You would think that living in today’s information age would mean no one would have to worry about conspiracies. All truths would easily be seen with everything videoed, audio recorded, and so many facts accessible. We all know this is far from the truth. In fact, it appears that conspiracies run more rampant today than during most eras of history.
This is probably due in part to the fact that any basement dwelling young adult can write his or her own blog or website today for mere pennies. Add to that our crumbling academic society where formal rhetoric and logic are no longer taught in school, so proper argumentation is no longer a standard. People make bombastic statements, and they are seen as worthy to be explored instead of foolish entertainment.
WHAT IS A CONSPIRACY?
The word conspiracy has been twisted, so we must define it at its root. If we were to ask the average person what the word conspiracy means, she would say some lunatic with a crazy idea about something. But by definition, that is not a conspiracy. A conspiracy is a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.
Do you see how those two definitions are very different, although there can be a Venn Diagram of the two? The first definition assumes that the narrative is false from the beginning, and that the believer is less than intelligent, if not a lunatic. The second definition has nothing to do with a false narrative, but has everything to do with nefarious things being done behind closed doors. The ancient Hebrew word is qeser and can also be translated “treasonous alliance.”
What is the major difference between the two definitions? It is the assumption of truthfulness of events. The first assumes that the events never happened. The second assumes that they did. If we speak about conspiracy in light of the first definition, we will easily dismiss things jumping to the conclusion that they are false.
THERE ARE CONSPIRACIES
Those who are juvenile in their thinking may believe there are no such things as conspiracies. The Christian should know that not only do conspiracies exist, but it was a conspiracy that nailed Jesus to the cross. Even though that outcome provided a way of salvation for us, it doesn’t negate the fact that there was a secret plan by a group to harm Christ.
When Peter and John were released from prison in Acts 4:23-31, we see that they told the people that a conspiracy put Christ on the cross. That “kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord.” The reality is there are conspiracies. There are those who plan and plot in secret behind closed doors to do things which are nefarious and damaging to people and groups. We should not be so naive to think conspiracies don’t exist.
EVERYTHING IS NOT A CONSPIRACY
While there are conspiracies, and a conspiracy was what was used to crucify our Lord Jesus, Christians should be careful that we don’t buy into every conspiracy labeled as such. Isaiah commends the people in this in 8:12 when he says, “do not call conspiracy all that this people call conspiracy.”
Isaiah is not negating the fact that there are conspiracies. He is reminding people that not every conspiracy they hear is true. There are many rumors out there. There are many false prophets out there looking to stir trouble. How do we know who those false prophets are? You can read a previous article about that here.
We all have heard of some conspiracy going on, later to find out that it was not true – what we thought was going to come to light never did. Isaiah is warning us here not to follow and listen to everything we hear.
USING WISDOM TO BALANCE OUR THINKING
What Scripture calls for is a balance in thinking. We must understand that there are true conspiracies going on, but that there are also people who just like to stir the pot. Or they appear to be smart by sharing things they do not know is true.
We must “be careful … because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15-16). There are evil people who look to destroy God, God’s people, and godly things. We are not calling for an ostrich approach to life, burying our head in the sand while the world burns around us.
At the same time, we need to be careful that we are not believing and sharing every conspiracy theory that is laid before us. Not everything that is proclaimed as a conspiracy is one. We need to make sure that we are not bearing false witness against others, making claims that we are unable to confirm.
THE FOCUS FOR THE CHRISTIAN
The question is, when it comes to conspiracies, what should the Christian’s focus be? Isaiah gives us the answer in the same verse when he calls us to not call conspiracy everything that we think is a conspiracy. The rest of Isaiah 8:12 and 13 says, “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.”
Our focus should not be fearing what man can do to us. Our fear should be of God Himself. Remember, the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” Proverbs 9:10. The center of our attention should be to “fear God and keep His commandments,” according to the book of Ecclesiastes in 12:13, is what life is all about for the Christian. If we are wrapped up in every conspiracy that comes along, we will miss who we really need to fear: God Almighty.
What is your definition of conspiracy? Are you naive to the fact that there are conspiracies? Or, do you latch onto every conspiracy without solid evidence and proof? At the end of the day, what is the focal point of what you fear in life? Is it people, groups, or God?
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.