A Biblical View of Conspiracy and the Christian’s Duty
Part Two of a Two Part Series
by Stuart DiNenno
In part one, I gave examples of known conspiracies, spoke about the realities of human power structures, and delved into the mentality of the conpiracy denier. In part two, I will examine the subject of conspiracy in the light of the Bible’s teaching and give an explanation of the Christian’s responsibilities regarding the matter.
For Christians, an infantile and naive faith in powerful men and their institutions, such as was described of the conspiracy denier in part one, is inexcusable in light of the Bible’s teaching.
It is a regrettable fact that due to the apostasy of the churches and their failure to teach biblically accurate theology, many professing believers today have drifted from a scriptural understanding of mankind, believing that though we do sin and are in need of improvement, all humans bear the image of God. However, the reality is that only Adam, the first man, was created in the image of God: “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” (Genesis 1:27). But Adam fell from God’s grace through disobedience and his nature was corrupted by sin. All men thereafter, being Adam’s descendants, are created in his corrupt image, not in the holy image of God: “And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image…” (Genesis 5:3) All of our actual sins spring forth from the defiled nature that we have inherited from Adam through natural generation, just as every “corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit” (Matthew 7:18). This is the doctrine of original sin which is taught in several places in the Bible. For example, David says in the Psalms:
“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psalm 51:5)
Bible commentator Matthew Henry (1662-1714) says on this verse:
“It is to be sadly lamented by every one of us that we brought into the world with us a corrupt nature, wretchedly degenerated from its primitive purity and rectitude; we have from our birth the snares of sin in our bodies, the seeds of sin in our souls, and a stain of sin upon both. This is what we call original sin, because it is as ancient as our original, and because it is the original of all our actual transgressions.”
Original sin has polluted man’s nature to the degree that it has completely depraved his whole being. The Bible tells us that the heart of man is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9), that man is “abominable and filthy” and “drinks iniquity like water.” (Job 15:16), that men are born “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), and that they naturally have “the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Ephesians 4:18). Man is “as an unclean thing” and all his supposed “righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). In his natural “carnal” state he hates God and will not submit to His law: “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7). Men are slaves to sin (John 8:34) and “hold [suppress] the truth of God in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18), willfully choosing evil and loving darkness: “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). In fact, the natural, spiritually dead condition of his mind is so depraved that despite the powers of his intellect he is not able to properly understand the things of God: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).
All of this points us to man’s need for a spiritual rebirth, the supernatural working of God in his heart to produce a change of nature — he needs to be, as Jesus Christ termed it, “born again” by the Spirit of God — but this is a topic to be addressed elsewhere. For the purposes of this article it is enough to see that the Bible testifies to the universal depravity of mankind apart from the grace of God and the desperately wicked nature of the natural man’s spiritually dead heart. This is the source of all the evils in our world. Nowhere in the Bible are we told that the condition of the world, and the deprivations that many suffer in it, are due to man’s lack of management skills. Ungodly men wielding great power are rarely incompetent bumblers but often become tyrannical devils. We should not give heed to those who discount reports of conspiracy in high places by trying to attribute the malfeasance of men to mere ineptitude.
It is true that the natural man is foolish in regard to spiritual things. He does not, and indeed cannot, understand himself fully or discern the will of God, much less obey it. He has no real transcendant view of life, nor any genuine moral foundation. In regard to these things, he is indeed a fool. However, regarding worldly matters, the opposite is often true and, in fact, the Bible tells us so. In the Holy Scriptures, we are told that wicked men often prosper in the world because they are clever and cunning — they know how to work the system — and in this sense, they are actually wiser than most of God’s elect. “Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.” (Psalm 73:12) The serpent is used in the Bible not only as a representation of evil but also as a worldly form of wisdom, and we are told to be wise to the ways of the world for our own defense, while remaining without offense to God: “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16).
Christians need to understand the dangers of underestimating the wickedness of man’s heart and of denying the existence of conspiracies. The next several paragraphs are a compilation of some insights on this matter written by Reformed Christian minister Bret L. McAtee, which have been somewhat modified and amended by me.
If we do not acknowledge conspiracies, then we place ourselves firmly in the hands of the enemy. If we believe every narrative that is presented by the ungodly, then we are, in essence, denying the working of God’s providence in the world, which operates through the agency of every human conspiracy, and we do so to the benefit of the lying conspirators. For example, the gospels expose the conspiracy of the Jews who killed Christ. Those who are not willing to accept the testimony of the gospel writers concerning this conspiracy, have nothing left to follow in the matter but the narrative presented by the conspirators themselves. It is the same in other historical events. We can, on the one hand, search out the actual events that occurred, find out the who’s and why’s behind those events, along with God’s providential purpose in them, or, on the other hand, we can blindly follow the enemy’s narrative.
