Throughout human history various mediums have been utilized to transfer information. Early in history, oral tradition was the chief source of knowledge. Since books had to be handwritten, they were quite rare and very expensive, making them unavailable to the masses. The drawbacks to oral tradition are fairly obvious. Accuracy and advancement of knowledge were limited by the memory of the elders of a society. Any truth discovered had to be remembered well enough to pass to the next generation.
The invention of the movable type printing press revolutionized information exchange. Books became more available, libraries became more numerous, and discovered truths could be more easily kept in the more permanent form of a book for later generations to consult. There were still drawbacks in regard to the limited number of people who could publish information. Those who had the money and power would have more access to publishing their views, while a poor minority who may have had the truth would not be able to disseminate it. I have some books in my library that document the history of the Lord’s church through the published works of their oppressors who wrote about the reasons for their hostility toward the “heretics.” Six hundred years ago, (and for centuries before that time), the Lord’s church existed underground because oppressive false religion had the reins of the government in its hand. While the Lord’s church did spread the truth, almost all of the material that has survived from that period are the writings of those in power who punished the true followers of Christ as “heretics” for rejecting their manmade traditions. This is just one example of the limits of information exchange during that time.
The Internet, while not solving all of humanity’s problems regarding the exchange of information, certainly revolutionized the world. Since the 1990s, when the Internet began to be used by the masses, people all over the world have been given the ability to exchange information with a level of convenience never before known in the history of humanity. While this has helped some of the past problems in regard to publishing information, it has also introduced some new problems. One of the major problems is the rapid spreading of false, but popular, ideas. We all should know that we should not believe everything we read, especially on the Internet. What is mainstream and popular may likely be false (Matthew 7:13-14).
However, there is one work that spans all the ages of information exchange and gives us the best information. It can be trusted; it is the most reliable source of truth the world has ever seen (John 17:17). That book is the Bible. God delivered, once and for all (Jude 3), a body of information that is vital to our eternal wellbeing (2 Timothy 3:15-17). While it may not hurt to be misinformed in regard to some trivial matters, when it comes to our souls, we cannot afford to be wrong; we absolutely must go to the guidebook. When asked what to do to inherit eternal life, Jesus pointed men to what was written in the Bible (Luke 10:25-26). There is a haze of false information out there regarding what we should do to go to heaven (1 John 4:1). Will you be lost in it or will you cut your way through mist of false doctrines with the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17), blazing your way to the narrow path (Matthew 7:14) that leads to salvation? Brethren, let us always check the Bible, the source book of truth, before we believe or practice anything.