Wednesday, June 25, 2008

“Everybody loves a conspiracy," says Dave Brown

It will, perhaps, be less difficult to expose for Christian readers the evils of believing in conspiracy theories when one considers the conspiracy theories propagated against Jesus Christ and the Church. Arguably one of the most popular of these is "The Da Vinci Code" which was recently outlined, albeit as a fictional account, in a book (then a Ron Howard/Tom Hanks movie) by Dave Brown.

Here are some links to articles regarding "The Da Vinci Code" written from a Christian perspective. The Da Vinci Code is really no less believable than any other conspiracy theory, but logic helps us to sort out facts from mere possibilities. (Please note that I do not necessarily endorse the doctrines professed by the sites I link to. My aim is to show what any professed Christian's response to conspiracy theories should be.)

Dismantling the Da Vinci Code

Da Vinci Dissenters speaks of new Christians leaving the church because of what "The Da Vinci Code" taught them.

Why True Beliefs Make a Difference from The Truth About DaVinci . com

Christian Response to Da Vinci Code, George Barna calls movie "conspiracy fantasy".

Monday, June 23, 2008

Does "Not False" Always Equal "True"?

Conspiracy theories thrive because of the assumption that something that is "not false" can be claimed as being "true" just by virtue of the fact that it is "not false".

Example: It is "not false" that I have more than two children. A conspiracy theorist who is interested in the subject of my personal family life might take this information and say that it is "true" that I have three children. In actuality, I have four children.

According to Webster's Unabridged dictionary, the definition of the word "logic" refers to "exact reasoning", not mere possibilities. It is precisely this definition that makes many of us skeptical of conspiracy theories. We who require "exact reasoning" will never buy into a conspiracy theory and those who will accept possibilities as fact will be the ones who eventually become obsessed with them.

logic. Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary. MICRA, Inc. (accessed: June 23, 2008).

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Christians and Conspiracy Theories

I highly recommend this article by Dean & Laura Vandruff. It is actually one of the things that inspired me to start this blog. Whether you are Methodist, Baptist, Catholic or non-denominational, if you read this article you must admit that to wallow in any conspiracy theory is to totally reject CORE Christian beliefs.

Christian Response to 9-11

The Christian Response to 9-11

While some Christians are making the choice to become completely consumed in the supposed conspiratorial cause(s) of the 9-11 tragedies, even to the point of not being able to sit down to a meal with their families without discussing the “need” that we be “paranoid enough”, other Christians have responded in a manner consistent with God’s teaching that we fear only Him. (See Isaiah 8)

Below are some quotes that show how responsible Christians reacted to the tragedies in statements made directly after the attacks in September, 2001. Transforming crisis into hope is the Christian way.

Pope John Paul II stated: “But faith comes to our aid at these times when words seem to fail. Christ’s word is the only one that can give a response to the questions which trouble our spirit. Even if the forces of darkness appear to prevail, those who believe in God know that evil and death do not have the final say.”

Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Dr. Peter Jensen stated: "The violence that has occurred is an evidence of the evil that resides in this world. May we all turn for comfort to the loving and gracious God, who is not absent from human suffering, but who is present with us, waiting for us to call upon him for forgiveness, mercy and love. "We may heed and read the words of Psalm 46: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way... The Lord Almighty is with us."

Kirsty Smith, manager of the Methodist Relief and Development Fund (MRDF) in Britain, said her agency is "available to channel any money that people may want to give to support relief efforts." Furthermore, a statement from the United Methodist Council of Bishops said: "It is a time of national grief and sorrow. It is also a time for gathering, for strength and for prayer. Our hearts are open to all those who have been personally affected by this national tragedy. United Methodist churches will be holding prayer vigils throughout the world tonight and tomorrow night. We invite you to join us in praying for wisdom, comfort and healing in this difficult time."

American Baptist Churches USA Interim General Secretary Robert H. Roberts stated: "We pray that as Christians charged with the ministry of reconciliation we continue to work-now with renewed incentive-for the healing of this world. We call upon American Baptists to look to our Savior Jesus Christ as the model for all our thought and action in times of trial, and to work in His name toward that healing. May the Spirit of Almighty God take this tragic day and set forth in its aftermath the miracle of redemption and renewal."

United Church of Christ statement: “This is a time of testing for our souls. May we remember that our only comfort is that we belong to Christ.”

Presbyterian Church (USA) quoted Christ: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.” General Assembly Moderator Jack Rogers told Presbyterians to "support the leaders of our government, and also be a voice of compassion and restraint" at a time when "it would be so easy to lash out blindly and vindictively."

God's view of Conspiracy Theories

It can be very difficult to sort fact from fiction so Christians are incredibly blessed in that we have a source of information that can be totally relied on as absolute FACT. This source is the Bible – a collection of books which we collectively believe to be God-breathed and therefore free from any error.

Since the Bible specifically forbids us to have dread over conspiracy theories (Isaiah 8: 11-13), it surprises me and concerns me that so many Christians these days are buying into conspiracy theories, often to the point of obsession.

Y ou are no doubt familiar with the latest popular theory that the tragedies of September 11, 2001 were actually orchestrated by our federal government. Propagation of this theory is becoming as widespread on the internet as propagation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because of my realization of that, and my realization of how a member of my family is being affected by it due to his paranoia and obsession, it has become exceedingly clear to me that I have a responsibility as a Christian to speak out on this subject just as clearly and faithfully as I speak out against abortion, homosexuality and other evils in society.

There are other conspiracy theories out there, though, that can be equally damaging to the Christian who becomes obsessed with them. For a list of the most popular ones, see this link.

My hope for this site is that I can demonstrate that obsession and paranoia as we see in the propagation of conspiracy theories is actually detrimental to Christian family life and that this is precisely why God condemns the propagation of conspiracy theories. I welcome your input, whether you agree or disagree with me.