Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Weekly homiletical tidbit -- Urban legends

Mike Russell highlights an urban legend now making the rounds about 400 Christians who miraculously survived the recent Indian Ocean tsunami. To his credit, Mike passed the story along with appropriate notice that he could not vouch for its veracity (and after doing some research, he posted to say that it appears to be fictional).

Don't you wish all preachers were that careful? Many of us, it seems, are not very scrupulous about checking the veracity of our stories before proclaiming them from the pulpit--a medium requiring far more caution than a weblog. Where I live, to say that an account is "a preacher's story" means it's probably not true. That's sad.

It's relatively easy to check the truthfulness of stories like the tsunami legend. There are several good sites that investigate urban legends. My favorite is Urban Legends Reference Pages, better known as Snopes. com. The site is easy to use, the "What's New" section is timely, and the writing displays not only sharp minds, but good senses of humor.

Blogs are one thing; pulpits are another. Before we preach an urban legend, let's do our homework.


Blogger jmark said...

Thank you for this. Urban legend illustrations and emails are one of the things that really irk me. As you say, it doesnt take too much to check something out.

Pet hates include - Joshua's missing day found by NASA, Darwin recanted on his death-bed, Hezekiah's missing minutes found.

10:42 AM, February 15, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for the comment. I agree with you on those pet "preachers story" abuses. Thanks, too, for the "My King" post. Peace.

11:44 AM, February 15, 2005  

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