December 2012

A healthy information diet

December 3 2012 by K. Allan Blume, BR Editor

Communication is basic to life. From the moment of birth a desperate desire to communicate flows from the human heart. The infant communicates through crying, smiles and body movement. With maturity the forms of communication expand to verbal skills, writing and a host of other methods.
 
Someone has correctly said, “People desperately want to understand and to be understood.” Thus, the necessity to develop communication skills in every way possible is obvious.
 
One of the creative ways early mankind tried to be understood was by developing pictographs – images first engraved in stone, but eventually inscribed on papyrus and ultimately on paper.
 
Walt Disney believed strongly in communicating a message in creative ways. He said, “Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.” 
 
He also said, “Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive. This facility makes it the most versatile and explicit means of communication yet devised for quick mass appreciation.”
Disney was right.
 
Everyone – including followers of Jesus Christ – are getting messages communicated to them every day through pictures, billboards, magazines, videos, computer screens, smart phones, movies, television, radio and a myriad of other media. We communicate with each other with the tools of phones, text messages, emails, social media, and sometimes even face to face!
 
Today information flows like tidal waves. The volume is overwhelming. Its breadth is beyond imagination, covering every subject at all levels, whether good or bad.
 
We are not simply communicators. We are recipients of communication, also. As such we receive more information than we can process, and we are too willing to believe that everything we hear is credible and truthful.
 
Everyone has an information diet. We generally understand the word “diet” as a reference to the food we eat and the liquids we drink. Our diet determines our health.
 
A good diet makes a person healthy. A bad diet makes one weak or sick. Your diet can be deadly.
 
Our intake of information can help us or hurt us. It contributes to our emotional and spiritual health, or it damages it.
 
Frankly, I believe most of us are obese with unhealthy information. We take in more than we can digest, and much of our information intake is poisonous to biblical values.
 
Does the information diet of your church membership make them spiritually healthy? In other words, do they give more to Christian causes because of the information they absorb each week outside of the church building? Are church members stronger in the faith because of the information they digest throughout the week?
 
How much control does the church leadership have over the information diet of the membership? Almost none! But, how much influence does the church leadership have over the information diet of the membership? A lot!
 
Church leaders can be very influential over church members and those who attend church events. Pastors and other leaders can use preaching, Bible study and church ministries to give believers a biblical perspective on the world.
 
We know that scripture gives us the tools to evaluate the soundness of messages that are being taught. We realize that our congregations are being bombarded with an assortment of doctrines, lifestyles and behaviors. Further, we recognize that without sound biblical values, believers do not have the means to evaluate whether or not the messages they are hearing are of God.
 
So, how can churches influence the information diet of the believers under their care? I believe this is an area where the Biblical Recorder can be one of your greatest partners. 
 
Encourage your church family to include the Recorder in their regular information diet. They can take advantage of the three ways the Recorder is communicating information and inspiration that is biblically sound.
 
First, Christians will find support in reading the printed edition of the Biblical Recorder. Second, they can visit our website, BRnow.org. Third, your church family can receive a weekly e-newsletter, the BRweekly, which includes the week’s headlines. Each of these three tools is unique – they are not identical. Reading one will not give all of the news. But all three provide valuable, edifying information.
 
We can be a credible part of the information diet of your church family, helping church leaders develop a healthy congregation with a biblical worldview. Give your congregation the information they need to connect to our website, receive the BRweekly in their inbox and subscribe to the print edition of the Biblical Recorder. Include this information in your Sunday bulletin, newsletters and on your church web site.
 
We are your partner in the information age.
12/3/2012 3:53:17 PM by K. Allan Blume, BR Editor | with 0 comments