Several prominent Christian leaders came together and denounced the popular conspiracy theory movement known as QAnon that has recently gained steam in some conservative groups.
QAnon refers to a set of internet conspiracy theories that allege that the world is run by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles who are plotting against President Trump while operating a global child sex-trafficking ring.
It was once a fringe phenomenon but became mainstream in recent months. QAnon gained national attention when Marjorie Taylor Greene, an admitted QAnon supporter from Georgia, won a Republican primary in a heavily conservative district, setting her up for a near-certain election to Congress in November, the New York Times reports. Following Greene’s win, President Trump called her a “future Republican star.”
While the fringe group has gained the support of a Georgia congressional candidate and some evangelicalism, it has also garnered criticism from multiple Christian leaders.
Joe Carter, author, and pastor at McLean Bible Church in Arlington, VA, denounced QAnon in a column published by the Gospel Coalition in May. He referred to QAnon as a “satanic movement” and a “political cult” that “poses [a threat] to the global church.”
“The QAnon movement frequently engages in slander, which James calls demonic behavior (James 3:15–16). The QAnon movement often traffics in lies, which Jesus says are associated with Satan. The QAnon movement repeatedly sides with demonically inspired falsehoods that divide professed Christians from faithful believers,” Carter said.
“And the QAnon movement has a tendency to call evil that which is good, and good that which is evil, and to put darkness for light, and light for darkness (Isa. 5:20). As a movement of Satan, QAnon is incompatible with Christianity,” Carter added.
Carter petitioned Christians to “work to guard those who would fall for such deceptions.” He also pleaded with supporters of the fringe movement to “return to the faith.”
Tyler Huckabee, who serves as the senior editor at Relevant Magazine, wrote that QAnon’s claims are both “farfetched” and pushed by “confirmation bias.”
Huckabee also referred to QAnon “a logical extension of the culture war, providing real plot and vocabulary to the ‘us vs. them’ model that became popular with the rise of the Moral Majority.”
“There are no easy answers about what can be done about QAnon,” Huckabee wrote. “But the fact that Christians seem extra open to conspiracies does reveal that something is deeply broken in how people of faith are spreading their worldview.”
“When Christianity is set up as a cultural battle instead of an opportunity to serve, others are seen not as people in need of love but enemies who need to be feared and mistrusted,” Huckabee added.
When Trump was asked about the QAnon conspiracy theory during a recent press conference, he said he didn’t know much about them, but he did understand that the movement’s supporters like him and “love America.”