In a recent article, I wrote regarding emotional issues in the church, such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This evening, I would like to address another dangerous personality, the Conspiracy Theorist. You may be wondering, what??? I know, it seems like a strange thing to write about, but it is very much true.
A Conspiracy Theorist is someone who believes that some covert but influential organization is responsible for a circumstance or event. Simply put, they are those who try to figure out things beyond their ability to understand, therefore they develop their own theories about a given situation or individual. You may have heard this term in or around politics. Mel Gibson made a movie some time ago called, “Conspiracy Theory,” with Julia Roberts. It is one thing to share the truth, but another completely when we develop our own theories with little to no evidence.
Now imagine how situations in church can be and are blown out of proportion by one individual that develops their own theoretical ideas and then sharing them with others. Sure, we could simply call it gossip and be done with it, however it seems many justify gossip as concern or worry about someone or something.
I once had an individual sit with me after service one evening and go into detail about a situation I was involved in. I trusted this individual, therefore I sat and listened. As I sat there it was obvious what they were telling me was a bunch of guesses and assumptions with no tangible credibility. However, the seed was sown in my mind and from that point on, I was suspicious of certain individuals, and ultimately it caused undo stress in my life and spirit. It affected the ministry in a profound way, hence the reason I write this evening.
Throughout life we will endure much heartache and pain, but to share our suspicions with others without any evidence may only bring about the undoing of someone’s reputation or even an entire ministry. Trust is a fickle thing and must be strongly guarded. Conspiracy Theorists undoubtedly suffer from some form of OCD, due to the nature of their obsessing over things they have no control over, hence the theories are born.
Paul wrote to young Timothy and said, “Study to be quiet.” Peter wrote of how a meek and quiet spirit in a woman is, in the sight of God, a great price. James wrote that if a man does not offend in word, he can control his whole body. Conspiracy theorists have a terrible time keeping quiet about things they suspect. They claim they care and are concerned, however they tend to act upon their suspicions without any evidence. In doing so, they cause many problems within the church.
Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3 concerning the last days. He listed types of people to be warned about and at the end of his list he stated how they had a “form of godliness.” He continued to say they creep into houses leading others astray and continued to say how they were unable to come to the knowledge of the truth, even though they are ever learning. Jude wrote the same thing in Jude 1:4. Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans that “they are not all Israel, that are of Israel.”
My disclaimer and conclusion is this. I am in no way instructing or advising anyone to not trust people. All I’m saying is watch them closely and force them to earn your trust. God says in Malachi that He was willing to prove Himself, therefore no Christian ought to have any issue in doing the same, no matter how long they have served.