With the accessibility to the plethora of medical information on the internet, it seems that everyone has become an expert in some area of health care. Many times, lay people have approached me, knowing I am a doctor, and ask me to verify the information they have read or heard on the internet. I am happy to give my opinion knowing that, while the area of medicine may not be my area of expertise, I am probably more qualified to render an opinion on this topic. However, there have been a few individuals who are more belligerent in their questioning of me. One person was particularly agitated over my answer and blurted, “They didn’t teach this to you in medical school? You should read up on this!”
There is not much more I can do in a situation like this. I can agree to disagree and usually politely nod and leave the conversation. Unfortunately, this type of arrogance and self-assuredness carries over to spiritual discussions as well. Like medical information, the internet is replete with advice on how to live a spiritual life. Innumerable articles on prayer, fasting, worship, marriage, relationships, financial management, Bible reading and studies-all written by pundits with a myriad of educational backgrounds and experiences. And there are many well-meaning brothers and sisters who will tout this information as truth. If I was a pastor and unsure of the veracity of the articles, they would be questioning me, “They didn’t teach this to you in seminary?” For some, the Bible is not enough to answer all of the questions of life. They need to supplement the God’s Word with scholarly discussions from other sources.
For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Revelation 22:18-19 (NKJV)
Like medical information on the internet, there are also excellent articles that can assist the believer to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ. But at the heart of any article or advice must be the Word of God and all discussions must exalt Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. On this point, I cannot agree to disagree. God’s Word is very pure and I love it. Nothing needs to be added or taken away from it.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.