Sign Now! A Christian Statement on Science for Pandemic Times

Hi Forum-dwellers!!

Today, BioLogos has released a statement calling for standing in solidarity with science, from all Christians, regardless of our theological differences. This statement is not meant to draw attention to our organization in particular, but to help other Christians who may be dealing constantly with combatting misinformation that they are not alone, and is meant for anyone who claims to be a Christ follower and supports the recommendations of science in context of the pandemic.

We encourage you to read and sign and share widely!

Read and Sign here: https://statement.biologos.org/

President Deb Haarsma’s Letter: https://biologos.org/post/a-christian-statement-on-science-for-pandemic-times

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Good to see this. I appreciate the way this was articulated, especially including some of the caveats that might most be of concern to some Christians. I’m sure it’s hard to express all this without “getting political” but this seems to have done that well.

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Thank you, Laura! I hope it is able to show support to many Christians who are growing weary and asking what they can do!

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Nice response from RNS!

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They should have noted that Francis Collins is Tony Fauci’s boss. :grin:

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Wow! How have I only just discovered this group, this forum, and this statement? So today, imagine my trepidation as I hit publish on what I feared would be a very controversial article that would gain lots of condemnation from American Christians on Covid truth telling. I thought I might even have to stand alone! As a Christian medical researcher with something of a platform online I felt I had to say something. I had no idea that I could stand with a group of fellow scientists who were also people of faith and yet believed in science.

Imagine then my encouragement when I discovered your statement! I have no hesitation whatsoever in signing. And in promoting it to my readers.

The thing that has provoked me perhaps the most of all the many conspiracy theories about COVID19 being spouted on my Facebook feed by American Christians has been the lack of respect for evidence based medicine and the Randomised Controlled Trial. Having helped to run many of them for the pharmaceutical industry as a medical doctor working in global study teams, I am kind of committed to the veracity of what they show!

So because of that and many other silly things being said I wrote this article.

"Christians must stop lying about Covid19"

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/adrianwarnock/2020/08/christians-must-stop-lying-about-covid19/

It includes links to a whole series of fact based, hope filled articles about the COVID epidemic I have written from my scientific background, and now I have embedded two of your YouTube videos and a link to the statement encouraging people to sign it.

I am very personally involved in this Coronavirus epidemic not just as a medical doctor who has some expertise in clinical research but as an extremely clinically vulnerable patient due to my blood cancer. So I have plenty of time as I cannot work to think and even some time to write. And I hope therefore to become an active participant in this forum. When it comes to the scientific method I think there are few things more beautiful than clinical trials. And I share the bewilderment of the Oxford scientists who don’t understand why for example over 10,000 does of convalescent plasma have been used in the USA without a proper clinical trial. ( see this Guardian interview )

There is much for us to do as Christians to advocate to society and the church the need to SEEK AFTER TRUTH. That is surely the goal of the Christian and the Scientist alike, or it should be! Some communication about the science has not been clear so I do think it behoves us to create clear scientific communication that will appeal to Christian audiences, but also actually to try and influence the broader communication in the media which lets be honest has been very poor. Lets try and get some good Christian experts out there explaining clearly why TRUTH matters !

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Thanks for that… they might not have done, but having read your comment here I DID in my own article (see the other comment). Would not have realised that otherwise…

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Thank you so much for including us in your very important article! Great supporting documentation for the statement. Be well!

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Hello, Adrian. Welcome to our little corner of the internet! I’ve read your Patheos blog off and on over the years. Thanks for this important article.

One thing we have been doing lately here (at least since the Plandemic fiasco) is trying to keep tabs on the latest nonsense we are seeing among our Christian friends on Facebook and providing a place where people can consolidate good info and learn facts and go back and counter misinformation in their spheres of influence. As a regular old lay-person myself, it is beneficial to have a place where doctors and science professionals can set me straight and point to good information.

Looking forward to learning from your participation. :slight_smile:

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BTW, if you see any medical related/conspiracy threads you would like to add to, but find that they are locked (the user generated threads that are not linked to Biologos blog posts or podcasts are set to close after a week of no replies), we can always open them up again for further discussion if people are interested. Just click on your avatar at the top, hit the envelope icon and send a message to @ moderators. Or you can start a brand new “continuing the discussion” thread linked to the old one by clicking on the time stamp of any post in the old thread and hitting “plus new topic.”

