Conspiracy Theories or Prophetic Facts?
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All serious-minded people experience, at some point in their lives, something like the following: After a nice social event—perhaps a dinner with guests—a discussion begins. The sad state of the world and current events provide common ground at first. Before long, someone begins to speak more—much more—than anyone else. The one-time social visit turns into a monologue before an unwitting audience. It becomes clear that this person has done his or her share of reading on conspiracy theories, and so has “privileged” data others didn’t learn in school. The monologuer . . . monologues. Some slouch back, eyes glazed over; others leave the room; still others sit on the edge of their chairs, visions of 911, Princess Diana or JFK dancing in their heads.

Conspiracy theories supposedly expose the dark deeds and covert alliances of governments, secret societies and prominent individuals. One feels very powerful in the role of “knowing.” But the knowing can degenerate into an unhealthy fascination with the mystery of iniquity leaving some so consumed with evil that they lose sight of the Savior. We don’t want to be them.

Conspiracy theorists call those who object “naïve.” And truthfully, many live in a La La Land of gullibility, spouting off about Newage-y love, peace, and Oprah, while the forces of evil steal a march on the innocent. We don’t want to be them, either. How do we exercise good discernment in spotting and warning against true evil without becoming obsessed and imbalanced in the process? I propose that we proclaim prophetic facts rather than propagate conspiracy theories.

Ephesians 5:11-13 provides some insightful guidance: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.”

Conspiracy theorists love the first verse, because it tells us to “expose” the “unfruitful works of darkness.” But they fail to interpret it in context—the next verse warns against speaking of things “done by them in secret.” In other words, if it’s secret, we have no business delving into it. It’s not our calling as followers of Jesus to act as devil detectives. God has no secret police. He is Truth and Light.

Here’s an essential point: It’s not that we rule out the possibility that Lee Harvey Oswald didn’t act alone, that Princess Diana was killed on purpose, that the government was involved in 911, or that the Apollo moon landing never happened. The bulwark of evil in this world is beyond our imaginings. Additionally, as humans, our senses and information-processing skills are finite. The news media and history books may be utterly deceiving us. But has God called us to solve these mysteries? And if we find a book or a document that reveals a different story than that presented by the media, how do we know that story is true? How do we know that the author of that book or document doesn’t have a secret agenda of his own, even more diabolical than the one he is supposedly exposing? As the dark waters of one conspiracy leading to another fold around us, our souls drown for want of the pure air of heaven.

The passage goes on to clarify how evil is properly exposed: It is “made manifest by the light.” Biblical prophecy shines a spotlight on world events. Like the little boy in The Emperor’s New Clothes telling the deluded king “You’re not wearing any clothes!” students of prophecy state the obvious in the face of mass denial. God leads His wise-but-innocent children to identify evil as it fulfills prophecy. Far from being patsies, Pollyannas, and dupes, God’s messengers expose the evil deeds that truly matter, at the time God schedules, with the Bible in one hand and the New York Times in the other.

Conspiracy theories are wrong on two counts: Conspiracies and theories. God hasn’t called us to expose the devil’s conspiracies, but his flagrances. We don’t do it with theories, but with facts. Prophecies find their anchor in the Word of God. Conspiracy theories release that anchor and plunge us headlong into the dark waters of the devil. What’s your preference in these difficult times?

By the way, the photo is me on Mt. Rainier, rejoicing that this is my Father’s world.

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Conspiracy Theories or Prophetic Facts? — 71 Comments

  1. I am very much touched by the insightful knowledge u have shared. I am a very big victim of this because i seem to always steal the occasions to talk about conspiracy theories without necessarily leading my audience to the source of knowledge and wisdom. I do not make my audience aware of how these events and activities fulfill God's prophecies and given in the Bible. My prayer is Lord Jesus please help me to always use such opportunities to direct others to You because You are the source of Light that would illuminate the darkness that people will see what is hidden and se the need to get closer to You. Amen

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  2. Jennifer;

    I was definitely enlightened by your meditation piece! I am one of the first to be enthralled by conspiracy theory discussions. I am glad that you put it in such perspective with a biblical anchor! I like that! Now I do have a question: how do you reconcile the words of Deuteronomy 29:29, which says that secret things belong to the Lord whereas revealed things belong to us, with the notion you introduced in your piece as entertaining the devil's guile by investigating conspiracy theories?

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    • Mozart, I think you miss the point being made in the article. Our mission is to lead only to Truth that is Light, not darkness, "...for if your light be darkness, how great is that darkness. Matt 6:23. You introduce them to JESUS CHRIST above all else.

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    • If it belongs to the Lord then He knows everything about it. If it belongs to us then He lets us know everything about it. What Jennifer said also supports Deuterononmy 29:29, "if it’s secret, we have no business delving into it." We are not to worry about the things that "belong to the Lord". He will take care of them and our worrying about them shows our unbelief. We need to repent and let go and let God.

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  3. It’s not our calling as followers of Jesus to act as devil detectives. God has no secret police. He is Truth and Light.

    So many great thoughts Jen. Very well written. I am so glad you are part of SSNET!!

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  4. The final events of The Great Controversy (the book by E.G. White) concerning a confederacy that worldwide enforces economic boycott of God's people and their right to buy and sell could be called a conspiracy "theory" by it's detractors. We have to have a both sides. I don't like scare tactics and think that fear is our greatest enemy. I do think that if God's people fully believed what has been revealed in the Bible about the end times we would be more of us gardeners living in the country near the cities and working to share the Gospel in the cities. Read Rev. 13 and Country Living by E.G. White.

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  5. Hi, Jennifer. I appreciate your opening a discussion on the matter of conspiracy theories. I think you have exposed a fundamental flaw. Beyond telling people about these nefarious conspiracies, those who speak about them often haven't a clue what to do to stop the evil plot they disclose. As Christians, we do have the answer. It is not stockpiling food, hiding in remote locations, or disconnecting ourselves from "the grid." The answer is the same as it has always been, sharing the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. We are not called to change the world's systems. God will take care of that when it is time. We are simply called to touch hearts with the love of God, one heart at a time. If we disengage from society that only becomes harder.

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  6. Thank you Jennifer for such an insightful and truthful discussion. It is very easy to get consumed with what goes on in secret and waste our scarcely available energies on things we many times cannot prove. In the past, I have found myself a monologuist monologuing to those I thought knew least or nothing about "them". I have stopped and evaluated its spiritual value and discovered that there is virtually nothing unless founded and/or cross-referenced with the main authority THE BIBLE. I can only repeat Matthew's prayer above. "God help us to expend our energies on matters that matter."

