Too Much Information (TMI)
TMI: many times this refers to the sharing of private information on social media, things that quite possibly we really didn’t need to know. But I also think that there is a social and religious aspect to TMI. As a society, we have access to a tremendous amount of information, which is great when you are trying to remember something that is on the tip of your tongue. Open your favorite search engine and usually within seconds you can breathe a sigh of relief when you have quickly found that elusive answer. But that same medium that allows us to quickly access information, can, at times, overload us with too much information. And at times it can give us conflicting information, and then it becomes difficult to piece together what is fact and what is fiction.
I feel that we see these same issues in regards to Christianity. One tool that I feel Satan uses to blur the line of truth is the manipulation of the flow of information. Many years ago, during the Dark Ages, they were confronted with a different issue — NEI, or Not Enough Information. In some cases the truth was locked away so that the information that people needed was not readily available to them. Today in many ways our issues are exactly the opposite, as we are confronted by too much information. The truth about what God expects from us can be hidden amongst a mountain of misinformation. Straight-forward issues such as salvation, baptism, and the end of times are often clouded by a myriad of opinions, making it easier for the truth to be lost in the process. Even though we may have access to an unprecedented amount of information these days, I truly feel that when it comes to our salvation, that we always need to return to the source, the Bible. The world is filled with opinions, but truth comes from God.
One of the issues that has always intrigued me from the book of Acts is the type of information that was included by the writer Luke. In some passages, we are given a wealth of details. Yet in other verses, many months and several hundred miles are traversed in a single sentence. More than once I have caught myself thinking, wouldn’t it be nice if we had more detailed information from Paul’s Third Missionary Journey? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a compilation of Peter’s efforts after the conversion of Cornelius? And what of the other apostles, evangelists and disciples that we have in Acts? Where did they go? What miracles did they do? What people did they convert? What lessons could they have left for us today? And while at times it may seem as if we have NEI in regards to the early Church, a more accurate representation might be JEI, or Just Enough Information. We may not have every detail that we would love to read about, but God has given us everything that we need in regard to our salvation.
The Bible is not an incomplete document. Some may try and add words, chapters or even whole books to the Bible, but it is not needed. Some may try to read the scriptures with a white out pen to remove things they don’t personally like or agree with, but that is also dangerous. Revelation 22:18-19 tells us that we do either of these things at our own peril. A thirst for information is a great thing, but we always need to remember that God has established the boundary line, his word is the only way for us to be saved, and his version is the only source of truth.