Churches still meeting derided in the media

Sadly, there is good reason to eschew the “conservative evangelical” label:

He has faith, @RichardG: he didn’t close his church.

I moved this off the humor thread, because I don’t think it’s funny.

Please remember that we are not going to host any conversations that advocate or defend non-compliance with the government’s social distancing orders, and we will delete such posts accordingly.

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I am sure there are others, less public.

Although I do not agree with the assumption that God will keep us in toilet rolls my faith tells me that the virus will not be spread by congregations who still meet. However, that does not mean that all members of any such congregation will have 24/7 immunity. It is that distinction that seems to have been misunderstood by my critics.

Richard

What’s faith got to do with it Richard? I thought you were a REAL faith man?

Sorry, don’t understand what you are getting at.

Richard

Your faith tells you that the virus will not be spread by congregations who still meet. Like the Russian doctor going in to a crowded Moscow church on the BBC.

Martin

If the Bible is to be trusted then, during the time in (and going to and from) church, the virus will not be spread. That would apply even if any of the congregation already has the virus whether they are infectious or not, God “should” protect those around while in His presence.

Richard


Mr Gillett, I respectfully disagree. Please read this. God has not chosen to prevent spread.

That does not mean He does not exist, and I agree with you that there is much more than material help that comes from faith.

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OK Richard. We have more divergent epistemologies than I thought. I trust the Bible completely but in a completely different way.

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So anyone who gets sick at a service should conclude by that evidence that the cause was their own lack of faith. Sorry. You’re running into the same problem as the faith healers and prosperity teachers. If God didn’t heal or bless you, the fault is your own. This is a faith-destroying proposition in the long run.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Dr. Kathleen Toomey, the state public health commissioner, with a sharper warning. The state has several “hotspots” of outbreaks, including in Albany, Bartow County, Dublin and Rome. In “virtually all these cases,” at least some of the spread was linked to “large church services,” she said.

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I’d kindly suggest that your theory does not chime with reality, whether it is coronavirus or otherwise, such as the countless persecuted Christians killed in church raids, bombings, shootings, etc. down through the centuries. Rather my reading of the bible leads me to believe that though the virus may (will?) spread when Christians meet and many Christians may die from it this does not mean that the Lord has abandoned his people. This is the same principle that Paul applies to persecution in Romans 8:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39 NIV2011 Emphasis added).

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And then there is Liberty University and Jerry Falwell Jr.

Some people, especially older people who are not online may also just be getting all kinds of news. Two weeks ago it was not more than 500, then 300, and then 250 and then 30 and now 10. Not attacking the numbers. I understand why they keep changing. But women older people literally don’t use the internet at all except for maybe on their tv for streaming and even then many are not.

This sounds an awful lot like to me the faith of Israel in the time of Jeremiah that God would not allow Babylon to conquer God’s chosen people.

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It’s important that christians remain in fellowship during these times and that Christians still have a way to have access to their congregations and elders. However, you can do that in a way that’s also smart. It’s not either or. Especially with the technology we have nowadays and it can be done in a way that it does not break the recommendations.

My congregation when the rules were first being placed out was that it could not be more than 50 people and they had to be six feet apart. We realized we could not do more than 30. We had the deacons hold the doors and only they touched the doors. We were within the stipulations presented to us. A following week it was changed by the governor to no more than 10 people. So we changed that. We now have about 30-40 members of our congregation that meets up in houses of groups of 10 or less. We are all under 50 with many near 30 years old. We don’t touch. Not even hug. There are exceptions. One ladies brother killer himself and she was obviously freaking out and some sisters in the church hugged her. Same as anyone would do. We often meet in public like at a park and sit on grass or bring a chair and are 6+ feet away and fellowship. In our personal lives we do whatever we do. I personally am not going to public places except nature preserves, biking, and hiking and doing it all alone. I don’t visit the elderly and ect… I only go shopping once every two weeks. I’m working full time and we maintain a six foot clearance of each other. If the laws change and get more strict so will we.

So fellowship is possible and it’s possible to do it by maintaining a security by following the measures placed by the officials.

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Look, it is as simple as this.

Do you believe God Can (Could have) protected congregations while in His presence?

or

Do you think God does not get involved in sickness one way or the other.

If you think the first then churches should have stayed open

But

If you think the second then the churches were right to shut, (And your prayers for the sick are a waste of time)

Richard

God never intervenes in any rationally attributable way. Never. Never in any statistically detectable way. He doesn’t break the surface. So why shouldn’t we pray ritually and rationally for the sick? That’s an entirely separate issue not in your false dichotomy. There is no room for - lethal - superstition in faith.

There is one possible anomaly of course, the Church. The mature parts of which have no problem in engaging at least in rational faith in times of plague.

I beg to differ. My experience says so. But then again, I believe in Him.

Richard

That’s fine Richard, your epistemology makes it so. And I believe in Him by mine. Belief, of course, makes no difference to material reality, apart from the materiality of, that is, mental state. It makes no statistical ripple on the surface apart from having a purpose, any purpose and being involved in religion have measurable sociologically beneficial effects on the individual. Whether God exists or not is irrelevant apart from the ineffable effects of the Spirit. You cannot and don’t differ on any of that.

That is the crux of all of this.

Richard

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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