Acts 17:11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.(NIV)
The Berean Jews searched the original source (Bible) to confirm what Paul was saying. However, few are noble characters. Be it in religion, science or politics. We are constant consumers of secondary information.
In Science, researchers are encouraged to cite the original work. To ensure factual reporting and not another person’s understanding of the original work. We all differ and do interpret the same information differently. Therefore, depending on secondary information means that we are feeding on other people’s opinions and interpretations. This makes it hard for us to make our own unbiased opinion; we have already been given one.
In Christianity, our pastor is the final authority. We don’t bother to read the Bible for ourselves and determine if we are being fed on the scripture. The Bible talks about the effects of believing a lie, which happens when we do not search the scriptures.
2nd Thessalonians 2:9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth.(KJV)
Without a personal search of the scriptures, it is easy to be deceived and end up in the great delusion.
We trust the media as the absolute truth. Build our arguments on what they said and even hate each other based on their reporting. There are many instances of biased and unfactual reporting in the media. Just recently the Kenyan president signed to law the marriage bill. It had a section on polygamy. The media, mostly the international ones claimed that the country had legalised polygamy and even went ahead to call it
“polygamy bill”. Blind dependence of such information propagates the lie.
The “polygamy bill” is just one example of the many cases that media can mislead the masses. The unlearned can be forgiven, but not you. Especially when the primary information is easily accessible online.
In politics, it is worse. More so when tribal thinking is also involved. We vote Yes or No in a constitutional referendum because our “tribal King” has read it and found it fit or unfit. We take a political stand because of the media coverage they get (we want to be part of the winning team) or because our “tribal king” has said so. We rarely read the parties’ manifestos and make a factual decision on our political stand.
The common quote; “If you want to hide information from and African put it in a book”, is sadly true. Few of us read. The laziness to read translates to the laziness in thinking, which eventually translates to being mere followers. This should not be the case.
Secondary sources are only good for quick information and should not be used to advise our choices or decisions.
Let me conclude with this verse:
Hosea 4:6: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (KJV)
Thanks for being one of the few who do not depend on secondary information–who read.