Criticizing Pastors, Conspiracy Theorists and Serving the Body

by Cris D. Putnam

This post comes from several responses I have made recently on facebook and in emails concerning topics like prophecy, the NWO, transhumanism and various other conspiracy theories. I have always been interested in weird stuff and trade in ideas outside the box of most folks. I have found that there is a considerable body of Christ followers that share my off beat interests and I have made it my ministry to serve them. Because I know that I lean toward “conspiracy thinking” I found this podcast The Umbrella Man and Conspiracy Thinking  by Christian philosopher Kenneth Samples very interesting and a little convicting. If you are a conspiriologist, I suggest giving it a listen and examining yourself.

Even so, I think the Bible supports a conspiratorial worldview in the sense that we are engaged in spiritual warfare with powers and principalities (Eph 6:12) and that things are seldom as they seem on the surface e.g. “And no wonder! For Satan himself is disguised as an angel of light” (2 Co 11:14). We are called on to be “shrewd as serpents and as harmless as doves.” (Mt 10:16) Yet we need to be very cautions about potentially making false accusations and doing the devil’s handy work as an “accuser of the brethren” (Rev 12:10). It is important to make a distinction between what is speculation and what is known with certainty. In conspiracy forums, too many times, I see theories become absolutes.

I also bring this up because several well meaning folks have lamented to me that pastors are avoiding a certain topic or asking why they are afraid to preach about “insert favorite conspiracy theory here.” I think we need to be more charitable with our pastors and remind ourselves of their role. Pastors have to deal with families, marriages, divorces, adultery, problems with kids, people with cancer and other diseases, deaths, horrible sins of all sorts, so remember the very painful and difficult realities of daily existence are always in front of them. Those items alone can be overwhelming for a pastor. When you spend your day consoling a parent whose baby just died, driving to a nursing home to comfort a stroke victim and then perhaps conducting  a funeral or maybe a wedding, an issue like “Prince Charles could be the antichrist” seems fanciful and unimportant. We must acknowledge that a lot of this sort of information is speculative. Topics like the NWO, the nephilim, or even the prophecy of the popes are on the fringe and frankly there is a lot of nonsense mixed in with the material which is valid. Because it is important for pastors to maintain a level of credibility in dealing with the hard issues of regular life, I cannot fault them for being hesitant to  jump on the bandwagon. However, that is where there is room for Christians with those interests to make a contribution. If this is your area of interest, then it is your ministry and you are called to do it with excellence (1 Cor 10:31). That means you should do your best to think critically and parse the information you present for accuracy. There is certainly a role for “out of the box thinking” but always remember, no matter what you do, you are serving the Lord and you are a minister, so take your ministry seriously.

For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. So the body is not one part but many. If the foot should say, “Because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But now God has placed the parts, each one of them, in the body just as He wanted. And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? Now there are many parts, yet one body. So the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” nor again the head to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, all the more, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are necessary. And those parts of the body that we think to be less honorable, we clothe these with greater honor, and our unpresentable parts have a better presentation. But our presentable parts have no need ⌊of clothing⌋. Instead, God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the less honorable, so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other. So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.(1 Co 12:12-26)

About Cris Putnam
Logos Apologia is the ministry of Cris D. Putnam. The mission of Logos Apologia is to show that logic, science, history and faith are complementary, not contradictory and to bring that life-changing truth to everybody who wants to know.

Comments

  1. Cheryl says:

    This article spoke to my heart several things that I needed to hear and be convicted of. Thank you for the exhortation. Blessings in Christ Jesus and thank you for your ministry!

  2. Wow, Chris! Thanks so much for that post on Pastors and “Conspiritorialists”. I do forget about the “ordinary” events facing us in the present that our pastors have to deal with every day. Recently I have been frustrated by a lack of interest by two pastor friends of mine in end times happenings. Like you, God has called me to discern the truth from the untruth and to be a witness for Jesus Christ as one who is fully aware of Satan’s tactics and understands the connections between world events and biblical prophecies.

