Someone at work showed me something this evening that made me laugh. Let me be clear that I intend no disrespect toward this person. They were showing it to me out of a genuine concern for it's potential negative effects.
All of us have been caught up in the conspiratorial hype of some subject matter, myself included. In this case it was prompted by a viral You Tube video that garnered around 8 million hits over the weekend. This video is of a woman doing a presentation that suggested that the MONSTER drink and consequently the company at large, must be representing anti-Christ, if not flat out Satanic, imagery and wording that is a significant affront to Christ and the cross. Even suggesting that each of the three detached lines in the M for Monster are actually the number six in Hebrew repeated three times.
If you Google this, you will discover that this particular theory is not new and is not limited to MONSTER as it's target. You will also find that this is refuted as an inaccurate understanding of how the Hebrew alphabet works and how six hundred and sixty six would actually be represented.
The larger culprit is the Illuminati (basic meaning is "enlightened"). If you really delve into all of this conspiracy, satanist, business you will find that much of it is tied to a supposed organization known as the Illuminati. An organization whose purpose is to control and influence as much as it can get it's hands on from entertainment, to sports, to business, to government. Aside from Monster, business icons such as Google Chrome, Walt Disney, even Mitsubishi Motors, and figures such as the President, Beyonce Knowles, and Michael Jackson have been associated with this "sinister" organization.
These are but a small sampling of the obscene number of images and photographs that are out there in relation to the Illuminati, Satanic worship, and public figures.
Even the Olympics has been featured for their promotion of pagan concepts in their ceremonies. Imagine that. A ceremony surrounding a great sports event that was inspired by a pagan culture, daring to use pagan symbolism. Amazing.
I must simply say that we should not be shocked when the world acts in the only way that they know to act.
However, I am not writing this to convince you whether you should believe any of the hype or not.
I have no doubt that conspiracy theories have been around for thousands of years. In fact, the one that I am absolutely certain of occurred about two thousand years ago. In that conspiracy, the Pharisees and others tried to come up with conspiracies for why the body of Jesus was missing from the tomb. Of course we all know that one was a false conspiracy ;-)
Conspiracy theories have been around for the bulk of the 20th century. They really gained popularity in the 1960's when certain books were written and they were given much credence with events such as the assassination of JFK and Watergate. Conspiracy theories are not dangerous in and of themselves. Even the ones that are proven true are done so after the fact. Who cares at all, if they are not true. You may think, "How can you say that?"
Well you see, the problem with conspiracy theories is that they almost always draw attention away from the true source of any problem. Monster, Disney, Google, Beyonce, Michael, and multitudinous American Presidents, I have heard it said, could all be in cahoots with the Illuminati. So what? They are just pawns in a much bigger game that rely's on much smaller problems.
It was said to me this evening when this Monster video was brought to my attention that the reason this person is concerned is that they believe our young people especially, but many people in general need to be aware of the evil influences that are out there and how they are infiltrating our society. This is a very common sentiment among many.
My concern was this. Satan is using the painfully obvious, via the ridiculousness of these public figures, to distract us from our subtle intoxication with everyday sin. In the process, he makes many a well-intentioned believers, such as this woman on the viral video, to look like a fool. Consequently, this feeds the many unfortunate negative thought processes that are out there against Christianity. To say nothing of doing battle with the evil one, with the wrong weapons, while not fully understanding our enemy(Ephesians 6:10-20).
Give Them Sound Teaching
Scripture does not call us to win souls and make disciples by pointing out all the supposed ways in which the world does what sinners are supposed to do. In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus tells us to this by teaching them all that He has commanded and baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the word of God is living and active and sharp enough to cut as deep as is needed to turn a heart toward Jesus.
Though convicted of sin for some time, it was a simple passage from Isaiah 45:22, preached by a simple member of the congregation in which the simple message was "look to Jesus, that led to Charles Spurgeon's conversion. He went on to become known as "The Prince of Preachers" in his day.
If anything, we should point out false teaching that is coming from within the "body". We should warn of wolves in sheep's clothing (Matthew 7:15,2 Peter 2:1, 2 Peter 3:17, Titus 1:10-11, Hebrews 13:9). These are much more subtle and deceitful than signs and symbols from pagan religious rituals.
Again, we should not be shocked when sinners act like sinners. The shock should come when professing believers act like sinners, saying they love Jesus but still in hot pursuit of the world. Showing very little signs of any true repentance or the desire for it.
Give Them The Gospel
If we are genuinely concerned about those around us, young or otherwise, then we must give them the gospel. We must ensure that they are aware of the sinfulness of their sin and then point them to the gift of grace for repentance and obedience that is found only in Christ Jesus(Philippians 2:12-13).
We should help them understand that they must be born again(John 3). We should help them understand that, no act of their own makes them righteous before God; rather it is the righteousness of Christ's perfect life of obedience, placed upon them when they believe that justifies them before a Holy God.(Isaiah 61:10, Zechariah 3:3-4)
They must understand that they are dead in their transgression and sins and in desperate need of a Savior who will give them new life. And, that this new life, this new birth of conversion and belief will inevitably be followed by righteous works that God had planned for them from the beginning(Ephesians 2:1-10).
Satan's plan has always been one of deception. Almost always subtly. People who are wrapped up in all this other nonsense have been set up from the beginning. Not only are they born with a sin nature, as we all are, but they have been numbed slowly with little sin upon little sin. Desensitized until they have no sense of what is evil and what is not.
We all experienced this to some decree until, those of who are in Christ, had our eyes opened to the truth, by the Spirit, through the Word. So let us not think of these others as enemies. Let us remember the one true enemy and battle his attack, not only on the people we love, but on these that we are aware of, whom are so greatly deceived.
Let pray for God's grace to be poured out to change hearts and save souls in whatever dark reality so many are living in. Sin is a reality for us all and we are all in need of His enabling grace in order to live lives that are worthy of the gospel.
Let us pray for the salvation of all who will believe. Let us work hard to accomplish the purpose for which Christ came. For as Jesus stated it in Matthew 24:14, "And the Good News will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations(people groups). Then the end will come."
May we be used mightily, that it may be so in Jesus name!