90% Wrong but Going Strong


Since its launch in 2001, Wikipedia has become the most popular general reference site on the internet. But trusting Wikipedia for important things, such as medical diagnosis, is probably a huge mistake!

Did you know that, according to a study by Campbell University, 90% of all medical entries on Wikipedia include “factual errors?” Yikes! Nine out of every ten entries had information that ranged from serious “clinical implications” to potentially lethal results.

Some of the more glaring examples included:

  1. Potentially lethal information on how to diagnose and treat high blood pressure;
  2. Necessary medications that were inappropriately listed as dangerous for children;
  3. Potentially harmful side effects that drug companies had removed from references!

A study published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, shows that “as many as a quarter of women have misdiagnosed themselves on Google. A survey of 1,000 women in 2012 found they often wrongly diagnosed themselves as having breast cancer, thrush, diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma.”

And the worst part? Studies show that 70% of doctors and medical students admit to using Wikipedia as a source! That means 70% of doctors and medical students are using a source that has a 90% false positive rate.

But I wonder how similar this problem is in the church. Would Christians stand for preachers who had “factual errors” 90% of the time they speak about the Bible? Where do we get the information we use to preach and teach the Word of God? Do we spend time in the Word? Or have we become Wikipedia-ites too? Imagine what the false positive rate is on Wikipedia for matters of salvation!

Jesus longed for His followers to be steeped in truth: to know it and to be immersed in it: “Sanctify them by the truth, your word is truth” (John 17:17). Our message depends upon our accuracy. It is so important that Christians be found “trustworthy” (1 Corinthians 4:2).

Maybe it is time to quit letting Wikipedia be your witness. “Wiki said,” won’t present you as one who is “approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the Word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Search the scriptures…and see if the things you hear and speak “be so” (Acts 17:11).

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