by David Wilson
Conspiracy theories used to be on the fringe of society but in the past few years with the rise of social media, they have become much more prevalent. They range from the highly unlikely, such as the existence of aliens and bigfoot, to the more probable. Conspiracy by definition is a plot by a covert group of people usually to take over a government or to hide something from the populace. It is the plot for so many books and movies that we love to read and watch. But that can make us numb to the fact that not all conspiracy is just theory. They actually happen. People do actually plot to take over governments and push their agenda, people are silenced by murder or bribery and told to keep quiet or to keep stories out of the news. It can be quite a shock to the system when you realize that you’re not just reading a Tom Clancy Novel you’re actually watching this unravel in real life.
If we step back from the news headline for a minute and consider that what the Bible says about the devil and the existence of spiritual warfare is real than we tap into a much greater overarching conspiracy that has been going on for ages. The Apostle John spoke of the spirit of the antichrist that is in the world today conniving and plotting and conspiring against the church. It is an age-old battle. The devil influencing people to go against their creator offering what they think is a better option.
Let us consider today the 2nd Psalm which speaks if the futility of this fighting against God.
Psalm 2 (ESV)
Why do the nations rage[a]
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
The Conspiracy against Christ
John spoke about in his letter that the spirit of the Antichrist is in the world today that is against Christ and against his church, Christians, the Bible and everything that God stands for. Those who follow Jesus have been attacked persecuted and hunted down more than any other group in history it’s a very well documented fact that over 215 million Christian presently endure some form of persecution in the world and that more Christian have been martyred for the faith in the last century than the past 2000 years combined,
People suppress the truth of God purposefully
people know instinctually that God exists The Book of Romans tells us this in the first chapter that they suppress the truth of God within themselves. People aren’t threatened if you talk about God in generic terms, however, the name of Jesus when invoked tends to bring a visceral response from some people. As Christians, this should not surprise us because Jesus even said that they hated him and will also hate us. It has been said recently that those who hate truth see truth as hate and that couldn’t be truer than when it comes to the gospel. There is an aversion to the light of the gospel because it exposes what is in the darkness. It touches a place in the heart that does not want to face because it challenges their personal sense of autonomy.
Responding to critics
when it comes to those who voice contempt for us there are two basic objections both of which I would like to address in a very direct manner so that hopefully you can respond to this criticism by shedding some light on these inconsistent arguments against the Christian faith.
The inclusion illusion
We are often accused as the church of not being inclusive or diverse enough. But that depends upon what you mean by not being inclusive or diverse. These are buzzwords right now in our culture that have been emptied of their meaning and used as a blunt instrument to bludgeon the person who dares to voice an opinion based upon Judeo-Christian values. So, I think it is fair to ask people what they mean by the church not being Diverse or Inclusive.
Diversity in Christianity
When you look at the diversity of cultures and ethnicities where the church has grown there is no doubt that Christianity by far has been the most diverse religion on the planet. From the Congo to South America, to the middle east, to China and to the west, the gospel has a way of reaching into just about any tribe or group on the planet. Missionaries have taken Jesus’ command to go to the furthest parts of the earth with the gospel seriously.
Most translated book–
The Bible has been translated into almost 700 languages, the New Testament over has been translated into more than 2200 languages. Comparatively the Islamic holy book, the Koran is only translated into 47 languages.
Moved furthest from the place of origin–
Christianity is unique in that it’s center, which is the geographic location of most believers, has moved all around the world and been accepted into so many cultures from Jerusalem to Europe, to America and down to Africa South America and Asia. The same cannot be said for Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism most followers are still in the place of the religion’s origin.
Cultures keep their Ethnic identity–
The reason why Christianity is accepted in so many very different people groups is that they don’t have to lose their cultural identity. The gospel is very adaptable, not in the sense that the gospel changes or is compromised but that it makes room for many of the cultural differences that we experience in different parts of the world. Contrary to the objections that we often hear about a so-called western religion invading and destroying indigenous people groups most of these groups maintain many of their unique manners and customs. Except for those customs that might be against the scriptures such as cannibalism, the whole eating people thing had to change. In this sense, the Christian religion reflects more inclusiveness and diversity than any religion on the planet.
