I never do this. I swear I don’t. Ok, I RARELY do it. But today I did, and I didn’t hold anything back. It was because it was something that touched upon a particular nerve that, I confess, really is hard for me not to react to. It shoots to the core of so much of what I have labored in and wrestled with and battled over in my own heart and mind. It’s what you might call a “pet peave”, but then again, “peave” doesn’t really come close to describing how this particular attitude and mindset amongst Christians continues to aggravate me, to an ever-increasing degree, whenever I come across it. I came across it today here:
It reads as follows…
Conspiracy Theories. Don’t.
Should you pay attention to that idea of a conspiracy theory? Let’s dive into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Okay. I know right up that conspiracies do happen. People do try to cover things up and pull them off together. Usually however, we have some idea that this is definitely going on. Eventually, it all comes down on those who do it. For instance, Watergate was a conspiracy of sorts, and frankly, it didn’t really last too long.
The main conspiracies I’m talking about are the kind that are popularized by too many Christians and are also the same mindset found in a number of atheistic circles. For Christians, these often involves “satanic plots” to control our children and indoctrinate them. Much of the time, you know that the Illuminati has to be behind it all!
Because, you know, the main way to send that secret message is to go through the half time show on Super Bowl Sunday. How is it that the Illuminati managed to reach all these dancers and send a secret message to people watching the Super Bowl? Before going off on how it is something you think is part of hidden satanic symbolism, why not just consider something else?
Maybe it’s just a tasteless performance.
Now this is saying nothing about the morality of what goes on in said performances. I am not at all endorsing that. What I am saying is that you need to be on the watch for thinking that there are several conspiracies afoot. For a Christian, this can result in a heightened paranoia and to the rest of the world, you just look ridiculous. We already look ridiculous for believing in Jesus. There’s no reason to add to that.
Atheists don’t always do much better. You can think about plots in Christianity to destroy everything that disagreed with Christianity and then of course, the process of canonization, that was all just a total plot! Very rarely is any actual real historical study done on the topic. Unfortunately in our internet age, too many people find something on the internet and think it’s true. We all laugh at the idea of “I read it on the internet so it must be true”, but too many people have that same mindset.
The thinking also leads to a heightened arrogance. Sure, everyone else misses the main message, but I know what it is. I am not going to be fooled the way everyone else is. If you do not see it, well you just haven’t really reached this level of insight and thinking. Of course, a possibly even worse case could be that you’re part of the conspiracy.
One point to keep in mind when researching these claims is see who is being cited as a source. Too many times conspiracy theorists regularly cite each other and validate one another’s claims. Try to find a source that you think will be as objective as possible. Of course, total objectivity could be impossible, but try to get as close as you can.
For Christians also, please especially avoid conspiracies related to end times madness. I have seen too many times the idea of secretly implanting chips in us that are supposed to be the Mark of the Beast. Honestly, I have reached the point where my eyes just start rolling immediately at this. It’s not just because I’m a preterist. If you’re a futurist, you should avoid this as well.
There are far too many important things to study than the idea of possible conspiracies. If some Christians would seek to interpret their Bible as well as they try to interpret a show at halftime on Super Bowl Sunday, we’d all be better off.
(my response is as follows…)
So, you basically see the apex of “paranoid Christian conspiracy theories” as centering around things like Satanic messaging embedded in Super Bowl half-time shows..?
I guess you can’t be faulted for that. There are after all bajillions of youtube videos which invest themselves in exposing and decoding such things.
However, I must interject as to your overall resistance to Christians being too “paranoid” about Satanic conspiracies in general. Since you clearly seem to be writing from the perspective of a Christian yourself, I am curious as to how exactly you parse this out, in relation to what the Bible actually has to say about Satan and his intentions towards this planet and the entire human race….
You make a rather puzzling statement how even though you’re a preterist, you believe that futurists should avoid getting sucked into “end time madness” as well. Not sure how you can claim to not have a certain amount of bias on that one, but no matter. As a preterist, how exactly DO you see history playing out, might I ask? Are we just going to keep “progressing forward” as things get better and better? Is there no Second Coming of Christ at all in your view?
Anyhow… Your article is more or less built around the typical argument of “Well of course conspiracy happens, but hey, they’re small and easy to spot, and so we should be able to make a distinction between those “realistic” examples of conspiracy, and the full on “crazy” ones…” (is that a fair description?) Yet, there are much bigger “substantiated” examples of massive-scale conspiracies than Watergate, and far more sinister as well…
Hitler and the Nazis “conspired” to eradicate Jews and the “non-desirables” from Europe (and ultimately, the world) through the implementation of a highly organized system whose sole function was to destroy human life with assembly-line efficiency. (I suppose you don’t think there was anything “satanic” going on with any of that…?) The rest of the world allegedly had no knowledge of this massive program (there were rumors, of course, but to believe in them would’ve mean believing a pretty intense “conspiracy theory”)
The Manhattan Project involved thousands upon thousands of people all working on various aspects of a project whose intention was to create the most devastating weapon the world had ever seen. It was as though an entire city was all working together on a singular secret project, yet the rest of the American public was completely unaware the whole time, until later when the project was disclosed.
The Federal Reserve as well was formed in secret, and confessed by the men who created it as something they “conspired” to do, using all sorts of chicanery to put the production of the U.S. dollar into their private control. (The “Federal Reserve” is definitively NOT a Federal institution, but a private bank). This is not “theory”, but open, documented fact.
