The conspiracy of conspiracy theories
Conspiracy theories, if they didn’t exist social media would almost only consist of photos of pets (mostly cats), children and meals eaten at fancy restaurants. It you keep up with politics, it doesn’t really matter if you are conservative, liberal, libertarian or socialist, there is a never-ending supply of conspiracies to draw your attention and ire. For those who are not into politics we have scientific conspiracies about Global Warming/Climate change, Lunar Landings, Flat Earth, Super Colliders, and many other conspiracies. For those who are people of faith there is no shortage of conspiracies for you, in fact there are so many that I am not even going to attempt to list them here. I am sure you are very familiar with them. For those who cannot find enough conspiracies within politics, science and religion I am sure you can find something within your family that will fulfill your hunger for conspiracy, such as, Dad or Mom loves you more.
Now before everyone gets angry with me all at once, I want you to stop and note that while I listed some available conspiracies above (not anywhere close to an exhaustive list) I didn’t once say anything about the validity of any of the above conspiracies. This article is not addressing the substance of any of the conspiracies listed or any of the thousands or millions of conspiracies floating around on the Internet. The purpose of this article is not to berate or belittle anyone who chooses to spend their time investigating the myriad of conspiracy theories available, and if none of them interest you today simply wait a day or two, and something will be said that will grab your attention.
My purpose in writing this article is simply to remind myself and those who choose to read this that while it is possible that every single conspiracy theory out there is absolutely true. It is also true that every single one of them has the ability to distract us and rob us of the valuable time that we should be devoting to studying and sharing the one thing that while by definition is not a conspiracy and that is sharing the Good News of Messiah. While every one of the items mentioned above are attention getting and can excite someone’s passion to search for truth, it is also evident that the Body of Messiah has devoted massive amounts of time and resources to chasing conspiracies that we could have devoted to sharing the Message of Yeshua. Paul shares great wisdom with us when he said in Philippians 3:8
More than that, I consider all things to be loss in comparison to the surpassing value of the knowledge of Messiah Yeshua my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things; and I consider them garbage in order that I might gain Messiah.
Consider this also that as you chase one conspiracy after another those around you are watching, and many of them are not yet believers and to them Yeshua is still just a conspiracy also. So the more outlandish you sound the more they will shy away from the only message we should be devoting our efforts to share. And if it turns out that even just one of those conspiracy theory videos is proven false, it will affect your testimony and the level of confidence that those around you place in your word. Always remember the story of the boy who cried wolf (or conspiracy).
So as you scroll through social media and see a post about a conspiracy before you wonder if it is true or false and then click on the link to read more. Stop and ask yourself a couple questions. Will this conspiracy add to my understanding of the Good News? Will my searching out this conspiracy enhance my understanding of the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) and the Bible? If I share this conspiracy will it cause someone to see and accept Yeshua as the Messiah? If the answer is no, then you may want to consider Paul’s statement above and count it all as garbage.
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Eric Tokajer is author of With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, #ManWisdom, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, Jesus is to Christianity as Pasta is to Italians, God Has No Plan "B", and his most recent book Galatians in Context.