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  7. This is a problem in our church that I believe our leaders have yet to address. It is made more so by the presence of some influential independent ministries that peddle these theories. These ministries go unchecked, because as long as you are "orthodox" in our church (I.e. accept all the beliefs) , you are free to "innovate" without scrutiny.
    People might even admire your earnestness and faithfulness to SDA tradition.

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  8. Folks I'm on the road so haven't had time to say much yet. Let me do so now. Mozart (cool name) I think conspiracy theory addiction, if I can call it that, has it's roots in the need to know. We can't bear being out of the knowledge loop. So to respect God's secret things would be as difficult as ignoring the devil's secrets.

    Jane, good phrase, devil detectives.

    Andrew, interesting point. So what's to keep them from pointing out the "conspiracies" in the conference itself! Or at least imply them. Oh, that we would be slow to accuse. But fear sells, you know. And anyone can, in order to garner customers, create a conspiracy and then present their "product" as the way to safety from it. That's good marketing, actually. But bad Christianity.

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  9. My family gets on my nerve with their interest in conspiracy theories. You have given me some idea on how to deal with them and these annoying theories.

    Daniel

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  10. I enjoyed the article about conspiracy theories. I have had so many similar experiences and conversations ( as the trapped listener) and I agree that our comment should lead the speaker to know that God is ultimately in control! thank you for the great article

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  11. You said "Conspiracy theories are wrong on two counts: Conspiracies and theories." But don't we as Seventh-day Adventists believe in the biggest conspiracy and cover-up ever perpetrated, the change of Sabbath to Sunday? We must rely on privileged information ourselves when we claim that it was a Pope that did this, as this fact seems to have disappeared from secular history. We even go a step further than the typical conspiracy theorist, we actually teach about a future conspiracy! The Sunday Law. We are even more bold than those who merely claim that we've been lied to by our government, we claim that obedience to this law is taking the dreaded Mark of the Beast. Try bringing that up at a dinner party of non-Adventists. When I first heard the Adventist message, it didn't sound any different to me than a "conspiracy theory". Thank the Lord I didn't just dismiss it out of hand.

    You go on to say: "God hasn’t called us to expose the devil’s conspiracies" but you quoted Eph "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them". Aren't the Devil's conspiracies unfruitful works of darkness? I didn't understand from your post what it is that you thought we were to be exposing? You did say "expose the evil deeds that truly matter" but without citing an example, I'm not sure which ones you think matter that are not conspiracies of the Devil. Doesn't the Third Angel expose the Mark of the Beast which is a conspiracy of the Devil through the Papacy? The rest of that verse you quoted does explain which things we are not suppose to discuss "For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret." The conspiracies that theorists usually expose are done in the open, not secretly, and the evidence is also readily found by those who look for it, without delving into speculation about secret things. The secret things not to speak of are the oaths, rituals, the inner workings and esoteric knowledge of the occult. The origin of the word occult is "hidden" or "secret". Most "conspiracy theories" are not about researching the occult, but are rather just exposing the lies given to us by the media or government, openly, not in secret.

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    • Joshua. I agree with you entirely. The first thing is to define what conspiracy theory which Jennifer did not define but assumes everyone knows . Nevertheless you have gone a mile to define it. The Great Controversy is between truth and error. You find that conspiracy theory is what the devil has been developing since his fall in heaven. It is his theory which with passing of time he is trying to perfect ready for final showdown between evil and righteousness. Thank you for a balanced comment.

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  12. Joshua, you make some great points. I think my central point, however badly I expressed it, was that we should use the Bible as a guide to know which things to expose. For instance, digging deeply into who killed JFK seems to me a waste of time because it has nothing to do with prophecy. But researching the machinations behind the change for the Sabbath, for instance, would be a worthy endeavor. What guidelines would you suggest? Certainly you realize we need some limit on how much digging into evil we should do.

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    • Jennifer I believe you expressed your point very clearly. The thing that concerns me too, and about all these conspiracy theories, is that everything seems to be a cover up, and if you start buying into all these theories you are led to believe that everyone is lying about everything to cover everything up and there is no truth. Everything is a lie. Once we believe that we start doubting the Bible and God because conspiracy theories, after they have accomplished Satan's purpose, rob us of the ability to believe in truth. Please don't missunderstand, I an not so naive as to not believe there are conspiracies out there, but like you said JFK has nothing to do with prophecy or salvation. Instead of studying lies we should be studying the Truth.

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      • A lot of what goes on IS a lie because the Father of Lies is running the world! What are we to expect? All we can do IS focus on God and His Word.

        Conspiracy Theories come up because something starts to smell. Why? Because thats what lies do...they smell. They are hard to cover up. While its not cool to be naive about what is really going on around you, that cant be the focus...especially of every conversation because that knowledge doesnt save you or anyone else. The enemy knows those facts as well (and more) and he's not going to be saved. What saves you is a loving relationship with Christ. So that should be our focus. But I would not decidedly live in a naive manner. We are to watch and pray.

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    • Jennifer, as I read the Bible, I'm astonished at how many things are written in there that seem to be irrelevant at first. Try reading Daniel 11, and then read Uriah Smith's commentary on that chapter. It's astounding the minutia of history that is covered prophetically in that one chapter. Everything in history, like nature, when rightly studied, points to God and the plan of salvation. The history of the world is the history of the Great Controversy. Conspiracy theorists are really just a branch of historian. You might call it alternative history. If people like history, they should study it; but in the light of scripture, and not instead of it, of course. In my last comment I mentioned that the bible itself gives us that line not to cross. We are not to join secret societies to gain occult knowledge, and we are not to be fascinated by what goes on inside those societies and the study of the occult and spiritualistic side of things. It's why Jesus says in John 18:20 "in secret have I said nothing." Therefore we know that there will be nothing of value to study in the "secret" esoteric, occult writings. You might say it's the difference between the study of astronomy and astrology.

      Though I don't waste my own time on it either, I would not be quick to say that JFK's killer has nothing to do with prophecy and that's it's a waste of other people's time. Many Adventists at that time were convinced that JFK would be the President to unite the two beasts, and bring in the Sunday Law because he was the first Catholic President. But a funny thing happened, he actually reestablished the separation of church and state, and probably is responsible for delaying that union by a couple of decades. Imagine the fury of Rome when one of their own stabs them in the back. So perhaps his killer will be found to have played some role in prophecy after all. Studying that may seem a waste of time to you and me, but we probably would have also said that the French Revolution had nothing to do with prophecy had we not read that entire chapter in Great Controversy dedicated to it.

