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ZEITGEIST ON AUTHORITY


We live in interesting times. Our culture is drenched with vacuous celebrities who are sometimes given an amazing amount of authority. Not long ago there was a commercial about some high tech feature for televisions. A young woman named Jessica Simpson, singing, dancing and talking in short shorts, said the name of the featured item and then said, "I don't know what that is, but I know that I want it!"


Google has this program called Zeitgeist, which means "the spirit of the times." Google gathers the number of "hits" on different things and then makes a list in order of the most sought-after information. In 2006, Paris Hilton topped the list; an actor named Orlando Bloom was second. Third on the list was cancer, then podcasting, Hurricane Katrina, bankruptcy, Martina Hingis, autism, 2006 NFL draft, and finally, "Celebrity Big Brother 2006."


For 2008, the list had changed. Last year, Barack Obama led the list. Facebook, AT&T, iPhone, YouTube, Fox News, Sarah Palin, Beijing 2008, David Cook, and "surf the channel" made up the list. There is something reassuring about the #1 position moving from Paris Hilton to Barack Obama.


The question for us is, "Who speaks with authority to us? Who do we recognize as the authority in our lives? Who do we turn to for advice?" Is prayer one the first places we go with our questions? Is the Bible our textbook for life? I know that sounds a little pedantic, but the questions are important to explore.

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