I’ve brushed shoulders with Charismatic and Pentecostal Christians for many decades. But, a January 20th Christianity Today article, “Failed Trump Prophecies Offer a Lesson in Humility,” by Craig Keener opened my eyes to a recent struggle within that part of Christianity. Some of their leaders said God told them that Donald Trump would be reelected president. It reminds me that church historian Roland Bainton said “the worst wars are religious wars.”
Craig Keener is a Charismatic Christian, and prior to Joe Biden’s inauguration, he wrote “the majority of Pentecostal and Charismatic pastors I know were not paying attention to such prophecies. Millions of online views and shares, though, show that many people were.” Then, he helped me understand how religious fervor can be used by QAnon and other conspiracy theorists. Here’s a salient quote:
“…some who prophesied Trump’s reelection remain adamant that they were correct. Perhaps the election as stolen or will be overturned, or in some mystical realm Trump is actually spiritually president. Some just change the subject.“
On January 26th, CNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show reported that up to 5,000 National Guard troops will remain in Washington through mid-March. The troops will remain because of online noise about violence around the Impeachment trial set to begin February 8. Also, there are rumors circulating among QAnon conspiracy circles that the Biden inauguration wasn’t real, a “deep state mirage.” Claims circulate that Trump’s second inauguration will be on March 4, the original date for presidential inaugurations.
A key to unity is understanding each other. This includes asking what’s underneath conspiracy theories that circulate on the Internet and what drives insurrectionists.