Is conspiracy theory a virus affecting the church?
Before reading on, might I suggest readers first checking out “Conspiracy theory is a virus that is infecting the church” which, as the title of this article suggests, reveals that the author as antipathetic toward conspiracy theorists, that might well include me, and wishes for them to be shut down / out, much as in the same way one might reasonably wish to protect folk one cares about against some damaging virus. Reading this and the context in which I came across the article is what has prompted me to respond here.
Then read Psalm 37 (first half in meme below). Whenever I get riled seeing bad people get away with doing bad and even praised as a result and seeing so-called good people do what the prophet tells us the Lord detests: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20, or the pot calling the kettle black when it comes to calling out who are the wolves in sheep’s clothing (ref. this article), I turn to the Lord and the Psalms. Better methinks to go for sweetness and light rather than getting bitter and twisted and being obsessed over non essentials as the article points out is so with some conspiracy theorists.
What particularly struck my attention is the article was shared in a Facebook group, which has the remit of examining prophecy and promoting revival, two subjects I am particularly keen on. This was my first disappointment. My second, albeit lesser because of what I believe to be the case already, is this was published on a Baptist Union website. After the Brethren, the Baptists are the group I have been most associated with as a Christian and, while I have already called out Baptist leaders for wokeism, e.g. LBGT, climate change, racism, not preaching the gospel and going along with a false official narrative, e.g. how to respond to Covid, it was still sad to note.
Tempting as it maybe, but I won’t do a full critique of the article under scrutiny. Of course, some Christians get over obsessed over conspiracy theories and some conspiracy theories are untrue and some theorists are syncretic, New Age, Gnostics. And yes, wolves in sheep’s clothing have infiltrated the church and we are now seeing the warning of deception taking hold in many quarters. Yet, in my experience, the “official narrative” pushed by what I regard as the unholy trinity, comprising media, government and elites, lies, over and over and over again. If truth is to be our mantra (as I argue in my recent blog) we may as well gravitate toward alternatives in order to find out what is going on. And yes, that may include Alex Jones, David Icke and Charlie Ward (but also a lot more, widely deemed to be respectable) and even “Q-Anon”. Often such folk are pejoratively branded as conspiracy theorists by their detractors. Interestingly, that was the accusation by the CIA made concerning those who questioned the official account of what happened with the JFK assassination and later what was really behind 9/11 attacks.
One thing that can be said about Alex and Icky, who have been at “it” for donkeys years is while they have taken considerable flak during that time, often what they come up with is found to be true over the course of time and while I urge “test and weigh” whoever says it, the truth of what is really going on is often found in unlikely places. The challenge those of us have, who refuse to let the BBC or CNN tell us what to believe, is distinguishing what is true, what may or may not be true and what definitely is not true. Then it becomes a matter of connecting the dots and in the case of the “Baptist church member” who wrote the article, I suspect the dots he/she has connected are not the ones I connect, given he/she has already rubbished several of the beliefs of these dastardly virus infectors.
Where does all this leave us? Firstly, I hope whatever side you are on the argument, you will rethink your position based on what I write here and in the light of my recent “Weaponising Truth” blog. Secondly, for those at the end of this author’s “Don’t allow any sharing of conspiracy links within church WhatsApp groups and, as I was advised, don’t allow anyone subscribing to these things into a position where they have care or leadership over others” to stand firm, not be intimidated, remain humble, seek truth and above all fear God. Thirdly, the fact that one group wants to ban the other and the other group has lost respect for those who are calling them out should concern us all although ultimately it is for the Almighty to judge and resolve. The truth is that John 17, Ephesians 5, Revelation 20 all tells us that God is looking to build a glorious church that will honour Him and show the world who He really is. We are also called to Watch and Pray. Moreover, ahead of whatever variant of the “news”, is making a priority: what does the Bible say? Somewhere (likely in both groups) a lot of repenting needs to be done in order for the true church to fulfill what God wants for her.