Midweek Update (2.24.21): Lovingly, Compassionately, and Redemptively Engaging Those We Care About Who Have Been Drawn Into Conspiracy Theories & New Sermon Series Preview
Do you have a friend, neighbor, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling, or coworker who you are concerned for because they have gone down the path of a conspiracy theory? Are you yourself tempted to consider going down the path of a conspiracy theory? Or maybe you are already there.
The pandemic has facilitated a rise in both conspiracy theories as well as the perfect environment for conspiracy theories to thrive. Many of us are isolated from people who normally help us make sense of the world (including our church family). Many of us have more free time to sit and watch 24 hour news networks, explore YouTube videos, or read endless amounts of articles and comment threads which lead us to more articles–and before we know it, we’re on a website we’ve never heard of, wondering if someone we’ve never met and have no logical reason to trust, could be right.
Conspiracy theories and groups provide people with a “community” of people and a cause/purpose to passionately care about. Particularly sad and concerning is the likelihood that Evangelical Christians are some of the most likely people today to subscribe to conspiracy theories of our day (such as but not limited to QAnon).
There are much wiser and knowledgeable Christian leaders than me who have spoken on the subject from a Christian perspective. And if you or someone you love is in a place right now that concerns you and you’re not sure how to compassionately, lovingly, and redemptively engage, I want to share two resources with you that I have found useful.
One of our former bishops of the Free Methodist Church recently wrote a very helpful article titled QAnon, Gospel, and Christ-Following. I would encourage you to read the article by clicking HERE. If you don’t have access to the internet and would like to read the article, let me know and I can print a copy for you.
As we seek to lovingly and compassionately and redemptively dialogue, I would also recommend a shorter article by Ed Stetzer and Andrew MacDonald titled Waking Up After QAnon: How the Church Can Respond. You can read it by clicking HERE. Again, if you need a print copy, let me know.
In addition to these resources, please let me know if I can be praying for you or for your friend or loved one. I’m open and willing to have a conversation with you. You can reach me at 734-458-7301, and my email is email@example.com.
Blessings on your week,
New Message Series Preview: The “I AM” and Me
Last Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Season of Lent. Lent is a time of preparation before the celebration of Easter. Every year, during this season, we focus on who Jesus is, and who we are. We are confronted with our own mortality and propensity to sin. And yet it is also there that we discover the our need for Jesus, the Savior.
Over these coming Sundays, we are going to be looking at the 7 “I Am” statements of Jesus throughout the gospel of John. These “I Am” statements are self-declarations Jesus makes about his own identity, purpose, and mission. But they are more than just personal declarations about who Jesus is. They are truths about who Jesus can be and wants to be for each of us on a personal level.
Here’s the order we will be following in case you would like to read ahead (which I would encourage you to do):
- February 28th: “I Am the bread of life” (John 6:22-59)
- March 7th: “I Am the light of the world” (John 8:12-30)
- March 14th: “I Am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:1-14)
- March 21st: “I Am the true vine” (John 15:1-11)
- March 28th (Palm Sunday): “I Am the Door/Gate” (John 10:1-10)
- April 2nd (Good Friday): “I Am the Good Shepherd (John 10:11-18)
- April 4th (Easter Sunday): “I Am the resurrection and the life (John 11:17-27)
Catch Up on Last Week’s Message
If you missed the message last Sunday, or want to go back and rewatch it again, you can watch it on our website by clicking HERE.