Indoctrination: Conspiracy Theories, Mainstream Media, The Holy Ghost and Discernment
In these days we have seen increases in disease, poverty, war, famine and earthquake (Matthew 24). The beheadings of Coptic Christians by Jihadists a few years ago were for me, representative of the persecution of Believers as referred to in Revelation. I believe we are in the End Times. And so, I also believe we are called to be prepared as the Bride of Christ for his return (Matthew 25). To my mind, we are not ready, and therefore, that is our #1 priority. How we do that is to watch and pray, and to fill our lamps and keep them full…. in other words, we need to be filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit continually.
For a good while I’ve been a history buff and a political spectator, seeking to take responsibility for the role I’ve been given as a Watchman (Ezekiel 3 and Isaiah 21). I’ve attempted to scrutinise the news broadcasts, have studied the alternative — sometimes rebel — views expressed outside of the mainstream media, and lost a friend or two over the process (so apologies particularly to RS and EM whom I inadvertently offended along the way, and who may read this). I’ve sought to make people consider for themselves the scope and breadth of what we are told — taking little at face value — and have aimed to draw people to reflect on GOD’s Word and where His Truth fits into the society in which we live.
Sadly, it is indeed true that the picture we are painted through TV news is not objective reality. At best, broadcasters and their channels have their own agenda through which everything is filtered; objective journalism is nearly obsolete (praises to those who still aim to demonstrate objective integrity). But neither is the picture we see within the alternative spectrum unbiased. It is human nature to rise up in the flesh and take a stand against what we don’t like and about what we suspect. I believe that is what the alternative media is doing.
This is not a matter of either accepting the MSM or the alternative media; it is a matter of scrutinising both. How we as Believers navigate “the news”, obey the Father, and hold up what matters to unbelievers who may be fearful, confused and seeking GOD, is key for us in these days. But also, if we become diverted or worse, go astray, then don’t we need to put it aside and realign our emphasis on what the Father would have us do to prepare for the return of the Son?
I am concerned that, in our zeal to learn the truth behind current events, we are rising up in the flesh instead of deepening our relationship with GOD through stillness (Isaiah 40:31), dwelling on His Word, and broadening our experience of the presence of the Holy Spirit.
We who know Jesus have the means to filter our thoughts and feelings toward the media; the Truth of His Word and the power of His Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. We can ask for spiritual discernment and trust His response. Are we not at a point in time where we desperately need that discernment? Speaking metaphorically, He will not give us stone cold blindness; he promises, like a loving father, not to give us a serpent when we ask for a blessing (Matthew 7).
The issue I have with alternative perspectives aka conspiracy theories is not that they are utterly false. YouTube posts are numerous (although some get removed as they are considered too controversial), expressing alternate views to the MSM; there seems to be much validity to their points of view. But beyond obtaining this information, we need to be aware they are not objective. Further, when they are taken as absolute reality, they are a distraction to us as Believers, who need most importantly to be seeking intimacy with the Holy Spirit and abiding in Him (John 15). Our mission and our ultimate destiny is to be prepared as Bride for the Groom, Yeshua/Messiah-Jesus/Saviour (Matthew 25).
These conspiracy theories concern me when they draw in my sisters and brothers in the Faith. They are interesting, but often are put together by people as biased as the opposing liberal news media; they are not life giving nor beneficial. And they are hugely distracting. We must guard against those “who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:6-7 )
The liberal ‘left wing’ MSM has an agenda to squash capitalism and freedom of thought. I don’t like it, because they pretend they are objective when they are actually editorialising the news. But the right wing has an agenda to expose the left wing as hypocrites and liars. While there may well be validity in their opposition, neither extreme is healthy. Rather, a society in balance is what is beneficial to its people, for within that healthy state of balance, the Gospel flourishes.
I’m concerned alternative broadcasts lead some astray. We who believe are called to “attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13-15)
I’ve no doubt we are in the End Times. We will never know beforehand when Jesus will return, because he told us he will come “life a thief in the night” and we must be ready. Helping others to see that we are in the End Times and that the threats of the mark of the beast, the evils of the false prophet and anti-Christ, the battle of Armageddon that looms, are not wrong. But also it is not preparing us as his Bride. Becoming embroiled in the battle on the airwaves over this or that conspiracy is at best a distraction. We war, not against flesh and blood (not even against those who would seem to be working evil for their ultimate idea of what is good), but against principalities and powers; we must discern and pray, but not gossip.
In my own mind, I do not trust the world institutions; they are attempts to build moral Towers of Babel, in the name of good deeds. So, in large measure, I agree with a lot of alternative media posts. But my opinion is not the point… We are not to get embroiled in exposing conspiracy or opinion to the World.
Rather, we are called to prepare as the Bride. We are called to witness Yeshua through love. We are called to hold fast to our faith and to draw others to the Truth of Yehova G-D, the Creator of the universe, whom in their conscience they already know (Romans 1). We are called to fulfil whatever individual calling He has given us. And we are to be focused on this: “To love the LORD your GOD with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbours as ourselves.”
I am truly sorry if my words offend. I don’t want to be a toothache to the fellowship of Believers. But when I see broadcasts over the airwaves that talk conspiracy, I am reminded of Isaiah 8:12, “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread” and not to gossip (Romans 1:29).
We are called not to be fearful. Perfect love casts out all fear (1John 4:18). So, if the conspiracies frighten you, remember that all these things must pass, but GOD will not pass away.
There is a time and a season for all things. This is not a season to fear nor to gossip, but to prepare for the End and the return of our Lord Yeshua, Jesus.
Hallelujah, he will come again. Amen.