Conspiracy theories are nothing new—they’ve been around for centuries.
People love to speculate on hidden meanings or to jump at the potential of juicy secrets. Unfortunately, when these things are unfounded, lies are told and people are hurt. And most unfortunately, Christians are often involved in perpetuating them.
And now I noticed that many of the same conservative Christians who shared about #pizzagate have been spreading the #SethRich conspiracy theory. And it’s time to call it out.
Simply put, the spreading of these conspiracies are hurting our witness and making Christians look, yet again, foolish.
And it’s time to repent.
You see, spreading the #SethRich conspiracies and fake news directly violates Scripture’s prohibition from bearing false witness against our neighbors. It devalues the name of Christ—whom we believe to be the very incarnation of truth—and it inflicts pain upon the people involved.
As Christians, we need to repent the perpetuation of these falsehoods.
The Seth Rich Conspiracy
Seth Rich was a young employee in the Democratic National Committee who was tragically murdered in July 2016.
Police have announced that he was likely the victim of a failed robbery attempt, and they are still looking for the killers. Others, however, have decided it was a conspiracy related to Democrats and Hillary Clinton—just like #pizzagate. (You can Google—because I won’t link—and see the foolishness being spread by people with no regard for the truth.)
Despite the complete lack of credible evidence toward Rich’s involvement, the most popular conspiracy theory is that his death was connected to the DNC email leak of 2016.
Bearing False Witness
In Exodus 20:16, we are commanded, “Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.”
John Wesley described bearing false witness as “speaking falsely in any matter,” including that which “speak[s] unjustly against our neighbor, to the prejudice of his reputation.”
And that’s what you are doing if you are spreading these untruths.