If, however when you say inclusion you are talking about the recent social constructs of the non-binary movement, gender identity and the whole sexual anarchy that we are seeing in the west then no we are not very inclusive of that belief or behavior. let me explain why.
Any religious or non-religious group that has membership requirements is by definition exclusive
They have a vision and a mission and I guarantee if you have views that are the opposite of theirs you will eventually be asked to leave. So, any accusation of exclusion from these groups is inherently hypocritical. Sometimes when you leave these particular groups, they demonize you because you know longer hold to their viewpoints. Probably nobody knows this pain more than the ex-LGBT crowd that found a new life in Christ. They are often ostracized and excluded and told they are denying who they are. They are considered traitors to the cause. But the truth is they just shifted their worldview and no longer belong to that group.
We use our feelings filter -I don’t choose my feelings but I do choose which feelings I will affirm as good, right and true according to the Bible
Every Christian ought to familiarize themselves with the book of Romans which gives clear teaching the flesh versus the spirit struggle within each of us. Christians are not to allow feelings to be our guide in this life but we are called to submit our feelings to the knowledge and wisdom that we Gain from God’s Word.
Our behaviors are based on our beliefs about our identity not on any so-called immutable genetic predisposition. The Christian acts out of their identity in Christ.
There is a very strong push by groups who desire their behavior to be accepted by others. However, when you push too hard in society to force people to accept your beliefs human nature will kick in and there will be push back. The gospel has weathered the rise and fall of communism and many other destructive ideologies and I believe will also outlast this one as well. Why? because of what the true gospel does. It is about transformation and changing one’s life whether it is coming out of alcoholism or many other self-destructive behaviors including acting out on same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria. When we accept Christ as savior, we submit ourselves to behave as he would.
Do you want to be totally Free or happy?
The second criticism that is often leveled at the church is stated in the Psalm itself. “We will burst our bonds” speaking of a sense of restriction. The objection goes something like this “Christianity is too restrictive with all its rules. Each person should have the freedom to determine their own moral values.”
Can you actually say there is anything that people anywhere in the world should stop doing immediately regardless of what they believe about their personal behavior? Most reasonable people would say yes. Of course, rape and murder and theft and a number of things. Again, then you can’t possibly believe that there are no moral absolutes. There is some shared sense of morality. That shared sense of morality comes from God. being created in his image. It is left imprinted on us whether we acknowledge him or not.
The benefit of deep loving and meaningful relationship require some restrictions of freedom – What is so interesting about this need for total personal autonomy and freedom is that the very thing that many desire to pursue, happiness and sexual fulfillment often require some restrictions to be fully realized. For example: if you want the love and sense of self-worth and security that a relationship like that brings mean eventually restricting some of your personal freedoms for the other person. You cannot enter a deep relationship such as with marriage and still make unilateral decisions. You’re going to defer to your spouse, you want to do things that make them happy as well. There will be a compromise.
Freedom in Christ- We see this ultimately in God’s love for us while he sent his only son to die on the cross for our sins. God could have done whatever he wanted but he chose to enter a painful process to redeem humanity. He chose to restrict himself and to walk among us, to endure persecution an execution at the hands of his own creation. The motive? Love. True love is not some sappy emotion that seeks to fulfill its own wants and desires. Love is willing to do what it takes for the good of another.
The Anti-Christ conspiracy is the road of those deluded enough to think that they can fight God and win. There is nothing new to see here folks. From the garden of Eden to the tower of babel and all throughout civilization the vanity of the human race has been its own downfall. If we want to be on the right side of history than we need to be on the right side of His Story, and that means being on the right side of the Eternal One.
If you would like to learn more about how to answers criticism of the Christian world view, I would encourage you to read Timothy’s Keller’s: Reason for God which explores some of these themes in more detail.