After the disastrous terrorist attacks of September 11, it did not take long for various conspiracy theories to take shape and find their way onto the Internet and then more to traditional media. Some see "Big Oil" as the evil cabal, while others contend it is "the Jews," "the Illuminati," "the Government," or the like. Within the interconnected webs of business, government, military, and cultural affairs, people find links everywhere.
A sizable portion of Americans believe some or all of certain conspiracy theories. Perhaps the general theory with the greatest number of adherents is that of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Conspiracy theories surround the deaths of Marilyn Monroe, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Other theories attempt to explain America's involvement in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Kuwait, Grenada, Panama, Haiti, Somalia, Kosovo, etc. Conspiracy theories crop up during every national election, and they abounded after the one that made George W. Bush America's 43rd president.
Certainly, conspiracies form and carry out their objectives. Maybe even some of the theories explaining some of the above events are true or nearly so. Who knows? It is difficult—maybe nearly impossible—to know anything of this sort for sure these days. Too much conflicting information exists to make any conclusion questionable to some.
The Bible admits conspiracies happen. Psalm 2 speaks of "the nations . . . plot[ting] a vain thing . . . [and] the kings of the earth . . . tak[ing] counsel together, against the LORD and against His anointed" (verses 1-2). Psalm 83 describes a "confederacy" against God and Israel. Interestingly, it is comprised of many of the same peoples that currently terrorize modern Israel and Judah.
We can find multiple instances of conspiracies in the books of Judges, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Isaiah, and Jeremiah. It is no stretch to call the capture and sale of Joseph into slavery by his brothers a "conspiracy." The scheme of the Jewish leaders of Judea to rid themselves of Jesus may be the best-known conspiracy of all, and they followed this up with other plots against Stephen, Peter, James, Paul, and others. Finally, Revelation 17 paints a picture of an end-time conspiracy of ten kings with the Beast, the False Prophet, and the Scarlet Woman to rule the world.
And let us not forget the one great conspiracy above all others: the one in which Satan the Devil with his demonic accomplices attempts to dethrone God Himself and disqualify all His potential children (Genesis 3; Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28; Matthew 13; Revelation 12; etc.). This plan, doomed to fail from the beginning, still rages on in our wrestling "not . . . against flesh and blood" (Ephesians 6:12), and it will intensify with every passing minute toward Armageddon. All other conspiracies shrink to nothing beside this one.
In the end, what can we do about these conspiracies? We have no control over all but one—the big, Satanic one. The former plots and schemes are mere distractions and time-wasters, pulling our attention from the one that we have been drafted to expose, fight, and defeat (II Timothy 2:1-4). Ultimately, the who, what, when, where, why and how of these conspiracies should matter little to us if we have our eyes on God's plan for us and eventually all mankind. They are "things in the world" that are "passing away" (I John 2:15-17), things we have precious little time for.
We need to remind ourselves constantly that Jesus commands us to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Matthew 6:33). Unraveling conspiracies fall far down the list of priorities. If we instead spend our time "fighting the good fight" (II Timothy 3:7), we will do far more good for our just cause, hastening the day when real peace and justice will reign supreme (II Peter 3:11-12).
- Richard T. Ritenbaugh
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