Date: July 12 2020
Summary: How Timothy speaks truth to today about false expertise abounding from social media
Keywords: ##zettel #social #media #polarization #knowledge #1timothy #archive
As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work — which is by faith. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.
1 Timothy 1:3 - 7
I was reading this passage in 1 Timothy and was thinking about how it very much relates to one of the current issues being faced in the world. Social media's negative impact on individuals. Particularly the parallels drawn between Paul's letter and today are very much talking about the same thing. People being drawn away to nonsensical things that are not useful to life. Or, worse, becoming supposed "experts" in fields that they truly know nothing about but have heard enough things to give them the impression of having learned something.
And Paul very explicitly calls these people out by saying they do not know anything. Furthermore, Paul states how these sort of meaningless discussions only promote controversial speculations rather than actually pushing us forward to a meaningful goal. This is very much a problem being faced in today's society where social media is being used to promote narratives or stories as a means of information but in reality, does not deliver on anything. Furthermore, the polarization that comes from such negative discussion is almost exactly the same as Paul is describing. The only real difference may be how this is impacting so many more individuals than in the past, but the same problems persist: polarization, false impressions of expertise, and endless arguments or quabbling.
Zelko, Jacob. False Expertise. https://jacobzelko.com/07132020022756-media-timothy. July 12 2020.