    I appreciate very much the work that you, Tom Horn, and others are doing to further God’s kingdom.

  3. Awestruck says:

    I have never read your articles before but this one was excellent. I am working with this whole subject in my life right now and there is a lot of tension on both sides. One side wants all of the evil that goes on secretly to people (involved in the conspiracy) to be exposed and dealt with, yet the other side (the church) is struggling to help everyone in the church that genuinely needs help at this moment (and that in itself is a lot of work!). Thanks for posting this article. God will use it to help us to understand each other and be patient with others. Thanks so much!

  4. John Hayes says:

    ” It is important to make a distinction between what is speculation and what is known with certainty. In conspiracy forums, too many times, I see theories become absolutes.” Wise words Cris. If you’ve read some of my post over in PID Cafe you know how I feel about this. I was disapointed yesterday when I listened to a recent podcast on your new book. Not with you or the material!! One of the sites for one of your fellow speakers (not TH) had a bullet and link with something along the lines of FEMA and first responders training in culture of death! I take strong exception to the broad brush used! Can’t speak for the inner sanctums of FEMA but I did spend 25 years in the professional first responder community. Did a quick look at the materials presented and am calling foul and false! Anyway, thanks for this post and God Bless. JH

    • Cris Putnam says:

      John, Valid points.The sort of problem you are mentioning is one of the reasons I made this particular post. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to get carried away with the conspiracy mindset.

  5. John says:

    Thanks Cris,

    I was reviewing some of William Kennedy’s material on Malachi Martin last night. These are interesting times we live in. Looking forward to reading your book!

    John

    • Cris Putnam says:

      John, I read Lucifer’s Lodge by Kennedy at the outset of the project. It’s truly disturbing when you consider the implications of what Martin asserted happened in 1963 at the Vatican / Charleston Sc enthronement ceremony. Kennedy makes a good case that the “Satanic Panic” of the 1980s was a disinformation campaign to make all such concerns appear ridiculous, thus protecting the real perpetrators who were predominately pedophile priests. The rabbit hole on that issue keeps getting deeper as well. Just a few months ago in Holland they revealed 1000s of new cases. Needless to say this is one conspiracy that is no longer a theory rather fact.

  6. John says:

    Hey Cris,

    I think sometimes truth may lie in the murky middle. I don’t think you can totaly dismiss psychological phenomenon such as the ability to lead witnesses (especially very young children) to a pre-concieved conclusion, or group think that proves to be eroneous. Having said that, I spent some time last night reviewing the Presidio case and apparently there was some wierd activity going on in the years prior to the stuff that put Lt Col M. Aquino’s name in the spotlight. Would the resulting media from Manhatten Beach/Presidio deflect or highlight the Catholic Church travesty? Perhaps it served to dilute and desensitize. Also found some allegations regarding the SBC. I guess when all’s done and said, the failure of the Catholic Church to come down loud and hard and clean house speaks volumes.

    • Cris Putnam says:

      John, the RCC has a written policy (by Cardinal Ratzinger) to protect the pedophiles (and the RCC) at all cost at the expense of victims. I cite very explicit evidence of this naming names and documents in Petrus Romanus. This is a quote I cite in the book former Vatican lawyer Father Tom Doyle:

      There’s no policy to help the victims, there’s absolutely no policy to help those who are trying to help the victims, and there’s an unwritten policy to lie about the existence of the problem. Then, as far as the perpetrators, the priests, when they’re discovered, the systemic response has been not to investigate and prosecute, but to move them. To move them from one place to another in a secret way, and not reveal why they’re being moved. So there’s total disregard for the victims, total disregard for the fact that you’re gonna have a whole new crop of victims in the next place. Now this is just…this is not in the United States where this is happening. This is all over the world. You see the same pattern and practice no matter what country you go to.
      Sex Crimes and the Vatican: Transcript” Panorama (recorded from transmission: BBC One, Date: 1:10:06), http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/panorama/5402928.stm.