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@AdrianWarnock, your blog post was pure gold. It reminded me of one of the reasons why I am a Christian in my own right in the first place, and why it is not just something that got passed down to me from my parents.

One of the things that particularly attracted me to Christianity has been how it teaches us to value honesty, integrity, faithfulness, keeping your word, and taking responsibility for your actions. These are attributes that are sorely lacking in today’s society in general and one of the best ways that we can be effective witnesses for Christ is by being people that they can rely on and trust.

That is why it grieves me so much when I see Christians promoting blatant falsehoods and conspiracy theories without even stopping to think whether they make any sense or not. It cuts me to the heart when I see them dismissing hard facts as if they were mere opinions, or promoting blatant falsehood to the status of essential doctrine (as Ken Ham does with his bogus “evidences” for a young earth, for example). It is painful because, no matter how much they might try to justify it from Scripture, or how much they may wrap it up in pseudo-prophecy, it strikes at the very heart of what Biblical Christianity teaches us to value.

But your post also reminded me that no matter what I see other people doing in the name of Christ, I need to hold fast to what I know to be true and to maintain and fight for the standards of honesty and integrity that He calls us to.

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Thanks! Just sent you a message I think? If I got it right.

A post was split to a new topic: What is the real science around masks?

I like this stance by Biologos (I signed it, as well).

By the way, has anyone had any success in convincing those of the conspiracy mindset to change their ways?
If so, what approach worked for them?

I’ve been sadly lacking in success.
–Citing studies results in a Gish gallop of silly responses and Corbett Report style slanders
–Appealing to authority of thousands of scientists results in accusations of condescension and dismissal of their arguments
–Confronting slanderous attitudes results in reiteration that the government and scientists are in bed together to make money. Others try to take the higher ground, spiritualizing our fight for freedom or for souls.

Many here have shown grace and understanding in discussions with those who question science in other ways. Have you had any success?

We all have experienced stress with these last few months of financial struggles and fear. How do you communicate love above all that? It’s been said that putting someone’s friendship ahead of the issue at hand–showing you care more about them than the argument–is always paramount. I’d appreciate examples of how you have succeeded in doing that.

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I have to admit, my approach is primarily avoidance. If someone is interested in what I think, I respond, but seldom bring it up. I met a friend in the store the other day who pastors a right leaning church, and he in talking, he said he thought masks and Covid would disappear after the election. I just stated that I think we are in for a long hard winter with it, spoke of my pastor friend in Alabama who just died of Covid, and left it there. Planting seeds. When it doesn’t go away this week, I hope he examines his sources and beliefs about it.

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**Of course evangelicals don’t make up the entire population of conspiracy inclined, science denying anti- maskers. I likewise have found no silver bullets. It’s very discouraging.

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This is a really great initiative. Usually, I don’t participate in forum for various reasons (lack of structure, focus or respect). This one is different! The following article is in line with the statement and is in the same vein as the one by AdrianWarnock. Are public health officials losing the battle against anti-vaccine groups and COVID-19? https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344324761_Are_public_health_officials_losing_the_battle_against_anti-vaccine_groups_and_COVID-19
We need to spread more widely this kind of initiative in our churches.

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Dr Ariste, thank you for the Biologos mention, and summary of widespread conspiracy theorist movements and their debunking.

I wonder how you think that Biologos and those of us with friends and family among the conspiracy theorists should best engage effectively with conspiracy theorists, other than by their statement and publishing? Sadly my own discussions with them have not succeeded other than to excite their resentment.

Thank you!, M. le Docteur/Professeur. Avec mes meilleurs souhaits.

Dear Randy,
Thank you for your kind words to me. You are not the only one not being successful in discussing with our family & friends who believe in conspiracy theories. Myself, I get frustrated sometimes. The worse is that there are some pastors, in quest of sensationalism, preach and promote conspiracy theory beliefs and get big audiences in events organized by their federation/hierarchy just because they can attract people. That’s where the lay person/Christian get confused. I think Christian top leaders should unequivocally address the situation and take a firm position against CT. If a pastor promotes CT in a sermon, he/she should be rebuked by the hierarchy. Only then, we can educate people and make progress against CT.

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“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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