Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Christians and Conspiracy Theories: Witnessing, Romans 1 and An Appeal (Part 4)

Posted by Christine Pack and Cathy Mathews

In the past few days, we've written extensively about Christians and the conspiracy theories, and the wisdom of such a focus. We want to make it clear that just because biblical history records conspiracies doesn't mean that as believers we should study conspiracies. There is plenty of evil in the world that is plain, that we already know of, that we should address. We don't need to decode Katy Perry's or Madonna's or Beyonce's song lyrics according to some conspiracy theory website in order to determine that they are wicked and promoting a wicked lifestyle. It's plain to see from what they have recorded and how they live.

With this is mind, please consider the following two examples for witnessing to the lost:
Christian to a lost person: "Did you notice what Katy Perry was singing about in the half-time show? Her lyrics encourage out-of-wedlock sex and homosexuality. God teaches that fidelity in marriage is a blessing and that homosexuality is a sin in his eyes, let me show you. 
Lost person: It does? Okay, can you show me that?
contrasted with......
Christian to a lost person: Did you watch Katy Perry's Super Bowl performance? First of all, she's the woman who rides the beast from Revelation 17. And about that costume, did you notice....(insert four thousand more words here on the costumes, symbols and hand signals of the half-time show)." 
Lost person: Zzzzzzzz (asleep)
 Romans 1 and Suppressing The Truth In Unrighteousness 

The Bible is all we need in terms of understanding why the lost are enslaved to Satan. Romans 1 stands in stark contrast to the claims of conspiracy theorists on how people become enslaved to sin, which is that these symbols, or hand signals, or corporate logos, or whatever, somehow "condition" people to accept Satan's schemes. But this is simply not true. When unconverted people stand before God at their judgment, God will not say:
"You were under Satan's spell because you looked at a symbol. It was a Satanic symbol, but because you didn't take the time to study symbols, and therefore identify one correctly, you were put into bondage under Satan."
Nor will He say:
"Remember that ad you saw in the magazine that time. Well, it had an embedded Satanic message that your subconscious mind saw, and this ensnared you in Satan's trap. Too bad there was nobody schooled in 'visual literacy' that could have pointed this out to you." ('Visual literacy' is a term that was used by a recent commenter to explain why Christians need to study symbols for occult meaning, and warn others about them.)
No....but what God will say is something like this:
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen." (Romans 1:18-25)
They will be condemned because although God makes His existence self-evident and plain to men, they suppress this truth in unrighteousness.

Men love their sin.

This is what binds men to Satan.

Men are not ensnared unknowingly and unwillingly through subliminal messages or imbedded symbols, but are enslaved knowingly and willingly through denying the clear evidence of their Creator and refusing to honor Him as God or give Him thanks. They refuse to come to Him on the terms He has given (faith in His Son Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins).

That's it. And that is God's own prescription for what enslaves people.

 God's Children Marked By Love 

Given that America has increasingly cast off moral restraint, no-one is denying that there are almost certainly darker times ahead for believers. We're just discouraging the fearmongering websites that cause believers to become, in our experience, angry, paranoid, panicky and mean-spirited when biblically challenged about the wisdom of looking at conspiracy websites. We're not saying all those who frequent conspiracy websites are this way. But Christians are told by God that they WILL be marked by love. Well, many of the conspiracy theorists who have come onto our Facebook wall to debate this in the past few days have been mean, foul-mouthed, unkind, panicky and angry. Those are not the fruits of the Spirit.

 A Final Appeal 

Let me close with a direct appeal to our friends, the conspiracy theorists: please understand that our desire really is to see Christians who are caught up in conspiratorial thinking to become free from this snare. Because even if it's ALL true, every bit of it, so what? What are you going to do with all this information that you get from your conspiracy websites? Are you going to storm the doors and demand answers? They shoot people at the White House for that. You know that, right? What about the resorts where the world leaders are (allegedly) meeting to conspire evil? You can't get in there, those are gated communities, and even if you could, what would you do? Pass out You Might Be An Illuminati Member If..... pamphlets? They'd cart you off and lock you up in a padded cell.

I mean honestly, what is the point of looking at this stuff, and supposedly "educating yourself" on it all? What is the end-game for it?

What lost people need is not a dissertation on evil. They need Christ. They need the gospel message. They need to be helped to understand what sin is, and then told that they need to repent and believe on Christ for the forgiveness of sins.

Let's keep our eyes on the Christ, and make sure we're keeping our hearts pure, and making sure our time is being wisely spent on the study of the Scriptures, and not in hours of time spent poring over conspiracy websites. Let us strive to remember that this increasingly dark world is not our home, but that we can entrust whatever wickedness is here to the LORD. May we continue to preach Jesus Christ and him crucified. And when souls are saved through the preaching of the gospel, those new believers WILL leave behind the trappings of the world of their own accord, because He who has begun a good work in them will bring it to completion, will He not?
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Tim 3:16-17) 
"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." (Phil 4:8)
"But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." (1 Peter 3:15)
"The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day." (Prov 4:18)
* * * * * * * *

The rest of this series can be read here:
PART 1 - Christians and Conspiracy Theories (Katy Perry, the 2015 Super Bowl halftime performances, Now The End Begins website)  
PART 2 - Christians and Conspiracy Theories (Madonna, the 2015 Grammys)  
PART 3 - Conspiracy Theories: Dark Times, Truth, Lies and Where Christians Should Put Their Focus
PART 5 - Christians and Conspiracy Theories: A Biblical Response (CONCLUSION)

 Additional Resources 

Conspiracy Theories Are Bunk (Dr R Scott Clark, Heidelblog)

The Christian and Conspiracy Theories
 (Ken Samples, Issues Etc.)

David Rockefeller, the New World Order, and the Necessity of Verifying Internet Quotes (Nick Peters)

Why Creation Ministries International Rejects ‘Conspiracy’ Theorizing (Drs Robert Carter and Jonathan Sarfati, Creation Ministries International)