COVID-19 and the Christian conscience

New Warhorn Media post by Tim Bayly:

https://warhornmedia.com/2020/07/09/covid-19-and-the-christian-conscience/

1 Like

BlockquoteYes, I realize simple Christians have trouble with the degree to which the supposed experts have been wrong, but from the very beginning real experts have recognized and said repeatedly that they don’t know. If there’s one thing that’s been clear throughout this pandemic, it’s that no one knows, so of course many mistakes have been made.

The deliberate silencing/ignoring of eminent experts from such places as Oxford and Stanford by our nation’s chattering classes (who, I must point out, are not virologists, epidemiologists, medical doctors or scientists) is no mistake. It is part of a deliberate attempt to sow chaos to tank the economy so that President Trump, who was elected by a frustrated electorate who were fed up with experts, loses re-election. Russiagate did not work. Impeachment did not work.

If Hillary Clinton were seeking her second term now, none of this would have happened. None of this. No lockdowns. No shutting down schools. No double digit unemployment. Maybe masks. Two weeks and then back to normal.

I have suspected this from the start and it has framed my thinking from the start. It is all political. It’s why some protests are OK and others not. Some mass gatherings are acceptable and others are not.

While the target is Donald Trump, it must be remembered who he stands for: his voters. A politically-motivated scam against Trump is a politically motivated scam against his voters.

Even if you think I’m crazy for thinking this, can you see why I would think it?

Of course, but you need to read more. Smile. As everyone who is an expert in the disciplines involved has been saying from the beginning, what’s exceptional about this disease is how hard it is to know anything, so simply to attribute everything to evil politics is simplistic to the max. But hey, the world has long been in the throes of interpreting every last thing as power politics, so I’m resigned to Christians seeing it that way, also. Love you still, brother.

1 Like

CDC estimates a 99.6% overall survival rate. 99.95% if you are under 50. Antibody studies from the CDC likewise estimate many more cases than officially reported, precisely as skeptics were saying all along.

We will see more data from the CDC, probably about 5 minutes after Joe Biden is declared the winner of the election.

2 Likes

Just a thought from the bleachers.

Consider two pastors, committed to reformed worship and are in agreement on 99% of their beliefs. Both agree that we live in a time where the civil magistrate is dangerously corrupt, and currently seeks to devour and destroy the church. It’s a difficult time for everyone.

One pastor draws the line at state-enforced mask-wearing in church. Another draws the line at state bans on singing in church.

Should they call each other schismatics? Denounce one another as divisive? Accuse each other of fomenting unwarranted rebellion against civil and ecclesial bodies?

Or could they openly entertain, discuss, and work out differences (and in the end, even agree to disagree on points) without all the nameless friendly-fire? It sure would be an encouragement to many of us.

4 Likes

Idk we can grow thicker skin. I give Tim crap, he gives it to me back. In the end, we arrive at truth, seeing where we have both erred.

1 Like

Blunt truth is good but “schismatic” over a difference of degree?

If you think Tim is a brawler you should read Rev. Matthew Trewhella or listen to some of his sermons. I suspect Rev. Trewhella is who Rev. Bayly has been shadowboxing with these last few months. I love the man, and he’s been helpful to me, but he makes Tim look like a lovable little fuzzball as far as rhetoric is concerned.

I love Matt Trewhella. He’s a helpful brother, but his rhetoric on Covid 19 has not been helpful.

2 Likes

Since he didn’t name names I can only guess. But thanks for the reference.

No, these two pastors should not call each other schismatics, and that’s not what’s being done here. The schismatics are those who accuse the pastor on the other side of the issue of being unfaithful because that pastor has come to a different conclusion. That’s what was being dealt with in the article. It’s one thing for a pastor or church to make a decision that they’re not going to obey a mask mandate. It’s another thing to accuse every other church that doesn’t do the same thing as being statist idolaters. The first is not schism, the second is.

6 Likes

First of all, welcome, and thanks for commenting.

Now, the rhetoric I have seen from reformed men similar to myself is justifying refusal to comply with mask orders anywhere in public, not only in worship. That is a big difference from your hypothetical. But even if the position is as you describe it, there needs to be a discussion of this sort of thing, and there is a lot at stake.