      I wonder if your real concern here is that some people are not socially savvy. I'm sure that you talk about your work differently with colleagues than with lay people. But I've found there are some people who do not make this distinction, and they can really bring down a gathering and upset people. Computer geeks often get this label just as often as conspiracy theorists. I wonder if it's not so much what they are interested in but rather their lack of tact. Everyone knows an annoying conspiracy theorist, computer geek, sports fan, Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative or even an annoying Seventh-day Adventist. Maybe we are that annoying SDA to some of our friends and family ;-)

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  13. William I love this point. I'm a licensed counselor and must diagnose people. I know, I know, some people believe psychology is all one big conspiracy! And I agree that the diagnoses aren't biblical. But they're based on years of observation of human nature and the dysfunctional patterns into which it can fall. So to me, they have some validity. One of the diagnoses is paranoid personality disorder. A person essentially becomes hyper paranoid, seeing danger everywhere. I fear some (not all) conspiracy oriented people are in danger of "catching" this illness. They'd say that we have a "normalcy bias," but I'd say they have a conspiracy bias. Some of them seem to have a slot in their brian for conspiracies that is so large, everything fits. As Goldstein said, a Jesuit behind every bush. I believe we must accept the possibility of conspiracy without assuming it.

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  14. Thank you Jennifer for your wonderful insight. My name is Graham and I'm a conspiracy monologuer! Having watched Walter Veith's ' The Secret Behind Secret Societies' (the superb Total Onslaught series is available on YAH Tube- not Youtube) you can see the evil hand of freemasonry and it's master organisation are the puppeteers of the world's governments and NGO's.

    Can we do anything about it? Nope. Is there any sense in informing the uninformed? I have to say no again, I have had no success whatsoever using this as an evangelism tactic. Where it has been very useful is informing those who have been approached to join a lodge or informing lodge members of the truth. That works- targeted one on one focussed evangelism.

    There is injustice out there, but justice is not for us to dispense. I have been battling with this issue this very week, and thank you for bringing clarity to an issue many of us wrestle with.

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  15. Graham thanks for your honest assessment of conspiracy theories. So they're useless or even destructive for: fellowship, evangelism, and activism, but useful for helping the tempted. Sort of like I wouldn't do a detailed presentation on the harmfulness of methamphetamine use for a sermon, but it would be very helpful to one tempted to use. Thanks again for the honest assessment!

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  16. think i was kinda reading about myself when i started the article..lol..how timely. God's word must always be heralded first and must be the foundation of our ministry. the agents and masters of this world are about their business. We must be about our Father's business in a professional way and not be deterred by all the distractions. Conspiracy theories have a way of been rather interesting and can take alot of our times delving deeper and deeper into the unknown. this can truly spell disaster for our souls because we might as well be playing in the devil's playground.

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  17. A few years ago while writing a sermon on Psalm 2 I wrote this poem. I thought you might enjoy it:

    Theories of Conspiracies
    by Barnabas Hope

    Devilish conspiracies abound
    tantalizing the religious history hound
    of secret societies
    and pagan improprieties
    ancient eastern plots
    (largely all tying stomachs in knots.)
    At such interpretations many will scoff and laugh.
    Saying, "All such are the fantasizers craft."
    However, this we do know is true.
    Satan has a conspiracy. It's against you!

    But, you are only a pebble to be trod under his tank
    for his real objective is one much higher in rank.

    A Sovereign, a Prince, the Divine Anointed.
    It is at the Son of God, his arrows are pointed.

    Satan, pulls lie after lie from his quiver of antiquity.
    And places them in his silver bow of media and modern‑ity.

    Upward, heavenward I fly toward the throne.
    Through a sea of dangerous darts, "Oh, I've been hit! pierced to bone!"

    Away from the conspirator and conspiracy, I fly as a wounded sparrow.
    only with Holy eye salve can I dodge every new arrow.

    Bleeding to the breast of Jesus, I run.
    Yes in the midst of the fray. . . I kiss the Son. (Psalm 2)

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  18. Perhaps it's time to point out the distinction between conspiracy theories and the genuine conspiracy to oppose the work of God in this world.

    We know the genuine conspiracy as the "great controversy between Christ and Satan." It was begun by rebellion in heaven and moved to this earth when Adam and Eve chose to forfeit the rulership of this earth to Satan by believing his lies rather than God's truth. We know that Satan seeks to enlist as many as possible on his side in the controversy.

    I believe Satan's primary goal has been and still is to misrepresent Christ - to make Him appear to be self-seeking as Satan is. In order to do that, Satan does all he can to divert the attention of believers from Christ to other things. And he succeeds with conspiracy theories where he might not succeed with TV and movies. Rather than talking about Christ and introducing others to Him, conspiracy theorists tend to talk about the newest thing on conspiracy theories wherever they go. If they spent the same time they spend on conspiracy theories on introducing others to Christ, how much faster the work of Christ would be done!

    Instead of sharing the latest about conspiracy theories, let us share the Good News that Christ has the solution for all of the world's problems. Let us share what He has done for us and what He can do for others. Let us share that He is coming soon and will deliver His people from all the evil in the world.

    Instead of sharing the latest book or DVD on conspiracies, let us share some of the wonderful literature and DVD's prepared for the purpose of pointing people to Jesus.

    Our Sabbath School Superintendent this Sabbath shared with us where and how he had given away a number of copies of The Great Hope last week. He first read it himself, and he got so excited about it that he started giving copies away before he was even finished reading it. We have yet to get our copies, but he told us that it is a very condensed version of the Great Controversy, explaining how the controversy began in heaven and how it will end with Eden restored - just as the original Great Controversy does in much greater detail.

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    • This comment is overdue, Ms. Anderson.

      Many of our brothers and sisters who enjoy conspiracy theories tend to do two things:

      1. Plead that there actually is a conspiracy and then reference their version of the Great Controversy as "proof".

      2. Conflate any modern conspiracy theory with the writings of EGW. In other words they tend to treat rejection of their particular conspiracy theories as stemming from your unfamiliarity with the writings of EGW.

      Many of these conspiracy theories have as their source some of the most sensationalistic of our dispensationalist Protestant brothers and sisters in other denominations. This is completely at odds with our interpretation of prophecy. Particularly if you study them you will see how much their preterist theology pervades these theories (and increasingly these days as it references their views on the Middle East).

      So in my opinion, this is not a "cute" problem taken to extremes "sometimes" by "some people" but rather a very grave issue that is being ignored precisely because apparent orthodoxy almost always prevents careful scrutiny in our denomination.

