Conspiracy theories. They are all the vogue these days, especially when it concerns the Bush family, which Michael Moore believes has been conspiring to take over America. Aliens and UFOs are big these days also, especially on the Sci-Fi channel, by which I mean expose’ shows on past UFO events done by non other than Brian Gumble. As significant as those are to their devotees, does anyone really believe there isn’t a much larger agenda at work in the world around us? Fox Mulder, where are you when I need you? Heck with chasing after non-existent invading aliens (the kind with space ships, not water bottles in the southwest desert); go after the real ones, the ones at the root of evil and all conspiracies. Yes, you heard me, ALL conspiracies. Now that would be a real X File.
Hey honey, are the men with the straight jackets outside yet? If you will please listen to me for a minute, this isn’t as far out as it sounds. There really is a big conspiracy and it is working. Have you noticed that it is getting unacceptable to believe in a literal Devil and a literal evil? This is especially true in mainline churches, such as the Episcopal, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches, but it is more so in the everyday world outside the church. The only place where literal evil is acceptable is in movies and fiction. But, if anyone takes C. S. Lewis’ book The Screwtape Letters too seriously, actually believes that it describes an objective reality, they are headed for trouble, and not just in the future. They can always leave though. “Hey you, I thought I told you to abandon ship!” Ok, but where to?
They say you are not crazy if they are really after you. So if I believe the enemies of God are really after me, really, yes, really, really, am I crazy? Well, I believe the Devil is real. I believe demons are real. I believe that the spiritual forces of evil conspire against God and his followers and they are real. I also believe that what has been happening in the Episcopal Church and the Canadian Anglican church on homosexuality as well as what is happening on the abortion and cloning front are part of a vast spiritual conspiracy of evil. Am I crazy? I bet there are some people who after reading this sure think so. It is one of the reasons why I never made it to seminary when I was in the Episcopal Church. I can still remember the lifted right eyebrow at my psychological interview when he asked, “So you really believe in an objective personal evil?” My reply was, “Yes, I believe the devil exists.”
The problem with being a political conservative and an evangelical Christian is that it is so easy for you to appear off-the-wall and then be dismissed by the “serious people” for actually believing one of the fundamental tenants of your religion. All this talk about the conspiracy of evil. Ok, so he believes in a literal devil However, if by chance you were to mention that certain other popular religions were really exceptionally successful deceptions of Satan that would be seriously bad for you. That assertion would start more than mere dismissal heading in your direction. Well, they are. What if you were to say that certain organizations, promoting certain alternative lifestyles were actually duped into being front organizations for this vast conspiracy. Well, they are. Those beliefs would begin to move you into the actionable, the prosecutionable. Hey honey, are the police here to arrest me yet? So be it.
There has been a lot of discussion on “God blogs” lately about Christians engaging the culture, entering the culture wars and getting into politics (e.g. Jollyblogger’s recent series). In order to do so, we have to kind of hide our suspect laundry, that is if we want to be heard and not dismissed out of hand. Can anyone actually get away with saying what as Christians we all know deep down in our spiritual hearts without being irreparably branded as a radical, bigoted, close-minded, virtually insane fundamentalist? Not today. Maybe not ever again.