I was only 13 years old but for as long as I could remember, this small music shop which doubled as a typewriter repair shop was beckoning to me. Every afternoon after school was finished, I caught the bus to my father’s dental office, where I would study until we returned home. Two stops before his office, I would pass the shop with gleaming new guitars hanging in the showcase window. One day, I knew I would visit the shop!
One afternoon, I finally had the opportunity. I completed my homework early and informed my father that I would take a walk around the block. I made a beeline for the music shop. Entering the cramped shop, I was greeted with a peculiar mix of counters covered with old typewriters and walls adorned with new guitars. The owner was huddled behind a cash register, engrossed in a book. Barely looking up, he acknowledged my presence. “Pick up or drop off?”
“I beg your pardon?”
He motioned to the counter. “Typewriter.”
I nodded and sheepishly asked, “Could I play one of the guitars?”
“Which one?” he grunted.
I quickly pointed to a beauty on the wall. It was the same one that one of my guitar heroes played and I wanted to channel him. The owner took the guitar down from the wall and handed it to me, plugging it into a nearby amplifier. I was in heaven! It was the first real electric guitar I had ever played. Before I knew it, twenty minutes had elapsed and I knew I had to return to my father’s office. I was beaming and thanked him as I handed the guitar back to him. He looked up from his reading and frowned. “You in high school?”
“No sir, next year.”
“Your school teaching you about the Illuminati?”
“Illumi…” I fumbled with the word.
“Illuminati.” He shook his head. “They’ve been controlling the events of the world since the French revolution. They’ve bankrolled the two world wars, the overthrow of governments, and they control the world’s banking. Everything that happens in this world has their fingerprints on it.”
I didn’t know what to say. I just wanted to play one of the guitars, instead, I received an indoctrination into how the world really works, or at least how he perceived it worked.
“Your school is not teaching you about it, right? The educational system is also controlled by them. Here, read about it.” He handed a well-worn book to me. “You read it and come back and see me. I’ll let you play the guitar again if you promise to read it.”
As I turned to leave the shop, he added, “This is how the world works!” I took the book and returned to my father’s office. Over the next month, I read the book and learned how this group allegedly orchestrated the major events of the world, as the shop owner claimed. I returned to the shop once more and did have a brief discussion with him about the book, but only to allow him to let me play another guitar. Within a year, the shop closed and I never saw him again. However, his statement lingered in my young impressionable mind. “How does the world really work?”
Was it really all a conspiracy? Multiple sources of research have averred that up to half of all Americans believe in some form of conspiracy. The world is controlled by bankers. Aliens have infiltrated the highest levels of government. There is a conspiracy theory for every political, cultural, or religious group. How does one make sense of all of this?
My high school years followed this encounter and my thoughts were distracted by other more pressing matters. I was increasingly disillusioned by Christianity and was convinced the biggest conspiracy was the mythology of religion. As the Apostle Paul wrote in his first letter to the Corinthian church, his entire hope in Jesus Christ was based upon the proof of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If Jesus Christ was not raised from the dead, he and everyone who declared their faith in Him were fools, worthy only to be pitied by the rest of the world for believing such a lie.
And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.
1 Corinthians 15:16-19 (NLT)
For many years, this is how I viewed Christianity. How could a man be raised from the dead? How could God die? It would take several years of God reaching out to me by sending a dear brother in the Lord to my side who spent hours discussing and debating the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We carefully read the Bible and after a year, God revealed to me that what I dismissed as a conspiracy of religious fanatics, was in fact, the Truth.
How does the world work?
But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.
1 Corinthians 15:20-22 (NLT)
This is how the world works! We live and have hope in this life because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ who conquered sin and death forever.
Praise God for His grace and mercy to all who place their trust and faith in Jesus Christ.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.