Join me in a little True or False quiz:
- The earth is flat.
- The moon landing was fake.
- Bigfoot is real.
- The Lochness Monster is real.
- The Abominable Snowman is real.
- Jet plan entrails are soaking us with chemicals.
Know what they all have in common? People believe them. Do you believe any of these are true? I have to admit that the idea of a flat earth is the one that is most astounding me.
Did you ever hear one of these ideas and wonder, “What if it is true?” Maybe the government caused 9/11? Or maybe they were responsible for the assassination of JFK? Could it be that our government knew there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq all along, and George W. Bush just wanted revenge on Saddam Hussein to avenge the shame of his father’s one-term presidency? Perhaps Big Oil lobbied him to save the oil fields? What if?
The thing about conspiracy theories is that they are usually based in a kernel of truth. They have just enough possibility of viability that they can catch on and spread like fire. In other words, they are believable, at least by some. In our day and age, social media, with its easy access and share-ability, has led to an explosion of conspiracy theories. What do we do about this? What is a distinctly Christian response to conspiracy theories?
As we continue our Advent series, “Ready for the Return,” studying Paul’s short letter, 2nd Thessalonians, this coming week we are going to look at chapter 2, verses 1-12. Interestingly, it seems that the new Christians in Thessalonica were facing a conspiracy theory as well. It was a juicy one. Read those verses, and see for yourself. When Paul finds out about this conspiracy theory, he is really concerned. He knows that conspiracy theories sound exciting, but they so often deceive. Join me on the blog next week to learn more!