It all started in a conversation I had with a random group of people sitting around a table over Thanksgiving. Not being sure of what the conversation was about, I took a seat and said, “What are you guys talking about?” Someone asked: “Do you believe we actually went to the moon?” I said, yes, of course I do. And they wanted to know why? Well, I have lots of reasons why, but none the least of which, is why not? Why would the government go to great extremes to create a hoax then try to perpetuate that hoax for the next 55 years? Someone said it was because we wanted to beat Russia there. Well, if it was a hoax, do you think that Russia would not have made a scene when they arrived a few years later and discovered no U.S. flag or moon buggy on the moon? We talked about some other things, including politics and religion, ate a big meal, and then went our separate ways.
That whole conversation got me thinking about other conspiracy-type theories, and, being curious, I started researching the flat earth society. I don’t know if that's a real name of a real organization, but there are people out there who seem to honestly believe that the earth is flat. I suppose this theory has been around for centuries, but it’s gotten new traction lately with the advent of social media. Those who believe in a flat earth are growing. In my research, I also found that those who believe in a flat earth theory, also don’t believe in the moon landing, and that 911 was an inside job, and that JFK wasn’t really assassinated, and a whole bunch of other conspiracy theories - which I’m not entirely discounting by the way. As a disclaimer, I am mostly totally into government conspiracy theories. I believe the government has far over-reached its Biblical mandate to protect its people from harm and to be an agent of good. It meddles far too much and there are way too many codes and ridiculous regulations. I won’t get into that today, because this article is not about government conspiracies.
So, when it comes to “Flat Earthers”, what has happened, is that what once was a somewhat isolated idea, or even what some might call a crazy idea, has taken hold because now there is more exposure to those theories through social media and there are people looking for videos and the whole movement has started to have a sensationalist kind of effect because people watch those videos and believe them.
From my understanding, one of the flat earth theories is that the world is a flat disc and in the center you've got the Arctic circle. And expanding out from there are all the continents of the world making a full, flat circle around Antarctica. Other flat-earthers believe that Antarctica just goes on forever in all directions and that the earth is actually an infinite plane in all directions. It isn’t a globe - it is just plain flat.
And so some of that belief says that instead of the sun being millions and millions of miles away, it's actually nearby and much smaller. And that's how they account for time differences across the world, and for seasons. It's just that you're further away from the sun at that point. Others believe that the world is a flat disk, but it's under a dome, like a roof on top of the world.
And so, in trying to pull this together and get into the minds of the flat-earthers, I discovered their train of thought - all the proof they need is what they see and know. I mean, why trust someone else’s word when you have your own? So proof number one to them is: the horizon looks flat, therefore it is flat. Number two, even if you go up a mountain, the horizon still looks flat. Number three, water can’t stick to a curved surface. It always levels itself off and there’s no way it will stick to a curved ball. Those are just three of their arguments. They have over 200 of them.
The above essay answers my curiosity about the flat earth theory. Everybody is a skeptic. We tend to doubt everything. Which is why it’s difficult to live by faith. Because if we can’t see it, we wonder if it’s really true. But if we look around, the evidence is there, it’s just a matter of whether we want to believe it or not. The Bible says we live by faith and not by sight. The Bible also says that proof of God is everywhere around us, so that one day when we stand before God to answer for our lives, we will have no excuses. “What may be known about God is plain … because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse,” (Romans 1:19-20).
Oh yes, and one more, Isaiah 40:22: “He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth …” I don’t believe in the flat earth theory for a second.
(Kevin Cernek is Lead Pastor of Martintown Community Church in Martintown, Wisconsin).