I received an email with the quote, "Donkeys kill more people annually than plane crashes or shark attacks." I thought to myself, "How could they possibly know this?" So I did some research, and found that no one keeps statistics on how many people are killed or injured by donkeys. I was reminded immediately of the mocking statistical quote, "90 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot."

Now the statistic about donkeys — whether real or not real — may not seem to make a difference in the great scheme of things. However, the American Donkey and Mule Society takes exception with this "false statistic" on their website.

My research also revealed that this maligning of donkeys probably stems from an article in 1987 in the London Times in which a reporter wrote:

The statistics on the safety of flying are immensely comforting, despite recent reports of a near miss between a 474 and a RAF Hercules over Carlisle, and the Boeing 747 captain who apparently had to be reminded to lower his craft's undercarriage before landing at Heathrow. One expert has estimated that more people in the world are kicked to death by donkeys than die in plane crashes.

There you have it! An unknown "expert" using an unsubstantiated estimate — one of those 90% of all statistics made up on the spot — maligns donkeys and the story is still being spread over 21 years later as being true. I don't know about you, but I tend to side with the American Donkey and Mule Society on this one.

What is the point of all of this?

OK, I was directed to a website of a "Christian writer" this past week. As I opened the site, I at first appreciated the fact that this writer claimed "to speak only from the Bible, nothing more and nothing less." I spent about 20 minutes reading some of his material, then realized pretty quickly that he had missed some pretty important scriptures and the facts he presents as true, in actuality, were just a little bit shy of being completely accurate.

Now I don't claim to have "all knowledge" or "all understanding," but I do have the ability to read God's word and figure out when someone leaves something out of a simple teaching — just like you do. I'm reminded of a couple of scriptures that warn us about such things. One in particular was sent by the apostle John:

Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world (1 John 4:1 NLT).

I think I would rather take the time to check it out!
Paul writing to the young preacher Timothy warns him:

... everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will go on deceiving others, and they themselves will be deceived (2 Timothy 3:12-13).

I don't know about you, but I think I would rather take the time to check out what I am being told as true by some supposed "bible scholar," than be told something only to find out at the judgment it was wrong? OH, and check it out quickly, because who knows when you might run into a donkey looking for someone to kick!