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Conspiracy Theories or Prophetic Facts? — 77 Comments

  1. 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?

  2. 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.

  3. 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."?

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

  7. 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.

    • 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.


      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. 🙂

    • 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.

    • 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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!

  14. conspiracy theory and conspiracy fact, lets not confuse the the two. In the writings of Albert Pike (one of Free masonry's most revered writers), He mentions that to have a world changing effect there must first be an event to trigger it. WW1 and WW2 started because of these events as history affirms.He went on further to state that in order to start WW3 would require such an event. This "event" was none other than 911. No doubt aircraft were used to crash into the buildings, but this alone would not have caused total collapse.Then there was building seven which collapsed on its own footprint just like a controlled demolition, which it was! What about the missile fired into the pentagon? the total absence of aircraft parts? and the "mysterious" disappearance of a large part of their budget, where did the money go and who is using it to what purpose?

    Now you might ask how is all this related to Bible prophesy? In many ways. If we remember that the "land beast" i.e. the lamb ends up "speaking like a dragon"; then this event(911)provides the perfect catalyst to invade other countries declare war on terror and enact unconstitutional laws that take away the people's freedom and soon you won't have any rights left. Look at the militarization of the police, they look more soldiers with high grade weaponry. Then there is the nefarious Patriot Act, the arming of the Homeland Security turning them into an army, the unbridled powers given to the NSA et.al. soon there won't be much left of the constitution, and the corrupt justice system will do the bidding of their political masters. this is not a theory, these are facts that have crept up on us behind our backs! This "lamb" is already speaking like a dragon and we would be wise to recognize these events as precursors to the end time when no man would be able buy or sell except those with the mark of the beast. Well may they call Los Vegas "sin city" when the real sin city is none other but Washinton DC.

    Jesus said in Luke 21:28 "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near"

    So to all you good folk, Look to Him and draw near to Him for He is the only One who can save you, not guns and ammo, truckloads of tinned food, running to the hills or hiding in deserted places. Draw near to Him for no matter what, HE IS STILL IN CHARGE.

  15. So well said John. Also when most of the comments were made above on this blog, a lot of what's happening today weren't even happening then. We are watching the fulfillment of prophesy!


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