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      • Andrew, thank you for your comment. Unfortunately I have to agree with you.

        It is especially serious since some of "leading lights" for conservative Adventists have focused heavily on conspiracy theories even in evangelistic meetings.

        I believe such an emphasis sabotages the gospel, and that is, indeed, serious.

        And you point out another serious problem--the use of Ellen White's writings to support such conspiracy theories. In Selected Messages, Vol 2, there's a whole chapter warning against "secret societies." This has probably been used to justify preaching on the subject of conspiracies. However, if we read that chapter, we can see that the same principles can easily apply to joining the conspiracy theorists of the world. While they may not literally form a "secret society," yet there is the same atmosphere of having "secret knowledge" not available to the "ordinary" people. It fosters a sense of superiority to others and a sense of kinship among conspiracists.

        Other counsels dealing with secret societies begin on p. 622 of Evangelism. I'm sure that speakers who justify their preaching on Freemansonry, the Illuminati and others by these counsels are sincere. However, the effect of their preaching is generally the polar opposite of that intended. The supposed expose of these organizations arouses an unhealthy interest in "secret" information and brings with it a sense of pride in this secret knowledge. The focus is shifted from Christ and the works of Satan, and his satanic majesty is well pleased.

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        • Something is rubbing me the wrong way with this thread. Everyone is sharing expert opinions, even at the expense of some of the men of God out there. While I agree that going to an extreme with theories can be distracting, some of the statements made can cause division.

          Everyone's ministry is not going to be the same...Some will be arms, another legs; some Pauls, others John the Baptists. The men we are speaking of love the Lord. God works on everyone differently when it comes to personal salvation as well as their ministry.

          The 'exposing' that supposedly gives the enemy great pleasure, will ultimately be done in Heaven when the books are opened. But Im not sure Jesus had to wait until He went to Heaven to know what was going on in His day. I believe He knew, but kept His focus on His Father.

          Lets pray that our brothers will keep their focus Heavenward as well instead of talking about them. Honestly I think the enemy WANTS to silence them someway, somehow.

          The more one exposes, the more they have to look Heavenward (which is not easy). While I agree we need to be focusing on our Father so that by beholding we can become changed, some of what was exposed has opened eyes...to the point where some may have a less chance of being manipulated. But if we are going to be a part of the remnant, lets be about praying for brothers, especially ministers... rather than talking about them. Please.

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        • Mark, I'm having difficulty understanding whether you agree or disagree with Jennifer and just what kind of comments rub you the wrong way. ;)

          However, I agree with your comment about Jesus:

          But Im not sure Jesus had to wait until He went to Heaven to know what was going on in His day. I believe He knew, but kept His focus on His Father.

          I believe that is a good addition to Jennifer's points. There were probably plenty of genuine conspiracies (not just conspiracy theories) that Jesus could have talked about in His day. But He kept His focus on His Father and the task He was given on this earth.

          We should follow His example. Christ gave us the task of preaching the gospel and sharing the Three Angels' messages. If we keep busy with that, we won't have time to follow up on all the conspiracies that supposedly exist. Rather than dealing with "secret knowledge," we should focus on the truths revealed in the Word of God.

          Those who responded to Jennifer's post, recognizing themselves in her description represent hundreds and thousands of others who are doing the same, Most won't come here to admit it. Those that did comment here demonstrate that her post was right on target. And I'm guessing that some that would like to argue with her points were made uncomfortable because they, too, have focused too much on hidden conspiracies rather than the revealed truths of the Bible. It's always hard to admit that we've been wrong ...

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  19. Thanks, Inge. Big difference between what I'm calling conspiracy theories and genuine conspiracy. We must be careful not to disallow any talk of conspiracies because that's what the great controversy is--a conspiracy of evil against good, Satan against God. The last thing I want to do is deny Christians the right to study world events in light of prophecy, or shut down any talk of the devil's plots to destroy us. As the Proverbs say, "Surely in vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird." There's a place for warning people about traps the devil sets. But there's a line over which people become paranoid. Let's watch both extremes.

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    • Inge,

      I feel many of us are looking forward to be part of that special group, the 144,000 who will go out to help prepare the world for the coming bridegroom. What rubs me the wrong way is the calling out of people's names who are out there trying to do the work of God. People who are sincere about their love to Him and devoted to work for Him. While a part of their ministry may not be for you or I, Im not sure its good that we judge a part of someone else's ministry. Its divisive.

      Like I said before, 'exposing a lie' is not in and of itself a sin. How its exposed may be or if it takes away from growing your relationship with God, then yeah. But I dont think coming onto this thread and calling out names of ministers who are doing some of the 'exposing' is right. Its almost as if we are judging them and a part of what they may be called to do. (Notice I said 'a part'..as I still feel one's main focus should be beholding Christ). I do also feel there have been some who have been saved from manipulation from hearing some of what has been reported.

      Time is short, and as we prepare to become more and more like Christ... Im am not comfortable with the calling of names, and then people giving opinions. They are our brothers.. We're supposed to be on the same team. I just feel we should be humbly praying for each other rather than typing our opinions about ministers out there who are on Christ's side.

      By the way, I apologize if this is not worded properly. I really have something else on my mind that I need to take to the Lord, and Im probably botching this post up. But hopefully you understand where Im coming from.

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  20. I totally agree with Joshua......and Jennifer, more so with Joshua. Only because of the things I have been through. Many Christians are getting too relaxed and not calling sin by it's right name. And tie this in, we can put all our problems into a prayer box and God will do all the work for us! No need to do anything, just focus on the good things. The list of excuses Adventist use to steer clear of anything 'negative' can be just as damaging as those that focus too much and/or buy into any conspiracy theory to easily. Both ends are damaging if not rightly balanced.

    There for sure needs to be a fine balance between the two opposites there, without neglect on either side. We need to know enough to be able to answer someone who may ask us these questions. Give a good answer and then make sure you end that answer with something of the loveliness of Christ and His love for us. Lets face it the conspiracy issue is going to catch some peoples interest. Lets pray it leads them to God and His almighty love for them.

    It seems to me that many SDA's are taking this side of "think only of the pure and lovely, anything else is a sin" if that was true, then why did Jesus himself tell the disciples plainly the answer to the end times? Why then also does SOP go into great details of how wretched things can and will be, if we are to only speak and think upon the good things only?

