Friday, December 21, 2007

Weaving through Conspiracy Theories to Reach the Manger and the Cross

“God rest you merry, gentle-men, Let nothing you dismay, for Jesus Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day; to save us all from Satan’s power when we gone a- stray.”

So goes the first verse of an English Christmas carol. And in just a few days it will be Christmas; the coming of God, as a small baby into human history, that is, the Incarnation, Jesus, fully human, fully God. What a strange time to wake up thinking about conspiracy theories and the evil slanders that some humans insist on telling about others.

We will begin, on the 25th of December, to follow the life of Jesus from the stable manger to the bloody cross and finally to His triumphant resurrection. That is we will follow along the path of salvation history which is the history of a real person who is the Lord of the Church. Jesus Christ is not about some universal ideal nor does he hold concepts that are “universal principles.”

Instead He was and is “The Way, the Truth and the Life.” So what does any of this have to do with conspiracy theories? What does the extreme right or the extreme left have to do with the One who is the way, the One who came to ransom us from our sins?

Several years ago, actually almost twenty, I watched one of the better apologetics groups entangle themselves in conspiracy theories through a book that one of them had written. I was dismayed as I waded through pages that supposedly detailed such Jewish families as the Warburgs, implied that the Federal Reserve was part of an elite conspiracy to take over the world and even explained that Churchill had been manipulated by the “insiders.”

The most offending chapter had this quote in it, “After Christ had cast the money changers out of the temple, they went out into the greater market place of the world and in time captured it. They did this colossal feat through ‘money changing’ in all its aspects. The greatest international banks on the face of the earth now belong to them.” This particular apologetic group took their eyes off of the Incarnate Lord and started fighting battles against imaginary bogymen. In doing so they aligned themselves with sinister evil.

That was the extreme right hurting what had at one time been one of the more prestigious new religion research groups in the country. But the extreme left or progressives can absorb some of the same audacious theories. Just yesterday on a progressive blog a pastor posted, Of the Fed, By the Fed, and For the Fed which provides a link to this movie.
America: From Freedom to Fascism, put together by film maker Aaron Russo. I watched this movie last night. Some of the same theories and books used by the above conspiracy theorist were used in the movie.

For instance, the movie states, “In 1913 America was a free country. Then a band of powerful bankers achieved their fathers and great grandfathers’ goals.” The movie maker, Aaron Russo then goes on to show pictures of J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller and Paul Warburg, explaining that they were able to take, “control of the American government.”

Undoubtedly the movie was posted on the web site because one of the persons who comments there is politically a Libertarian and she recommended it. But my point is, that when one, whether progressive or evangelical, does not lift up Christ Jesus, one may find themselves lifting up unwanted bogymen. The pastor who posted the movie has had a few second thoughts and added a very good link that refutes the movies main premise
Comments on Aaron Russo's "Freedom to Fascism" but still the pastor writes this:

“There is a great deal more in this film which I found to be very disturbing. The film does have a paranoid/conspiratorial feel to it. But as the crazy man said: 'Just because you are paranoid, it doesn't mean they are not after you.'

I think it is worth a watch, regardless of your politics. At the least it will encourage you to research more on your own. Check it out!”

In the safe keeping of Jesus Christ, in union with Him, now in the Advent and Christmas season there is no need for looking at the future through the lens of conspiracy. I wrote in a paper about my first concerns with conspiracies, so many years ago, “The biblical view claims goodness only for God. All men are considered sinners acceptable to God only through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. In the biblical view we are all conspirators against God; His reaction towards us is the standard for a Christian.”

As the third verse of the Christmas carol states:

Fear not, then said the angel, let nothing you affright, this day is born a Savior of virtue, power and might; so frequently to vanquish all the friends of Satan quite: O Tidings of comfort and joy…


Grace said...

Good points, Viola. And, praise God for the work of the cross!!

Viola Larson said...

Hi Grace,
Yes, "praise God for the work of the cross." It takes away all kinds of foolishness.

Rae-Rae said...

Hi Viola, thanks for taking the time to visit other blogs and actually reading other people's points-of-views on things.

You seem to know a lot about those crazy conspiracy theories that right-wingers have put out in the past.

I was wondering if you would take the time to ckeck out the Michael Journal, published by Catholic Patriotic Nuns up in Canada. Do you think they are just as crazy as those right-wingers? I wonder if they will burn in hell for spreading these monstrous lies about our financial system?

Viola Larson said...

Hi Rachel,
I have to say I have never heard of
the Michael Journal or the Catholic Patriotic Nuns. It would take me a long time to explore their site. However I will have to say I did notice in a fast visit an article on finace by the late Father Charles Coughlin. In the thirties he was a rabid anti-semite using the radio as his platform.

It is not up to me, thank God, to say who is going to hell. But this I know it is only by the saving death of Jesus Christ on the cross that any of us can be saved and have a relationship with God.

"But God being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God and; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Eph 2:4-8)

Rae-Rae said...

What is a rabid anti-semite?

Can you tell me more? Are they nuts?

Thanks for the quote from the bible.

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
(2 Tim. Ch. 3)

Viola Larson said...

Some one who majors on hating the Jews.

Dave Moody said...

What was the group that began as an apologetics ministry?

Not sure I understand your Timothy reference. What are you saying?

grace & peace,

Rae-Rae said...


I'm not saying anything; I'm just quoting from the King James version of the Bible. I think it says it for itself.


I'm interested to know more about the apologetics as well.

Viola Larson said...

Dave & Rachel,

I will not write the name here because I think I came very close to being sued then. I will tell you a bit of the story however. I was writing on neo-Nazis and so my mind was thinking that way. I had enjoyed a book by the author and talked to him on the phone. I was also a director of an Apologetics group at the time although it was not at all so well known. The person recommended his next book and I ordered it. The Church we attended at the time had a book store and the manager sometimes ordered books for the store if I ordered the book for me. She ordered ten of them. When I got the book I was dismayed to say the least.

I hurriedly sent a letter off to the publisher which was Harvest House, saying why we were returning the books. I never got a response from them but I did get one from the John Birch Society and the author.

I had made one mistake in the letter so I went on to correct it and found the problems were far worse then I could have imagined. For instance I had said that one of the books that was used as a reference, which by the way Rachel was mentioned in that movie, was published by the John Birch Society, but it wasn't they only sold it. Instead it was published by a group in LA called Angriff Press, (The name the Nazi Gobbels used for his paper). They not only published this book, (Tragedy & Hope by Carroll Quigley -a liberal professor that the far right likes to quote) they sold Nazi marching music and books on how to make bombs as well as the Protocols of Zion and Henry Ford's The International Jew.

I did write more and then one of the people who worked at my church called me and told me the author had sent a confidential letter to my pastor saying he was going to sue me if I didn't quite writing about his book. The person who called, a friend, read me some of the letter. The author actually called me some pretty bad names. Anyway I did alert one of the other main Apologetics groups, CRI, as did several other researchers from other organizations. The name of the book was "When the World will be as One." I do not mind stating that is not a good book. But you can do the rest of the research.
Sorry this is so long.