Like many Americans during the pandemic, my wife and I have been marathoning our fair share of Netflix and Hulu series. One series explores the world of conspiracies. One might think, living in the “information age,” that conspiracies would go the way of the beeper. Instead, they have grown like a chia pet. I realize conspiracies have been with us for a long time. As a kid, I read several that claimed that Hitler escaped his bunker and made his way to Argentina where he or his followers would get the Reich back together. Thank God that one never amounted to anything! One of my more recent favorites is that Elvis and Michael Jackson are still alive living together on some remote tropical island. If that was reality, think about all the dance moves that could emerge from that dynamic duo!
The one consistent thing I learned over the years about conspiracy theories is that they are almost never, ever true. I am sure there is a reader out there that can prove me wrong (and please do!) but I honestly can’t think of one conspiracy theory that was later proven right. However, let me share about the one conspiracy I do believe in with my heart, mind and soul.
The late philosophy professor at UCLA, Dallas Willard, wrote the book The Divine Conspiracy. In it he makes the claim that God in Christ entered our world not only to deal with our sin problem, but also so we can share in the “divine life.” We are not talking about some New Age concept that involves crystals, hallucinogenics or expensive retreats. He is simply describing what Jesus tells his disciples in John 15. In this foundational passage Jesus describes the “secret sauce” of the Christian life. It all has to do with abiding, residing or dwelling in an intimate relationship with God. And by doing so, disciples or followers will experience the life we were created to live, or the “divine life.” A life of love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, generosity, etc. In short, the “conspiracy” that Dallas is referring to is God’s plan for us to live in constant communion or companionship with Him. Which, by the way, was God’s original thought behind Adam and Eve in the Garden, but those two blew that one. And if we are honest, we would have too.
My point in all of this? If you are Jesus’ follower, I urge you not to get wrapped up in all these fringe conspiracy theories. They don’t help us to love God and love people (a summation of the Greatest Commandment)—in fact, they tend to do the opposite. I do urge you instead to get wrapped up in the divine conspiracy especially during this season of Lent. To pray, to meditate on Scripture, to serve, to give, to create space in our lives to experience God. Not only do I believe this conspiracy is true, I believe it has the power to transform the world.