*** This is a rough transcript of today’s show ***

It is the 27th of September 2021. Welcome to the Christian History Almanac brought to you by 1517 at 1517.org, I’m Dan van Voorhis.

It’s a mailbag Monday and I’m going to take us in a slightly different direction. Please remember that you can email me your questions at danv@1517.org .

By the time you are hearing this, I will have just finished a series of lectures at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Sierra Vista Arizona on Christians and Conspiracy Theories- from theories about the Knights Templar, the Holy Grail, The Shroud of Turin, etc… one of the things I like to do when I go out speaking is to ask the group what they might want to learn about. [And speaking of which, if you go to 1517.org you can fill out a form to invite me to come to speak at your event].

A few months ago when I started talking with Pastor Gary he brought up things like the DaVinci code and other fantastical stories and thus I began putting together my talk.

And the fine folks in AZ not only got to play a rousing game of Conspiracy Theory Jeopardy, they also got the top 10 Conspiracies- and on today’s show I will share that list with you. Quick note- the ranking isn’t precise and the first 5 are so-called “secular” conspiracies and the second 5 are Church history-related.

10. Stories about “real” monsters from the Loch Ness monster to Bigfoot.

9. Elvis is alive, or Paul McCartney is Dead

8. JFK Assassination conspiracies

7. The moon landings were faked

6. Area 51 and Aliens

And pivoting to church history, the top 5 with the important takeaways.

5. The Knight’s Templar and secret societies running the world

It might seem like everyone is out to get you, but it’s a lot less complicated than secret societies. It is fun to blame unnamed folks in the shadows for your problems

4. Holy Grail and erroneous relics

Don’t miss the forest for the trees.

3. Canon conspiracies from “lost” Gospels to the Dead Sea Scrolls

the Bible is trustworthy, even if Christians aren’t always great about talking about the complicated nature of a 66 (or so) book Bible compiled over centuries

2. Misguided Apocalypticism

Jesus says the signs will be obvious. A dude’s self-published “research” might not be the best oracle. Apocalypticism also can encourage Christians to think about this world as expendable.

  1. Jesus Resurrection Myths

All the way back in Matthew 28, right before the Great Commission, we read about the soldiers being paid to say that they saw the disciples steal Jesus body. From that to theories about a swoon, or a twin aren’t just silly but negate the point of it all.

I assume that if you’re listening to this you like church history and you think it can be fun and encouraging. Me too! But history doesn’t give us secret knowledge, it gives us a broader base of knowledge.

We want to be careful we don’t look at church history for the sake of either salacious stories or to “prove” our position is correct. As I told the gathering this past weekend we look into the past as a window, not a mirror. The past is a foreign place that might resemble the present, but we can only evaluate that when we take time to look at the past on its own terms without sectarian goals in mind.

The last word for today comes from 2nd Corinthians:

Indeed, we live as human beings, but we do not wage war according to human standards; for the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ

This has been the Christian History Almanac for the 27th of September 2021 brought to you by 1517 at 1517.org.

The show is produced by Christoper “The Truth is Out There” Gillespie.

The show is written and read by a man who lines his baseball caps with tinfoil, I am Dan van Voorhis.

You can catch us here every day- and remember that the rumors of grace, forgiveness, and the redemption of all things are true…. Everything is going to be ok.