This insane mindset is the infection of NAR thinking in the bloodstream of the church. Being asked to suspend services temporarily is not "killing the church"; although Spell may have intimated accidentally what this is really about. Mega churches rely on mega money to stay open and giving is difficult as it is, let alone if those sheep are not there each week. As a person in authority, Spell has a responsibility to the people he leads, and he is failing miserably at that. Riling people up with nonsensical challenges about the antichrist is not Christian. Showing up in defiance of the law to publicly mingle with a thousand people is not "standing up to coronavirus." It is in fact playing right into the virus. Mixing in guns continues to reveal the NAR dominionist mindset in what Spell is doing. Lastly when it comes to Spell, people of faith are not being persecuted by being asked to not spread the pandemic. Stop playing the silly victim. Perhaps the worst thing about this is the way the Pastor Spell and those of his ilk are framing this as a matter of faith. Beloved faith is not the absence of reason. It does not take faith to disobey the law, expose yourself to potential death, and compromised the health of everyone in your family. That just takes myopic stupidity and a pastoral leader more concerned about his mega church than his flock. The NAR influence frames this all within the faux culture war paradigm they buy into. This was never more evident than this past weekend in Central Florida and the church pastored by Rodney Howard-Browne.
Now I do not know anything about the theology of Tony Spell but I can guess that it is heavy NAR dominionist based upon his comments and poor biblical understanding. With Howard-Browne there is no doubt. He is one of the forerunners of the Holy Laughter debacle and creator of the holy ghost bartender heresy along with being drunk in the spirit. Browne knew that he was not allowed to hold service and was warned by local officials. He not only defied the law, but he bussed people in from the neighborhoods they lived in. The Liberty Counsel, a legal arm of the NAR, is claiming that Browne followed all sorts of social distancing but it is reported that he encouraged all to shake hands during the welcome. His sermon was an angry screed of anti-government propaganda and loony-tunes, tinfoil hat conspiracy theories. Browne is the one who preached that COVID was cooked up at a Bill Gate Foundation event and then released after the decision was made at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year.
Howard-Browne was rightly arrested for his lawbreaking and the NAR church is apoplectic because of it. Make no mistake beloved. Rodney Howard-Browne is not your brethren. He is a voracious wolf who has devoured the sheep of the Lord for decades with some of the worst and most egregious false teachings that have ever been. For the record, Pastor Spell was also arrested and charged -- as he should have. The District Attorney reminded us at the press conference of the most important commandment of loving thy neighbor as thyself and he is right. This attitude and actions will undoubtedly lead to someone's death. Now there is a statement from a Pennsylvania pastor who wants to organize a massive outdoor Easter service to protest these arrests. The stupidity knows no end.
Yet, this has to end. The real church must arise and take back control from these false pastors and hirelings. Listen, I loved my church which I attended for over ten years. I served in seven ministries, led three of them, was the primary Berean School instructor and occasionally preached. On Sundays I served from 6:30 am through all three services ending around 3 pm, plus Friday Prayer service. I loved my church, my pastor and my brethren. While the building was very nice it was just a building. We were the church collectively. If this crisis was occurring back then I could not imagine my pastor throwing all common sense out the window to defy the law and endanger the very people God put under his charge.
Do the NAR Dominionist leaders realize that? The people have been placed under their care as a shepherd. While we correctly think of these responsibilities in eternal terms such as correct doctrine, it also means we should do no harm as a bare minimum. It does not take faith to endanger the lives of your sheep. It only takes the unbridled arrogance to think you know better. It only takes the uncontrolled stupidity to think it is all a secret plot cooked up by the illuminati. What it takes is a spiritual dementia caused by an infection of NAR thinking. The church is not persecuted in America. Our liberties are not under attack. There is a virus. It is real and it is killing people. In order to best fight this virus we have to stay home for now and not gather in groups. The same thing happened in 1918 and the church survived. They devoted themselves to other godly endeavors and they did not even have the benefit of the technology that we have today. One for the congregants who attended Pastor Spell's service was seen on television by her employer. She was asked to not return to work. There are far more extreme and painful consequences she still might face if she contracted COVID. Just ask the family of the dead Virginia pastor. I believe in God. I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe God can do whatever God wants to do. I believe tomorrow God can totally eradicate COVID from the face of the earth with a single spoken word.
I am just not getting the vibe that is what will happen. We have to have the faith that God can do anything along with the wisdom to realize when He may not. I pray every day that He protects me and my family from this scourge. I pray He uses it to bring people to faith in Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, people like Tony Spell and Rodney Howard-Browne are not helping in that cause. They make Christianity seem reckless, careless, and moronic. Their attitude is arrogant, thoughtless, and unloving -- the exact opposite of the humble, considerate and wise portrait the bible paints a Christian as being. This NAR cancer must be excised from the body. Connect with your brothers and sister remotely and virtually. Pray for the church. Pray for the world. Remember the key verse -- wherever we gather, just two or three, He is there with us. WE are the church.
Reverend Anthony Wade -- April 2, 2020