IS THERE A CONSPIRACY?
Conspiracies. Yes? No? Maybe? Are 5G radio waves used to control our minds? Was George Floyd’s murder a hoax? Is there any truth to them? How should Christians respond?
Conspiracy theories are not new. The common denominator is the belief that powerful actors are secretly controlling events and institutions for evil purposes. Isn’t that what Satan himself is doing? He uses fear to cause panic and draw attention from God. It’s as if God isn’t really in control after all, but some unseen forces with evil designs are taking over.
A growing distrust of authority feeds the spread of these theories. Suspicion is common today. We don’t trust the news, politicians, policemen, church leaders or anyone in authority. So, we decide for ourselves what is truth and what isn’t. People do that with the Bible as well. They embrace what they like and ignore what they don’t like. They become the final determination of truth, the final authority. Each one picks their own reality and structures their worldview around it.
Thirty years ago, evangelicals warned what would happen when people abandoned absolute truth found in the Bible and substituted relative truth. This was based on suspicion of those in authority and acceptance of changing moral values and norms. Now even evangelicals are supporting conspiracy theories. Many are leaving churches and breaking fellowship with others over these things. “My brothers and sisters, this should not be” (James 3:10).
As Christians we have basic beliefs that can seem very strange to others. We believe a man came back to life 2,000 years ago, lives in heaven, will return to remove evil and establish a perfect world. That is far harder to believe than the most outlandish conspiracy theories making the rounds today.
Our reality is based on the sovereignty of a loving God who has revealed authoritative, absolute truth in His Word. That is our message and our credibility. What credibility do we have among unbelievers when we tell them about Jesus if we are fighting among ourselves? Will they listen when we tell them Jesus is the answer but Communists are taking over America. As evangelicals embrace and argue, will the world be attracted to Jesus?
Where is the peace, joy and fleshing out the work of Jesus when young people and unbelievers see parents, pastors and teachers spreading ideas they see are untrue. Does that inspire them to know more about Jesus’s church or the Body of Christ? The Bible says we are to be peacemakers and point the way to Truth. Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”. (John 14:6) This is how we are to respond instead of spreading fear and division.
Authorities can and have been powerfully self serving. We shouldn’t be surprised because “the heart is desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9) and “the thoughts of man are continually evil ” (Genesis 6:5). However, they aren’t our focus. We are not to devote ourselves “to things which promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work – which is by faith” (1 Timothy 1:4). We are to focus on what is “true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things” (Philippians 4:8). We renew our minds as we focus on His Word (Romans 12:2).
So, what is my concern about these theories? They undermine trust in authority, including in the church and God’s Word. Too many Christians are spending time reading and inquiring about theories and speculations and “ alternative “ truths and neglect reading the Bible. The theories cause disunity among believers. They move people further from Jesus, not closer to Him. They feed on fear and insecurity. I ask you, does that sound like the fruit of a movement of God Spirit, or the work of Satan?
2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
1 Peter 1:22-23 See how they love one another.