You Have Closed Me In Behind and Before

You Have Closed Me In Behind and Before February 26, 2021

I’ve used up all my blogging time reading this very long piece that I commend to you most heartily. Mike Duran takes apart that conspiracy theory chart that is being shared around, and comprehensively addresses the whole question of conspiracies in general and how Christians should think about them in particular. He concludes:

Being interested in conspiracy theories is not the same as believing them. It is possible to be knowledgeable of conspiracy claims, but not obsessed. Open, but not blinded by them. In many cases, the safest ground is the middle ground — Agnosticism. Knowing what is “unequivocally false” is, often, above our pay grade. Admitting that “now, we know in part” (I Cor. 13:9) can be wisdom.

As such, Christians should not be obsessed with conspiracy theories. But neither should we be disinterested or ignorant of them. Shaming those who believe certain conspiracy claims is unhelpful. “Speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15) may mean correcting false claims, offering counter-evidence, or simply refraining from address for the sake of peace. There’s no pat approach. (emphasis his)

The whole thing–which you might want to save for the weekend–dovetailed really nicely with this morning’s psalm which, as I’ve said before, is supposed to be comforting, but regularly creeps me out. It starts out like this:

1 O Lord, you have searched me out and known me;*

you know my sitting down and my rising up; you understand my thoughts from afar.

2 You examine my path and my places of rest,*

and are acquainted with all my ways.

3 Indeed, there is not a word on my tongue,*

but you, O Lord, know it altogether.

4 You have enclosed me behind and before,*

and have laid your hand upon me.

It goes on from there–no matter where the psalmist tries to go, God will be there. The grave, the heavens, the oceans, even into the depths of his own mind, there isn’t anywhere he can go to get away from God. The Psalmist is happy about this because he does want to be with God. In fact, he ends with the plea that God will search him out:

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;*

try me and examine my thoughts.

24 Look well if there be any way of wickedness in me,*

and lead me in the way everlasting.

but I think a little wariness is totally appropriate. What will God find when he goes into the depths of the human spirit? In our efforts to get away from him, to hide, to flee, to shrowd ourselves in darkness we have to construct all kinds of theories to make sense of the world without him. It’s what we do. Whereas, if you open yourself to the light of God’s illuminating knowledge, you will be able to see the truth in new and appalling ways. Your own conspiracies about yourself will be the first to be examined, and that is very painful, which is why none of us want to do it, and why God has to do it for us.

On that note, I love, in an aesthetic sense, that humanity conspires together to know everything without God. It is a curious and terrible reversal, or usurpation, of the kind of knowledge that God has without having to even try. We want to take it and have it without his help or even his will. We want it on our own terms. But, of course, we can’t really have it on our own, and so we flail and connect dots where they are not meant to be connected, and also fail to see the obvious when it is right under our nose–2+2=5 forooth!

Anyway, I have to rush off and do some things. Have a great Friday! (if you want to…I, unlike God, would never presume to know you or try to tell you what to do…)

Photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash

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