Monday, November 28, 2011

On Conspiracy Theories

Here's a good little video from the NY Times on the "Umbrella Man" in Kennedy Assassination.


(here's the wikipedia page on the "Umbrella Man") 

What struck me is that I have seen this kind of conspiracy thinking happen in the church in a number of contexts. Someone witnesses something and they are so sure that the motives "must" be sinister. It is so "obvious" what kind of other explanation could there be.

But when someone does a little bit of digging, goes to the source, asks the person what is going on--suddenly a reasonable and sane explanation comes to light. Often times, the explanation can be a bit silly--as in the Umbrella Man case. 

But upon investigating and actually talking to the other individuals the situation resolves itself. In fact, there really was never a "situation" except for the person who had all the "evidence" to make one.

It can ruin people's lives, ministries and relationships. There must be a spirit of trust, but people constructing conspiracy theories so convinced of 'the facts' can actually destroy things particularly when they are certain they can prove the sinister motives of an individual.

I believe this is why Scripture says: "The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him. (Proverbs 18:17)"

Don't assume the person to speak first is in the right--especially when no one else has come along to examine things or offer plausible alternative explanations.

(go to part 2 here)

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