There’s a plethora of conspiracy theories circulating in the United States presently. I don’t even have to list them, because chances are, if you’ve utilized any type of social media over the last few weeks, you know what I’m talking about. What I’ve primarily noticed is that these conspiracies serve a purpose: distraction. Ironically, the whole concept of conspiracy theory is that the almighty “they” have distracted you with ________________________ in order to hide this other thing “they” were doing. And what ends up happening is people drawn into these conspiracies fall prey to the very thing they want to avoid–being distracted from what’s really going on.
Who is responsible for this distraction? Well, undoubtedly, the people creating the theories themselves are responsible, but I’m inclined to look a bit deeper to the bottom-dwellers who are stirring the pot. I believe this to be the work of the Enemy, the devil, the accuser. This is a spiritual battle. His tactics are simple. Divide and conquer. Distract and disable. A distracted Church is a disabled Church. How can you make space to share the Gospel if you’re sharing conspiracy? Who is going to take your Words of Life seriously and view them as reputable if you’re sharing theories you found on YouTube? How can you fight the real battle when you’re distracted by a conspiratorial one?
I have frequently found myself intrigued by the conspiracies over the years. Why is that? My guess is that mystery is alluring. Humans do have a longing for the truth, to know the facts, to be the one who uncovered the hidden gem that proves we’ve all been duped! No one wants to be an idiot. No one wants to live their life, come to the end of it, and realize that what they believed was a lie. This is normal. This is part of being human. But perhaps, what we’re really looking to uncover is treasure, and instead, we’ve settled for the cheap entertainment of conspiracy theory.
The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.Matthew 13:44
Jesus came teaching and preaching about a kingdom. This kingdom had come down from heaven and was like a treasure–a pearl of great price, a valuable coin, a net full of fish, a treasure hidden in a field. This kingdom is for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. This kingdom comes in quietly and under the radar. This kingdom has a king, and His name is Jesus. In order to follow this king, to be His disciple, one has to be willing to give up everything one has. But in return, the one will inherit all the king has.
But there’s this settling…we settle for less than what he offers.
- We say we believe in him, but we keep looking elsewhere for answers.
- We say we’ve given up our rights to follow him, but we demand them from our governments.
- We say we trust Him to provide, but we look to our own jobs, skills, and resources as our only source of income.
We’re not alone in this experience of settling for conspiracies and other empty answers. The disciples of Jesus struggled with this as well. Thomas followed Jesus for three years but refused to believe He was alive again until he saw His scarred hands and feet. James and John were looking for places of power in His kingdom, hoping He’d overthrow Rome, but didn’t realize that to sit at His right and left would mean death for them. The disciples collectively looked at the meager loaves and fishes and couldn’t see a way to feed 5,000.
The truth, friends, that I need to hear and you need to hear is this: “Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners, of whom I am foremost” (1 Timothy 1:15, ESV). What we need right now is the Truth. God loves this world. He sent His Son to die for the sins of the world. He came to bring his kingdom and begin it IN US. He came to defeat sin, death, and the grave. We don’t need the distraction of conspiracy theory. It robs us of our calling as children of God. It robs us of the valuable time we’ve been given to share the truth of His love for the world. It robs us of the ability to live our lives with resurrection in mind–this is NOT all there is. His kingdom has come. And it will come fully, and we will rule and reign with Him on this earth. The time is short. The kingdom is at hand. Rise up.