I was arrested earlier today by an article on my Facebook page titled: “Christians, Repent (Yes, Repent) of Spreading Conspiracy Theories and Fake News—It’s Bearing False Witness” and it began by quoting the Bible text “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor”. This touched a raw nerve because the author, who I do not know, could have been getting at me, given I at least entertain some of the notions and what passes as facts that can be derived from what some deem as conspiracy theories and fake news, and have been known to spread these things (but only if it fulfills the true, necessary and kind criteria).
I was reminded I wrote on a related matter: “The Deep State, Conspiracy Theories and Watergate”, three months ago, and while things have moved on, I stand by what I wrote. It occurs to me “conspiracy theories” and “fake news” are pejorative terms and are often used as sticks to beat those who the beaters object to for not following their narrative. Some conspiracy theories have been later confirmed to be fact. Did for example Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, kill President Kennedy, as we were led to believe at the time? Here is one conspiracy theory arguing it goes a lot deeper (but then maybe I shouldn’t share as sharing is sinful). As for Fake News, having listened with skepticism at the supposed non fake news (although President Trump will have his own take on the matter), either by distorting the facts or refusing to report on them, I listen to Fake News, e.g. Alex Jones, as I look to find that balance, aware of conflicting views. The challenge is discerning what is fake news and what isn’t and if what comes under the conspiracy theory umbrella is actually that which makes sense of what is happening around us.
If we are into Bible quoting, how about even the very elect being deceived? I have found it upsetting that good, upstanding Christians have been sold hook, line and sinker the official narrative and remain silent on evil, fearing what might happen to their credibility if they entertained “conspiracy theories” and “fake news”, ignoring that “the fear of man bringeth a snare”. Is there not a case of removing the mote etc. and also of doing some repenting? Truth for any Christian should be paramount, in a world full of lies and deceptions, the pursuit of which should occupy every waking moment. Of course the author is right, we must not be bearing false witness and we are bound by the ninth commandment, all of which is a challenge as we try to make sense of the world. As for the Kingdom we subscribe to, it is that of the King in Psalm 45, who along with truth stands for righteousness, justice and meekness.