The insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol carrying “Jesus saves” flags and other Christian symbols aren’t Christians or evangelicals. To them I say: Get your heads out of the sand. This is happening in our churches and we need to deal with it.
There have been many warnings over the past year — reports by Christianity Today, World, and reporters doing stellar work at secular news sites. In June, The Atlantic published a long form article, “The Prophecies of Q,” which should’ve stirred our churches to action. Did you read it? Or did you just think, “that doesn’t involve me,” and move on?
“It may be propelled by paranoia and populism, but it is also propelled by religious faith. The language of evangelical Christianity has come to define the Q movement. QAnon marries an appetite for the conspiratorial with positive beliefs about a radically different and better future, one that is preordained,” Adrienne LaFrance wrote at the time.
Ph.D. candidate Marc-André Argentino has been researching the influence of QAnon in churches and posting his findings throughout last year. His article, “The Church of QAnon: Will conspiracy theories form the basis of a new religious movement?” was published in May.
“What I’ve witnessed is an existing model of neo-charismatic home churches … where QAnon conspiracy theories are reinterpreted through the Bible. In turn, QAnon conspiracy theories serve as a lens to interpret the Bible itself,” he wrote at the time.
And it’s not just QAnon. There have been many efforts, especially in 2020, to wake the Church in America up to the problems of Christian nationalism, misogyny, and white supremacy in our churches.
It’s time to get past our habitual defensiveness whenever someone in the secular press points out a problem in our churches and actually deal with the problems in our churches.