close
Discipleship

conspiracy theories, aikido, & jesus

Conspiracy-Theories

“COVID-19 is a hoax!”

“Wearing masks is a government manipulation strategy!”

“Vaccines are implanting the Mark of the Beast!”

It’s 2021 and these are just some of the latest iterations of the age-old phenomenon of conspiracy theories. From flat earthers to holocaust deniers to anti-Christ identifiers to hyperactive heresy hunters, conspiracy theorists have been around for a long time and will continue long after this pandemic is out of sight in our rear-view mirror.

Unfortunately, within the Christian Church (my main concern) there is a large sub-group of Christ-followers who pour fuel on this fire rather than working to bring people’s attention back to Jesus. I grew up when Evangelical subculture was fixated on using Bible prophecy to figure out the next great news event, rather than simply following Jesus here and now. The Russian president was the anti-Christ, bar-codes on products were the Mark of the Beast, and Jesus was about to rapture true believers to heaven any second. (That last one messed me up a few times as a child when I couldn’t find my parents for a few minutes.) Evangelicals didn’t wake up every morning wondering how they might follow Jesus today according to the Sermon on the Mount, but how today’s news might confirm their particular brand of eschatology based on their stretched interpretation of cryptic passages in the book of Revelation.

I am less concerned in this article with presenting a better eschatology (don’t get me started!), but with helping us practically respond to the latest crop of Christian and secular conspiracy theories.

Here’s the thing: When people’s lives lack enough meaning, purpose, and value, they will invent meaning which generates purpose and then derive their value from there.

We are meaning making machines.

In and of itself, our myth-making story-telling capacity is a good thing and can help us understand reality better, solve problems quicker, and reflect God’s image into this hurting world with creative compassion. But when we are not tapped into the real epic drama of this universe – the story of Jesus, from first to last – we will produce and project unnecessary drama into a variety of situations in epically unhelpful ways.

I understand how and why this happens, but I am especially saddened when I see it happening to and through Christ-followers. Too many Christians seem to suffer from this propensity to promote conspiracy theories in order to infuse the world around them with epic drama, meaning, and purpose, as though they are not aware of the greatest and most epic drama that they are already a part of.

So let me share three perspective-shaping encouragements to help us “repent” (rethink and reframe how we think) on this important and timely issue:

1. God is using everything for our good, so don’t sweat it.

At the centre of our faith is the cross of Christ – from the human perspective, it is the greatest and grossest miscarriage of justice of all time. An innocent man – pure love, walking and talking among us! – was tortured to death as a disposable nobody, a subhuman inconvenience, and a political pawn. See it! At the heart of our faith is the WORST WRONG ever perpetrated, and God turned it into the GREATEST RIGHT that we have ever experienced. In fact, God knew it was coming, and he planned it for our good right from the start (1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:9).

When Jesus was arrested and standing before Governor Pilate, he wasn’t panicked. His secret was his perspective – God is using everything, including this thing right here and right now, to bring about something beautiful. When Pilate asked Jesus why he wasn’t worried, since Pilate held the power of life and death over Jesus, Jesus responded:

You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.
~ Jesus (John 19:11) [For more on this, see here.]

So it seems to me that Christ-followers, of all people, should be the least and last to get their knickers in knot over issues of politics and power. We care about politics and fighting injustice, yes, but our motivation is this: we act against injustice because we want to love others well, not because we fear the “wrong” leader might take away our liberties.

The apostle Paul puts it this way:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
~ The Apostle Paul (Romans 8:28) [Again, for more on this, see here.]

God may not directly cause all things, but God is always one step ahead of everything that happens, and is actively engaged in bringing good out of the bad.

Fear, then, is never our motivation, never our driver. We follow the one who is perfect love (1 John 4:8, 16) and perfect love is always driving out fear.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
~ The apostle John (1 John 4:18)

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
~ The apostle Paul (Romans 8:15)

Christ-followers should be always inviting people TOWARD Jesus, not trying to scare them AWAY FROM anything else.

So when someone tries to suck me into some anxious vortex of political fear-mongering, I know their focus isn’t in tune with the ultimate reality of the universe: God is love, so fear has no place here.

Remember: Whatever the situation, God’s got this. God can and does use everything to bring good into this world. God has planned for this. Everything is going to be alright.

2. Prophecy is meant to be encouragement for our future, not a puzzle for our present.

Christians have been especially vulnerable to conspiracy theories because they have hundreds of years of practice at reading their own scriptures with a conspiracy theory mindset. We call it, “PROPHECY”, and for a very long time we have used Bible prophecy to do more harm than good.

Jesus tells his followers that the purpose of prophecy is not so that we can figure out the future before it happens, but so that when it does happen, we will reflect back on the prophecy and be encouraged that God’s got this, God has planned for this, and everything is going to be alright (see point #1).

