Q Who?

In new testament studies there’s a proposed lost gospel. As you know the three synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) are very similar. It has been theorized that Mark, the shortest, was used as a guide by Luke and Matthew. Yet there are sections of Matthew and Luke, not included in Mark, that are nearly identical. This has given rise to the idea that there is another missing gospel.

I’ve been reading (or here, here) about the phenomenon that is Q Anon. The first details sound straight out of Hollywood. A lone hero stands against the corrupt deep state. Of course he (she?) must remain anonymous, but we do know “Q is an intelligence or military insider with proof that corrupt world leaders are secretly torturing children all over the world.” (Atlantic)

The Gospel Q, though completely hypothetical, has been fully developed by scholars. They imagine stages of written development (wisdom sayings, then judgment sayings…), even detailing the communities whose beliefs were defined by Q. And the more we read, the more convinced we are of its existence.

Likewise, Q Anon becomes more convincing the deeper we are immersed. The theory has points on all sorts of major events. From secret child-sex rings (Pizzagate) to the belief that the pandemic is a hoax (Plandemic). It is all connected to secret powerful leaders, the cabal, who act to run the whole world. If we can imagine the world could be organized it starts to make sense as the layers build.

The scholars behind the gospel Q propose it is the earliest account and closest to Jesus. In so many ways it is convincing, but there are also concerns. Because Q, in their telling, is missing something very important. You can probably guess what isn’t included — Q doesn’t include the Passion or resurrection. And in this result we realize the scholars behind Q have an agenda: to deny the miraculous life of Jesus as man AND God. *1

In the same way, when we look at what result Q Anon seeks, we find an agenda. The theory tries to prevent critical reading by claiming the media and other leaders are a part of the evil deep state. But take off any preconceived blinders and a clear political agenda pours through. Democrats — especially Hillary Clinton — are sinister leaders. Trump is set up as a hero, working tirelessly to thwart the evil. Only he can prevent the demise of America. It expands “Make America Great Again” into an epic tale where the heroes and villains vote in certain ways.

But many are not looking critically. They find what they already assumed and are lost in the tales of Q Anon. The story paints the other side as atrocious. Evil. Therefore any means are justified… they blindly follow.

Church, let us have eyes to see. Just as scholars have tried to use the gospel Q to take away the power of Christ. Q Anon is asking us to follow its agenda, rather than Jesus. The theory sets itself up as the only truth. It asks us to stop living the example of Jesus (who calls us to love our neighbor, not divide and fight our neighbors). As God’s children we can not compromise to any agenda. We must be servants of the true Savior. The One who came to save the world is the only One who knows the way to make this world great again. So follow Jesus in the voting booth!

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*1 — “The blithe ‘reconstruction’ not only of Q, not only of its different stages of composition, but even of complete communities whose beliefs are accurately reflected in these different stages, betokens a naive willingness to believe in anything as long as it is nothing like Mark (let alone Paul).” — NT Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, 81

As to the existence of the gospel Q, it certainly could have existed. It could have been used by Luke and Matthew. But is also may have included the cross and resurrection! The whole document has been imaginatively pieced together by shared bits of Luke and Matthew (and Mark)… and only imagination limits what else was a part of the gospel. If your imagination doesn’t accept the resurrection, nether does Q. BUT my imagination not only accepts that Jesus rose, but stakes all my life on that truth. So my Q – if it existed – has a lovely and detailed resurrection scene! (Which Wright points out in p541)

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