If it used to be that knowledge was power, today information is power. We are saturated with information, yet we still want more, making it a hot commodity. And the people at Google thank us for that.
There’s a lot of information in the Bible. It’s tempting to market the church as the distributer of biblical (or, to generate more interest, spiritual) information. Anyone want to make a big, enticing sign for along the road by our church building that says “Get your most important information here?”
A book someone loaned me written nearly 40 years ago about the nature of the church entitled Who in the World? has this great paragraph about information that feels like it could have been written today…
The church is not an information agency dispensing facts that will make people smarter than they were. Its goal as teacher is shaped by the kind of truth it teaches – life-changing, liberating, world-transforming truth. It is not feelings nor facts but the truth that makes [people] free. Why? Because the truth is God. When God reveals truth, He is revealing Himself. Jesus said, “I am the way, I am the truth, and I am life.” God – His love and His will, His mercy and His commands – is the truth we teach.” (p. 48)
Makes information sound kind of puny in comparison, doesn’t it?
In my opinion, the church is not even a dispenser of information in many places. It is a smorgasbord of activities and teachings which are presented “multiple choice.”
See also Syd Hielema’s pitch for continued reading of print copies (Christian Courier) in the recent issue. Maybe the church should buy a subscription to that magazine for all its members, too! 🙂