But as to your question about “How is it that the Illuminati managed to reach all these dancers and send a secret message to people watching the Super Bowl?” The answer to that one is really quite simple, in that you obviously don’t need to brainwash every dancer on a stage for a performance filled with Satanic symbolism. (duh!) Every music video, every stage performance, and for that matter, every film, tv show, news program, etc., is produced, directed, and edited by a comparatively small number of people. Those are the people who can put whatever symbolism, message, meaning, or imagery they choose into anything they produce…. The people dancing and singing and acting and reading the teleprompters are really just living puppets.
But finally, as to your point about our belief in Jesus making us look “ridiculous” to the rest of the world…
You’d better believe the world is going to think you’re “ridiculous” for believing in Him, and if you think that’s something you need to try and mitigate as much as possible, then wow, that frightens me…
Think about it. You lament how Christians need to better interpret their Bibles, but when we pick up the Bible and actually read it, it is full of the most “fantastic” stories and ideas and claims you could imagine. It claims that God made man and woman, put em in a garden, then some serpent/devil creature comes along and tells them to eat it, and if they do, they’ll become like God, become “enlightened”, so they do it, but they don’t become gods, only trapped by sin, and then they realize they’re nude, get kicked out of the garden, etc., etc., God later floods the whole earth yet saves eight people. He raises up a people to be His own, saving them through plagues and miracles and seas that split in two and water that pours out of rocks. He smashes cities with parades and trumpets. He kills giants with pebbles. He turns kings into beasts, and makes other beasts speak. He closes the mouths of hungry lions, keeps people singe-free in fiery pits, and takes people on underwater ocean cruises inside the stomach of aquatic wildlife. Then this “Jesus guy” comes along, and whoa baby, does HE ever do some weird stuff. Making the blind see, the lame walk, casting out these invisible spirit things who apparently were taking control of people all over the place… He even was killed, and then was claimed to have risen from the DEAD and could walk through walls and teleport and such. Then they say He floated up into the sky, back to “heaven”, after which His followers stayed here and told everyone about it, and cast out these invisible evil things that are supposedly flying around everywhere, but we can’t see or hear them, and this Jesus guy is supposedly still alive and even “coming back” one day, yet, in this totally crazy book at the end, it talks about this “dragon” character and how he’s totally been fighting against this Jesus dude the whole time, and is going to try and kill everyone who loves him, and is even at some point going to gather “all the kinds of the earth” to make war against Him……
Yet… You don’t at all see the Bible itself that fully encompasses the “fantastic” and even the “conspiratorial”……?
(end of my original comment)
Now, there are only a couple other points I’d want to add to my already ridiculously long retort to this article. First, to the point insinuating that “conspiracy theorists” are guilty of the mindset “I read it on the internet so it must be true”. You hear this all the time, and it’s really a sucker-punch, a pathetic attempt to discredit information or ideas by pointing to the fact that the internet played a part in the exchange of this information and ideas. It’s really quite a tired and poor argument, honestly. Never mind the irony that this accusation is itself being put forth in a blog post, on the internet (so should we disregard the author altogether as total nonsense because he’s sharing his thoughts online?) but the underlying implication going on here is that of course the people looney enough to believe in grandiose “conspiracy theories” or in such nonsense as the “illuminati” couldn’t actually have done their due diligence and looked for a weighty compilation of independent yet agreeing sources, or well-examined and authenticated evidence, no, they must have simply watched some youtube video made by some unemployed, anti-social middle-aged bum living in their parent’s basement. It’s just substituting insult for argument. Such accusations and ad hominem attacks come from people who have never even heard of, let alone looked into themselves, such vast compositions of true, bona fide research and data-analysis as found in things like Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. (oh wait, sorry, that’s a link for a website, and if it’s on the internet, it must be baloney…) 😉 I guess that’s why corporations, governments, media outlets, etc. all have chosen to eschew putting their information online as well, because it would only serve to discredit them….(!?)
Secondly, there is the other common claim that “this thinking also leads to a heightened arrogance”. It’s funny, because this is exactly the SAME sort of thing you hear on a regular basis from atheists and other non-Christians who find your claim that the Jesus is the only way to God, that heaven and hell are real, and that all the other religions are false and deceptive to be the absolute epitome of arrogance! All the belief systems are wrong, and deceived, and leading people to hell? Why, what narcissism! What gall! As though the people who have come to put their faith in Christ and His word have done so simply as a function of their own internal desire to be above everyone else, to condemn them, and have some sort of self-created sense of exclusivity in the world… Yes, atheists can be pretty adept at smacking Christians around with this one, and yet Christians will then turn right around and use the exact same logic to try and silence their brothers and sisters who they find to be totally off the deep end…
But alas, I AM off the “deep end”, learning to embrace the tides of life and let the currents take me, instead of hiding in my own little cove and pretending that entire roaring ocean doesn’t exist. And the further I go into those “Deeper Waters” Mr. Peters, the deeper they seem to get. The weirder, and crazier and more amazing and beautiful and scary and awesome and almost unbelievable they become. Only HE can plumb the depths of all that is and has been and will be in this vast and incredible universe that He has made, but He has promised to be with us, always, as we swim through even the darkest, and deepest, and most shark-infested of waters…