When Jesus predicts the future for his disciples, he says things like…

I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am.
~ Jesus (John 13:19; also see John 14:29; 16:1, 4)

When the apostle Paul talks about the future, he concludes:

Therefore encourage one another with these words.
~ The Apostle Paul (1 Thessalonians 4:18)

We don’t have to figure out the details of Bible prophecy ahead of time. And if we do study prophecy, we should be encouraged, never worried! Most prophecies are intentionally obscure enough so we won’t be tempted fixate on puzzle-solving ahead of schedule, but clear enough so that when they do come to pass we will have an “Ah hah! – THAT’s what this passage was talking about!” experience, which is simply meant to encourage our hearts and increase our faith.

Every hour we spend trying to figure out the details of Bible prophecy ahead of its fulfilment is another hour we are not living and loving in the present, being salt and light in this world, the way Jesus teaches us to (Matthew 5:13-16).

When fellow Christians come to me with their latest conspiracy theories about who is the anti-Christ – even though we have always had “anti-Christs” (plural) among us, which is anyone who is (now get this) anti-Christ (1 John 2:18-22; 2 John 1:7) – or how this or that technology is the mark of the beast (from bar codes to implanted vaccine microchips), or how the government is removing our liberties so we might all end up in jail just for worshipping Jesus, I tell them to “get behind me Satan” (not in those words, but you get my point). This obsession is a stumbling stone that Satan can use to distract good and godly Christians from our primary mission. And speaking of which…

3. Our mission is (still) the Great Commission.

Christ-followers have one purpose in this world – we wake up every day to experience and extend the kingdom of heaven on earth. Helping people follow Jesus as his disciples, his apprentices in this world, is what we live for.

Life is short and you’re going to die soon. It doesn’t matter if you live to be 100, you’re going to die soon! In the words of Tony Campolo, they’re going to put you in a box, throw dirt in your face, and go back to the church to eat potato salad. You’re going to die soon! This means every moment is meaningful, every person is precious, every relationship is infused with infinite value, and every day is meant to be fully lived today rather than worrying about tomorrow.

God is doing something today that he will only do today. Tomorrow he will do tomorrow’s thing. So raise your gaze! Look up, listen, learn, discern where God is at work and then work with God.

After teaching about the priority of the kingdom of heaven on earth, Jesus says we should:

Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
~ Jesus (Matthew 6:33-34)

Jesus’ word for “worry” here is captured by the Greek word merimnao, which means to have care or concern. When focused on true spiritual priorities, this same word (or derivative) is used positively and is usually translated to “care” or have “concern” (e.g., see 1 Corinthians 12:25; Philippians 2:20; etc). But when our care and concern is not focused on Jesus and his priorities, it becomes purely negative “worry” or being “anxious”.

So in this world awash with a continually increasing flood of conspiracy theories, adopting an “I don’t care” attitude toward them and their drama is right on target for Jesus followers.

Final Thought

These Jesusy thoughts are all true and always true, whether or not any one conspiracy theory is true or false. So, debating the details of any one theory is less important than inviting our fellow brothers and sisters in the faith back to what should be the central themes of our lives together.

Aikido is the Japanese martial art that uses your opponents’ strength and energy against them. I’m over-simplifying for illustration, but in general, rather than the block-and-kick-and-block-and-punch approach of Karate, Aikido lets your opponent make the first move, then moves with rather than against their energy and momentum to redirect their trajectory.

Practically speaking, when someone comes at me with their latest conspiracy theory, I use conversational Aikido rather than Karate. I don’t debate the details, and may even, for the sake of argument, agree that they might be right and adopt their perspective for the rest of the conversation. Then I dismantle the power of their position by helping them see that even if they ARE right about the facts, they are not right about the focus. Their worry is nothing for a Christian to be concerned about or focused on.

I might say something like, “Huh. That may be true, but if it is, can I ask you a question to help me take my next steps? … How is this going to change how I live my life when I wake up in the morning? It seems to me that even if I’m convinced this theory is true, I’m still going to get up tomorrow morning the same way I did today: ready to experience and extend the kingdom of heaven on earth. I’m going live my day asking Jesus how I can follow him according to his teaching and example, and I’m going to do my best to help minimize distractions while I help people focus on Jesus. Should I be changing this approach?”

I’m told that, when talking with someone with mental illness who is in the middle of a psychotic episode, the best approach initially is not to challenge their reality directly, but to enter their worldview and help them make wise and loving decisions within their own framework. When talking with a fellow Christian, our ultimate framework is Jesus, and so we have shared ground upon which to begin a conversation about the “so whats” and next steps of life.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for sharing your comments!

