The WebMD Christian
My Sunday School class a few weeks back had a discussion about peace, and an analogy was brought up that I thought was perfect to apply from everyday life to the life that we live as Christians.
WebMD is a very informative website, but it’s a rather recent innovation. As a child, if I received a bump, scrape or bruise while messing around the neighborhood, a band-aid or a cool washcloth fixed whatever ailment I had right up. If it was something more severe than a childhood boo-boo, then my mother would drive me over to the doctor’s office and he would be able to set me straight again.
But in the past few years, WebMD has opened up a whole new world of explanations for whatever somebody thinks may be wrong with them. Have a headache that won’t go away? Jump on the internet and type your symptoms into WebMD, and the computer will be able to diagnose what you have, how long it’ll last and how exactly you should treat it.
It’s gotten to the point that many regular people have started to question the wisdom of trained and experienced physicians because of something they read on a website. Doctors don’t get to where they are by not having an expert grasp on their specialized area. They’ve studied and practiced for years to get to where they are and to be able to help people.
Regarding the practice of medicine, it’s best to ignore advice from well-to-doers, and trust the capabilities of a doctor. Applied to the practice of faith, it’s a very similar concept. Some Christians believe that they can gain a better diagnosis, or understanding of our faith by something they read on a website or something they see on TV.
While the Christianity faith is one that can be interpreted and applied in different ways, there’s still one guy who’s the ultimate authority on it. Take what you will from website or television evangelists, but all you need is your Bible and a personal relationship with Christ.
There will be people ranging from your cynical next-door neighbor to the nationally-recognized Richard Dawkins that will try and rebuke your faith and offer up what they believe to be better and more appropriate ways of believing what you believe.
There’s a lot of information out there, some good and some bad. But in both cases your best bet for worthwhile information comes from one source.