    Of course we can not dwell upon the bad things for to long, because the Bible makes it clear to make Jesus the apple of your eye. But too preach that all is lovely and those that wanna talk about the conspiracies and theories are wasting time and energy, is not good advice in my opinion. Saying that "God has not called us to expose satan's conspiracies" is not true. SOP says clearly that we are to be aware of his tactics or we will be taken by them....

    We need that fine balance between the truth of this world, which is far from anything pure and lovely (generally speaking). And the truth of Jesus and His great love for us and how He IS coming to end this world and take us home.

    Here is some SOP and scripture to think about; Had the true followers of Christ been cultivating their ability with equal zeal and diligence, they might now be wise enough to discern the devices of Satan; they would be prepared to stand in defense of the truth, and to meet and successfully expose the deceptions of the ungodly. {Signs of the Times May 26, 1887, par. 5}

    Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

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    • Sandy, thank you for bringing up Paul's counsel in Ephesians. He tells us what "armour" we need to put on in Eph. 6:14-20:

      The armour consists of truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, the word of God, praying always in the Spirit. Somehow I don't quite see the pursuit of hidden conspiracies fitting into the list. Do you?

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  21. Here's the thing Sandy. I didn't say we should never say anything negative, and just share what might be described as religious pablum. And I affirm that some people are interested in conspiracies and since we have enough in prophecy to capture their interest, we should speak about such things as the beast, 666, the US in prophecy, etc. Amen. In fact, as the US begins to repudiate some of its church/state principles, we can say to interested people, "Do you know that the book of Revelation teaches that the US will eventually abandon its constitutional foundation and become a tyranny?" Then we can show them Revelation 13:11 and perhaps that will lead to more study. My difficulty is not with this approach, in fact we should take it more often. God didn't give this church unique light so that we'd bury it. My difficulty is with chasing conspiracy theories for their own sake, leading to a appetite for conspiracies which can only be satisfied by speculation, which, instead of giving us credibility will ultimately discredit us.

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  22. Jennifer,

    Thanks for reaffirmation. It is only that one sentence towards the end of your column, where you said "We are not called to expose the conspiracies" is the part I disagreed with. SOP has hundreds of quotes that say the exact opposite of that.

    Please let me explain more:)

    I do agree some Adventist are easily susceptible to conspiracy theories and some announce them like crying wolves. Which in turn can make us look fanatical and it is not good. A right balance there is needed. In my opinion it should only be mentioned if someone asked you a question along those lines. Speaking of conspiracy theories among Adventist conversations and Bible studies should be acceptable, long as a person is not overboard with it.

    On the other hand we have some Adventist who pride themselves as the "wise ones" because they take up the "quieter and humbler ways". They also seem to say, and sometimes do say, that thinking upon only the good of things is the best logical solution to all things. Who can complain and argue with that?

    Lets take a little bit longer look at that end of the spectrum just for a few moments here, please bear with me. I will use what seems to be a perfect example for this.

    At church on Mother's day one Sabbath, someone was passing out a cute little piece of paper that had a nice picture of a garden on it with some garden gloves there. And there was a poem, the poem was about how negative people are like weeds.....therefore pluck them out of your life.

    "How terrible" in my opinion, it was extra bad coming from the Pastor's wife, at least in my opinion. The poem IS implying that if a person is not totally happy and at peace with the Lord, we have a right to pluck them out of our lives like weeds?!?!?! Really? That is not what the Bible says to me. Did Jesus say "I am not going to die for you sinners because you are not totally a pleasant person to hang around" ?

    Getting back to my point. It really seems to me that if we try too put too much emphasis on not focusing on negative things, somehow.... someway (not surprisingly) the devil comes in and manages to get us to go off the deep end with that logic- if we are not careful. The poem illustration is just one of many examples I can cough up here.

    So as you can see, both ends of the spectrum can have a very negative impact on our souls if not rightly balanced. Hope this helps you see why I wanted to add my "two cents" here.

    God bless you.

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    • Wow, wow what a discussion, I have been reading post upon post and can understand both sides but some are more balanced than others. I do believe that a balance is what’s important in all areas of life. I noticed the discussion seem to have been centered more on the side of the mature SDA.

      I have been in youth ministry for the last 22 yrs, and the youths need guidance more than anyone else, they are more at risk of deception and for many of them I have been able to open their eyes to some of the deceptions set before them simply because I took the time to be informed on some of the Conspiracy theories. So to me there is a lot to learn from Jennifer's article or post and also a lot to learn from those who have been balanced.

      Surprisingly we can do a GOOD thing BADLY, for example, someone who pays so much attention to his ministry and his family suffers. Simply, everything should be done in moderation. There is just so much that can be said, when one allows his or her self to be obsessed with Conspiracy theories and spends more time with it than the scriptures , then there must be cause for concern.

      God bless everyone and please lets us all continue to allow the Holy Spirit to lead our ministries and not each other’s opinion.

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  23. Sandy, like you I don't believe in salvation by positivity. How can we have a robust, biblical faith if we're intolerant of negativity? The Cross, the Center of our faith was horrendously negative. Likewise the Great Controversy includes war, conflict, evil. Twinkletoes theology just won't explain nor offer a solution to evil.

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    • Salvation, however, is not achieved by a "balance between negativity and positivity" either.
      It is a gift made available by grace and accepted by faith.

      Personally, I cannot resonate with the concern that the church is excessively positive and/or not negative enough. I just cannot wrap my head around that concept particularly when we are also told that "Gospel" means "good news".

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  24. Thank you for sharing all these insights. Conspiracy theories are becoming an in thing in the church.

    Prophecy is not an end in and of itself. It must lead to an encounter and experience with God. Prophecy must encourage those going through difficulties as they realise that ultimately God wins. Prophecy must awaken believers who are getting cold and revive their faith.

    Conspiracy theories on the one hand instill fear and and uncertainty. Sometimes the succinct way in which the work of Satan is described leaves the believer without assurance of salvation. So thank you, Jennifer, and all of you

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    • Tafara, I sure do agree that prophecy needs to take center stage like it was in times past, now more than ever before. What I don’t understand is how conspiracy theories bring about fear? If this brings about fear then what scriptures describes as the end time and enforced by EG will bring fear. For me it excites me, it reminds me that I have a greater need for God and that he will come to put an end to all of the deception and lies of the father of them. To those who get fearful, I say find out if you are ready and excited for the coming of our Lord and Savior. The darker this world gets the closer is his coming.

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  25. Tafara, I think you have pointed out one of the real benefits of prophecy but I do think there are others as well. Through the fulfillment of prophesy we can have faith in Scripture that what God says is so. Further, when we gain that faith then we can read future prophecy and understand at least to some extent what dangers lie ahead and be prepared to avoid them.