If we deny the existence of conspiracies, then the embrace of the doctrine of total depravity can quite easily become a mere intellectual abstraction with no actual outworking in world events. And we ought to question whether Christians really understand or believe in total depravity, if they refuse to even consider the possibility that historical events are often driven by conspiracy. As Reformed Christians, we profess this doctrine and we recite it from our catechisms. But when we deny conspiratorial thinking, we contradict ourselves. It is as if we are saying, “men could never really be that wicked,” in spite of the fact that the Bible tells us men really are that wicked. If men were wicked enough to conspire to drive spikes into the innocent and perfect Son of God and hang him on a wooden cross, then men are wicked enough to conspire to any end imaginable.
Are men wicked enough to conspire to run world-wide pedophilia rings? Yes.
Are men wicked enough to conspire to run a global psychological operation in the form of a false pandemic, so as to condition people around the world for further control? Certainly.
Are men wicked enough to conspire to kill off billions of people in order to supposedly save the earth? Undoubtedly.
Whether or not you believe the aforementioned conspiracies are actually happening, if you think biblically and therefore understand the depth of man’s depravity, then there ought to be no doubt in your mind that men are capable of such evil. To deny it, is to deny the Bible’s teaching about total depravity. Man is born wicked, and without checks on that wickedness, men will do evil beyond what many consider possible. If we are to be a people who take seriously the idea of man’s total depravity, then we need to consider the very real possibility that men not only imagine such abominations, and not only discuss the possibility of putting them into practice, but do in fact carefully plan and actually accomplish them.
If you want to educate yourself on the realities of conspiracy in history, then read the work of Nesta Webster on the French Revolution, or Anthony Sutton on the Russian Revolution, or M. Stanton Evans on the Maoist Revolution. When you do, one thing will become instantly clear: revolution does not happen apart from conspiracy. Recognizing conspiracy is not tin foil hat stuff. It is a matter of historical record. Read Webster. Read Sutton. Read Evans. If you want to have more of an overall view to the conspiratorial reality of revolution, then read Billington’s “Fire in the Minds of Men.” It is all there. Major historical events do not happen apart from successful planning, and often such planning is conspiratorial in nature.
Contrary to what many of today’s so-called Christian ministers maintain, to recognize the hands of conspiracy behind revolution is not to deny the sovereignty of God. The conspirators are conspiring under the superintending hand of God’s sovereignty. God is not absent but is ruling over their wickedness for His own ends. To recognize conspiracy is not to move one into the camp of “man makes history while God just watches.” To observe conspiracy through a Christian worldview is to be a student of God’s history and to reject the establishment historians who craft their narratives in such a way as to leave God’s providence in history completely out of consideration.
So do not be ashamed to be a member of the ‘Conspiracy Club.’ Jesus would not have gone to the cross except for God’s sovereignty over the conspiratorial skulduggery that manipulated men to put Him on it. The Bible teaches that the “wicked hands” of men killed Jesus but that this was done by “the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23). Everything about the crucifixion of Christ, according to the Gospel record, was moved by conspiracy — the shadowy working of unseen forces moving behind the scenes to bring about an act that was committed for reasons other than the reasons publicly being given by the conspirators. Indeed, there is no ability to be a wise Christian apart from engaging in and looking for the conspiracies around us. How are we going to expose the works of darkness and destroy them, if we refuse to bring conspiracies to light or even investigate reports of them to determine their veracity?
This brings me to speak of a related class of men: those who acknowledge the existence of conspiracies but dissuade Christians from educating themselves about them.
A Presbyterian minister I know recently wrote on social media, “A new crisis and many Christians rush to try to uncover the conspiracy, rather than seeking after and studying the God of providence. Investigating conspiracies puts one out of proportion with Scriptural emphasis and is usually a speculative dead end. I have no problem with the idea that wicked people in high places will manipulate crises like this to push their own ideological and political agenda, but you need not chase conspiracy theories to understand that.”
When someone speaks of “wicked people in high places” who “will manipulate crises” “to push their own ideological and political agenda” he is describing conspiracy and it behooves us to inform ourselves as to what such wicked people are doing so that we can do whatever is in our power to stop them or at least take measures to protect ourselves. There is no contradiction between trusting in God’s providence and understanding true conspiratorial activity, especially when it is understood that God providentially directs even the treason of wicked men against Himself and His people for His own good purposes and to His own glory. Of course, there are ridiculous conspiracy reports that are a waste of time to investigate, and conspiracy does become an obsession in some people. But it is not an either/or choice. We do not need to choose between either “seeking after and studying the God of providence” when a “new crisis” comes along or “rushing to uncover the conspiracy.” We can work at uncovering the conspiracy while studying to find out God’s providence in allowing it to come into existence.