Peace,

Bruxy

Tags : AikidoConspiracyJesus

43 Comments

  1. Great Blog, Brother Bruxy.
    This is very much in line with what we believe in the Mormon Transhumanist Society.
    Crispr mrna gene technology is to be embraced by the church, not feared.
    Please reach out for more information through our facebook, website, or youtube channels so we can explore our common ground in science and ministry through more platforms.
    Here’s an informative talk on science, discipleship and faith from us:
    https://youtu.be/aeyAzUIyb8c

    Transfigurisim.org
    @transfigurisim on twitter

    1. Thank you, thank you! This blog hit the nail on the head of what has been deeply troubling me about some Christians (in particular, many “right wing” North American Christians) who have gone off the rails on our true calling in Christ, for political reasons, or because of an absolute knowing that “this is the last generation”, and therefore all government decisions are connected to the inevitable evil “one world government”. It grieves me most of all to see the name of the King of Kings dishonoured through all this!
      Yes, “let us fix our eyes on Jesus…” day by day, in trust and thanksgiving. And…”live lives of love, just as Christ loved us…”
      Blessings

    1. How? Im finding that most churches are now preaching transhumanist Jesus, just like Bruxy and the Bretheren in Christ. At first, I was against it. Then I followed the link provided in the comments to the transhumanist mormon church and read through. It makes sense that if God doesnt want us merging with AI and using nano tech, he wouldnt have gifted it to us?
      Maybe the church should just be more open about mrna and embracing nano tech? To be honest, with so many right wing christians not taking vaccines in fear of mrna, I’m surprised the denominations dont just “come out” as pro human+, making this tech more acceptable.
      If your post was a lie, how? Now I’m confused, because it had me see vaccines and mrna in a new, pro christian light.
      Is merging with nano tech wrong then? I had come under the impression its a blessing from God.
      Please clarify.

  2. Thank you thank you thank you for saying so succinctly what it means to live daily being surrounded by this stuff – I have come away many times from Conversations feeling like I must be the most out of tune misdirected Christian for not being passionate about all these “theories” , but get up the next morning saying “Jesus help me to love you, love the broken and be faithful…to trust the voice of the spirit in these days”.

    I am so grateful someone shared this blog with me

    Bless you brother

    Keeping our eyes on Jesus – the author and perfect or our faith.

    Pam Windsor

  3. Excellent redirect! Eternal life is to KNOW HIM, the ONE TRUE GOD and JESUS CHRIST whom HE has sent! When we get to KNOW the real ONE, anything counterfeit will be revealed by WHO HE IS…..listening, entering in to where another is, asking questions….above all loving one another, Love is patient, love does not keep a record of wrongs, ….etc.

  4. Thank you…I deeply appreciate this viewpoint. I’m still struggling with the mandated v….because I’m in the health field and my very purpose (I believe) is to help people with their overall health. And we are taught one size does not fit all! It’s a mindset we operate from. What I can’t figure out, is how to go along willingly with a ‘mandate’ that I’ve learned will not serve some people’s health. This is my field…my passion…what I educate about…and we see the negative side of ‘medical interventions’ at our clinic and so I’m still struggling with this. This is not a conspiracy per se…it’s a different view of what health is. (natural health versus Pharma). help.I’m so lost. I’m really trying to focus on what I can do to help…but it gets ‘muddy’ for me.

    1. I too am not ready to “comply” when the science is not backed up with the normal longterm clinical studies which in turn determine what the risks and long term side effects of the “vaccines” are. Their is nothing wrong with being practical and skeptical of something being mandated/forced on you without knowing the true benefits and harmful side effects of any vaccine or medication going into your body. Even though it is considered highly unpopular, t’s still ok and not unreasonable at all to think critically without being labelled a conspiracy theorist. There are many many objective reasons for being hesitant or flat out refusing to participate in vaccine mandates at this time.

      1. Well said. Thanks. I can do without Bruxy’s Label of conspiracy theorist for anyone who does not embrace the government narrative on Covid 19 and vaccines for it. How is it loving to ignore evil in the world? To be just nonchalant about evil and not take action against it? Especially when it is harming others, not just oneself? Of course God has “got it”, so don’t worry, be happy? We don’t speak out against evil, like human trafficking for example. Where’s the love in that?

    2. Thank you for this comment. I worry that because his wife is a teaching nurse, Bruxy deems his stance is the “Jesus stance”!
      I hope Bruxy gets his head out of his arse.
      Everyone in my church circle jabbed because of Bruxy’s leadership.
      1 heart attack
      2 miscarriages
      1 heart inflammation
      1 Thrombosis
      1GBS (she is recovering in Hamilton)

      In my small church group circle And they will ALL likely get the booster, because Bruxy says government obedience is Christ like.

      At this point I’m equal parts angered, and disappointed I was fooled by BIC, and the leadership of Bruxy.

      Baaaaaa.