    Because prophecy involves God, Satan, and man we can get a complete picture of what is happening. With conspiracy theories we are usually restricted a great deal to seeing things from a purely humanistic standpoint. That I believe is a far too narrow of a view of the big picture and doesn't tell us who is really pulling the strings. Nor does it tell us the basic reasons why something is happening.

    A couple of days ago I watched a video concerning a scientific analysis of the destruction of the twin towers of the trade center in New York. Actually three towers went down and their conclusions were backed up by a lot of evidence. I found myself asking how all of that fits in to what I know about Satan's plan in the controversy. Certainly it was another theory but I wasn't treating it like most conspiracy theorists would do as strictly a human politically motivated conspiracy. To me it had to fit into what I knew from a biblical perspective. That is what made it so interesting as one more small piece to the puzzle of end time prophesy.

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  26. Tyler Cluthe, excellent post. You got my meaning 100 percent. We war not against flesh and blood. The Great Controversy exposes evil, but also puts it into a perspective that reveals God and His character at the same time. Evil for its own sake? Who are we to think we can understand and fight it?

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  27. Thanks a lot Jennifer for your sharing and light on conspiracy. We need not spend time praising the devil unknowingly but rather we ought to praise and worshing God always.

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  28. Andrew L- your comments are very helpful and strong in the direction of avoiding conspiracy theories. I like how you point out the source of many of them as Zionistitc-type, sensationalistic protestants. I've seen this. Couple questions: 1) What do you think of Adventist conspiracy theorists like Walter Veith? 2) What do you mean by "apparent orthodoxy almost always prevents careful scrutiny in our denomination."?

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  29. Mrs. Schwirzer,
    Thank you very much.

    1. Since I am using my real name, I have to be very careful about expressing my views on Walter Veith because of how highly regarded he is by Seventh-day Adventists here, many of whom are very, very dear to me. I have found it more profitable to avoid controversy over Mr. Veith and just move on.

    I will say, Mrs. Schwirzer, that I am very deeply concerned; almost to the point of resignation. I will also say that I think Mr. Veith is probably sincere and loves God.

    2. By my second statement, I mean the following:

    Adventism has no mechanism to prevent individuals (particularly those with extreme tendencies) from drifting out of the church to the right and forming offshoots.

    Adventists have a soft spot for even the most stringent expressions of orthodoxy--from dress to diet to theology; and so, people who form offshoots are often considered solidly Adventist up until the day they break away and form a house church. You never see it coming until it happens. (Any movement to the left, however, rings alarm bells right up until the end).

    All this is to say that an entire whale can slip in under the radar of our church, because we are unwilling and unable to put checks and balances in place where conspiracism is concerned; and we are unwilling to do so, because those who hold to them are usually among our most orthodox believers.

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  30. Andrew, thanks for what sounds to me like a tactful treatment of the subject. You make an interesting point of partiality toward right-wing people. Isn't it kind of like the Pharisee/Sadducee split of Jesus' day where the people respected and valued the right because they helped stave off the encroachments of Helenism and kept the national identity intact? Or at least they were perceived to have done that. In the same way, we fear losing our way denominationally. Fear is a key word there. An interesting aside is that the political right are, on the whole, more fear-based. This has been proven scientifically.

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  31. Mark I get what you're saying about each of us playing a different role. Not everyone has to lean in the same direction--that's why we need a body of believers. God does use the conspiracy-theory types, I've seen it. Thanks for bringing that out. But something you said rubs me the wrong way :) I don't personally feel what's going on here is "calling out names" in a derogatory way. I mentioned Walter Veith because he's basically the epitome of a conspiracy-theory-leaning Adventist. Would he deny that? I doubt it. Then Andrew gave an honest and gentle critique of conspiracy theory-leaning SDAs in general without openly attacking Veith. I don't know Veith personally, but I sense from what I've seen that his skin is thick enough to take this kind of thing. After all, he publishes his work; once an individual's work is published, it is open to peer review, so to speak. I agree we should be kind and generous in our assessments, putting the best construction on our brethren. But at the same time let's not construe the critique of one's published work into an unkind attack, lest we squelch the spirit of free discussion. What if someone began to preach heresy? Should we not speak out for fear we'll be accused of judging?

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    • Hi Jennifer. Thanks for sharing.

      Notice I said there are ministers we discuss who seem to generally love the Lord and really want to serve Him. I said Nothing about the ones who speak heresy. If one were doing that, or had a different agenda, then of course someone needs to warn or bring it to light (if going to him is not working).

      The 'rubbing' I speak of is not saying anyone did anything wrong. I am saying however, we should be mindful that when we start to call names, these are God children too (especially the ones who seem genuinely trying to work for God). Thickness of skin really doesnt play into it when you look at it that way. In other words, if he were your blood brother, would the message typed have changed in any way? Better yet, if Christ were typing the message, would it have been shared differently? These are public messages that are being recorded that the world can see. Not saying anyone said anything wrong...I am saying we do need to be mindful however because it can lead in that direction if we are not careful...especially on a thread.

      By the way.. I enjoyed your article. I read it with deep interest.

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      • Mark I understand what you are saying and agree that we should present things in a loving manner but there are times when the truth of a situation needs to be brought out. Jesus did that in Mat 23:13-33; 12:34; 15:7 as did John the Baptist (Lk 3:7) and Paul (Acts 23:3; Phil 3:2). Even Michelangelo did the same artistically when he painted the pope's portrait as Satan in the Sistine Chapel.

        All through the ages people have had to witness to the truth and sometimes that means tearing down a ministry even though the people in the ministry considered themselves on God's side.

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        • Hi Tyler. I will admit I have not heard any of Veigh's sermons. I have been to the website however, and dont know that Ive seen deception there as yet. Quite honestly, I wasn't looking for deception. But when I read this thread a while ago and heard a slight (and I mean slight) negative slant, it made me wonder because I remember someone bringing his name up in a different light a couple of weeks ago at church.

          All Im saying we're all brothers and sisters... blood or not. I hope we can all stand for each other.. blood or not. The day is coming when our worse enemies in court will be some of the very ones we went to church with. Yet the Bible says to love our enemies. It also wouldnt surprise me if one day they scour the internet to get all the information on a person they can get. Who knows.

          Just saying hopefully things were said as Christ would have said them... if at all because it has an effect. I do not know as yet if Veigh is an enemy or has a ministry that should be torn down.

          So thats it... just a friendly reminder that we do all things as Christ would have us...unless someone has an issue with that. If what was said was as He would do it, then praise God.

