Jesus, or Conspiracy Theories?
I grew up surrounded by talk about conspiracy theories. Airplanes flying out of mountains; weather-controlling technology; black helicopters; domestic concentration camps — as a young person, I heard all the theories.
Frankly, I hated those theories. Conversations got so negative because of them, and I became fearful in many areas because of that constant stream of “gloom and doom” I heard from the many people around me.
Having had such a negative experience as a youngster, I went the opposite direction when I became an adult. I not only didn’t care to hear about politics, but I went out of my way to avoid it. I loved America with a great passion, but I didn’t want to talk about or follow anything political—even before I gave my heart to Jesus at age 21—because conversations about politics soon turned to gloom and doom.
However, as the years passed, I was eventually able to put enough of those memories behind me that I became interested in politics again.
But then, during recent presidencies, conspiracy theories suddenly became top news. No longer were those theories relegated to whispers over dinner, but headlines and podcasts and websites were full of stories about “Q,” about The Plan, about 9/11, about No Name, and about every age-old conspiracy theory you could think of.
And, as someone who had gotten seriously involved in praying for America, my curiosity lured me in.
I began reading long threads on Twitter and listening to podcasts. I began researching photos of all the people “they say” are dead … or are they??? (Hey guys, Elvis would be 88 by now … let’s lay that one to rest, shall we? No pun intended.) And I read horror story after horror story of terrible things being done to innocent people.
The knowledge was not good for me.
It wasn’t even necessarily about “conspiracy theories,” although that is still the label that these different narratives, or pipelines of information, carry. But even information that was commonly accepted—information for which people were being prosecuted and imprisoned—was planted in my brain as I read about these things, and I suffered adverse effects from it:
- I sometimes had nightmares.
- I had a hard time getting to sleep at night.
- I found myself spending more time obsessing about who was working what evil on the earth than I was thinking about how Jesus was working good on the earth.
After quite some time, it finally became evident to me that my self-study of “conspiracy theories” was not beneficial to my spiritual, emotional, or physical health.
Why? Because it was taking my eyes off Jesus, and causing me to behold evil with my eye-gate, mind-gate, and ear-gate instead.
I am not saying that a person should bury one’s head in the sand at all.
However, the Bible is clear about where we should direct and focus our attention. Let’s examine two key Scriptures about this:
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV).
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1-2 NKJV).
Nowhere in the Bible does it tell us that we can read a Psalm or two in the morning and then focus on the news all day. Nowhere in the Bible does it even appear to give us permission to set our minds and keep them set on conspiracies, politics, or what evil is currently being worked on the earth.
Should we be aware of things? To some degree, yes. That’s wisdom. But are Christians called to talk conspiracy theories, walk conspiracy theories, and eat conspiracy theories for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
Even if the information is easily accessible via your smartphone …
Even if the information is completely or partially true …
And even if we want to be somewhat informed for the purpose of prayer …
There is a difference between being briefly informed and becoming obsessive about monitoring evil.
And we cannot keep our eyes on Jesus if we focus on conspiracy theories, government corruption, or even “Who’s On First?” more than we obsess about Jesus all day long.
Remember the words of the apostle Paul in Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things (Philippians 4:8 NKJV).
Friend, there is a difference between what we are aware of at a cursory level versus what we meditate on.
And I would ask you today:
How much of your day are you filling with thoughts of what is true (which is only Christ, since He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life), noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy?
Compare that with how much time you may spend on conspiracy theories, worrying about America, or even embracing gloom and doom?
Friend, faith is not compatible with taking our eyes off Jesus.
Friend, God’s Word still says He can heal our land. Second Chronicles 7:14 is clear: If WE, God’s people, will humble OURselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from OUR wicked ways, then HE will hear from Heaven, forgive OUR sins, and heal our land.
But what is the condition for that promise? We have to seek God in faith for our land. And we cannot possibly do that if we take our eyes off Jesus and become obsessed with watching the wicked instead.
Friend, I share my story today to challenge you also. For me, I had to stop looking at conspiracy theories altogether. They were taking my eyes off Jesus. It’s not about whether they’re factual. As a follower of Jesus, I cannot afford to take my eyes OFF Jesus without doing great spiritual, mental, and emotional damage to myself. (That’s to say nothing about the fact that taking our eyes off Jesus is sin, since it’s direct disobedience to God’s Holy Word.)
So where does this leave us? Only here:
I challenge you today to prayerfully examine your thought life and your information consumption. Are you keeping your eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith? Or have you allowed yourself to become distracted or even obsessed with something other than the Holy One of Israel—the Pure and Spotless Lamb of God?
And if your eyes are too often off Christ, what do you need to do about it?
What is the Lord saying to you about these things, intercessor? Leave a comment below!
Jamie Rohrbaugh is the founder and CEO of From His Presence. She is the author of Getting to Know the Sevenfold Holy Spirit, and she seeks to equip you to carry His manifest glory everywhere you go. Her resources have been published by YouVersion Bible Plans and in Charisma magazine, as well as on The Elijah List, Spirit Fuel, and various other ministry outlets. You can find free mentoring on her podcast, Take Your Territory with Jamie Rohrbaugh, which is available through your favorite podcast streaming app. Download her free prayer tool, Praying the Names of God: 555 Biblical Names of God and How to Use Them in Prayer and Worship, here. Photo Credit: VALENTIN SUPRUNOVICH/Изображения пользователя SuprV.
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