9/16/12 Tony and Manny, 20's
A reality of sharing the Gospel in this generation is that many people are strong believers in conspiracy theories. Today at the park I sat down for a long conversation with two bicyclists, Tony and Manny, who had stopped to rest in the shade. They both had virtually no religious background, and responded well as I explained about their accountability to God's law and the gift of forgiveness and salvation found in Jesus. Yet I felt their acceptance of the Gospel was only on an intellectual level, and as I was about to leave after praying for them I felt like this was confirmed when Manny asked "Have you heard about the Illuminati? What do you think of them?" I told him that I know they are thought to be a secret society that has existed for generations in positions of power and influence, and that people believe they have "inside information" not available to the masses, with the power to change the course of history. It's a tempting theory to believe in because those who do feel like they have access to this information, or at least feel like they have the ability not to be fooled or controlled by them. I believe conspiracy theories like this are actually lies of the devil because they cause people to be mistrustful on all levels, from the government to their education to religion. In my experience people who tell me they believe in one conspiracy or another almost invariably also mistrust the Bible. They usually say they think it is a man-made tool invented to help one group of people have control over another. I believe Manny asked me his question because he had heard this theory and felt like he could tell me some inside information I hadn't heard before. We don't have to be experts about all the latest theories but it was helpful to have a little background information to give him along with a warning about how destructive such theories can be. "You want some inside information?" I asked Manny. "Try reading the Bible for yourself instead of just depending on other people's opinions of it. You'd be surprised how few people do".