If Christians really shouldn’t comply with public health and safety orders that make worship less convenient, such as sprinkler requirements in the sanctuary, limits to row length, room capacities, and other fire codes that address things statistically far less dangerous than Covid-19–if Christians that comply with such public health and safety laws are in fact obeying man rather than God, then it is necessary to warn God’s people against such man-fearing idolaters.

But we know that Christians should submit to unreasonable masters cheerfully except when they give orders contrary to God’s commands.

If those laws mentioned above are not commands to disobey God, then men who refuse to obey the authorities, advocate that other Christians disobey the authorities, accuse those who do obey of being idolaters, and even tell people to leave their church over the issue… those men need to be warned against. They must stop being divisive. They must stop being disobedient. They must stop railing against authority. The people of God must be warned against their schism and rebellion.

This for their sake and for the sake of their followers and the wider church, in both instances.

Peter and Paul agreed on 99%, too, but Paul resisted Peter to his face and publicly when Peter was allowing the prejudices of the people against face masks… I mean against Gentiles… to cause him to join them in their divisiveness. Why did Paul do this? Don’t you think it caused consternation among the sheep? Because it was a serious danger to the unity and purity of the church. It is the same with plenty of Paul’s writing. Why does it matter if some people say, “Do not handle. Do not taste. Do not touch. Do not wear a mask… or you will be tainted by the liberal muck. You can’t be a Christian and do those things.”? Because they have the appearance of holiness while actually being useless personally and divisive corporately.

The question you need to answer is whether you are convinced that God’s law prohibits wearing a face mask—something I’m sure doctors and nurses and firefighters and cowboys and many others would be surprised to learn. Even in a context where the left is using it as a litmus test to determine who to persecute and who will toe the line, there are no good arguments to claim that putting a mask on is faithless disobedience to God. Can it be done out of faithless fear? Of course. So can going into the temple of the Lord. That does not make it wrong to do so in any universal sense.

Cheerfully wearing a face mask, like most other things, can communicate many things. It will convince some people you are an idiot—just one of the sheeple. It will convince others you are a statist idolater. Let them condemn you for your good behavior, rather than for your rebellion. Some others will be convinced that you are loving. Others that you are an “ally” of the left, and that you believe everything the left has said about masks and Covid-19 (this week). That you trust in horses, chariots and masks rather than the Lord. This is no skin off your back any more than when the enemies of the Israelites assumed they had similar gods and similar trusts when they showed up with similar weapons.

Don’t believe masks are effective? No law requiring them? Don’t wear them. But also don’t sit in judgment on your brother in Christ who does. Consider him your weaker brother and accommodate him. That might even mean wearing a mask for his sake.

Believe in the effectiveness of masks? Wear one if you want. But realize that not all your brothers in Christ do. And if you want them to wear masks around you, appeal to them in gracious love, not condemning them. Don’t join in the condemnation the left is already heaping on your brother in Christ.

6 Likes

This sounds down-right Christian! :grin:

3 Likes

My church is meeting again, but we have many new rules to follow, such as only one family unit in the restroom at a time. A few wear masks, most don’t, it isn’t required. God has blessed the church with no Covid sicknesses so far. During the rest of my week, the only government order that regularly impacts me is wearing a mask when shopping. Okay, this may be my rebellion, but I find much of this terribly arbitrary. It is as if this is all based on magic, with a bubble that surrounds me and travels with me as I move. I know that no such bubble exists, and that as I move into a space that was occupied by someone else a moment previous, it is as if we were talking just a foot apart. In my metro area we are allowed to go to restaurants, as long as you wear your mask from the door to the table or the table to the restroom. I play along, but mostly I just don’t go out anymore because I want to pretend that life is normal, if that makes any sense. Anyhow, I do sense that my malicious compliance is sin, and I repent of that. My personal belief is that there is nothing I can do to protect myself from Covid short of avoiding the most foolish behaviors; only God is protecting me and if I do get sick, then it will not be outside the will of God for that moment.

2 Likes

Much of it is seemingly arbitrary. No sense denying that. It’s not so much magic as it is some blunt tools.

1 Like