“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.” (Romans 12:2 – The Message)
“When I was a child I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man I put childish ways behind me.” (1 Corinthians 13 – NIV)
Did you hear that they’ve finally figured out that COVID-19 comes from 5G wireless signals? Either that or the Chinese or the U.S. military developed it as a bioweapon! And did you know that our government has developed a cure or vaccine but is withholding it from the public? (FYI, it’s NOT swimming pool cleaner!)
These are just a few of the “infodemic” conspiracies stink up social media these days. We just can’t seem to live with not knowing, so we make stuff up to make ourselves sound smart. I guess. If anyone has a better explanation, I’m all ears.
So what do I care when Christians are disproportionately fooled by conspiracy theories? I care because when my sisters and brothers swallow and regurgitate silly urban legends, it makes us all look stupid—and causes Christianity itself to look foolish. It feeds the impression that we Jesus followers live in a make-believe world and are simply unwilling or incapable of facing reality. If becoming a Christian means committing intellectual suicide, for most people, the price of admission is too high.
Do we even realize the intellectual whiplash that we cause people when we juxtapose crazy COVID conspiracies with evidence for the existence of God? It’s like saying we believe in the Easter Bunny and Jesus too!
In the previous three posts on conspiracies we talked about how conspiracies get started, how to detect them, and why they’re so appealing. Let’s conclude by taking some serious steps toward “breaking up” with our cherished conspiracies and dumping the huckster-matchmakers that introduced us in the first place. Let’s put them to the tests of common sense, Scripture, and discernment and give them the boot before they do irreparable damage to our conscience and our Christian testimony.
Without consulting their frontal lobe (the reasoning part of the brain), starstruck souls go to the altar, say their vows, kiss the bride, and go on a honeymoon to consummate the relationship. They become one with their fictional fallacies, and with pit bulls stubbornness, refuse let go to save their lives. They recited their vows in front of all their friends and are still paying for the reception that cost more than their college education, and even when proven false they refuse to recant! Why?
Because they know that if they did ever split with their beloved fantasies there would be hell to pay. The inferno they fear is having to admit they were duped, which is something their ego just couldn’t stand. So, no matter how much actual truth debunks their beloved conspiracies they stay together until the bitter end. And believe me, the end in some cases can be quite bitter.
I speak of “conspiracies” in the plural since in my experience very few conspiracists are monogamous when it comes to their adoration for the outlandish. If you are an exception to that rule and are only dating one, good for you. However, in my view even one is one more than you need.
So, where do we start the breakup?
Make clean break!
As with any breakup it’s best to make a clean break, leaving nothing to chance that you’ll someday get back together. You’ve been lied to and made a fool of. Don’t leave it open for further heartbreak! I realize how hard it is to part ways with false narratives into which you’ve invested much time and ego, but if you don’t, you’ll be sorry later.
We believed them, loved how they made us feel, and shared them with others in hopes they would love them as much as we do. But it’s time to admit that we were suckered. The upshot of it is we were gullible and were made to look pretty silly. It’s best to confess it, get our promise ring returned, and pledge to be more careful about any future romances with fantastical explanations on how the world works.
In some cases our conspiracy breakups require us to break ranks with the one(s) who introduced us to it to begin with. Associating with reality benders is not usually a good idea and can bend or break something in us if we don’t make a clean break from them. “Bad company corrupts good character,” says Paul. So break up before the corruption becomes infected and takes over.
Sometimes having a song to break up by helps. Here are a few options you might like to give you the courage to do what you know you should:
We started out friends
It was cool, but it was all pretend
Since you been gone (Kelly Clarkson)
The thrill is gone
It’s gone away for good (B.B. King)
“We are never ever, ever getting back together!” (Taylor Swift) This is my personal favorite!
If you don’t prefer these then write your own breakup lyrics. But for God’s sake and yours, break up with your conspiracy theories today!