COVID-19: leading sheep

New Warhorn Media post by Tim Bayly:

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This article opens so many topics for discussion. Somewhere on this forum I made the comment that, in the case of a pandemic, the ruling authorities have to govern to the lowest common denominator, and the fact is, we no longer live in the America that sent man to the moon folks. What we have now is the result of decades of importing low-skilled labor from all over the world and sending our best and brightest youth into urban mega-centers in order to work lucrative but unproductive jobs, raise dogs (instead of children) and eat avocado toast. Unfortunately for our leaders, you have to govern the nation with which you have been dealt.

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Thank you, Thank you, yes! I’ve had a number of thoughts while following some of these discussions here on sanityville. I can’t for the life of me fathom why many in the church right now are desirous of spending their time simply sitting in judgment on Their ruling authorities. I know that we have minds and should use them. I don’t think we should follow our authorities blindly or unthinkingly.

But it seems to me that during a public crisis like right now, what we the sheep need is to be encouraged. This is hard for a lot of people for a lot of reasons. Why do many church leaders compound it? Every time I’ve read blog posts or entries where people are talking about how idiotic the government is being, it has been a particular and personal discouragement to me. As I said to my mom the other day, “this is all plenty hard enough without people constantly forcing the question of whether it’s actually necessary.” The reality is, NOBODY KNOWS!!! Not the government, not the head of the CDC, and certainly not the local pastor. Have the numbers stayed so low BECAUSE of Quarantine? Can people at least admit there’s a very strong possibility that that is the case? And can pastors spend their time encouraging their local congregations during this rather than trying to convince them that the government is evil and foolish?

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LOL! This brought immediately to mind a lengthy conversation with my primary care physician three years ago. Topic: my decision to take up smoking a pipe. My own researches had convinced me that compared to smoking (and, of course, inhaling) tobacco in the form of cigarettes, pipe smoking was relatively far less harmful. Moreover, I was taking up the practice at the ripe old age of 70. So, at my next quarterly checkup, I told him I had begun to smoke a pipe.

Without reservation, nuance, or drawing any distinctions whatsoever between various “tobacco delivery systems,” he said “No, you should not do that.” We were, then, off to the races, as I queried him closely and without challenge as to why he said no.

This man, by the way, is a Christian. He is a very close friend going back more than 30 years. He is my peer in age (approximately) and social station. But, no matter how insistently I probed, he wouldn’t budge.

Consider - in the community he is a leader, a known authority on medical matters. It is a feature of his vocation that he must give me the answer he did!

To his credit, he acknowledged that the odds were huge that I would die before pipe smoking generated some medical harm to me. I have a number of medical malfunctions in my body (diabetes, in-remission lymphoma, old heart attack) which are far more likely to usher me out of this world. My PCP knows this, of course. For professional reasons he can never bless my pipe smoking. When queried closely, he did acknowledge that in my case it is virtually harmless.

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“Unfortunately for our elders, you have to govern the church with which you have been dealt”, is also true!

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You just articulated my exact feelings throughout this whole thing, something I hadn’t figured out how to do yet :slight_smile: It’s the outrage, sarcasm, snark, and arrogance. The misrepresentations and accusations—anyone who thinks the virus is more than the flu is #COVIDSTUPID, anyone not beside themselves over the shutdowns is a statist and worships daddy government, anyone who mentions overreach is a rebel, calls to ‘note and remember’ anyone who disagreed over this mess. Mocking people who wear masks, chiding people who don’t wear masks, glorying in the fact that you’ll NEVER wear a mask to stick it to the gov. And the armchair quarterbacking over politics and virology public health. The virus can’t talk, it’s not like it told us it’s plans—all anyone can do is make a guess, even the experts on both sides. It’s just exhausting, and pretty gross coming from Christians about Christians they respected 6 weeks ago. Social media is destroying us. Except Sanityville, of course​:wink:

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Tim,

A number of your recent posts about rebelliousness have landed shells well inside my own wire. I am a rebel who needs to repent, of this there is no doubt.

But here’s where I’m stuck as I’ve pondered your posts: The governmental system we’ve been bequeathed by our fathers includes a mechanism for petitioning, correcting and removing civil magistrates through a variety of means.

From my perspective, some civil magistrates have performed better than others in this crisis. In what way are we as Americans allowed to point this out and/or comment on it, for the purposes of petitioning, correcting and removing civil magistrates? Do we need to wait until the Covid crisis is over? I consider it well within the realm of possibility that the November elections will be held mid-crisis. Do the residents of <state with poor-performing governor up for re-election in November 2020> need to be silent about their political opinions until after the election? Certainly President Trump’s performance during the crisis will be on the ballot. Do you see a productive way for citizens to critique the performance of their civil magistrates without being disrespectful or disobedient?

I echo Joel’s concerns about the performance of government bodies and QUANGOs during this crisis. (For what it’s worth, I think elected leaders have generally performed far better than unelected bureaucrats and QUANGOs.) The fad this week is for various social media companies to enforce “CDC and WHO guidelines” with an iron fist. I immediately flip the bozo bit on anyone who tells me this because I’m old enough to remember when the WHO was telling us that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission and the CDC was telling people that masks were ineffective at preventing the spread of Covid. (I really resent being lied to by anyone, including my superiors. Does this make me a big-brained Reformed rebel?)

There’s no question that many Christians, and even some Reformed leaders, have been overtly rebellious in this. I’m not interested in defending those folks. I’m trying to sort though how to be an engaged American and voter at this time.

Thanks.

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