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  32. Hi Mark,

    I would like to encourage you to think along different lines. People who make mistakes in their presentations aren't necessarily "an enemy" or have "a ministry that should be torn down." In NT times Paul wrote of "exhorting" one another. I believe that included frank talk about not doing certain things, etc. Certainly Paul did it. And he withstood Peter "to his face."

    And "all-or-nothing" attitude does none of us any good. None of us are wholly good or wholly bad. But some may do things that set an example that others should not follow, and it is right to warn against from following such an example. Some may say things that would be best if others did not believe, and it is right to warn people against such statements. We have our good days and our bad days. Our focus should be on the Lord Jesus Himself and not on any man--either to demonize or deify. (Looking on any man as though he made no mistakes would be putting him in the place of God.) Humans are all fallible with good points and bad ones, and the Bible sets the precedent on telling the truth about people. With what you suggest in your comment, the Bible writers should have left out a great many things, particularly the sins of Abraham, Moses and David, to name just a few.

    Walter Veith has been correctly identified on this thread as someone who, unfortunately, spent a fair bit of time focusing on conspiracy theories. The result was not good, according to my personal observation. Years before, when he first began his ministry through supporters in British Columbia, Canada, I attended his first meetings in which he began his presentations on his area of expertise, which is biology. I thoroughly enjoyed his presentations. I rather like the man and his manner, and I was disappointed when he started focusing so much on conspiracy theories and the BC Conference rightly warned churches not to invite him as a speaker. I understand he has now changed his focus away from conspiracy theories. Unfortunately the DVD's are still available on his site. Jennifer's message applies to that type of preaching, and it is right to warn people away from focusing on such messages and distributing them.

    The best "standing for each other" we can do is to encourage each other to look to Christ. Pretending that mistakes have not been made is not the way to deal with errors. Sins need to be confessed and will be forgiven. Errors need to be corrected. And before they can be corrected, they need to be pointed out. Jennifer's post serves the purpose of alerting us to errors in thinking that can divert us from the work God has assigned to us.

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    • Hi Inge. You mentioned thinking along different lines and all Im saying is...whatever we do, lets do it to the glory of God. Im not against admonishing. Of course it needs to be done...Im just saying lets make sure its done to His glory...and maybe that was the case here! It was just a friendly reminder. Im not judge, nor have that desire.

      The quote 'enemy' or has a 'ministry that needs to be torn down' is not my quote. I merely was responding to a statement made that sometimes that needs to be done. And I dont disagree with that.

      Also, you just said that Veigh has supposedly taken a new direction in his ministry. I did not get that impression from reading other posts.

      I love your example of Paul withstanding Peter to his face. He did the right thing...and going to him is a great way to do it.

      Mind you... I have not pointed fingers or am blaming anyone for anything. In fact, I have complimented. I can tell that everyone sharing has a love for Christ and wants to make Heaven their home. So with such a great group, I was hoping the thread didnt start going down the sad path that so often happens on other (Adventist) sites where people are talking about others with the righteous piety and lack of love. Ive seen ministers get bashed on threads like that and I could tell the Holy Spirit wasnt leading. While that did not happen here, I still didnt know what to think of Veigh after reading.

      Anyway, all I am saying is whatever we do, we can do it to the glory of God, even the admonishing. All the examples you gave are great. (Im pretty sure that is how Paul did it...and we know thats definitely how Jesus did it.) If that is what was done here, then praise God. I don't need an explanation. Like you said at the end of one of your posts, (and I paraphrase since its not in front of me) that its not easy to admit things...and in this case I mean asking the question, "Could I have been more Christlike in any particular situation?" ..which is just a general rule when we are discussing people (especially ministers...I think's even something in the SOP about that).

      But let me repeat since it seems Im repeating myself in every post. The thread went from a healthy discussion of conspiracy theories to conspiracy theorists. I just shared a reminder lets keep it as Christlike as possible because we're still talking about God's children. I didnt say stop talking. By all means Say what needs to be said...just do so keeping in mind this is being said in public (and not to them in person), so you want it to be said as Christlike as possible since we all know its not always the Holy Spirit behind every statement we make. But according to everyone, that was not the case. So thats GREAT to hear.

      Mark

      PS By the way, maybe I needed to hear it just the way I did since the family who mentioned Veigh to me two weeks ago is trying to get us over for Bible study on Friday. :)

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    • Jenifer;
      Thank you for your post. I read it with interest and conviction.
      I too have been at times too focused on the evil conspiracies. I wish to say with the early disciple "Jesus and Him crucified"
      That said, His love for us, and ours for Him and his(those for whom he died), will "cast out all fear". In this world, be it religion (all flavors) or politics, FEAR is the chief motivator.

      My wife and I are lifetime Adventists. Four decades ago we were caught up in much of Revelation and SOP especially GC, and eschatology. Many readings and discussions were held in our home. These events gave us confidence that "we knew" about the devil's "conspiracies" and the dreadful things as a result of his wiles. Yet many pieces didn't quite seem to fit. Worse still our listening children were inadvertently given an unhealthy dose of fear. The 2 oldest have drifted out of the church, our daughter directly attributing the exit to the "childhood fear of last day events". Over time we too became less involved with church activities until, we saw the "Total Onslaught" series, by WV.

      As a result we've often said; "It was like a giant puzzle, and now we see how, many of the pieces fit. It was truly the begging of new growth in relationship with a loving God. One who cares enough to warn and reveal dangers ahead. Therefore we may know with added assurance, He loves us.

      Focusing on the results of evil conspiracies even from good materials like Great Controversy and "The REVELATION of Jesus Christ" can be extremely dangerous, if not to you, to those around you.

      Often some of us like to jump right in to Revelation 13 and 14 not knowing or providing the context. There are 12 chapters that repeatedly point our attention to "the LAMB that was slain", "the ONE who overcomes", prior to the 13th chapter. When we "measure the temple of God" (the place where God would dwell) and the "alter" (that would be the sacrifice)(the Lamb)as directed in chapter 11. We see Jesus as the victor, the over-comer. We see how wide, how inclusive is His love for the "world". "that whosoever believes" We see how far down He has come, from the glories of heaven to the poverty of this world. We see how high He will restore us, to sit with Him on His throne?

      Consider this one conspiracy.
      The Father, Jesus (God's Son), and the Holy Spirit, conspired on my behalf. To declare me righteous, to ransom me, to free me from the power of sin and self-serving, and restore me to relationship with the God of the universe.

