Are You Part of a Conspiracy? You Should Be.

I have a question for you guys. Are you a part of a conspiracy. Now, this word has a little bit of a loaded meaning in our culture. I’m reading a book called Conspiracy and it’s really a fun book. It’s by Ryan Holiday, and it’s about that crazy event that happened when Peter Teal, the famous tech investor, teamed up with Hulk Hogan, the famous wrestler, to take down a massive multimedia giant called Gawker through about a 10 year conspiracy. It’s a crazy story. Has nothing to do with fatherhood except for this.

When I was reading the introduction to the book, the author made this statement. It really got me thinking about fatherhood. He talks about this word conspiracy and he’s like, it’s got so many negative connotations in our culture. We always think conspiracies are bad. And then, he pushes back on that perspective. He says, “Perhaps we have too few conspiracies, not too many.” I was like, “What?” “Too little scheming rather than too much. What would happen if more people took up plotting, coordinating how to eliminate what they believe are negative forces and obstacles and tried to wield power in an attempt to change the world? We could almost always use more boldness and less complacency. We could use less telegraphing of our intentions or ambitions and see what secrecy, patience, in planning might accomplish. We could use a little more craziness and disruption even from the people we disagree with.”

I was like, “Whoa, that’s a really interesting way to think about conspiracy.” In fact, he’s just saying conspiracy is just when people get together and decide to change the world. Obviously, there’s a secrecy to it, but a lot of times the hiddenness of it is just the fact that they’re operating in coordination with one another. Not everybody can see exactly how that works.

This really made me think about the garden, because I realized that one of the opposites of conspiracy is passivity. One of the things we talk about a lot is that in our story, in the origin story, of men is our first father, Adam, and the problem that he exhibited was one of passivity. There was a snake in the garden. He lied to his wife and it brought down humanity. It’s really important that we, as men, are rooted in the story, that probably the thing that we’re going to do that hurt the world of most is be passive. Our complacency is going to let evil run rampant.

One of the greatest examples of this was a group of philosophers got together for multiple years to just discuss the real cause of the Holocaust. I remember I was really surprised when I read that their response to the cause was, it’s too easy to say Hitler, because there’s crazy genocidal sociopaths in every culture. They don’t always get to the point where they lead the nation or the world in [inaudible 00:02:55]. How did that happen? They finally got back to a famous quote by Edmund Burke, where he said that, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” I thought, wow, these philosophers, they just put their finger right on the thing that Genesis 3 is trying to tell men. And that is, if you want to watch the world get destroyed, it’s your complacency that’s going to destroy it.

And so, I was just really challenged by this book and thinking, huh, hey dad’s, are you a part of a conspiracy to change the world? What are you so concerned about that you’re willing to coordinate lots and lots of effort around solving those problems? I thought that was a, I don’t know, a novel way to think about conspiracy, but what does that start for you, Jeff?

Yeah. Well, it’s funny, I didn’t even know you were reading that book. I read that book last year. I love that book. It’s so good.

Oh, you did?

It’s so riveting.

That’s so crazy.

I love Ryan Holiday. He’s incredible, brilliant writer, journalist. Yeah, it’s awesome. It’s such a cool story. And it’s riveting because I’m like, man, this is the story, not that story specifically, but I mean it’s riveting because when someone has such a long play and conspires, you’re like, man, the work, the ingenuity, the genius, the planning, the strategy. That’s what I think we need to realize is that’s actually kind of a cool creative word. We should think about fatherhood of like we’re conspiring. That’s all it means. We sometimes have this JFK conspiracy thing. It’s like, no, conspiracy just means to conspire usually against something.

We’re conspiring, as fathers, against pushing back darkness, and evil, and being in the mission of God to bring his kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. And so yeah, we’re conspiring. No one ever did a conspiracy, no one ever pulled off a conspiracy, by just sitting on the couch watching a football game. It’s more like the opposite of like that classic movie picture of someone with all the newspaper clippings and all the red yarn going all across. It’s like you have to actually be very strategic to be able to pull off a conspiracy. I get this boardroom feel, again, of everyone in a circle. I was like, that’s a really cool picture of like fatherhood, of family, of marriage, of like conspire to change the world, to turn the world upside down.

The cool part is Jesus pulled off the biggest, not conspiracy in the myth untruth way, but conspiracy in the way of he conspired and had a plan that was a plot, that was strategic, that very much he even says, “Man, be quiet. Shh. Don’t tell the demons. And somebody don’t tell my name.” It was very much like there was… That that tone is in the scripture, like, I’m going to pull off something that’s going to blow your mind and you need to keep it quiet. That sounds like he was conspiring.

I think, yeah, it sounds to me like, I agree that book was phenomenal and that Peter Teal took the long play. You read that book and you were just blown away at his play of like, wow, wow. He took the long play financially and time, decade, you know? Again, what would it look like if we did that as fathers. That’s the encouragement guys, is you have, we’re playing loosely with the definition, but you have a conspiracy to step into, and that to me inspires me, fires me up, to go out and conspire against darkness, against the world, against bad pictures of family, and bad pictures of fatherhood. That is your mission today. Are you willing, and whatever the Mission Impossible thing is, to accept it or else it will self-destruct? But yeah, that’s all we got for you guys. And we hope you’re encouraged.

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