Image: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, by Joe in DC, Flickr.

How to Help People Stricken By QAnon?

I mentioned in the sermon on Sunday that I have a relative in the Midwest who I am pretty sure has become – how should I put it? A follower of Q? Some of our conversations did not go well and it worries me. I am posting below a letter that I wrote responding to just one of the many issues raised in our discussions in person or over the phone. My letter was prompted by something posted by my relative on Facebook about Michelle Obama. The posting on Facebook was not only baseless and offensive, it was degrading. Most troubling is that I consider this individual a Christian and someone who shares my faith. I suppose this is as good a place as any to state my first complaint: QAnon slanders people while flying the flag of truth tellers i.e., “we’re just trying to inform you so that you know what is really going on …” If the statistics of a recent survey are correct about 30 million Americans are supportive of QAnon – Wow, that is about the number of evangelicals in America, isn’t it? For further reading on QAnon, check out Joe Taylor’s article for which a link is provided.

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/the-faqs-what-christians-should-know-about-qanon/

Here is my letter with a couple of sentences edited out to protect this person’s identity.

I appreciate that you have reached out to me to ask for my advice and opinion about Michelle Obama. As a pastor and your brother in Christ I am glad to respond.

For what it is worth, I’ve looked into this story and these theories and their sources and their origin and find it all completely untrustworthy and false. Not to mention that if such a thing were true, how is it that nothing like this has ever been mentioned by any of her husband’s opponents or other political operatives in any of his elections to public office? For what I believe is an accurate and truthful account of her life, I have posted something I thought was reliable below [this is not included in this reprint].

On a personal note, I have to say that I wonder how I would feel if people were saying such things like this about my wife. I don’t know the former president and his family but my heart breaks for them having to see things like this. Why someone would fabricate such things and digitally alter photos is almost beyond me. It seems kind of evil. I suppose she is an easy target. She is someone with a high profile yet most people do not know her and do not interact with her on a daily basis so she can’t fight back. I know that if she were living next door to you or on your street, that you would have sympathy and treat her differently than the troubled people who have made this stuff up.

But my main point here is not about what should believe about Michelle Obama but our faith in Christ. Studying Him should take up more of our time and is a better use of our life energy and vitality and curiosity. My view of all this is that we as Christians must spend our time researching, studying, and digesting Scripture rather than researching, studying, and digesting media. We must bath our minds in the “media” of Holy Scripture – for example, loving our enemies (Matthew 5:44), praying for, supporting, and obeying our elected national and local leaders – whoever they are (1 Timothy 2:1, Romans 13:1-11) and just generally thinking the best of people and pursuing the way of being a “living sacrifice” and walking on the path of love and peace until our Lord returns (Romans 12:1-21). This is what glorifies God and sets a good example in this world. Paul puts it plainly to Timothy: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16).”

You have reached out to me, and I appreciate you wanting to know what I think. I love you dearly and have tried to answer. I do think incorporating more reading and study of Scripture helps us sort things out and helps us have the right spirit and mind for evaluating these kinds of things. Without that we are left to our own impressions and insights and those are not reliable because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)” To sum it up: we must not depend on ourselves or any media source but on the word of God. I hope that you can get involved in a solid Bible study near you sometime, at your church or somewhere nearby.

Have you heard of Bible Study Fellowship? I have included a link to BSF if you’re interested. There is a section for women and for men. It is quite good maybe ask Pastor Roger about it? I would just say whatever you do – remember you were baptized into Christ, and the only way any of us can really continue in Him is through prayer, fellowship with other believers, and most importantly the study and application of Scripture to our thinking and living.

Blessings and love in Jesus,

Jack

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