Public Opinions

"The Public Buys its Opinions as it Buys Milk…"

The below article is a portion of the curriculum associated with our minister’s mentor program.  Registered participants should read the text and reply to the assignment using their login.  Others interested in participating can find more information by clicking on the words "minister’s mentor program."


Samuel Butler rather cynically observed, "The public buys its opinions as it buys milk, on the principal that it is cheaper to do so than to keep a cow.”


In response to this quote Professor Ronald Munson said, “people are undeniably inclined to buy opinions that conform to what they already believe or would like to believe. An automatic acceptance of claims that fit in comfortably with attitudes already held, saves the pain and effort of critical thought” (The Way of Words, 271).

How many times have we as ministers been guilty of this? In all honesty the number is probably too many to recall. Unfortunately, this biased way of thinking can stand in the way of our progress, influence, and personal development. It can cause us to avoid objectivity and to seek only information that already agrees with our previously held ideas and convictions. Thereby, cutting off the opportunity of new thought patterns, we become limited to regurgitating our old ways and ideas.


Just as worse is the way it may affect our Bible study and spiritual growth. We may find ourselves reading scripture only to reach the same conclusions (as though we could have never been wrong in our previous interpretations). Let our prayer be that God will guide us from the deceptions of this biased way of thinking, and deliver us from the temptation of mental laziness.


"Study earnestly to present yourself approved to God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth" (2Ti 2:15 MKJV).


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