In this age of texting and tweeting, we’ve become even more accustomed to being discipled by one-liners. I call this Twitter preaching – truth in less than 140 characters. A lot of wisdom has been passed down the generations like this, we called them proverbs. “My daddy always said. . . if a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well” – I’m sure we’ve all remembered nuggets of truth like this. They tend to stick with us. My own dad used to quote his school motto, “Nothing great is easily won.” I remember that well.
So one-liners are very useful in helping us remember wisdom. In fact there’s a whole book of these in the Bible (except most of them are actually two-liners.)
One of the characteristics of the digital age is that anyone can say almost anything to thousands of people without any editorial restraint (including me in this blog). This can be a good or bad thing. The internet can multiply both truth and error exponentially, exploding ideas like viruses.
One-liners spoken from Bible teachers are not only spoken from pulpits, but now can be read by thousands, even millions, around the world.
The responsibility of our teaching has now escalated to a new level.
Like never before, we need accountability.
Short teaching statements need to be checked out before we blindly repeat them to others. The Berean Jews “received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:11) For years I’ve been questioning one of the most popular, namely, “worship is a lifestyle”. It amazes me that such an ambiguous and non-biblical little phrase could gain so much traction amongst the followers of Jesus.
Rather than re-preaching or re-tweeting everyone’s one-liners and proverbs without careful consideration, let’s continue to dialogue, discuss and question as we measure them against the standard of God’s Word. They’re powerful and helpful, but they can also perpetuate error. In my next post, I’ll look at a phrase I’ve heard a few times. It got me thinking.