Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth! Tonight, we’re going to be continuing our look on becoming a thinking Christian. I had a very wise friend contact me recently and it was a blessing to hear from them and tell me how much they enjoyed that as a teacher. I wish to continue now with another point that was made when I spoke on this topic.

That is to talk about what has been called the abomination that causes misinformation and that is Wikipedia.

Now if you’re looking up something non-controversial like the plot of a movie or video game, Wiki is fine. When my wife and I went through all of Smallville together, I’d often times look up characters on Wiki and see if anything was known about them that I could check out later. I have no problem with Wiki for that kind of thing.

When it comes to controversial matters however, Wiki is a terrible source to go to and sadly, it is often the first source we go to. Just do a web search for some topic and you’ll get Wiki brought up. In fact, I just went to Google and typed in “Jesus” and what came up first but Wikipedia?

There have been noted errors with Wikipedia in the past. For instance, did you know that Israel once had a death ray to kill non-Jews? Did you know that the comedian Sinbad was dead for several months? Did you know that Tony Blair as a teenager had posters of Hitler hung up on his wall? All of these were on Wikipedia.

The danger with Wikipedia is that it is so capable of being edited. You have no idea who is writing that entry on Wikipedia. Let’s suppose it is the entry on Jesus. It could be by N.T. Wright in which case you would get some excellent information. It could be by a kid at your local high school in which the information might not be so stellar. (Of course, I do know some high school students learning this stuff, but let’s face it, most aren’t) You could never know however. You are merely to trust it because it is on the internet.

There is a reason college professors no longer accept Wikipedia. It is because it is so unreliable, and yet it is what students are relying on. When you’re needing to do research for a class, by all means do some real research. There are excellent web sites you can find online. Take advantage of them. The best method still however is to go to your local library and/or bookstore and get books. When it comes time for me to write a research paper, I jump straight to Amazon and start looking for books. (You can find some amazing deals at times there too!)

Doing serious research will require that you use more than Wiki. That will require time and effort and maybe even money at times. The question to ask yourself however is how much real knowledge is worth to you? Do you really want to learn something or do you just want to get quick information for a paper and not have it make a lasting impression on you?

Note also that if you do debates online, don’t ever cite Wikipedia. As soon as I see someone cite that source, I know that they’re a lazy researcher. This even includes the blogger who made a post about God arguing for atheism and had the link on the word “God” go to Wikipedia.

No one can be an expert in every field, but with time and investment, you can become an expert in some fields. If you really want to be an expert, remember you will get out of your research what you put into it, and that won’t be much if you use a source like Wikipedia.

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