Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sorting out facts from conspiracy interpretations

I'm still getting a lot out of the talks by Scott Johnson but I've got to say he makes me cringe at times. Sometimes it's because of his lack of familiarity with the people and events he's reading about so that he presents the information haltingly and mispronounces the names because of his lack of knowledge. Other times it's his so uncritically and even adamantly supporting the conspiracy thinking by the people he's quoting.

The reason I'm saying this is not just to put down Scott Johnson but really more in the hope of heading off the disgust or discouragement some people may feel at some of what he says; that is, to encourage people to take his overall objectives seriously -- even taking some with a grain of salt when necessary -- and not give up because of his ignorance. God doesn't necessarily choose articulate educated people for His work, you know, and if only half of what he's talking about turns out to be true it's something the church should know about.

Some of it's pretty far out, such as the idea of an invasion of beings from "outer space" to "teach" the human race some things as part of the creation of the New World Order that will bring all humanity into subjugation to a single evil governing power. But there's enough evidence by now that some such scenario is a possibility. And what they're going to "teach" is what the New Age is already teaching, and what some "visionary" politicians also favor. Mostly socialism which is propagandized to be loving your neighbor. The Antichrist himself won't have anything more sophisticated to bring us than that in his chosen role as savior of the world, but he'll present it in pompous hifalutin terms and persecute anyone who dissents.

Take a look at some of the teachings of A Course in Miracles for an example of the kind of hifalutin mind-twisting stuff that "doctrines of demons" can amount to. They are meditation exercises with a sort of Buddhist tinge in places and a pseudo-Christian tinge as well, that open you up to a false view of Christ while they play with your mind and most likely bring demons into your life as you practice them, so that adepts may at some point demonstrate surprising supernatural abilities that would easily deceive people. Transcendental Meditation accomplishes the same thing by having a person meditate with a "sound" in the mind that can open up occultic experience, probably by summoning demonic influence. These comments are mostly from my own experience but this is the basic arena Scott Johnson is covering. The church does need to know these things.

If the church isn't prepared for some dazzling and intimidating signs and wonders we won't have a way to recognize their source and give a pointed answer to them as well as defend ourselves from them. Some of us have made a point to keep track of the New Age teachings for years anyway, usually those who have had some occultic experience on the way to becoming a Christian, as I did, but Christians who have had no such experience may be inclined to doubt the power in such things, so that when it finally manifests they may mistake it for God's work and be deceived for a time. This is the value of an overview like Scott Johnson's, as he is trying to cover all the possible scenarios that may arise as the last days come upon us.

So yes, it's all about a huge conspiracy, one with many tentacles, designed to captivate humanity to the devil's designs just as he did in Eden, but now with an eye to a spectacular finale that is most likely just around the corner. There are no doubt some people who are in on it, who have literally consciously sold their souls to the devil, but it's really the devil's ultimate work and the people are merely pawns. There is a kind of conspiracy thinking that sometimes goes along with it that attributes much more to the human players than seems warranted by the evidence. I especially cringe at the certainty of some of the people who are most into these things that EVERYBODY who has anything whatsoever to do with a particular political or economic development MUST be consciously complicit with the goal the writer is so certain about. There's quite a bit of this kind of thinking in last weekend's talk about the economy.

He says this entire election is a fraud, for instance. BOTH sides are in on this conspiracy to destroy the nation, he says. Perhaps they even know who is the winner before it comes about. So there's no point in voting for either one because both are evil. He doesn't give specifics in this case, just asserts it. He has given talks on Obama so what's evil about him in his mind is perhaps clear enough, but as far as I'm aware nothing has been said about McCain to support the suggestion that he's part of some huge conspiracy. I could see an argument not to vote for McCain based on his own voting record in the Senate, the positions he takes on the issues, but Johnson hasn't given any reason, he just asserts that McCain is evil too. (That is, what he's READING asserts it and he makes it clear he agrees. What Johnson does is read essays and articles he's chosen off the internet.)

He talks about President Bush as if he were evil personified. I'm sorry, I find it AWFULLY hard to see G W Bush as evil personified. I lost faith in Bush a long time ago, when he declared Islam a "religion of peace" and continued the "Road Map to Peace" policy which is such an unfair policy toward Israel, but I see that as political mistakes, not nefarious evil plotting to take over the world. Conspiracy thinkers don't seem to take into account that sometimes people make mistakes, that intentions go awry. You'd think they were all omniscient. It seems that if some decisions help to further an evil outcome of some sort -- at least an outcome they think is evil -- then there is no doubt in their mind that that outcome was intended in the decision itself. This is foolish thinking and I wish Johnson didn't indulge in it. He becomes untrustworthy in these areas.

I wanted to do some more research before getting into all this but something has to be said at this point and maybe I can research it later. For instance, at some site that Johnson quotes from there is a list of the supposedly bad spiritual fruit of George W. Bush that supposedly proves he's evil. I read it months ago and can't find it now but I remember thinking it was ridiculous. It's a list of bad decisions and mistakes at worst -- and some of that is a judgment call, it not being at all clear whether they even were bad decisions. You can't assume that because something has a certain result or means something in particular to you that it means the same thing to someone else, but this false kind of thinking is about all that list amounted to. I hope I find my way back to that page some time so I can be more accurate in my response to it.

