Back in March when the COVID-19 crisis erupted, the U.S. government created a website called "coronavirus rumor control." It was an attempt to squash some of the bizarre theories people were hearing, including the bogus idea that the National Guard was being dispatched, with machine guns and tanks, to force everyone to stay inside their homes.
This rumor about martial law kept spreading—like a virus, of course—and it spawned more conspiracy theories. People posted their fears on social media. Not surprisingly, many of the people sharing those conspiracy theories were Christians who don't trust mainstream journalists.
Now, in the midst of this pandemic, a new conspiracy theory pops up every other day, fueled by suspicion. Different versions of these theories are spread on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Here are some of the most well-known rumors:
—Many people believe China's communist government deliberately manufactured the COVID-19 virus as a biological weapon.
—Months ago a rumor started in Europe that radiation from 5G phone towers can cause the body to weaken and catch the coronavirus. Some 5G towers were actually attacked and burned in Europe because of this theory.
—A Florida pastor recently circulated the idea that Microsoft founder Bill Gates is the Antichrist, and that he is planning to use his wealth to create a vaccine that will kill a large percentage of the world's population.
—Others have pushed the narrative that billionaire George Soros is the Antichrist, because he is using his money to fund liberal political causes and to control the world from behind the scenes.
—The so-called "QAnon" theory has gained huge traction in recent months. It claims that influential politicians who are part of the "deep state" shadow government are running an international child sex trafficking ring. Theorists claim that New York financier Jeffrey Epstein was part of this conspiracy, and that his reported suicide in August 2019 was actually a murder, carried out by the deep state to hide the truth about his connections to Hillary Clinton and other leaders.
—The fastest-spreading conspiracy theory these days was presented in Plandemic, a 26-minute video that was seen by more than 7 million people before it was pulled off YouTube and Facebook. The documentary claims that a Dr. Judy Mikovits tried to warn government officials that vaccines damage people's immune systems. Mikovits claims that Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has served the Trump administration as a public health adviser, has nefarious plans to manipulate the COVID-19 crisis for political purposes. (The video also claims that wearing a mask can actually "activate" the virus.)
Some people have lost a lot of sleep during the past two months because they entertained these theories. The rumors trigger hand-wringing and nail-biting, but in most cases the stories are based on conjecture and misinformation—or they simply can't be proven.
I'm not buying into these conspiracies, for three reasons:
- God is on the throne, not evil people. Since the pandemic began I've been parked in Psalm 2, a passage that proclaims God's sovereignty over men and nations. It acknowledges that evil men have indeed conspired to rule the earth, but it says God will overrule them. "The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord," verse 2 says. But it goes on: "He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord ridicules them" (v. 4).
I'm not worried about George Soros, Bill Gates, Dr. Fauci, Hillary Clinton or communist officials in China. Whether these rumors are true or not, the Bible says God will deal with those who oppose Him. Men are not in charge of this earth. No matter how much money or power evil men have, God will always have the last word.
- God has not given us a spirit of fear. The most common command in the Bible is, "Fear not." Those exact words appear in the New International Version of the Bible 70 times. I've looked at the fruit of conspiracy theories, and it's not good. Why focus on something that only stirs up fear and anxiety?
British preacher Charles Spurgeon said: "The fear of God is the death of every other fear; like a mighty lion, it chases all fears before it." Focusing on the devil's work is depressing. I choose to keep my eyes on Jesus during this crisis.
- My security is in the Lord. At a time when rumors were spreading in Israel, God told the prophet Isaiah: "You should not say, 'It is a conspiracy,' concerning all that this people calls a conspiracy, neither fear their threats nor be afraid of them. Sanctify the Lord of Hosts Himself, and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread" (Isa. 8:12-13). Don't let rumors quench your faith!
God is saying to us today, "Don't fear what everyone else fears." Our God is victorious! He's not worried about a pandemic. His throne is immovable. He's not wringing His hands over Bill Gates or George Soros. The Deep State, if it exists, is not a threat to the Lord. God is big enough and strong enough to take care of His enemies.
J. Lee Grady was editor of Charisma for 11 years before he launched into full-time ministry in 2010. Today he directs The Mordecai Project, a Christian charitable organization that is taking the healing of Jesus to women and girls who suffer abuse and cultural oppression. Author of several books including 10 Lies the Church Tells Women, he has just released his newest book, Set My Heart on Fire, from Charisma House. You can follow him on Twitter at @LeeGrady or go to his website, themordecaiproject.org.
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