      Allow me to consider all the nuances of this awesome conspiracy. I've little time for another.

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    • Yes, Jennifer, Walter Veith's creation presentations were how he began his first series in British Columbia. It was held in a big theater, and the attendance was good. Gradually he went from scientific truths to biblical truths. I thought it was a great approach. When I first ran into people classing him just short of a lunatic, I was very defensive. I began to understand when I saw how his focus had turned to conspiracy theories.

      I think Satan does his best/worst to neutralize the influence of individuals who could be powerful for the Lord. Diverting their attention to conspiracy theories is one of the ways he seems to do it.

      I understand his current focus is more Christ-centered. Unfortunately a reputation for a focus on conspiracy theories is hard to live down - for high-profile people as well as for ordinary members.

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  33. I think Paul was indirectly addressing conspiracy theories when he said that love does not think or suspect evil all the time. 1 Corinthians 13:5. Mark, I too, believe that even though Ellen White wrote of such things in the Great Controversy, that she did not spend her life dwelling upon such conspiracies, but instead was obsessed with the love of God.

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  34. Can I share a comparison so you get a better understand how I view all of this? If you have a pain in your arm, and then all of a sudden there is an excruciating pain in one of your legs, this new pain causes you to forget the pain that was just in your arm.

    I find the brain works pretty much the same way. Though I love to multi-task, I find my best work comes when Im concentrated on something. I guess its like how the Bible says whatever your hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might. But if one is consumed with a conspiracy theory, how can they also be consumed with beholding Christ and developing their relationship with Him? I don't know.....maybe its me.. but the brain power used contemplating all thats going wrong in this world, could be used reflecting on the beautiful attributes of God. While I don't feel we should be ignorant about what is going on around us, delving deeper into conspiracy theories tend to live us feeling stressed and sometimes disheartened, depending on how deep in the abyss we go. But when we focus on Christ and His true image, we find out that by beholding we become changed. The enemy knows this which is why he tries so hard to distort the image of God. This is what he did in the Garden of Eden. In Eve's mind, she doubted God to the point He appeared like a liar and the serpent the true messenger (which was a false image). So I feel its crucial to spend time beholding our Creator, allowing the attributes of His character to have an effect on ours. I think its a better use of brain power.

    We have been studying Daniel and Revelation. Someone called yesterday and told me something about the 144,000 that I found a little bit disheartening. It was somewhat different than what we grew up hearing about this group. Plus it didnt seem like scripture refuted the statement. In fact, it appears parallels in the Bible seem to support it. So I dont know.... we'll see... we're still studying, and God will reveal in His own time. But it goes to show, even studying last day events can tug at your stress level. I find we (or at least me) need that good foundation of Christ's love which brings hope. Beholding Him, we get that TRUE image of Him. I believe once we have that, we can withstand anything. If Job had a distorted image of God, I dont know if he would have withstood his trials.

    So thats how I view the effects of delving deep into conspiracy theory issues as compared to getting to truly KNOW God.

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  35. Conspiracy theories are a bit like church revivals; they take their participants on an emotional roller-coaster ride. And ultimately they fizzle leaving the participants in limbo. I am old enough to be a healthily cynical survivor of both.

    I remember the great “street-preaching” revival among the youth in Melbourne, Australia in the 1970s. There was one particular Sabbath Young People’s meeting where scores of teenagers gave testimonies and made promises about what they would do for God. What was a really good idea on Sabbath afternoon was a hazy memory by midweek. And in a couple of months it was all over.

    Some of my students were caught up in the David Koresh movement and went to Waco. They were attracted to the Bible-quoting sincerity of Koresh and saw the church as a part of conspiracy to withhold the real truth from the people. Sadly that episode ended tragically for all concerned.

    We are still subject to conspiracy theories. I am frequently offered DVDs about the Illuminati, and secret societies. Information about Roman Catholic action collusion still abounds, much of it a rehash of stories I was told in the 1950s (when I was very young and impressionable).

    It is easy to say that we should avoid experiences that give us huge emotional swings. I tend to be a very logical, calculating person. A “Praise the Lord, Hallelujah Amen” sermon does little for me. My preference is for a sermon that is logical, and uses reasoning to develop concepts and understanding. But I know that many people are not like me. (I am married to one) There are people who need a strong emotional religious experience and they too need to be fed without the extremes of conspiracy theories and hot-shot revivals. A church community that learns to respect one another and at the same time look after one another is probably the best hedge against extremism.

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  36. Maurice your testimony is an interesting one. You link conspiracies with emotionalism in a way I hadn't thought of--but you're right. Conspiracies strike our fear nerve to the point of over-stimulation which actually makes people less fearful than they should be. In psychology we know that rape victims are often raped again. We believe this to be because they're so fearful that they miss actual threats. Our fear response works best when used occasionally in an emergency.

    I like logic in sermons, too. Line upon line, building a case for the central point. I distrust any effort to arouse my emotions apart from cognitive appeal. When people interpret good feels as God's approval, they leave church to encounter traffic jams, arguments with spouse, hardships of life, and the resultant bad feelings. They interpret these bad feelings as God's disapproval. They become addicted to the lift of the emotional worship service. This is toxic, really, don't you think?

    So bottom line: both the negative emotional environ of conspiracy-focus and the charismatic approach to worship lack a solid Bible to-brain-to-heart process of following Jesus.

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  37. I am so glad to know this conspiracy stuff is a subject others struggle with .. It became an all consuming fire in me for over a year, an to be honest, it opened my eyes to realize that public officials were being used in bad ways. I began going to an Adventist church almost two months ago seeking further truth . Yet I still struggled with the conspiracy stuff, that is until I watched a video concerning the Sycamore tree in NYC. That was the moment I realized that the depth of these conspiracies is like a bottomless pit. My personal awakening is still in the making, Though awake, I am only now beginning my "morning stretch".
    If you are seeking out these conspiracies as a hobby or to satisfy a curiosity , you should leave them alone. For in the end, you will learn about lies, deceit, and cover ups.. But if you are seeking them for truth, good luck for the only truth you will find is found in Gods Word. The true story of 9 11 is found in the sycamore tree, not on youtube...

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  38. Great post! I enjoyed it so much I quoted you in a blog I wrote on this topic. You can see it on my website under the heading “Christians and Conspiracy Theories”

    I have lots of friends who are into this stuff and I used to be as well. Its really nice to read such an insightful post on this issue which I believe is extremely damaging.

    I am also working on a blog-post titled, Ellen White and Conspiracy Theories. Should be up by the end of the week.

    God bless and keep shining for Jesus!

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