  7. DT says:

    Wow, a very timely and excellent post Cris.

    This topic has forever been on my mind and I think you should really discuss it more as I find there are many who can benefit from it, including myself.

    I have been asking the same questions and really trying to analyze the correct approach to take. I’ve put too much weight into the conspiracy basket for too long and am learning to gradually loosen up and shift to what is most important, the Gospel. I guess what is required is balance, moderation.

    Another very important point I think you hit upon was that those of us in such positions should make it our ministry and something I have inadvertently been doing, especially given my opportunities.

    What are some ways to sharpen the “conspiracy” ministry to both believers and non-believers so as to be more effective (primarily, to non-believers)? One of the things that really opened my eyes to Christ was the clear connection to world events and the Bible.

    Something which confuses me is when pastors give great sermons on Christ and then are oblivious to Satan’s hand in world events. Just today as I spoke to a pastor, we discussed Islam and he blamed them for blowing up all the buildings in the U.S., when we know now that most of these cases were done by authorities in our own government.

    Or another is the issue of climate change, as a post on Reasons.org discusses (which I have not yet listened to), and the diabolical agenda behind the global warming movement. In fact, I spoke to Lord Monckton recently (I might venture to guess he may be a Christian, since he occasionally brings up the topic) who outlines it simply as an excuse to setup a totalitarian world government.

    http://dissidentthinker.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/guest-lecture-series-lord-christopher-monckton-viscount-of-brenchley/

  8. DT says:

    I’m finishing up listening to the podcast you mentioned Cris, and I am greatly disappointed by it. I get the idea, but I think they do a horrible job.

    The speaker for one, listens to the Beatles. Well, if you go over to Pastor Shimmel’s website, you’ll find out that Christians shouldn’t be listening to Satanic music!

    http://theater.goodfight.org/

    And anyone attempting to speak with authority on this subject who believes the official 9/11 version, well, I cannot take seriously at all. Especially given what 1500+ engineers, scientists, architects and psychologists have said:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9VyIUWeEHk
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEGgAk1AbA4

    Or when he derides those accusing LBJ for being behind the conspiracy, where even Kennedy’s wife believes it (not that this proves anything):

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2023418/Jackie-O-tapes-reveal-JFKs-affairs-believed-death.html

    I was just hoping for better commentary on the subject.

    • Cris Putnam says:

      DT, I share some of your concerns as well and I have even signed the petition at AE for 9/11 truth. Still I think he made some valid points in regard to the umbrella man and the tendency for theories to take on a life of their own. There is a tendency in the conspiracy community to engage in group think and become impervious to criticism. Anyone who dissents becomes part of the conspiracy…

  9. Mark says:

    Chris,

    You seem to go out of your way to qualify your skeptic nature and critical attitude toward conspiracy theories and the information you research. I do not know why you should feel even “a little convicted” by the podcast you linked. I think your sincerity is quite evident to anyone who has an open heart and mind to the truth. After all, the information is already controversial because of the link to the supernatural.

    I recently listened to the blogtalk roundtable with you and Tom and Steve Q, and again, I thought you and Tom Horn especially went out of your way to qualify what you are saying and what you’re not. Steve has always been a “bull in a china shop” (in some ways we almost need a pile-driver like that to wake some people up, ha). Even Tom at one point said that a person would have to be “an idiot” not to get the significance of the information you guys are presenting in Petrus Romanus. Tom needs not qualify his statement at all in my view. He is obviously referring to anyone who is privy to the study of this information and not the average pastor as you refer to in your article.

    Still, I think we all know the struggle at hand with those dismissive of any conspiratorial bent, and that we feel we must qualify our positions constantly. But I think as long as we sincerely seek the truth, the onus is on the critics. I wish actually they would feel a little convicted.

    • Cris Putnam says:

      Mark, Thank you for your comment! It is very encouraging to me. I am very conscious of my own fallibility and accordingly I am always wondering, “what if you’re wrong?” – something many folks in these fields of interest don’t bother to consider.

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