I enjoy a good conspiracy theory. Second and third tier cable channels abound with them, and I admit to watching more than a few. Who really killed JFK? What’s really going on at Area 51? Who are the Freemasons? What really went on behind the closed doors at Bretton-Woods? These and dozens more all have their share of devotees and proponents.
I think the appeal of a conspiracy theory comes from the sense that we think we can’t be fooled. We know what the truth is and no matter what powers are brought to bear in keeping the secret, we know better.
We bring that same assurance into the equation when we look at the culture around us. It’s just like Paul said it was back in Romans. They are willfully denying–suppressing–the truth about God. We shake our heads at their rebellion, and we sleep easy because we know the truth. The conspiracy doesn’t fool us. The evidence is undeniable. Besides, we don’t act like those people, right?
When I read this section, I’d love to pat myself on the back in confidence and move on. I suppose I could, except for one small word.
All unrighteousness. All ungodliness.
Including what’s in my own heart.
You see, I tend to engage in a conspiracy myself. One that suppresses the reality that my heart doesn’t like to submit itself to God or His laws.
I deny the evidence that I still sin, often preferentially.
I ignore the fact that I’m self-centered, that I want what I want, when I want it, and I pout if I don’t get it.
I prefer to believe that I’ve arrived, that I’ve matured beyond the tainted pettiness of those around me.
I’ll look the other way instead of admitting that my rebellion deserves the full wrath of God.
While I readily affirm that Jesus bore the full measure of God’s wrath for my sins, I’d rather cover up the data that proves I desperately need a Savior and His grace, even now, every day.
It’s a glorious fact that I am called, chosen, redeemed, blessed and favored. Now and for all eternity. But, a full disclosure requires that I acknowledge I’m also headstrong, weak, distracted, short-sighted and deluded.
Jesus told His disciples in John 15:5, “Without Me you can do nothing.” Simple, but all-encompassing.
Jesus tells me in John 15:5, “Without Me, you can do nothing.”
Anything else is suppressing the truth.