Can you answer these questions? Do you even care?
- Is there a Buddhist terror threat?
- Why is the status of the Euro important?
- How does Vladimir Putin’s leadership affect the United States?
- What impact does Japan’s military have on world affairs?
- Who are the rising stars in Al-Qaeda?
- Why is Mexico’s economic health important to the United States?
Time Magazine, a ninety-year-old weekly news magazine chooses their magazine covers on the basis that you – and most Americans – are not as interested in these issues as we are about other topics. Instead we seem to be interested in topics that strike closer to home and affect us more personally, such as corporate America’s customer service, child-free couples, college athletes, the newest generation of students, Carl Icahn, and the best careers for college graduates.
Proof is found in many of Time’s magazine covers: one cover for the United States and one cover for the rest of the world. The articles are the same, but the covers are what attract the initial attention of readers. Is Time right? Do our ears want to be tickled with information that appeals to our selfish needs rather than the bigger picture of what’s happening in the world?
The Bible also speaks of tickled ears. Second Timothy 4:3 (NIV) tells us, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”
We live in a day when Bible teachers proliferate – on television, radio, websites, emails, iPods, and of course, books. But just because people call themselves teachers doesn’t mean their teaching is Biblical. We need to be like the Bereans, who “received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11 NIV).
Let’s not be content with being spoon-fed information—current events or biblical—that tickles our ears.