There are some who, in search of something true and real in this world full of lies and deceit, have taken a wrong fork in the road which has led them to something seemingly promising, but that later turns out to have been a proverbial rabbit hole. One such group is Flat Earthers (FEs).
A problem with Flat Earthers – people who believe the Earth is flat – is that for the most part they lack the basics of a good education. By far their biggest problem, however, is their need to be recognized or given attention. This need for attention and the feeling of being “in the know,” as compared to the general citizenry, is what feeds their folly. Oftentimes FEs also believe heavily in other conspiracy theories, everything from lizard people to extraterrestrial aliens to faked moon landings and more.
The purpose of this post is not to convince any FEs that they are mistaken. This is, in part, largely impossible because they believe in their enlightenment without question, while questioning everyone else’s opinion as being “duped.” Consequently, one is not likely to have much to discuss with the raging FE when it comes to matters that are unrelated to any of the conspiracy theories he or she is currently researching and becoming enlightened on. In fact, the average person is likely to elicit no response or input from a FE if the topic of discussion is not somehow tied into one of the various conspiracies the FE is interested in.
At the bottom of this post, I have provided a few links to resources that more specifically discuss how and why the claims of FEs are wrong, especially in light of a Christian and historical point of view. My goal here is to discuss other aspects that likely precipitate or affect why a person becomes a FE in the first place, and what their friends or loved ones might be able to do to dissuade them from going down that deep and dark rabbit hole.
There is far more evidence for a circular, spherical planet Earth than anything the FEs can claim is faked, from historical evidence going back to Erosthenes and Ptolemy, to the exhaustive research and missions of NASA. The problem is not a lack of evidence, rather a lack of wisdom and the education to understand the evidence, coupled with psychological/psychosocial factors that likely affect one’s outlook on life and people in general.
Allow me to explain.
People who fall for the Flat Earth lie (and other conspiracies) are generally people who like to think of themselves as smarter than others, above others in understanding how the world “really works,” and generally exhibit an air of pride and arrogance that arises from constantly indulging in these thoughts. They look down on most people who – they are convinced – have been tricked into believing lies from the government and other shadow groups that are perpetuated by dozens of conspiracy theories. Their ravenous appetite for scintillating theories finds no bounds on the Internet, which most rational people realize is chock full of trash if that is what one is looking for, or if one is not discerning enough.
And thus, these people find others like them, other “enlightened ones” that have been able to see past the supposed hoaxes and lies of various governments or groups. They even get together and form societies of True Believers which are supposedly dedicated to freeing the minds of their fellow man at all costs. It is ironic that in so doing they demonstrate their collective education and experience in the sciences is a cumulative naught, since the vast majority of them have completed nary a single college physics or mathematics course. They feel they are just too enlightened for other people to realize, when in fact they themselves are the ones ensnared in lies and deceit, unable to think their way back out of the rabbit hole and into the light.
A cursory perusal of YouTube clips dealing with FEs demonstrates their basic lack of education, especially with regard to the fields of physics and mathematics. I deliberately left out astronomy altogether because FEs do not bother with it as a matter of principle, since to them it is all fake. But physics and mathematics are among the most powerful tools that prove Earth is a circular sphere, as is the Moon, as is the Sun and all other planets and stars in our Universe.
We have all known such people at some point in our lives, whether they are FEs or people that believe the Apollo Moon landings (all 6 of them) were hoaxes, or other conspiracies. As I stated earlier, the point of my post is not about proving them wrong with science, logic and common sense. Instead, the most effective way of reaching them, I believe, is with the Gospel.
Believe it or not, many of these people started out with good intentions when they first set out on their journey of enlightenment, but they have gone so far down the rabbit hole that they have lost sight of the prize. They are increasingly living their lives in fear and uncertainty, which causes them stress and clouds their judgement with regard to the basic and important responsibilities of life – paying the bills, being good parents, maintaining meaningful relationships with family and friends, focusing on a career or just holding down a job, being able to communicate well with others, and putting the cares and concerns of life and family above a perceived truth that has no bearing on real life.
This takes a toll on everyone around them even though they are oblivious to this terrible fact. They end up increasingly alone, feeling left out and as if their fellow believers who are dispersed throughout the world are their only real family or friends. This is a dangerous place to be; to feel alone in the world, misunderstood, not taken seriously and even ostracized.
But it doesn’t have to be this way, and if we can help it, should not be this way. We can reach them with the Gospel of Christ. We can point them to Jesus Christ, the Creator of this Universe, their personal Redeemer if they would let Him, and the One who can sustain them against any earthly conspiracy or evil plot. They do not have to live in fear, secluded from loved ones; we can remind them again and again that God is in control of it all – of the climate, of space and time, of governments, of history past and of the future before us, of all things going on at any time and that He has already won the battle!
We know how it all ends: Christ comes back and takes His people home, then He makes a new heaven and a new earth for them to enjoy throughout eternity. All we need to do is claim His victory in our lives, give ourselves to Him in faith and He will carry us through anything.
Nothing else matters, no conspiracy will be able to take your soul if you entrust it with Jesus. They need to see in us the love of God expressed in family relationships, in friends who support us through thick and thin, and in Nature itself. The cosmos speaks of its Creator in ways that are humbling, if we observe it and understand His word in the Bible account. This does not mean to read everything with an obsessively literal and closed-minded interpretation (such as imagining the Earth has four corners where the angels are holding back the winds), but correctly in the cultural and linguistic context that it was written in.
The Bible clearly states that God is the author and finisher of all, the alpha and omega. In Him is everything that has ever been or ever will be, and everything is in His mighty hand. He watches over His children and He has gone to prepare a place for them that He will take them back to when He soon returns.
None of the seemingly important events on this planet truly matter in light of this powerful truth. The earth is in its last few days before the return of the Son of God, who will take His loyal servants and children of God home at last. Our focus should be on Him and being more like Him with each passing day until that glorious sight. I invite you to climb out of the rabbit hole and to embrace the Light.
“But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows… And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Mark 13: 7-8, 13
“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12