Christians and Conspiracy Theories

“The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.” (Proverbs 18:8, ESV)

I have been thinking about why Christians are so drawn to conspiracy theories. I find myself running into brothers and sisters in Christ who 1) are committed to Jesus, 2) love and know his word, 3) are generally sound, and 4) who believe completely unverified conspiracies.

Every single time I am surprised by the last one. I am usually surprised that this person would believe it.

But, let’s be honest. There is something appealing about being on the inside. Jesus doesn’t usually call the elite and powerful (1 Corinthians 1:26). He calls the outsiders, the simple, and the weak.

People on the outside want to be on the inside.

C.S. Lewis described it as the “inner ring”:

My main purpose in this address is simply to convince you that this desire to be part of the inner ring is one of the great permanent mainsprings of human action. It is one of the factors which go to make up the world as we know it—this whole pell-mell of struggle, competition, confusion, graft, disappointment, and advertisement, and…Unless you take measures to prevent it, this desire is going to be one of the chief motives of your life, from the first day on which you enter your profession until the day when you are too old to care… (C.S. Lewis, “The Inner Ring,” The Weight of Glory).

This is one of the reasons that gossip is so “delicious.” Gossip makes us feel powerful because it makes us feel like we have access to information that others don’t have.

Conspiracy theories make us feel like we have inside information. This world runs on information and ideas, and for most of us, we are on the outside looking in.

Conspiracies are “delicious” like gossip because they make us feel powerful by giving us the illusion that we are on the inside of the true inner ring.

God’s people need to be aware of this temptation so that we are slow to believe the conspiracies. And, even slower to post them on our social media feeds.

The gospel tells us that we are on the inside already — we are sons of God because we belong to the Son of God. Everything that is true about Jesus is now true about us, in part, but not yet in full. You don’t get more “inner ring” than that!

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