Beware of Conspiracies!

Beware of Conspiracies! Why? Because conspiratorial thinking is associated with those who are gullible and often ignorant. Conspiracies are the mechanism of demagogues and manipulators of all kinds.

As Christian thinkers, we ought to develop a healthy skepticism and intellectual caution about conspiracy. We should always ask: Where does the information come from? Who produced it? For what purpose? Who profits if we embrace it? Is the scheme accepted by the majority of trained thinkers on the subject? Why do they accept or object to the outlook? How should we think and respond with biblical wisdom?

Keep in mind what Yahweh told Isaiah during a period of intense crisis: “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” (8:12–13). Conspiracy theories, on the other hand, teach us to fear incorrectly. They teach us to think falsely. They divide and destroy.

Remember that Jesus told us to be discerning. He said: “Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matt 10:16). It is critical that we distinguish who is trying to manipulate whom and why. Otherwise, we are culpable for embracing “fake news” and making unwise decisions. We should not forget that conspiracies are inherently deceptive.

Paul told us that we should “no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Eph 4:14). They author of Hebrew urged us to “go on to maturity” (6:1).

“Wisdom and maturity,” however, are very difficult to achieve if we obtain most of our information about reality from social media. This challenge is particularly important in our day, for—if we are honest and humble—Christians are often ignorant and naive. Our biblical and theological understanding is underdeveloped. Our knowledge of church history or even contemporary news is often weak. We do not read very much. We certainly do not read anything that requires intellectual effort. Instead, we prefer the lazy way: watching television, gossiping with our friends, and soaking up whatever social media provides us. Our gullibility is really dangerous during time of crisis and hardship.

So, let us not be foolish and gullible. Let us cultivate a healthy skepticism about information on the internet. Seek out respected thinkers and listen to them. Read carefully. Above all, let us not embrace the wrong conspiracies: “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy.”

2 thoughts on “Beware of Conspiracies!”

    1. Ale, thank you for your comment. Lately, I have been thinking that conspiracy thinking is as old as the Garden, when the snake said to Adam and Eve (in effect): “Do you want to hear a secret?” (or literally, “Did God actually say?”)

      Like

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