Conspiracy Theory versus Revelation
The theory of communism was built on a faulty premise and, thus, was doomed to not work in practice. Christians who believe in the Bible should be able to quickly apprehend that Conspiracy Theory is faulty at its core. Thus we should not be surprised at its failure in practice.
Somebody Forgot To Check Their Scriptures...
Fundamental to Conspiracy Theory is a basic view of the world. This view is defined by its adherents as the “Conspiratorial View” of history. This explanation of the course of history is pitted against the “Linear View” of history (or somesuch). These, we are told, are the only options! (This smacks of Marx’s false dichotomy that only two classes existed.)
But it is just not true.
Dare we mention it, at least one other possible explanation of why things happen is the “Biblical View.”
Amos 3:7 – Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.
And Scripture never mentions anything anywhere even approaching the scope of Conspiracy Theory.
In general, The Bible neither denies real human conspiracies nor suggests that they are a major factor in history. Scripture puts conspiracies where they belong: as an occasional and hard to maintain sideshow.
2 Samuel 15:12- … And so the conspiracy gained strength, and Absalom’s following kept on increasing.
Acts 23:21 – The next morning the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul.
But never in the Bible are we encouraged to imagine that conspiracy is the grand explanation of history or the overarching issue of causality in human affairs. In fact, just the opposite is commanded.
Isaiah 8:12-13 – “Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread.”
The lesson seems to be that there are certain times that the temptation to blame what is happening on conspiracy or evil alliances should be distinctly avoided, by direct command of the Lord.
Beyond skewering the fundamental thesis of the “Conspiratorial View” (unless we are willing to accuse God of “missing it”), Scripture makes it plain that if we are near the “end of the age,” which Christian Conspiracy Theorists generally assert, it is then in particular that we are clearly admonished NOT to be deceived into thinking that conspiracy is behind it.
Anyone familiar with prophetic Scripture knows that God is very keen on letting us know that He is behind the events surrounding the first and second coming of Christ.
Psalms 2:1-2 – Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed….
Why indeed? Some answer this according to “the Gospel of Conspiracy Theory”: that this is due to a human conspiracy. Some claim “ministries” spreading this distracting paranoia. But God, while lambasting many a real conspiracy throughout history, says it is not so.
The following is representative of dozens of end-times passages:
Psalms 33:10 - The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
Is it not amazing that Scripture completely misses what Conspiracy Theory made popular? Boy did God blow this one! If He only knew what was “really going on.” If He were only more “informed!”
So it is God versus the conspiracy buffs. Tough one, eh?
Who ya gonna believe nowadays?
Isaiah 8:12 - “Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it.”
Conspiracy” in the Heavenlies?
The only grand “conspiracy” spoken of in Scripture is a SPIRITUAL one led by Satan. And it is no secret: it has been REVEALED to those with ears to hear. Thus, it is no “conspiracy” to Christians, but an open war against the gospel of Christ and His life in the kingdom of God on this earth.
Our Lord Jesus has defeated the enemy of our souls at the cross. While we have yet to see the fullness of this victory play out in time, we will. The ultimate defeat of Satan is as sure as the Word of God. For our enemy’s time is short.
Are we showing discernment and good judgment by recognizing who the real enemy is and where we are being attacked spiritually? What is history really about, and what battle is really going on in God’s world? Is eternal judgment real? What, then, should our approach and overarching strategy to life be? How, then, should we live? If we are members of the “Kingdom of God”, just what should we be focusing on? Are we looking up, or down–and getting that all wrong? How would Jesus rate our sense of apprehending the reality of things? Are we wiser then He? Wiser than all of the holy prophets of old?
This section may be the most difficult for Conspiratist oriented Christians to accept, but may well be the explanation to the perverted attraction of Conspiracy Theories in the church, and why we think we need them.
Where this gets nasty is where it becomes more than just a temporary meditation to relieve our consciences, and gets blown into a full-tilt philosophy. And this is what Conspiracy Theory is. “They” are pulling back-room strings with an unseen hand that makes it futile to even try. Why, we might even play into “their” hands, “they” are so clever. The only thing to do is to hunker down and protect our friends and family against the inevitable siege, or by laying so low that nobody takes notice of us, retreating further from being salt and light. None of the options coming from this fatalistic view are very good, frankly, and when the results in our society get inevitably worse, we go right back to blaming “them” instead of ourselves. And so it goes.
James 4:17 – Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.
Our spiritual enemy is winning a terrific battle against us if he can short circuit our zeal and eliminate our influence via the fatalism of Conspiracy Theories. Rather that being salt and light in spreading the Gospel of peace, we hide our lamps under a table so that “they” will not notice us.
The utility of Conspiracy Theory thus comes into focus. It shifts blame. It is a sophisticated excuse machine. This is how Hitler used it; this is how Nero used it; this is how we are using it. Has there even been a Conspiracy Theory concocted short of this purpose?
What could be a more obvious ploy by our spiritual enemy to thwart the life of Christ in us?
The tragic thing is that this attack comes not from without, but principally from within the church. And our itching ears and guilty consciences cannot seem to get enough of it.
Have we fallen so far from being “conquerors in Christ” that we need a systematic philosophy of paranoia? Is the life of Christ in us content to lay curled in fetal position in the corner reading another Conspiracy Theory book? Are we content to be losers quaking in the fear of men–in direct disobedience to our Lord?
Slandering Our Enemies
Leviticus 19:16 (NIV) “Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the Lord.”
Exodus 23:1 (NIV) “Do not spread false reports. Do not help a wicked man by being a malicious witness.”
