Can you tell me what the church's views are on Conspiracy Theories?

QUESTION: Can you tell me what the church's views are on "Conspiracy Theories?" I have a wonderful, born-again, Christian friend who is deep into this topic. Not just dabbling, but has growing concerns about it. So much so that I was sent a "page" from a book about an incident that was very disturbing. How do I talk to my friend and discourage this behavior and concerns they have?

ANSWER: Before I answer your question let me just say that you ought not be concerned with what the "church's views" are on anything. Your only concern ought to be what God's Word has to say on a subject, and that's what I will attempt to convey.

Conspiracy theories have been around as long as mankind. Some are even found within the pages of Scripture, such as when the Jewish Religious leaders responded to the resurrection of Jesus by circulating a story that His disciples removed His body from his tomb while the guards slept. Hitler was said to be a master of creating conspiracy theories and other leaders and despots have used them throughout the years to direct people and their thoughts.

According to conspiracy theorists, we never actually walked on the moon, jets did not smash into the twin towers of New York, and the government has been covering up the existence of UFOs for a very long time. (And that's just the beginning!) Christians, it seems, have their own brand of conspiracy theories.

Apparently such things were all the rage even back in Isaiah's day and it appears the prophet himself was starting to get drawn into them. Isaiah writes:

For the Lord spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. (Isaiah 8:11-12 ESV)

The reason I like this passage is because it exposes the root of conspiracy theories and why they spread so rapidly: FEAR. As a people we seem to have a gravitational pull toward concocting tales of suspense and intrigue and coupled with our naturally suspicious nature conspiracy theories germinate and blossom. And yet concerning the things of this world Jesus clearly told us to "Fear not." (Luke 12:7) Furthermore we are exhorted in God's Word to "trust in the Lord" with all of our hearts. (Proverbs 3:5)

Your primary question had to do with what you might say to your friend. I'm pleased to hear that your friend is a born-again Christian. Here's what I would do in your place.

First, I would take a week or two to pray for your friend specifically asking the Lord to soften his heart. Next, I would go to him and gently and respectfully express your concern. But I would caution you about making it a matter of your opinion versus his. Be prepared to share biblical passages (such as the ones I've used above) to state your case for trusting the Lord and being very careful about where he gets his information. Remind him that the Word of God is our final authority for faith and practice, and that he ought to be filling his heart with God's Word instead of man's conspiracy theories.

Your friend may not receive your words at first. Be gentle. Be respectful and refuse to argue. But don't be afraid to gently ask him some questions like:

  • Has chasing all these theories caused you to trust the Lord more or less?
  • Since getting into these theories do you have more or less peace?
  • Are you finding yourself spending time in God's Word more or less since focusing on these theories?

Let the Holy Spirit do His work on your friend's heart as you continue to pray for him. And God bless you for being such a good friend.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this question and the answer to this question. I struggle with this myself and the questions and scripturea you mention really put everything back into perspective.