Monday, February 2, 2015

Christians and Conspiracy Theories (Part 1)

Posted by Christine Pack
"For the Lord spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: 'Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.'" (Isaiah 8:11-13)
Yes, the world is wicked. And yes, a lot of that in-your-face wickedness was on display, both visually and lyrically, in many ways during the 2015 Super Bowl half-time show. But as Christians, we have an obligation before the watching world to be steady and wise and  biblically grounded in our thinking.

Take for example, an article from the conspiracy-focused website called Now The End Begins, entitled: Ex-Christian Katy Perry Promotes Dark Magic and LGBT Agenda at 2015 Super Bowl Halftime Show. This article, which claims that various performers in the 2015 Super Bowl half-time show were openly broadcasting the intentions of the Illuminati and the New World Order, has been popping up in my Facebook newsfeed all day, having been posted by fellow Christians. For those who have never heard those terms before, the Illuminati and the New World Order are believed to be organizations in which Satan's followers gather in secret to plan evil deeds, but they will occasionally come out into the open, it is believed, to broadcast Satan’s intentions to the world, which they do through various costumes and hand signals.  Beyonce making a triangle with her fingers during a stage performance was one widely quoted example of this, and so was Madonna's half-time Super Bowl costume from a few years ago. What are these high level occultists supposed to be broadcasting? The code-breakers can't quite figure it out, but they insist that something evil is going on. From the article:
In the recent years the Super Bowl, almost always the highest-rated and most-watched television broadcast on the planet, has given over it’s famed Halftime Show to trumpet the cause of the New World Order and the Illuminati. And as referenced in our opening bible verse at the top of the story, the Illuminati knows that it is “their hour”, and they are defiantly out in the open. (online source)
But as Christian researcher Marcia Montenegro wrote a few years ago, symbols vary from culture to culture, and don't always mean the same things (read her article entitled Demystifying Symbols here).

These conspiracy sites are concerning for two reasons:

(1) They confuse and mislead Christians about what the occult is. The occult is not about symbols that are embedded in the landscape, and which must be decoded. It is not about tracking conspiracies like a bloodhound, and examining all the (supposedly) dropped-breadcrumb-clues of the Illuminati when they (supposedly) broadcast their intentions, and then unraveling the mystery about what wealthy industrialist knows what world leader, and what they were really (wink wink) doing together at that private resort. (What were they really doing? Planning chem-trail routes and other nefarious evils? No, they were drinking whisky, smoking cigars and comparing their golf scores. That's what they were doing.)

(2) While it is true that evil does exist on a rampant scale, we only need God's word, which is our standard for what is good and holy and righteous, to be able to understand what is wrong and unholy and unrighteous. We don't need to be unraveling conspiracies and trying to figure out if the wealthy elite of the world are getting together to conspire and scheme in smoke-filled rooms. We already know there is evil. We already understand that there is an evil force that is alive and well, and operating in the world, and it is Satan. And we know this from God's word, not from unraveling supposed conspiracies. But, as Christians, we know that truth and light overcome lies and darkness, and so let us take seriously our mandate to proclaim these truths to those taken captive by the world's system.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1:1-5)
As believers we know that Satan IS a real entity who prowls the earth seeking whom he may devour, and that he always has his willing agents from generation to generation. So it can be tricky coming to a biblical understanding of the right filter through which to see the world. Nonetheless, it's important for Christians to strive to think as biblically as possible in this area, as in all other areas, because not only will our Christians walks be strengthened, but we will become steadier and steadier as we continue to fix our eyes more and more upon Christ “the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).

To learn more about the conspiracy mindset, please read some of these Facebook threads in which we discuss the conspiratorial worldview, and why such thinking can so seriously hinder a Christian's walk.
Symbols and conspiracy theories (9-30-13) 
Conspiracy theory films  (12-2-13)
Conspiracy theories and the Christian (12-31-13)
Be cautious of those teaching a conspiratorial worldview (12-16-13) 
King James Onlyism and how it is conspiratorial thinking (9-28-13)
King James Onlyism, Textus Receptus and Jesuit Change Agents.....oh my! (10-1-13)

photo credit: tempusfugate via photopin cc

The rest of this series is linked below:
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 4 - Christians and Conspiracy Theories: Witnessing, Romans 1 and An Appeal
PART 5 - CONCLUSION Christians and Conspiracy Theories: A Biblical Response 

 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)