No Longer Dupes

Listening to the news and the bizarre craziness of the past two years, has been trying on one’s soul. People have been infected with wild conspiracy theories, aimed at those who promote politics they don’t like. Ever since President Trump’s claim that he won the last presidential election, no matter how many ways votes were counted, and recounted and counted again, there are those who insist something sinister took place.

Even while that conspiracy in ongoing, new ones emerge. Qanon promotes some, but others simply take on a life of their own. Did something nefarious happen in Arizona’s recent election? And what about the current controversy between Trump loyalists. To say nothing of stories children are calling themselves “Furies,” using litter boxes in school, instead of restrooms.

How does this happen? How can people be so misled? How can good, loving and kind people get so caught up in nonsense. How can such conspiracies form with sometimes deadly consequences?

I don’t know what conspiracy theory, or other weird religious theory the apostle Paul was thinking of, when he penned these words to the people of Ephesus, but it spoke to me, as I thought about our modern predicament. Paul writes, “We are no longer to be children, tossed about by the waves and whirled around by every fresh gust of teaching, dupes of cunning rogues and their deceitful schemes. Rather we are to maintain the truth in a spirit of love; so shall we fully grow up into Christ.” Ephesians 4:14-15 REB

I thought of QAnon which mixes Bible verses with conspiracy theories, predictions and prophesies. Many quoted on our Facebook feeds . . . QAnon, this nebulous information center designed to confuse and manipulate believers.

I thought of misinformation campaigns by foreign governments designed not only to mislead, but to create anger and outrage with each other.

I thought of Schools targeted with conspiracy theories, where people are incensed at what they just learned from their friend on social media, who heard it from another friend, who read it on a post somewhere.

The apostle Paul’s wisdom echos through the years, to all of us, telling us not to be “Tossed about by the waves and whirled around by every fresh gust of teaching, dupes of cunning rogues and their deceitful schemes. Rather we are to maintain the truth in a spirit of love; so shall we fully grow up into Christ.” Ephesians 4:14-15 REB

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