Text: Isaiah 8:9-15
I. No all that long ago, when popular opinion was shifting against the then current president, the president’s wife blamed the shift on the presence of “a vast right-wing conspiracy.”
A. The world is filled with people who fear that secret societies or groups are colluding to manipulate what is happening around us.
B. There is nothing new about conspiracy theories.
1. When the northern kingdom of Israel was falling, people tried to pin the blame on a hidden conspiracy - Isaiah 8:11-12
2. It is interesting that the falsehood of a conspiracy was more appealing to the people that the reality that God was bringing about the downfall as punishment - Isaiah 8:13-15
II. What is meant by a “conspiracy theory?”
A. One writer states, “A conspiracy theory is a falsified version of history or current events that redirects an audience’s anger toward another group. The theory seeks to lay blame for a legitimate issue on a perceived common enemy.”
1. There is no desire to solve the issue, just to blame someone else for the problem.
2. “Hence, white supremacists hate all non-white groups as part of Satan’s global plot to destroy the white race, black hate groups hate all others as part of the plot, Arab terrorists hate Jews as part of the global plot, ...”
B. Example: “The Jews who control international banking have centralized financial institutions into a monolithic conspiracy which is able to direct the affairs of governments by currency manipulations and expanding the national debt. The Internal Revenue Service, Federal Reserve, World Bank and a few other institutions now seek to control every individual by issuing tax-payer identification numbers, credit cards and, in the most recent twist, implanted “microchips” transponders. All of this is related to the scriptural prophesy in Revelation 13:15-18 about the “mark of the beast” . As “money” becomes separated from the real value of gold and silver by the use of paper currency, checks, electronic funds transfers and other forms, the resulting monetary system has become a fraud. This fraud works through all aspects of the system of taxation, licensing, banking and lending with the goal of enslaving the world population to the “international bankers.”
C. We find conspiracy theories tell us that vaccinations are plot by the Vatican, that a small group of enlightened ones or the Masons are behind the power of our government, that there is a move to establish a single world government, etc. One of the current popular books, “The Da Vinci Code” is about a conspiracy to hide the fact that Jesus had children with Mary Magdalene.
III. What is wrong with conspiracy theories?
A. They play on people’s mistrust in those in authority over them
1. When you work for someone, it is easy to image that your bosses don’t have your best interest in mind.
a. Paul tells us to be respectful to our bosses - I Timothy 6:1-2
b. Those that disagree leads to evil suspicions - I Timothy 6:3-6
c. In other words, one of the results of thinking the boss has it in for you is that you cannot be content.
2. The same is true with the government. Who likes the government? Who thinks the leaders have our best interest in mind?
a. Yet God said they are there for our good - I Peter 2:13-15
b. We are to pray for them - I Timothy 2:1-3
B. They cause people to think evil of others
1. Christians are to malign no one - Titus 3:1-3
2. In other words we not to cause injury to another by using falsehoods, defaming another, or coloring our words to show someone in a bad light.
C. They cause strife
1. Put away all malice and slander - I Peter 2:1-3
2. I Peter 3:8-12
a. “Evil” - kakos - That which is worthless, harmful or injurious
b. “Insult” or “reviling” - laidoria - slander
3. Things God hates: spreading discord - Proverbs 6:16-19
D. They propagate fear
1. Isaiah 8:12 - Don’t be afraid or troubled
2. Never fear mere men - Luke 12:4
3. Those with us are stronger - II Kings 6:16
4. God will uphold us - Isaiah 41:10
E. They are not founded in truth and play to people’s ignorance
1. They are lies - Psalm 50:19-20
2. False teachers not afraid to speak evil about things they don’t understand - II Peter 2:10-12
3. It places focus on myths and speculations - I Timothy 1:3-4; 4:6-7
F. They distract from the real problem
1. Followers of conspiracy theories forget that God controls - Isaiah 51:12-13
2. They artificially fix blame, but they offer no solution
IV. Motives behind conspiracy theories
1. Note how many of the verses we read tie anger and malice to slander and evil speaking - Colossians 3:8-9
2. Don’t return evil for evil - I Thessalonians 5:15
B. Ignorance - II Peter 2:12
C. Lack of position
1. Proverbs 29:9 - One of two responses to losing ground, anger or derision
2. I Peter 4:4 - The world’s response to someone becoming a Christian
V. These principles apply in our relationship with each other
A. James 4:11 - Don’t speak evil of each other
B. Ephesians 4:31-32 - Put away evil speaking and be kind to each other
C. Philippians 2:14 - Do all things without grumbling or complaining