  5. Thank you Bruxy! Your blogs are always so comforting! I have watched as my personal life has fallen apart in the wake of Covid 19 conspiracy theorists. Most of my friends adhere to some sort of Covid conspiracy theory (or all of them!) I am alone in my refusal to join them! I have never felt so embattled and alienated by the current climate of hate and division. Again, thank you again for these solemn reminders of the importance of Jesus.

  6. ‘Geez Bruxy, your tone is so condescending to those who refuse the official narrative on Covid, on the Great Reset (communism 21st century edition) on CRT , and can’t forget global warming.

    Remember what C.S. Lewis said:

    “When the whole world is running towards a cliff, he who is running in the opposite direction appears to have lost his mind.”

  7. I agree with some of what you said Bruxey. I struggled with this over since it’s beginning in early 2020. I found myself getting angry at what I was seeing. Then the word spoke clearly to me one morning. My citizenship is in heaven. This world is not my home. I am seated with Christ in the heavenlies (say what). I’m not as anxious or angry anymore. I realize that people who don’t know the LORD don’t know any better. They cannot because they don’t have the Spirit guiding them. I believe that now is the time that the church needs to step up. Behold the fields are ready for harvest.
    But reading this blog, the one thing that stood out because you said it several times is the term conspiracy theorist’s. Just because I am more afraid of a (vaccine) than of Covid itself doesn’t make me a conspiracy theorist. Or because I oppose mandating masks (but wear them anyway) because I struggle breathing when wearing them. It should be a choice. Just because you choose to comply it doesn’t make me or others conspiracy theorist’s. My hope is in Christ not our government or vaccines. Our freedoms are being taken away. I know several people who have and will lose their jobs because they won’t vaccinate. That is wrong!!!
    To namecall others because they don’t agree with me goes against everything I have learned as a Christian.

  8. I would love to say that to Belittle, name calling, derogatory comments towards those who spit instead of swallow the mainstream narrative is not common in “Christian circles”, but we all know that’s a lie.

    What has me in complete and utter shock is that it’s come from directly from YOU, BRUXY.

    Do you not realize just how many will parrot your derogatory stance?!

    My aunts, uncles, parents, , nieces, nephews and cousins ALL ATTEND MEETING HOUSE, and ALL have adopted your holier-than-thou stance.

    Have a question about vaccines? Where’s your tinfoil hat?

    Concerned about the world economic forum and “green washed” environmentalisim? Must be a crack pot.

    Want to wait to see the side effects for the 5-11 year olds? Eww, don’t you love your neighbours?

    Jesus must feel this way too, because, Bruxy says so, and HE’s the teaching pastor of a HUGE church.

    Well done. Did you accomplish your goal? People are belittled for hesitating on government obedience?!

    I will never again step foot in meeting house (literally, though, I don’t have your government approved vaxport to enter and worship, so I won’t make your congregation sick, don’t worry) but even if I had a holy Q code to sing praise to the pro mRNA Jesus, I wouldn’t dare.

    YOU set the tone, and I’ll tell ya like it is: is not
    “Jesus-y” at all.

    More like “show me your Q code to be in our club”.

    For someone who is such a big fan of science fiction, you’d think you’d recognize the danger of say patent
    Wo2020060606
    But no, quick, everyone comply and ridicule those who don’t. Nice club.

    I want out. Read your comment section, Brux.
    Address it.

    Your “ love for neighbours” is shallow and fake. I can’t even believe I fell for your BS for decades.

    Thanks for spotlighting not only YOUR true colours, but that the entire meetinghouse is on board.

    Enjoy your genetically modified Christianity.

    I’d rather hang out with the crazy hippy’s at least they live their truth.

    ⚠️ Do you even know how dang close to transfiguration Mormonism meeting house IS?! Probably not- you just preach at folks instead of addressing links and comments that lead to mindful questions.

    If “eww, unvaxxed humans” is how “god fearing Christians” feel…

    Than I’m not even afraid to fully distance myself from the church and fake “Christianity”

    So long, and thanks for all the fish.

  9. Yikes. Bruxy STILL won’t properly address this, huh?
    Can’t even begin to express how glad I am I left the faux-love of meeting house.
    They clearly only love and accept those who comply, and those willing to overwrite their code.

    No thanks.

  10. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/the-faqs-what-christians-should-know-about-crispr-genetic-scissors/

    I Dropped in to see if my teaching Pastor had addressed this yet, but find I’ll have to look for answer myself.

    This is over the top disappointing, as we will likely be asked to lock down and take another booster shortly.

    Is there a reason why this won’t be talked about?
    It would seem this is is a pressing issue?
    Do you not think addressing this NOW before the government takes next steps is
    …wise?
    For those of us with family members who didn’t take it, and can’t attend in person…
    Do we just start acting like they don’t exist?
    Do we pretend their questions are not valid?

    What is going on, pastor Cavy?

Leave a Reply

X