There were two discussions in the Q Anon subreddit forum that caught this blog’s attention. This post is a combination of two themes that were raised. They both deal with Q Anon and American evangelicalism, and they both show the issues of American evangelicalism. One deals with the evangelical smugness which I have seen over the course of time in different churches or ministries. The second thread deals with how those into Q Anon are ultimately sinning against God? Why they don’t trust God in the end. Feel free to chime in below with what you think.
“Live a life full of humility, gratitude, intellectual curiosity, and never stop learning.“
Hebrews 7:25 NIV
There are two things I saw the other day while researching for this blog that are short topics but can be combined into one post. They both deal with Q Anon and both deal with evangelicalism in different ways. One deals with smugness in evangelicalism and the other deals with how believing in Q Anon is sinning against God inside evangelicalism. Let’s look at the first one and this came from the Q Anon subreddit group. I selected this because in the discussion they talked about how this also happens in evangelicalism which I have seen.
Evangelical Christians and Smugness
My husband is a surgeon who was on the front line of COVID in a level 1 trauma center; my decisions throughout this entire year have been based on his advice and what he was witnessing firsthand in the hospital. I am now vaccinated, and finally went to dinner with four friends…all of whom, it turns out, have become Q followers. After the trauma of this year, the unbelievable toll it took on frontline workers (many of whom, like us, took tremendous $$$$ losses), it was really shocking to re-enter life and have the women I have loved like sisters preach to me about hoaxes. “Do your research,” they insist. I mean, I guess I could spend a lot of time on the Internet, OR I could trust a person who did 8 years in Ivy league schools, 7 years in residency and 10 years in hospitals. I dunno, guys. The Q smugness is unbearable. I’m heartbroken for those of you dealing with this in your homes with spouses and family…thankfully I have a voice of reason under my own roof. I am, however, just realizing I have lost all of my closest friends.
One of the things that I find deeply troubling about American evangelicalism is the smugness that many evangelicals posses. They know better and they are firm in their decision making. They can read warped websites or watch videos in YouTube or Facebook echo chambers but they know better. The fact that American evangelicalism is dealing with Q Anon is no surprise. Look at how evangelicals engage in alternative facts? Look at how they responded to the Scopes Monkey Trail in Tennessee in 1925? Over my time in evangelicalism I have heard people have smugness. From my days in Campus Crusade to McLean Bible. There are many people who claim they know better and they knew the facts about something. Its most deadly form in my view came during COVID when people chose to reject the facts out of smugness. Evangelical smugness led to a greater loss of life. And while some of this comes from the marrying of American exceptionalism to faith it also comes from a lack of humility and being ignorant about the Bible they claim to read and know. Jesus said you shall know them by their fruit. And consider a behavior of an evangelical culture that leads to many unnecessary deaths while claiming to be pro-life. Then they have that smile and smug answer of how they know better than medical professionals.
I identified with this post because I grew up in a medical family. That background has influenced my thinking deeply and its part of the reason why I have embraced science. I got vaccinated against COVID-19 because my doctor told me to do so, and I trust their expertise. They went to medical school, did the residency, and did the training and have a right to tell me what I should do medically. Now I could get a second opinion and from time to time I have done that, but its within the realm of the professional medical community. And yet some would still mock that background. Evangelicals are notorious in this area for mocking. My question is how can you grow in your faith if you are so certain? How can you go deeper if you refuse to be challenged? How can you matured if you shut yourself off from other points of view? Smugness in my view is really insecurity and immaturity. Are you that afraid of facts that you have to invent your own? Are you that smug that you have to consider those who are medically trained to be beneath you? And this blog would ask you why stop there?
- Why not try and service your Honda CRV and order the parts and change your own engine if you distrust expertise and think you know better?
- Why consult with a general contractor when it comes to adding that extra room to the house? Why not do all the plumbing, insulation, and building by yourself?
- Forget COVID for a second, why go to the doctor if you distrust medical check ups and what is said by experts? Do you really need that mammogram or colonoscopy? You know better don’t you?
- Why not liquidate your life savings and ignore your retirement advisor and invest it all yourself. Yes you can lose $500,000 quickly but you know better right?
If you are going to be one of those smug evangelicals this blog would say that you long abandoned God years ago. Why? Because you are opposed to letting yourself be challenged even by Jesus because you know better.
Evangelical Q Anon Believers Engaging in Sin
The Q people that have effected my life (and I think over all the majority of Q followers) seem to have some base in evangelical Christianity.
Most evangelicals (at least my parents and literally everyone I knew growing up) believe in predestination.
Which means they believe God already has a plan…
Which means God already knows what’s going to happen…
Which means they are committing the greatest sin of worry…
Which means they don’t trust God. Or his plan.
How do they reconcile that?
I should add I am not religious
This post hit home in many ways for me. In my view an evangelical who believes in Q Anon has told me that they have rejected God in the end. And while I am unsure of what I am spiritually I would also say that evangelical Q Anon believers cause incredible harm in that they also drive away doubters and those who just want to focus on a lot of theological faith issues. Those evangelicals who believe in Q Anon in the end have no faith. They have no firm theological foundation. Maybe that’s the result of being part of a system that is subject to fads and whims that come along. Its a reality of what it means to be an American evangelical in many ways in that I even have to write about this subject.
But it should also be pointed out that the best descriptions and observers on this topic are those outside the faith who know the faith well. That post above which is also from the Q Anon subredit speaks volumes in that an outsider knows evangelical theology and sovereignty better than many evangelicals do. How is that the case? Lack of doctrine knowledge? Lack of Christian education? Its like the atheists who know the Bible better than the evangelical Christians which I see at the atheist blogs and atheist YouTube channels.
Let me know what you think about both topics and feel free to engage.