Instead of realizing the pragmatic, even convicting reasons why we have failed in so many ways to effect our culture, we accuse our enemies of cheating via conspiracy. The motive for this was discussed previously.
Proverbs 18:8 – The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.
The Scripture describes a “gossip” as one who connives and dreams up a “twist” that is compelling and winsome. There is a perverted sweetness to this deception that is the principal lure of committing this sin. “Yeah, THAT is it! So and so is doing such and such.”
The more divorced from the truth this is, the more outlandish the slander, the better…
Matthew 15:19 – “For out of the heart come evil thoughts… false testimony, slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean’….”
Proverbs 18:8 – The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles….
Like all sin, slander and gossip can be fun in the moment. But like all sin, there is a price to be paid later. The price here is in defamation of character to the real-life people and organizations, and in self-delusion and inability to discern the truth for those who continue in it.
1 Peter 2:1 – Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.
Ephesians 4:31 – Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
We are told in some detail by God how to think and deal with rulers and government in Scripture. And consider that these Scriptures were written during a time when leaders and government were much worse than now.
Titus 3:1-2 - Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to SLANDER no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility towards all men.
Do the wild accusations and projected phobias and fears of Conspiracy Theories pass this test? You be the judge.
The bottom line is that “Christian” Conspiracy Theories make about as much sense as “Christian Racism.”
Both are forbidden in Scripture.
1 Peter 2:17 – Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honour the king.
Making Idols of Mere Men
Conspiracy Theory practitioners are miles away from “honoring the king,” or showing “proper respect” for leaders. To fill this natural void, there is a backlash into worship and fear of imaginary leaders instead.
The Gods Must Be Crazy…
It used to be that leaders promoted a facade of divinity and idolatry–erecting idols of themselves, demanding worship, and the like–and they still do so in some parts of the world. Though this is rare in public life in the US, the reflex seems so ingrained in us that we must create make-believe “conspiracy leaders” to worship when social conventions change and we see our public or elected leaders so obviously groping. “It must be an act to lull us. They really are in control. They really are gods!”
Nowadays, “we the people” prop up the idols. Certain carnal instincts die hard. But these Conspiracy Theory idols, like all others, will be toppled and shattered.
At a local and experiential level, we all know the problems of position and responsibility. The higher the position, the more impossible to process all the information, to take everything into account, to please everyone, etc. That is why it is nice to dream of being in charge, but harder to sleep when you are.
There is hardly a profession where human limitations are more stark than in leadership. This is why “manager jokes” strike a chord in us. These barbs point out the hopeless situation most managers are in, diffusing with humor our exasperation at their inability to “get it,” listen, solve ALL the problems, or whatever.
Our ability to laugh at these jokes demonstrates that–at least intuitively–we know the “problem” that our leaders face with their limitations as humans. This being the case, we are enjoined to pray for them and show them proper respect for the responsibilities they bear.
But for the Conspiratist, there is a different set of rules for world leaders. These are a different breed, somehow. To listen to the Conspiracy buffs, it becomes clear that you must believe that certain people or groups possess superhuman powers of intelligence, time management, persuasion, influence, stealth, etc. These “puppeteers” have powers that would make Superman look like a weakling.
It might be countered that Conspiracy Theory believers are not gripped with the fear of real or imaginary human leaders, but demonic spirits–even Satan–who animate these people. But this is even worse! Instead of fearing God or honoring the temporal king, we now find ourselves emotionally and spiritually prostrated before demons and Satan, trembling for them!
Isaiah 57:11 – “And of whom have you been afraid, or feared, that you have lied and not remembered Me, nor taken it to your heart? Is it not because I have held My peace from of old that you do not fear Me?”
Shall we dance around the golden calf of Conspiracy Theory and its constructors, or attend to the Word of the Lord and His Kingdom among us?
Matthew 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness…
Resonating to Conspiracy Theories is a clear indication that we are carnally minded, and not even to the “real world” (which would be bad enough) but to an idolatrous fantasy world of delusion and paranoia.
Luke 17:20-21 – “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
Philippians 3:20 – For our citizenship is in heaven…
Brothers and sisters, let us repent.
Let us turn our minds from these dark meditations to the Word of God, and begin now to work and pray in accordance with His eternal and permanent kingdom.
Which kingdom do our private thoughts and feelings reveal we are vested in?
Ideas Have Consequences
There were pervasive rumors running rampant before WW2 concerning the Jews. One of note was that Jews were purportedly using Gentile blood in the making of the Passover Matzos. These and other rumors were so outlandish and ignorant that they did not seem worthy of serious response. They were so ridiculous and divorced from reality that no one bothered to dispute them. So they became “common knowledge.”
2 Peter 2:12 – But these… speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption.
We often wonder what went so wrong in Germany that an entire segment of the population (many professing to be Christians!) would willfully and enthusiastically participate in the day to day executions of the holocaust.
We are not going to suggest here that the ONLY reason this happened were the rumors and slander running rampant in Germany unchecked for decades beforehand, but certainly these were a major factor in creating the climate that would allow, and even justify, the mayhem and shame that resulted.
We, of course, are superior to the Germans, and immune to the effects of outrageous stories and lies coursing through our minds unchallenged.
The one thing we learn from history, it appears, is that we can never learn from history.
Credulity and Witness
Proverbs 14:15 – A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.
1 Thessalonians 5:21 - Test everything. Hold on to the good.
A casual survey of rumors coursing through the Christian community is not encouraging evidence that we are “testing all things.”