On Conspiracies, Fear, and Christian Behavior

On Conspiracies, Fear, and Christian Behavior

When tragedies and disasters occur—like our present pandemic—conspiracies abound. The temptation to believe them is strong because they make sense of an otherwise senseless event. They grant us the power to place blame at the feet of someone, rather than remain a victim of confusion. They provide comfort in the calamity by legitimizing themselves with partial truths and creating a common enemy (usually a corporation or government). 

Our present culture is rife with false news stories that appear legitimate. We cling to them because, often, they solidify our prior suspicions and make us feel superior to others who aren’t “in the know.” Our post-modern world has fashioned a society where there is no shared truth, no normative sources of information—you have your facts, and I have mine. 

Yet, however legitimate you may feel a conspiracy is, as God’s people we must “have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths” (1 Tim. 4:7) and “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread” (Isa. 8:12). During times like this, we should be focused on training ourselves for godliness (1 Tim. 4:8). We should use our time wisely to discipline our intellects for holy pursuits so that we are better prepared to display a dignified, sober, and joyful life before the world. 

The last thing the world needs is for Christians to become consumed with conspiracies. They need hope, clear-headed thinking, wisdom, and charity. They need the church to be the Kingdom of Heaven—not the kingdom of hearsay. 

Jacob Rutledge, Dripping Springs church of Christ 

Editors note: It occurs to me that the supposed scandals and conspiracies of today may or may not be remembered tomorrow. However, the scandal of the cross with the One who can save souls is the only scandal about which we should really be concerned. “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). 

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