talk with “they.” I really do. But it seems “they” don’t have a phone or an email address. You see, “they” are “them.” Those people out there who tell you something they heard from somebody, who heard it from someone that no one knows but everyone believes. It is like a verbal chain letter. It must be true I saw it on the internet, too!
I really think its just easy believe-ism. It’s true-ish. This type of information used to be called an old wive’s tale. My grandmother had lots of them. “Don’t let that cat near the baby. It will suck its breath away” and things like that. They seem funny now. But it was good old fashioned wisdom back in its day. I might blame Madison Avenue. Advertising and media has assimilated the brains of society and now whatever is said is believed to be true. Well, at least the part they want to believe. News is taken as truth rather than the story it really is as reported. Fact checking and due diligence sorely lacking.
As a professor it amazed me at the lack of depth and the superficial effort made by students. Do I really have to tell you that Wikipedia isn’t an academic resource or Snopes is not an authority on anything? That you cannot just say whatever you want but have to substantiate what you write by citing your research. Politicians and government have intentionally propagated this trend. If you say it often enough... it becomes true... NOT!
Weak theology comes from lazy Christianity. Oh your pastor said it... it must be true then. Nah, you don’t need to look it up yourself. Well, let’s hope the pastor did his diligence and hasn’t made a mistake. You fellow believer, are still going to need to open your Bible and check what was said and what you are saying. After all, God helps those who help themselves! (It’s not in there!) If you don’t work ... you don’t eat.... (it IS in there). Just because you grew up believing something it doesn’t mean you were taught it correctly or that maybe you remember it correctly or that you are interpreting it correctly. Dig in, explore, research and verify. You just might be blessed with a fresh take from the Holy Spirit. You know what “they” say... unless your one of those people!