One thing I do remember is that so much is made about the "cornuto" sign, the pointing of the index and little fingers. It's both a satanic sign indicating the devil's horns, and, much more commonly, the deaf sign word for "I love you." When there's a picture of George and Laura Bush making that sign, as there is at that link, it's absolutely ridiculous to suggest that they are consciously giving a satanic sign. It may be that for some people in SOME cases, but you CANNOT just assume it, you'd have to PROVE it; and in the case of the Bushes it is utterly ridiculous. Bush is not my favorite President by a long shot, and I do believe he and his father have been leading us into the One World Order, but I can only think of that as bad judgment, bad politics; I CANNOT think of him as a satanist. Good grief. I can't even think of his belonging to the infamous "Skull and Bones Society" as having any special significance in his case though the conspiracy thinkers imply all sorts of evil connected with that.

And since these conspiracy writers offer no evidence whatever it amounts to slander. The mere fact of the hand gesture, the mere fact of belonging to a society, the mere fact of sending troops to Iraq or whatever it is -- that's ALL they have for evidence of their own overwrought imputation of evil motivation to people.

Frankly, this is STUPID, and it doesn't help us sort out what is really going on in these last days.

Did Jesus call Pilate evil? He called Herod "that fox" but his strongest denunciations were never for the unbelieving world but for the religious leaders of his day. Paul always addressed the Roman authorities with respect.

Sure, it IS interesting to know the satanic meaning of the cornuto sign, because no doubt the devil is up to his eyeballs in its use even when people aren't using it consciously with his meanings.

It's also interesting to see that there does appear to be a Masonic layout to the city of Washington D.C., something I learned from a previous teaching of Johnson's, which certainly implies that SOMEBODY had a Masonic objective in mind in designing it, but isn't it possible that most of this stuff goes on without anybody's being the wiser, probably even most Masons? In any case, merely pointing out that the symbolism exists does NOT prove understanding of its full demonic meaning. George Washington was a pretty high level Mason they say, but can you tell from that that he had satanic motivations? And the Masonic symbols on the dollar bill. It really is interesting to recognize that and think about it. Very surprising how much Masonic influence there is in our national symbolism. But can you prove from those mere facts that the human beings who designed such things were really consciously complicit in their satanic meanings, or isn't it possible that most of them didn't really grasp the ultimate meanings of Masonry? Simply pointing out the symbolism doesn't in itself warrant such a conclusion. but this is ALL the evidence they seem to think they need. No, this can amount to slander, and the Lord will not overlook it. Such things are certainly suggestive that SOMETHING is going on that it would be good to know about, certainly some level of demonic influence, but conscious human complicity? That's going too far without more evidence than is typically given.

The idea that war is always for money is something else he also says in this talk about the economic collapse. He flatly states that everyone in power who sends men to war has money motivation. Oh really? That just sounds like the Leftist accusation, which is also a conspiracy theory. There is no proof that going to Iraq had any economic motivation. If it did, why are we suffering from high prices on oil? Why wouldn't we just take over their oil production for our own use? Such accusations are unwarranted. Did we go to Vietnam because of money interests? Korea? Second World War? I'm sure there are some who profit from war but sorry, overall this is just slander again. If there's one thing that makes America different from all history and the rest of the world it's that we DON'T go to war for purposes of conquest. I'm sure there are exceptions, possibly the Mexican-American War for instance (and that one may be bringing us God's judgment in the form of being flooded with illegal Latino immigrants), but the exception proves the rule as they say.

He even called Bush a madman, which almost made me laugh. The idea here is that we're being set up to be a police state as the US becomes part of the One World Order and since Bush has supposedly been plotting this throughout his term in office, he wouldn't like to have to give it up just at the very moment it looks like it's about to become reality, which the economic meltdown portends. So, since in a time of such dire national crisis a sitting President continues in office he wants to be sure he's the one presiding over the next developments in his plot and will do anything to make sure that neither Obama nor McCain take office. I don't care how wrong Bush has been about all kinds of things, I can't see the man as plotting the nefarious plots that Johnson is picking up from his sources. There has to be some room for simple character judgment. To call Bush a madman means the simple ability to read character has been warped. I think it's sin to say such things against a man that you can't prove, and he has NOT proved it. Sure, it's possible to misread character, but in Bush's case it's absurd to think what Johnson is saying. Now, Obama, that's another matter. I wouldn't put anything past him.

Isn't it possible for people to make mistakes? Certainly people can be complicit with the plans of the devil without being aware of it. The last days scenario is going to unfold as prophesied whether any human being has a conscious part in it or not. At this point there is, I hope, still time for many to be saved who are still under delusion.

Caveat: This post is just off the top of my head, based on my not-so-hot memory, so I may be misremembering things I'll need to correct later. I just felt something had to be said about this tendency to impute motivations without good evidence.

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