Faithful Protestants in the past worked to uncover the conspiracy of the Jesuits to overturn the Protestant Reformation, which is today called the Counter-Reformation. Should they have instead strictly occupied themselves with Bible study and not bothered to inform themselves about the movement and men behind the conspiracy, whose goal was to subvert the Reformed churches? The sort of pietistic retreat from the world that is advocated in such thinking is the very thing that has destroyed today’s churches and abandoned our societies to the devil and his disciples.
I believe most professing Christians err, not in wasting time fruitlessly studying conspiracies, but in shrinking back from investigating the subject altogether. That is, they avoid looking into unpleasant realities because they are afraid to face the truth of them. As if this were not bad enough, many then make matters worse by masquerading their failure to inform themselves with a false piety, saying things such as “I don’t need to know about conspiracies because I trust in God to protect me.” Thereby they simultaneously insinuate that those who do investigate reports of conspiracy are somehow lacking faith in God. Of course, this is nonsense. There is nothing holy about being ignorant of the world around us, and it is only presumption upon God, not faith, to expect to be protected from threats which we have not the backbone to even acknowledge. One wonders if such people ever have the brakes on their cars inspected. After all, why bother to do so if you believe that God is going to protect you regardless of your failure to inform yourself about potential dangers?
It is necessary for Christians, insofar as they have opportunity and ability, to gain knowledge of what their enemies are plotting to do. We are in a war against the forces of Satan and when the leaders of a military force are making war plans, they do as much as possible to prepare their army for battle. They try to strengthen, train, and equip their troops as best they can. But they also do their best to gather intelligence about the opposing force by trying to determine such things as the number of its troops, what weapons it has, and the location of its armies. Without any knowledge of its enemy, even the strongest of armies is likely to be defeated.
Suppose the commander of an army said prior to a military action, “I don’t need to gather any information about the enemy because I trust in God.” Would we call that faithfulness or would we call it foolishness? We would rightly consider that man a fool, and Christians are equally foolish when they justify their ignorance of the world by creating a false dichotomy between trusting in God and educating themselves about the conspiracies of their enemies against them.
The Bible speaks of a multitude of conspiracies. It reveals conspiracies against commoners, against kings, against prophets, against priests, against apostles, against nations, against Christ, and against God. Nave’s Topical Bible, which is an index of the Bible by topics, lists 27 different conspiracies. This is not merely a list of 27 verses touching on conspiracy but specific accounts of 27 individual conspiracies. And it does not include the greatest of all conspiracies — that of Satan and his minions against Christ and His people. Exodus 23:1-2 is God’s law against conspiracies. John Calvin’s Commentary on the entire Bible contains the word conspiracy or conspired 156 times. Yea, it would be impossible to write a comprehensive commentary on the Bible without addressing conspiracy many times. The tendency toward conspiracy is a manifestation of the wicked nature of fallen man and has always been with us. In light of all this, is it not strange that today’s so-called Christian ministers never talk about conspiracies except either to try to convince us that they don’t exist or to discourage us from investigating them?
In conclusion, the evidence is overwhelming that massive criminal conspiracies exist today. The scope of those currently underway is difficult to discern but there is no reason to believe, in this “global age,” that either the quest for power, or the lust for possession of the resources necessary to seize it, have diminished. On the contrary, human depravity is an ever-present reality, and today’s technological world of surveillance and interconnection, coupled with the near absence of Christian influence over individuals and institutions in the political sphere, affords opportunities for wicked men to gain power and control to an extent of which tyrants in the past could not have dreamed. It only serves as confirmation that there is evil afoot when dissenters are mocked and censored into silence by ‘gatekeepers’ who control the flow of information, such as those who run the news media; or by ‘useful idiots’, as the Communists used to call those who unwittingly or naively helped the conspiracy; or by conspiracy deniers of all types, who are colluding with the conspirators through their continual attacks on those who would shine a light on wrongdoing.
Power corrupts and, in today’s world, misplaced and unfounded trust may well be one of the greatest sources of power for wicked men. It is every Christian’s urgent responsibility to expose evil agendas wherever they exist and to stand against them – certainly never to attack those who are trying to do so. Now, more than ever, it is time for Christians to put away childish things, and childish impulses, and to stand up as adults to protect the future of the actual children who have no choice but to trust us with their lives.