By Elizabeth Prata
[Tomorrow on the blog: No, the COVID-19 vaccine, if it’s ever produced, isn’t the mark of the beast. And, what IS the mark of the beast, anyway?]
This is a big subject. I considered making it into 3 parts, but decided to break up the text and keep it as one, with line breaks. I know it’s long, but I felt to do justice to the subject this was the best way.
In early March, a new flu that emerged in the region of Wuhan, China started spreading. By Mid-March, it had reached the United States and the President declared a National Emergency. Most of the 50 Governors (but not all) enacted lockdowns and either urged or mandated their citizens remain isolated in their homes except for essential trips. Grocery stores were essential but store managers limited their number of customers so as to comply with ‘social distancing’, the 6′ minimum distance between one human and another to suppress the spread of the COVID-19 germs.
Scenes that evoked memories of bread lines from the Depression or 1970s Communist Iron Curtain food lines, doubled the citizens’ anxiety, which tripled when people began wearing surgical type masks in public. Food chains were interrupted and some items were in short supply, such as disinfecting wipes, toilet paper, paper goods, potatoes, carrots, and other foods and non-perishables. The empty shelves and lines of people wearing masks looked like scenes from pandemic movies (viewing of which surged during the ‘social isolation time’, fueling more fear).
|Top, Soviet shopping line circa 1983; bottom, Hawthorne CA Costco Line waiting to enter|
One way or another, your life is a testimony to those around you. What does yours say about your faith, your fears, and your priorities? ~John MacArthur
Along with the apparent pandemic came experts standing alongside the President to give facts and information during his daily briefings. Over the weeks, however, their information shifted and in some cases became conflicting. People began searching out other information, mainly on social media. Things got even muddier. So of course Social Media began censoring non-government affiliated videos links, and comments that disputed the party line. From that petrie dish came conspiracy theories. Some of these theories are that the flu was man-made. The flu is a bioweapon. The flu is a plot from China to interrupt the American economy. The flu is a plot to give the World Health Organization more power. The flu isn’t severe, no worse than the regular flu, and the government is lying to us so that Bill Gates can develop a vaccine (which is really the Mark of the Beast).
|Top, Soviet empty shelves, circa 1983; Bottom, 2020 empty shelves in LA amid COVID-19|
What are Conspiracy Theories?
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines them as: a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators.
Conspiracy theories are theorized to have arisen in order to solve a mystery (JFK killing; Jimmy Hoffa’s whereabouts); to explain an event or events (chemtrails), to suppress or divert attention from something widely known but that powerful people don’t want to emerge (Epstein’s suicide, the Clintons’ alleged penchant for suiciding people, Hollywood pedophila), or to just be wacky (9/11 didn’t happen, the Apollo Moon Landing didn’t happen, globalist depopulation efforts). It must be stated that some conspiracy theories are rooted in facts but they are buried so deep that the few known facts can’t support the entire proposition when brought to light of day.
Muddying the waters is the fact that real conspiracies exist. The Watergate scandal was a conspiracy. Extraordinary renditions is a real thing. Mass surveillance and facial recognition is real by this point. The people warning about them in the past were looked upon as conspiracy kooks, but the theory in those and other cases has been proven, sometimes by whistleblowers, who are allegdly then killed for their efforts which naturally gives rise to more conspiracies…and so it goes.
Terms used in conspiracy theories by conspiracy theorists:
New World Order
and the ever present George Soros
I found this article very helpful. Rather than restate it, I’ll quote a pertinent part. I encourage readers to read the entire article.
This brings us to what is probably the most important difference between conspiracy theories and investigations into actual conspiracies. For those interested in actual conspiracies – including investigative journalists, historians, prosecutors or judges – the existence of a plot is a testable hypothesis. The approach to evidence demands that sources are checked and claims verified. If there is an absence of proof or if evidence contradicts the hypothesis, this is not automatically considered to be part of a cover-up.
For the conspiracy theorist, the opposite applies. The idea of a plot is not a hypothesis, but a fundamental, unshakeable principle. The possibility that the basic premise of the conspiracy theory may be wrong, or that it might be proven wrong by new evidence, is not even entertained.
This brings us to the point where two paths diverge- the secular and the religious. God is the ultimate authority, but man in his sinful nature naturally rejects His authority. We suppress it. (Romans 1:18). We writhe under authority and in our natural state often reject it. We are rebels from birth. (Psalm 51:5).
Conspiracies have existed since the first moment of human history. Prior to man’s creation but after the world was made, Satan conspired against God. He fomented a rebellion from his heart that he would usurp God from His throne and satan would take over. (Isaiah 14:13-14). He conspired to get as many angels on his side as he could and did this by a whisper campaign that introduced doubt as to God’s goodness. (Ezekiel 28:16). This is sin. A third of the angels fell into sin with satan. (Revelation 12:4). They now continue satan’s original campaign against God by attempting to hinder His plans involving humans. (Ephesians 6:12)
The second conspiracy that came into being was satan’s efforts to make man fall into sin. (Genesis 3:1). He used the same tactics that he used with the angels (now demons), make them doubt God’s righteous word.) Eve then Adam fell. Every human after the original human parents now possesses a sin nature. That sin nature is one of rebellion, disbelief in God and His righteousness, and a natural proclivity against authority.
Conspiracies and theories abounded. Humans are all too willing to believe anything except any truth that relates to God, authority, or selflessness. The Bible records some.
Haman conspired to kill all the Jews. (Esther 1:6). Haman’s conspiracy involved political manipulation, half-truths, lies, and murder.
