Sunday, April 28, 2013

Unravelling Conspiracies

"For the LORD spoke thus to me with His strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: 'Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread.  But the LORD of hosts, Him you shall honor as holy.  Let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.' " ~ Isaiah 8:11-13 (ESV)

In the aftermath of the Boston terrorist attack, it didn't take long for the cry of "conspiracy" to sweep through the internet with irresistible force.  Depending upon the type of news you read and watch, or online social groups you belong to, there was no shortage of both well-known and obscure reporters and bloggers questioning just exactly who was behind the bombing.

Not to be outdone, FoxNews' Bill O'Reilly quickly waded into the controversy in response to some left-wing media sources that suggested it was a "right-wing" nut job, or a "lone wolf" who had a personal axe to grind, that committed the atrocity.  And, of course, the loudest, far-left leaning, certifiably insane, MSNBC's Chris Matthews wasted no time in pointing his misguided finger at the culprit by declaring, "Normally, domestic terrorists, people, tend to be on the far right."  The problem is that Matthews' hit list of "domestic terrorists," that he also labeled "extremists" on the "far right," includes Evangelical Christians because of their firm stand against all Matthews defends.  The short list involves homosexuality, gay marriage, abortion, and what he considers to be hate speech.

But perhaps the most recognized conspiracy theorist is Glen Beck.  Last Friday on Beck's online radio broadcast, he gave the White House until Monday to come clean about one of the suspects they were attempting to "cover up," or he would reveal the "truth," himself.  The suspect he was referring to is a Saudi national here on a student visa who was injured in the bombing.   As usual, Beck successfully sucked in his faithful followers who believe every word that issues from his mouth, and the YouTube clip went viral over the internet.  Beck's claims didn't stop with his followers, but reached the ears of some Congressmen who were prompted to call in the heads of Homeland Security for clarification.

The fast moving Beck conspiracy theory also piqued the journalistic interest of reputable reporters, such as FoxNews' Brett Baier, who actually took the initiative to call the White House and ask specific questions regarding the Saudi student who was being accused of possible complicity in the bombing.  Because I believe Baier to be a honest journalist who works hard at digging up facts, not fiction, I would strongly recommend to all my readers to put aside Beck's claims and go with what Baier was able to glean from his sources in Washington D.C.   In Bret Baier's blog video, he gives precise details of what he discovered in his investigation, which dispels Beck's claims.  Unfortunately, however, Beck remains convinced he is right and determined to prove it, and is vigilant in convincing others to agree with him.

I will admit that, at times, I believe our government has been involved in cover-ups and conspiracies, especially in this current administration.  Over the course of the last four years, Obama has taken extraordinary steps to ensure that the American people, including our House and Senate, are left ignorant regarding the truth of his agenda.  But how far do we, as Christians, allow ourselves to be swept into believing every claim made by men we deem "trustworthy," yet may have an agenda of their own?  Beck supporters may find this trait untrue of him because of his never-ending mantra of "I'm defending the Constitution," but from a humanist viewpoint, his notoriety and appeal to the downtrodden has made him a very wealthy man.  In contrast, when we examine his spiritual position, his agenda, whether known or unknown to him, becomes much darker.

I hate to burst everyone's bubble, but Glen Beck is not a Christian.  He does not know the One True God, he does not believe in the same Jesus Christ that true Christians worship, and his fine-sounding diatribe - occasionally mixed with tears that tug on American's heart strings, and his survivalist attitude -  is leading people astray.  Like the false prophets who have gone before him, Glen Beck has cleverly ridden in on the coattails of Christianity in order to deceive others into believing he's something that he's not.  When Christians fall into the traps set by men like Beck, they risk doing great damage to their spiritual wellbeing.  Granted, I used to watch his daily FoxNews broadcast and when it came to his knowledge over economic and governmental issues, Beck proved to be eerily accurate.  But the moment he began touting his new "spirituality," blurring the lines between the truth and a lie, and began "preaching" from his self-proclaimed "pulpit" and aligning himself with emergent and ecumenical church leaders, I shut him off and out.  I would strongly recommend the same to all my Christian brothers and sisters who continue to listen to Beck.

When God spoke through Isaiah, the nation of Israel was in gross disobedience and facing near annihilation and exile.  God's anger was so intense that it had to greatly grieve Isaiah to hear His words, and grieve him even deeper over having to present all that was spoken by God to his people.  False prophets abounded in the nation, and the people preferred their deception over the truth Isaiah took to them.  God warned Isaiah to separate himself from the people and the lies they embraced, and for good reason.  Isaiah's response indicated his allegiance and devotion to God and his obedience to His commands: "I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in Him." (Is 8:17)

When Christians go to outside sources like Glen Beck for the truth instead of consulting the Word of God, they become no different than the Jews in Isaiah's time.  The  pressing question he posed should be heavily considered:  "And when they say to you, 'Inquire of the mediums and necromancers who chirp and mutter,' should not a people inquire of their God?  Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?"  (Is 8:19)  Isaiah answers his own question with great emphasis: "To the teaching and to the testimony!  If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.  They will pass through the land greatly distressed and hungry.  And when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will speak contemptuously against their king and their God, and turn their faces upward.  And they will look to the earth, and behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish.  And they will be thrust into thick darkness."  (Is 8:20-22).  The things Glen Beck have to offer us keep us in the "gloom" and "thick darkness" of suspicion and breeds anxiety and paranoia for everything around us.  By feeding off the unproven suspicions of men whose occupation it is to keep us distrustful starves our souls and causes us to question God, instead of being fed by Him through His Word. 

Men like Glen Beck remind me of the words God spoke through Ezekiel regarding those who claim to have "revelation" from God:  "The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured human lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst."  (Ez 22:25)  All that is gained by heeding rumors and unproven accusations is a further drawing away from God.  The teeth of falsehood "tears" and "devours" the truth, so that when truth is finally revealed, the residue of distrust and hatred remains, making conspiracy adherents "widows" of facts and destitute of discernment.  The "treasure and precious things" we embrace through Scripture are stolen and replaced with spiritually unhealthy garbage.

In spite of what may or may not be a conspiracy, we must remember that God is sovereign over all things, even what is perceived to be a tragedy of the greatest proportion.  We may wonder about certain events and even call them suspicious, subversive, and sinister in nature.   However, with God's help, it is up to each individual to unravel nearly everything we hear in today's culture, especially when it applies to the governmental rumor mill and what we are fed by our liberal media.  Christians should avoid passing on to others what may be a direct violation of the 9th commandment, "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." (Ex 20:16).  Unless one has the proof of the charge being levied and eyewitnesses to back it up (Deut 19:15), or one believes and accepts the word of a mere man without him first providing genuine evidence that what he claims is actually true, we should toss it into the trash where it belongs.

The secular world is full of Glen Becks who are good at convincing people that there is a vast conspiracy being waged against us.  But Christians already know that.  From the beginning, Satan has been and continues to be the greatest conspirator, and his best tool in that regard is in using unbelieving and unsaved men to accomplish his goals.  Once the enemy has his prey securely in his conspiracy trap,  he becomes consumed with suspicion over everything he hears and sees.  Satan is even capable of deceiving Christians when they fail to arm themselves as they should (Eph 6:10-20).  Don't be a pawn on his chess board.  Look to God for answers and allow Him to unravel the mess man has made on this earth.

Follow Isaiah's example.  Wait for God and Hope in Him.  He won't disappoint.

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