Isaiah 8:12 (NIV): Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it.
Ahh…Conspiracy theories. I love a good one as much as the next person, but how far is too far? Are Christians and good people preyed upon by conspiracy theorists? Where can we find the truth? And what does the Word have to say about things of this nature? I’ll attempt to answer that and more here in a 2 part series.
2020 was certainly a year to be remembered. As the coronavirus has traveled around the world, so too have conspiracy theories about the origins of the disease and the apparent “winners and losers” of how it all plays out in the end.
In 2020, we had a surge of conspiracy theories among many groups and figures concerning the coronavirus and political matters as Donald Trump’s first term comes to a close. Whether it was through social media or random web outlets, you have likely come across theories including Bill Gates, Obama, and the infamous “Q” (or QAnon, as some call it, hearkening back to the old days of ‘05 when “Anon” originally came on the scene).
A very popular video made the social media rounds making claims that Gates and Anthony Fauci, leader of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the US, used COVID-19 to gain money and political power.
Around the same time, we had a short film titled ‘Plandemic’ come out, and it touted similar theories with little to no concrete evidence. If you do a little research, you'll find that the company that produced the film is also heavily involved in the “New Age” movement of alternative Christianity that includes the usage of sorcery, transcendental meditation and a belief in Christ Consciousness, among other things, to push their agendas (if you don’t know what Christ Consciousness is, I highly recommend you research it, and also check out my first book, “Exposing the Doctrine of Demons” - I go deep into this subject in one chapter). They claimed that the two were not connected, and it fell off shortly after out of the mainstream, so who knows what the ultimate goal of it was. ‘The Atlantic’ also launched a new series examining conspiracy theories, including an in-depth look at QAnon.
There have also been a shocking number of pastors recently that made strong claims along the lines of “Covid will disappear in a couple months” and “Donald Trump will win the presidency” - neither of which came true at all in 2020. I’m not sure how they face their congregations after saying “God told me this…” and then it didn’t come true at all. One wants to wonder, did they lie? Or did they truly receive a message from God but perhaps misinterpreted it, wanting it to be something it wasn’t?
Alas, this is partly why the Word teaches us to put faith in no man. No mere human should ever take the place of Lord over your life. We have one Savior, and one Word to follow and keep close to our hearts, and doing so will always lead us to the truth.
Sadly, following conspiracy theories such as the aforementioned sometimes gets people in a place of trusting false, fringe pop news more than they do the Lord and His Word, or they attempt to blend the two, which is possibly even worse. When it comes to the Word of God, you cannot blend what is perfect (the Word) with something that is imperfect (man's theory) and expect a “golden” result - you must use the Word as your guide from the Lord and discern what is the the truth from that point on, not try to make a conspiracy theory that you like fit in the Word.
Furthermore, these conspiracy theories from random, biased news outlets often present stories and theories with little to no facts to back up usually outrageous claims. There may be some truth in some of the theories, but far too many go way "off the radar" just to make a point about something that is usually a personal belief.
I want just as bad as anyone to expose evil and corruption - heck, my site and all these articles are fully funded, written, and researched by myself for the sake of spreading knowledge about His glory so that others might turn to Jesus too - but when you go so far as to make radical claims with no evidence, you are just adding to the problem. Furthermore, how do you know you can trust such a fringe news site as QAnon? They appear as a far right group, and post many far right conspiracies - but what if they were secretly from the left, laughing their tail off every time they get far right conservatives worked up over a crazy conspiracy? Anything can be anything with no facts, so to speak.
Take "Pizzagate", for example, if you ever read or heard about it. In 2016, the unfounded rumor accused the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria, located in Washington D.C., of being the home of a satanic child sex abuse ring involving top Democrats such as Hillary Clinton. A North Carolina man with an AR-15 rifle entered the pizzeria, saying he was "investigating" a conspiracy theory. He worked his way around, moving furniture, checked the back areas and basements, shot the lock off of a closet and damaged a computer, frightened employees, children and parents alike who were dining there and having a great time - all to find out that it was actually just a pizzeria and no satanic sex ring run by Hillary Clinton, and that the whole rumor was false. He then served 4 years in prison for his actions.
