"Yes, COVID is real, but it's also being used to push an agenda. There are numerous stories of doctors being told to write COVID as the cause of death even if it was not. The San Diego Tribune ran a story in 2020 quoting county supervisor Jim Desmond as saying, "We've unfortunately had six pure, solely coronavirus deaths--six out of 3.3 million people." I'm not minimizing even one death, but there is mounting evidence that the lockdowns themselves have caused as many, or even more, deaths than the virus itself. These are not my words--these are the words of the World Health Organization's special envoy on COVID-19: "In the United States alone, lockdowns have been tied to increased thoughts of suicide from children, a surge in drug overdoses, an uptick in domestic violence, and a study conducted in May concluded that stress and anxiety from lockdowns could destroy seven times the years of life that lockdowns potentially save." Over the past year we have learned a lot about this virus--and nearly as much about those who would seek to use tragedy to further a political or social agenda. As the church, it is our responsibility to stand against the deceptions rather than surrender to it." - Shane Idleman
Shane Idleman is the only one here with an agenda. That agenda is he wants to be able to open his church and collect his tithes. The only deception here is what Shane is trafficking in. Or maybe he is just willfully deceived. It took me all of three minutes to debunk the story about the WHO special envoy who is quoted as saying that his comments were taken completely out of context. The type of lockdowns he was referring to we have never had in this country. The San Diego Tribune story is equally debunkable. Mr. Desmond is making an asinine point which was denounced after he said it. The argument he is making is that the only cases that should count as COVID are those who have no other medical complications at the time of death. So someone who has asthma, catches COVID and dies would not be counted as a COVID death according to Mr. Desmond. Except he is a fool of course. This is not how we ever count mortality rates. If the person with asthma had never contracted COVID he would still be alive! That is the point! There is ZERO proof of any doctors being forced to wrongly attribute death to COVID. So spare us the notion that you are not minimizing the deaths of 500,000 people Shane because that is exactly what you are doing. The worst is that you do it in the name of Christ for the most carnal and craven reasons. Do you honestly expect us to believe that you sincerely believe there are only six victims of COVID? Six? You cannot be that stupid Shane.
"Andy Stanley continues, "The thing that has been concerning to me about the local church is how quickly so many local churches felt like, 'We've got to get back in our building, shoulder to shoulder, doing what we've always done.'" So "quickly," Pastor Stanley? We are now a year into this. Irrational reactions, inconsistent policies and a severe overreach of authority are crippling the church and devastating our nation. We must remove the veil of deception. Sadly, the new deception is that if you stand for freedom, then you are selfish. Pastor Stanley's words, even if it was not his intention, degrade the brave men and women who have determined that God's Word requires us to get back to being "shoulder to shoulder, doing what we have always done." It's called the gathering of the saints--and we are not to forsake it. A pastor, of all people, should recognize this." - Shane Idleman
Ugh. I feel dirty defending Stanley but I assume he was referring to when the outbreak first started. Back then many churches were thumbing their noses at the state as early as March, just one month after the outbreak. Stanley also gets close to a fundamental truth that escapes Shane Idleman. The church is not your building Shane. The church does not cease to exist of it does not meet for an hour and a half on Sunday. As previously indicated, only the purpose driven mind thinks like this. Is it humanly possible for a pastor to still lead his flock remotely? Of course it is not the desired situation but we are talking about making sure that people do not die. This is not some bold stance for freedom. It is a selfish stance for not caring if your perceived freedoms kill me or not. A pastor, of all people, should recognize this.
"Since the 1600s, America has experienced health-related epidemics such as typhoid, scarlet fever and yellow fever every 15 years or so, but we have never taken such extreme measures as we did for COVID-19. We are to love our neighbor but also contend for what is right. What about all the families who are deteriorating because of abuse and addiction? What about the escalating suicide rate? What about loving those neighbors? Pot shops, liquor stores and abortion clinics are open, so why are churches still closed? Why is there no outcry about that?" - Shane Idleman
Ahh, nothing like a little whataboutism to muddy the waters. Typhoid killed about 25,000 people over the two-year outbreak in the early 1900s. Scarlet Fever killed less. Yellow Fever goes back to the 1700s and killed hundreds per outbreak. For context, COVID has killed over 500,000 in one year in this country and 2.6 million worldwide. That is WITH the extreme measures we have taken. I cannot imagine the devastation if we had not taken those measures. As for increases in abuse, addiction and suicide, I would lay those failures at the feet of a church that is more interested in public gatherings and political statements than truly leading their flocks. This pandemic was a perfect opportunity for a caring pastor to have one on one outreach or even small groups. This could have been done virtually or in person without violating any laws. Again, only in the demented purpose driven mind can loving thy neighbor only be achieved by meeting for an hour and a half on Sundays. As for the point of pot stores and liquor stores being open - what are you a child Shane? They're open so you should be too? Do you think that justifies exposing your sheep to a deadly virus? Get over yourself.
"God established the legal system to protect the innocent. Paul appealed to Caesar for this very reason (Acts 25:11). It's not only permissible for churches to challenge the lockdowns; it's a necessity. Had bold pastors capitulated in 2020, the church may never have opened in many areas. Thank God for men like John MacArthur, Jack Hibbs and Rob McCoy, who by their courage in opening their churches motivated us to open ours on May 31, 2020. With a congregation size considered to be that of a large church, we had zero COVID deaths, and very few people became sick. I'm certainly not minimizing the virus, and I would not want people to get sick. We take precautions when warranted, but this is all no longer about science but, rather, as a way to stir up fear." - Shane Idleman
No Shane. It is about the virus. If you have had no deaths over the past 10 months I would be shocked. MacArthur has. Johnny Mac himself was sick recently for a month as well. I have seen story after story about pastors who have died from COVID after mouthing off like you and opening their churches. Challenging lockdowns made the church sound petty and petulant. It also made it sound hypocritical since the church leans so heavily on the key verses in Romans 13. The facts are simple. There is a virus that has caused a worldwide pandemic that has killed millions of people. One of the greatest opportunities for this virus to spread are indoor gatherings, such as church services. This is entirely about the science. The mega church business was threatened because if you think tithing rates are low, try them remotely. Combine this with a bloated sense of self-importance on the part of the pastors, and the challenges to authority were expected. Without a scientific fact to stand on however, they are reduced to finding out what the Internet troll population has to say. They smear science. They smear the medical experts. I remember one pastor claiming that he should be allowed to determine on his own when it is safe for his congregation to meet. Are you insane? I love my pastor and will call him first to understand the complexities of Hebrews but he is not a virologist or and epidemiologist. I am not getting my health advice from a Facebook meme repackaged by a greedy pastor who then will dare to tell me that he is not minimizing the virus.