Conspiracy theories are not new. Did you know there are conspiracy theories in the Bible? As King Solomon said, “…there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) They have been around since the beginning and they always lead to disaster.
In the Garden
The first conspiracy theory on this earth was the lie the serpent told to Eve in the Garden of Eden. (See Genesis 3:1-5) “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (verse 5) Satan accused God of be a conspirator (not only a conspirator, but the most powerful of all time) against humans secretly plotting to keep us from being as in-the-know as Him. As with all conspiracy theories, this was disastrous for us for the person who fell for it, and for the rest of us.
Not only did Satan tempt Eve, he lied to her about God. He convinced her that God was telling them lies, that God had ulterior motives.
Surprisingly, Eve had spoken directly to God, and had no reason to question His love for them. Had God ever given her reason to think He would lie? That He did not want the best for them?
Eve’s mistake believing this, led to her death and the death of every other human who has ever died.
In the Wilderness
Another conspiracy was when Korah accused Moses of taking too much power upon himself during the trek through the wilderness. Korah was a cousin of Moses and wanted to have power too. (see Numbers 16) He was unhappy with his assigned tasks in regards to the care of the temple and felt he was better than that job, holy. He felt he should have more prestigious responsibilities. He began spreading rumors throughout the camp until he had 250 “leaders of the congregation, men of renown” (Numbers 16:2 NKJV) on his side. These men were elders in Israel. The men that everyone looked up to, and they fell for Korah’s conspiracy theory.
With all these leaders believing Korah’s conspiracy lies, many other people believed him too. Moses and Aaron tried to reason with them, warned them, and tried to save them. In the end Korah and his two closest allies in these lies died, swallowed up by the earth — they and their families. Then fire came from the Lord and ended the lives of the 250 elders who had followed him in these lies.
This loss of life was not enough for the people to stop believing the conspiracy lies and repent. The next day they came to Moses complaining that Moses had killed the leaders. Therefore, God sent a plague and an additional 14,700 died.
When was the very first conspiracy theory?
However, the first conspiracy theory of all time was spread in heaven when Satan (then Lucifer) began spreading lies about God. These lies bred discontent among the angels, in the place where there should be the most happiness, heaven! Eventually Lucifer’s unhappiness with his exalted place in heaven, led to himself and 1/3 of the angels being expelled from heaven.
What do these conspiracy theories have in common?
- Satan, Eve, and Korah wanted a higher position than they had.
- All instances were instigated by Satan.
- All ended in devastating consequences and did or will eventually end in death.
- There was a molecule of truth in all of them.
There is some comfort in knowing conspiracy theories are as old as time itself. But how does it affect the church? And how can I be safe?