A few minutes ago, I got a surprise. I went for a walk, and the winter ice is slippery, so I was doing my careful penguin slide-walk. You have to live in a place with cold winters to know what that means.
A neighbour came by, walking in the same way. We said the usual “Hello, how are you?,” and he was very happy to know that I was doing well. We walked together for a while, and he told me how concerned he was about our personal freedom. You probably know someone like him, and maybe you agree with him. Conspiracy people. He told me about a place that has a curfew, where millions of people are not allowed out at night, and this is supposed to keep us safe from the COVID virus. My neighbour bought extra groceries because he isn’t vaccinated.
Apparently, he has been praying for me. I did not know that he had any religious beliefs, but he is very concerned about our future. I hear words like his in most conversations. If you think this is about Donald Trump and the U.S. election, some people that I meet like him, and some don’t, but everyone is worried about our future. Also, some people think the COVID restrictions are a giant conspiracy, and others are scared of the actual disease, and they all worry about the future. People get a concerned look and talk about their worries.
In a place called Steinbach, a church and a pastor are dealing with huge fines from the authorities. They broke some of the lockdown rules, and they argued that some restrictions were not fair. A local newspaper gave the pastor an honest interview instead of dismissing him as a conspiracy nut, and I respect that. Professional journalism is rare, and mocking propaganda is too common.
The pastor is clear, he thinks we are moving into a terrible future, and that seems to be his biggest motivation.
The worry is just everywhere. Do we have a future now, after the strange year 2020?
It is a common thing to describe our worries as ‘conspiracy theories’ which is a way to dismiss us. If they give a bad name to something, we can all ignore it. It’s like making someone small by laughing at them.
One journalist’s article that argues against a Canadian conspiracy theory has lost the video it was trying to correct. The video was removed by censors:
The missing video presents a concern about our future; but correction is no longer necessary, the censors got there first. I agree with the journalists, it’s better to think than to sterilize.
Should we worry?
We are told to “stay awake and be alert”, change is coming:
You surely know that the Lord’s return will be as a thief coming at night. People will think they are safe and secure. But destruction will suddenly strike them like the pains of a woman about to give birth. And they won’t escape. … Others may sleep, but we should stay awake and be alert. (1 Thessalonians 5: 2, 3, and 6)
The original great conspiracy theory is the end of the world. We have been told, for thousands of years, that God will step into history, some day. I think the worried people around me have a sense that a big change is coming, and I feel it too. In one year, 2020, the world changed completely.
We are living in a time when we only live, we don’t build. Our grandparents built our modern society after two world wars and a Great Depression, and we just live in the world they made for us. Everything decays and gets old, if it is not renewed, and we can see the beginning of decay. I believe that’s what worries my neighbors. Modern society is a poor choice for a religion and a god.
The first Christians had a conspiracy theory, and they were sure that it was true. The authorities were sure that those religious people were crazy and should be persecuted. Those ideas about the future were mocked and dismissed. We can expect more of the same:
Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.” (2 Peter 3: 3 and 4)