Dealing with Covid Conspiracies/in your local church

I am absolute blown away by leaders at every level (starting with the local church) who are believing and endorsing conspiracies, and looking down on believers who do not agree. I keep hearing about how it is a matter of 'choice" (in this instant) to attend church, or not, when they do open (they are pushing hard for this). I am gobsmacked that people don’t understand that it is not about two equally valid choices, and that we can’t gather, because even though you might be healthy, you might be asymptomatic and spread the virus. Instead it has been turned into an attack on the body, a limit of our constitutional freedoms (I am in Canada), etc. They don’t trust the science, experts, but turn to “experts” who are whatever the latest conspiracy seems to be. It is incredibly divisive wherever you look, whether in my own life, to reading people online. There is almost no point in engaging, as people are so convinced of their “rightness” but in this instance we are on the side of “right”, but how to convey humbly and correct wrong information? You cannot, so many stay silent, and this conspiracy laced issue continues to divide the body deeper and hurt our credibility to be a witness.
My own church leaders are deep in the “woo” of this, and just so disappointed and unsure how to proceed.

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Yeah. Join the club.

One thing I have appreciated here over the last few weeks is that if you have a particular theory in mind that you would like to address with your social network, you can ask the hive mind here for good refutation sources and enter your conversations very well-prepared. I haven’t seen a many things on Facebook lately that I haven’t seen first here. Evidently other people’s friends and family are ahead of the conspiracy curve compared to mine, I guess.

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Thanks Christy. It is really difficult , as my biggest people are I see with these issues are our pastors, elders and other leaders in my church. I was struggling here prior, dealing with rigid Calvinism tendencies, strict YEC, complentarism, rigidity with youth who question, issues with counselling philosophy and mental illness and a being Harvest Church (I struggle with what to do there since the James MacDonald debacle).

See, when I read that list , it sounds like a slam-dunk that it is time to go, but I struggle there is much good there, good people, etc. We have been here 5 years, since leaving my childhood church over the transition to hyper-Calvinism and legalism, which was hard to do, but since our shift, this church joined the Harvest network and has moved more to the alt-right theologically, then I like. This pandemic has heightened a divide I think already was there, and my concerns as listed above. It is just so difficult.

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It’s sad that going to church can be so hard. I hear you.

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I know leaving a church can feel kind of like a divorce and cause a lot of collateral damage. But you have quite the long list of incompatibilities. Praying you’ll have wisdom about what is best for you and your family and a clear path forward. If nothing else, maybe the temporary move to online services would allow you to check out some other options in your area with no risk to your current relationships and a certain degree of anonymity.

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Thanks Christy. I have had that same counsel from friends, including ones who have left our church to lead elsewhere. I haven’t been checking other services on-line, but that is a good idea!

I would find a better church/denomination. It’s like a having a cancerous tumor removed–it will be painful at first, but you eventually heal. And when you’ve completed the transition, you’ll wonder what you waited for!

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I know of a church where there were effectively two different congregations meeting as one. There was a precipitating occasion that led to a significant proportion leaving and forming a new church. I don’t know how it is doing, but the remaining congregation is much better for it.

There can be significant differences between churches within a denomination too, of course.

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I’m sorry you’re experiencing this. I have had similar feelings, though I appreciate that the elders at my church have reached the consensus to follow the rules, despite pushback. It may be a case where the most extreme viewpoints are also the loudest, but it still makes it seem like so many people are unraveling and not just the ones who are usually down the rabbit hole, but people that I would have considered more discerning too. On the one hand this seems like a bad time to leave a church, but on the other, this may be exposing ideas that were there all along, just beneath the surface.

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Yes, definitely true. And there can be a variety of views in one large congregation. But it sounds like this church has its ways set in stone, a “my way or the highway” kind of thinking. It’s very depressing!

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I can understand. It’s truly difficult to know what to do. It could be that God could use you as a voice of reason in that congregation. It could be that God wants you elsewhere. I guess it could be a lot of things, and the only way to know is through prayer. He promises wisdom to those who ask, right? :slight_smile: I will pray now for you.

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I’ve heard this a lot in my circles too. I might hear it more phrased ‘if you are comfortable or not.’

Another thing I thought is that people might just come if symptomatic. I don’t really trust my fellow humans (or myself) to do a proper clinical diagnosis in the absence of a viral or antibody test. I’ve heard so many people say “oh this is just a cough I’ve always had” or “it’s just allergies.” They might be right but… yeah.

In light of me potentially be asymptomatic I wore a face mask to church to help protect others and I was the only person out of about 40 who had one. And at least one person said they felt fear and asked if I was afraid. I told them “no.” And I later got to say this mask is not for me, it’s for you. That was a short conversation.

That reminds me of this:

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My church just announced they tentatively plan to reopen in August, and they noted that is subject to change. On-line services continue. That seems a prudent approach.

But I think part of the narrative is not about religious freedom specifically; it is more about freedom and personal choice in general.

There is a philosophy that people should be able to make up their own minds about how much risk to take in life. That is appealing to me.

Although it is difficult to change churches, that might be something you may consider in the future — if you have lost confidence in the judgment of the leadership at your church.

In the interim, there are lots of opportunities to sample other churches now without leaving home!

And I think that’s a dangerous thing to let people decide when it comes to certain things… especially when the risk is invisible and is a risk to public health.

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235 posts were split to a new topic: Personal Freedoms/Choices & Public Health Measures

These conspiracies are so American.

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This thread is long gone, but could we try to get back to the original focus of the topic which is dealing with covid conspiracies/in your local church? Are there some things about the thread that stand out to anyone that can be helpful for others?

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I moved the 235 off-topic posts, so we can more effectively reboot now.

COVID conspiracies at church…Discuss.

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There is a new thing I keep hearing brought up in person and online. I have no idea if it’s true , or being misinterpreted or what.

But lately , last day or two, I keep hearing that scientists are saying that the masks are not effective at all and it’s useless to wear them.

By default, it does not sound right to me. So I don’t believe it. Just bringing it up as something I am hearing. Once I look into it my self I can have an actual opinion. But I am hearing it a lot and people I know who was wearing masks stopped wearing masks.

“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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