Now, something like what happened with Jeffrey Epstein, and the horrors of his "island resort", and him being arrested for child sex trafficking, THAT is true. That really happened - many eye witnesses and victims came forward. Epstein was arrested, and supposedly comitted suicide in his cell. Epstein was friends with people in high places - including members of our government, such as Donald Trump being pictured with him numerous times. Does that mean anything? Who knows? It is totally possible to be photographed with someone you didn't know was a bad person or would commit a heinous crime, and no more came out of it after the initial arrests beyond a spur of conspiracy theories that others were "involved". There is some pretty great evidence that many other politicians and celebrities visited his island time and time again, but it's hard to know for sure. There had been reported "flight log" leaks showing names of people that flew there that are interesting, but baseless at best - the documents I've come across didn't look authentic. Once it got to that point of randomly accusing all celebrities and politicians, I stopped reading into those theories and settled on the Biblical fact of trusting no man and only trusting the Lord Jesus. Something evil definitely happened on Epstein's island, and many were involved, and we as man may never get to the bottom of it, but trust and believe that God has, and one day they will face His Judgment for their deeds.
Psalm 118:8 (ESV): It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.
Perhaps just as damaging is the fact that maybe, just maybe, one day someone in one of these “dire warning” YouTube videos will actually be on to something true, or maybe they already are, but so many false videos and theories over time that were just completely wrong and flat out lies will have watered down the credibility of any such true warning and few will trust it.
Jeremiah 17:5 (ESV): Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord.
Isaiah 2:22 (ESV): Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?
Proverbs 3:5 (ESV): Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. I thank God for His Word - its our guide.
Psalm 119:105 (ESV): Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
What Does the Bible Say About Conspiracy Theories?
The Bible has many things to say about conspiracy theories, specifically with regards for how Christians should determine what is real and what is false. We must also take into consideration the level of depth some have studied the Word - our world has believers that go to church every Sunday and read Scripture, and you also have those that do the same but are also students of the Word who seek to go deeper and scrounge every last page and verse for a full and complete understanding.
To me, the first Biblical impulse is that you have to be wary of someone possibly lying to you. Whether purposely or not, this is why it is so important to view the world through a Biblical lens, because someone else will always be interpreting your world for you if you don’t. Someone else will always be telling you “things are this way”, and you won’t challenge it or see beyond it, even if it is pure lunacy.
We must lean on the Word - God has given us the ultimate tool to use as a people to discern what is true and what is not, and what is worth listening to and what is not.
In 2020, I saw many people, including Christians of strong faith, say that God sent COVID-19 to “teach us a lesson.” My immediate thought was always ‘how could we know such a thing?’.
I know for a fact, from the Word, that God is Sovereign over all things, and he allows the conditions needed to be present for Covid to form, just as everything else in our currently fallen world that won’t be present in the New Heaven and New Earth of Revelation. But to say that God purposely brought COVID-19 just as the plagues of the Old Testament is touchy ground - we really just can’t know for sure, and it would be ill advised to slander the name of God for the sake of making a piece to the puzzle fit, so to speak.
In the Bible, sometimes plagues were sent by God for a specific purpose of punishment:
Leviticus 26:25 (KJV): And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.
Other times, they just came per God's Sovereign will over all things for any reason He has deemed it necessary:
2 Chronicles 7:13 (KJV): If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;
There are certainly many ways we can splice it, but the fact is right now, we do not have a prophetic word one way or the other to be dogmatic about it, only skeptical.
Again, this is why it is important to stay rooted in the Word - whether God purposely sent Covid-19 in 2020 or it came about merely by the conditions He allows to be present, we need to be prepared and rooted in the Word.
However, considering all of this, I certainly do believe that God is using this as a test - a test of who we trust, who we put our faith in, and how we think about what's worth trusting and understanding.
Now, one could sit here and say, “Wait a minute…you can’t say God didn’t send Covid but then say it’s a test from God.” You would be correct in a certain context - but the context in which I am saying this is that all things essentially are a test from God. Whether it’s how much you follow the Word, repent, how nice you are to your co-workers or a homeless person you may come across today - I firmly believe God watches all and remembers all that we do. The Word teaches us that we will give an account for all things at our Judgment Day.
I would ask that you ponder this, and ask yourself, do we watch and read more conspiracy theory videos and articles than we do the Bible? Do we understand what differentiates a conspiracy theory from religion? Are we living a good life according to the Word - praying, and trusting in God for all things to work out for the better? Or are we putting Jesus on the side while we look to “Q” for the answers first?