The Pharisees conspired to kill Jesus, (Matthew 12:14). Their conspiracy involved back room machinations, lies, bribes, corrupting the judicial system, and murder.
Jeremiah 18:18 shows the people hating Jeremiah, his words, and plotting and conspiring against him.
Acts 23:12-13 shows the Pharisees plotting against Paul and vowing to kill him. They made an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. More than forty men were involved in this plot.
In secular history, in 44BC the political assassination of Julius Caesar was a true conspiracy involving about 60 men.
The Spanish American war was a conspiracy started by American journalists and fomented through their media propaganda because two publishing titans battled it out for supremacy in circulation. Theodore Roosevelt latched on because he wanted to increase the navy and have the US be seen as a player in the world stage.
We know about Hitler’s men in back rooms, conspiring to conquer Europe and conspiring to kill the Jews.
A few examples of pop culture conspiracies that remain theories are: Elvis is alive, Paul is dead, and who really killed Natalie Wood?
Conspiracies exist. They always have
Sometimes real conspiracies are found out and exposed. Sometimes they are not. Man’s sin will always ensure that conspiracies will thrive. This is because conspiracies are born in darkness and thrive in darkness, where sin dwells. (John 3:19-20). Man’s sin always lusts for power, a change of the status quo, this or that political or celebrity figure to be killed, this or that company’s wrongdoing to be covered up. Man also wants to know things, fill in the gaps, or be in the know. Conspiracy theories fulfill a satisfaction man needs… and so, conspiracies will always abound.
Conspiracies theories have always existed too. Remember conspiracy theories are defined as a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators.
Conspiracism is essentially a worldview. The Bible is a worldview. Which do you want to spend more time in?
There is a downside to spending time looking into conspiracy theories. One is that promoting conspiracy theories harms reputations, involves gossip, injures neighbor, blots the spotless name of Jesus and more. Conspiracy theories are theories because they lack verifiable facts to confirm them. Thus, they rely on speculation.
“But reject foolish and ignorant speculation, for you know that it breeds quarreling.” (2 Timothy 2:23).
This leads sometimes to slander. Since so many conspiracies are born from lies, it is nearly impossible to get to the bottom of them unless or until verifiable facts come to light. Satan is the father of lies and his world draws the theorist into one of clouds, mud, and quicksand. There is no firm end to it and nothing solid to stand on. You can never find out for sure the truth of many of these theories.
And if you’re promoting something that hasn’t or can’t be verified, it’s gossip and slander.
Slander is often praised under the pretext of zeal and conscientiousness. Hence it happens that this vice insinuates itself even among the saints, creeping in under the name of virtue. ~John Calvin.
Why Conspiracies (verified or theorized) shouldn’t matter to the Christian
The first and most important reason is that this world is not our home. Our concerns have been given to us, and they are pursuing holiness, walking with Jesus, doing good to neighbors, and sharing the gospel. We are ambassadors given a message and a job. Debunking or following conspiracies aren’t it.
That’s not to say we don’t care about political wrongdoing or we abandon our civic involvement. But as mentioned, conspiracies are dark, and finding the truth about them involves following lies when we should be basking in truth. When we speak of them, it also often involves sinning by gossip or slander.
Secondly, focusing on theories robs Jesus of His due glory by delving into sin and man’s darkness. It shifts a Christian’s worldview from holiness and biblical truth to the world’s evil, and by definition, satan. Satan is behind every conspiracy. Satan excels in drawing the unwary away from truth.
Third, God sees everything man does. “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” (Proverbs 15:3). He will judge everything man does. All the sins and conspiracies born in the dark to do evil will be exposed. We need not bother because God’s got it covered. Our time will be accounted for, every deed we do. To whatever degree we become involved in pursuing conspiracies, we will account for that and likely will mourn the lost time we could have been pursuing Jesus instead.
Has there been a COVID-19 conspiracy? Probably. Are big and little tyrants using this crisis for their gain? No doubt. Is that our concern? No.
Fourth, excessive focus on conspiracy theories is a negative to a person’s well-being, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. It is looking at satan and his worldview and not Jesus and His kingdom. If we read the Book of Revelation we know that the ‘New World Order’ will come about, the Mark of the Beast will be enacted. There is nothing we can do about the coming fulfillment of prophecy. We are not going to alter future history. In fact, all of history since Eve bit the fruit has been hurtling toward the final conspiracy. But excessive interest in conspiracy theories will only bring a person down. Looking unto Jesus will lift a person up.
Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. (Isaiah 45:22)
However, there is a lot we can do about sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with people so they escape the darkness of politics, tyrants, pandemics, and everything else this world brings. Isn’t it a relief to know we do not belong to this world and a better one is coming? It’s satan’s ploy to divert one’s energy and attention away from our one and only mission on earth, sharing Jesus’ glorious plan of salvation. Conspiracy theorists are actually falling into the biggest conspiracy of all- satan’s lies.
The Bible says, Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. (Isaiah 8:12).
- Conspiracies exist
- Conspiracy theories about murky events exist
- We should spend our time in the Light, pursuing Jesus and sharing His Good News.
- We can be good citizens of our country without excessive devotion to following conspiracies
- Ultimately this earth will melt away, along with every deed unsaved men have done outside of Jesus or by a Christian that wasn’t for His glory. (1 Corinthians 3:12).
Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, (2 Peter 3:11).
Something to consider: God calls us to wisdom, not conspiracy theories
By Joseph Hamrick
How should Christians respond to conspiracy theories? – Albert Mohler | Ask Anything Live (video, 6-min)