A distinctly Christian response to conspiracy theories – 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, Part 5

Have you noticed the massive increase in the number of conspiracy theories in recent years? There have been what are called troll farms on social media, many of which are run by foreign countries, purposefully spreading lies.  They create totally fake articles meant to deceive and create mistrust.

One article said, “Facebook took down 1.3 billion fake accounts between October and December of 2020, and that it had over 35,000 people working on tackling misinformation on its platform.  The company also removed more than 12 million pieces of content about COVID-19 and vaccines that global health experts flagged as misinformation.”

This kind of report is highly frustrating.  Who can we trust?  There is an eroding trust in our society because of the prevalence of intentional deception.  In the late 1950s a group called the National Election Study started polling people about their level of trust in government.  Into the mid 1960s, public trust in the government was as high as 80%.  That means in a year like 1965, 80% of people indicated that they trusted the government.  In the last ten years, that number is closer to 20%.  In fact, Pew Research said, “Only about one-quarter of Americans say they can trust the government in Washington to do what is right “just about always” (2%) or “most of the time” (22%).”

It’s hard to know what to do about this.  Paul says, “Do not be deceived,” and he is right. We should actively pursue the truth.  But who has time to investigate all the conspiracy theories?  I don’t.  It is a huge time waster, one that can lead to going down the rabbit hole of social media.

But shouldn’t we Christians want to know the truth?  Yes!  It is good, therefore, to ask: How trustworthy is the government?  If your preferred political party is in power, are they more trustworthy?  Do you actively spend more time believing in conspiracy theories when you the party you don’t prefer is in power? 

What is a distinctly Christian response to this? 

First, I would recommend that we Christians keep the main thing the main thing.  I believe that is what Paul is trying to say to the Thessalonian Christians: “People, Jesus has not come.  I didn’t write that letter to you.  Let me give you a few very specific things you can look for, to prove to you that Jesus didn’t come back.  And even if he did, you need not fear, because Jesus is exceedingly more powerful than the evil one.  So instead, be not afraid, focus on the truth.”  The truth is that Jesus is King, no matter what the powers of evil try to do to scare us or deceive us.  So let us be people that focus on getting to know him, his heart and the mission of his Kingdom.  Whether our own government, media, or a foreign government or media is trying to deceive us, do not fear.  Jesus wins.  Trust in him.  Focus on him. 

Second, we Christians should have a newspaper in one hand and a Bible in the other.  While you don’t need to spend all day every day making sure you find the truth, we Christians are people who ground our lives on truth. We should do diligence in learning about the presuppositions and beliefs of the news sources that you listen to.  If a source is far right, we should know that it is far right.  If a source is far left, we should know that it is far left.  I personally believe that we should strive to listen to sources in the middle.  There are independent organizations that rate news media as to their ideological presuppositions. Or visit a source like allsides.com that seeks to present a balanced view on the news.

Third, practice humility.  In a world where it is hard to know who to trust, we Christians should be the first to say, “I could be wrong about this.”  We don’t have to be precisely right about all matters, because we can trust in Jesus.  We need not fear.   We have Jesus and therefore, we can be humble. 

Fourth, listen to this podcast, which gives even more practical advice for how Christians can have a specifically Christian response to conspiracy theories.

Photo by Kajetan Sumila on Unsplash

Published by joelkime

I love my wife, Michelle, and our four kids and two daughters-in-law. I serve at Faith Church and love our church family. I teach a course online from time to time, and in my free time I love to read and exercise, especially running,

3 thoughts on “A distinctly Christian response to conspiracy theories – 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, Part 5

  1. Dear Joel

    Many thanks for your post. Nowadays I don’t trust any government in the UK where I am from as we as a society have wandered away from God’s word, truth and love.

    As regards conspiracy theories, I won’t dismiss them out of hand without checking, although I must admit the flat earth one sounds barmy. Whilst I haven’t tried to examine the claims as there are more important things at the moment, I wonder what is truly flat anyway.

    Appearances can be deceiving so I keep an open mind as far as possible. As we exist in the mind of God, then ‘flat’ might be meaningless> interestingly, I have just checked and an anagram of flat is ‘falt’ in German meaning fold. Might explain things if the universe is folded! After all you can fold a flat piece of paper.

    Anyway, regarding Covid 19 I have done a lot of research since 2020 as I was perplexed at what we were being told by governments as it made no sense. I came up with this which I would like to present for your consideration.

    https://alphaandomegacloud.wordpress.com/2022/08/17/what-is-the-flu-a-k-a-covid-19-and-why-vaccines-are-pointless-at-best/

    My site’s approach is unusual in certain respects as I play with words and puns, but it is amazing what I come up with sometimes.

    Kind regards

    1. Thanks for your kind words, and thanks for sharing the link to your post. I don’t have the education, training or experience to evaluate the claims you make in your post. I wish I could say more. My opinion, based on far less investigation into the matter than what you have done, is that we can trust vaccinations. But I say that admittedly with a preference for trust than mistrust, and perhaps I am being naive.

      1. Thank you for your reply, I understand where you are coming from although I think you underestimate yourself. What I write is based on logic as much as anything else, I as far as I can tell so far you have a logical mind and critical thinking.

        And being rooted in Christ you have the right foundation for expanding your knowledge. Experience comes with age of course.

        I do not know your stance on the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) but I noted that ‘Vaccination’ is an anagram of ‘Icon Vatican’ or ‘I con Vatican’. That is an icon is an image or even mark, which many people worship such as I observe today in the blogs and comments I see online.

        The RCC is a corruption of what the church should be and therefore the anagram does not surprise me as words are key to life and in the beginning was the word.

        And I will say, please don’t trust vaccines, they are Satan’s deceit to harm the children of God whilst making a lot of money for big pharma.

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