What the Church Needs to Know About Covid-19 • Part III
Why Christians Need to Wake Up And Act NOW, And What to Do
In Part I of this series I reported — using just mainstream and official sources — a lot of basic information about Covid-19 that most pastors probably do not know. In Part II, I called on pastors to step up and become “pastors with guts,” fighting back against government overreach using their First Amendment protection and talents. Now we take a look at the role of everyday Christians. I’ll give you specific action items. Oh, and lots of links for the link-lovers.
Last Tuesday, LA County agreed to pay John McArthur’s church $400,000 in a settlement agreement after unconstitutionally ordering his church closed and fining him $8,000. Some folks, including the LA times, weren’t too happy about it. Look how the Times framed its headline about the settlement:
Grace Community Church refused to comply with LA County’s church-closure restrictions. Sunday after Sunday, people packed Grace Community Church and belted out hymns, openly violating Los Angeles County’s pandemic prohibitions against indoor services and singing. The “mega-church” was fined, and the county repeatedly threatened to arrest McArthur. Now, after a year of legal wrangling that included two favorable Supreme Court decisions, , Grace Community Church will collect almost $900,000 in its settlement with the County and the State of California.
According to the National Congregational Study Survey, there are an estimated 380,000 churches in the United States. But I could count the number of churches that sued their counties and defied coronavirus restrictions on my hands and toes. With some toes left over. What happened? Why weren’t there 380,000 lawsuits?
You know the reason. We identified it back in Part II. A demonic spirit of fear is suffocating the Earth. And that spirit is lodging in the Church right now, like an AirBnB renter who won’t leave after trashing the place with a wild house party.
In my last post, I called on priests and pastors to wake up and realize they are wartime pastors, and activate. Now I’m calling on every Christian, regardless of denomination. You are a wartime Christian. We’re in a war. Not a war against a virus. A war being waged against the Church itself. And we just found out that the war started months and months ago while we were sleeping. Wake up!
The Church is Under Assault. It’s Time to Fight Back.
ZOË: It’s a fair bet the Alliance knows about Mr. Universe. They’re going to see this coming.
MAL: No. They’re not going to see this coming.
— Iconic space captain Malcom Reynolds, Serenity (2005).
“When the Church wakes up, this will all be over.”
— Jeff Childers, August 2021.
It was super clear to some folks last summer. For example, this prescient headline from August 2020 was, if anything, an understatement:
Yep, I’d say it has been difficult. For sure. But most of us were sleeping, and while we were asleep, the Church was stolen out from under us. It wasn’t the building’s fault. The Church isn’t a building. We the people are the Church. So, here’s a question for you: why didn’t the Christians in those 380,000 churches file suits against their local governments to get their churches reopened? Leave the priests and pastors out of it. Church members had legal standing to bring the lawsuits. But they didn’t. What exactly were you waiting for, Christian? An invitation? A giant neon sign in the sky? Somebody else to do it?
And, guess what happened next? Predictably, the Church’s enemies became emboldened by our passivity, and now they’re coming right at core religious liberties:
Well, okay then. If nothing else, learn this: Use it or lose it, Church.
So, why didn’t we all take a stand last year, back when the dragon was a lot smaller? Don’t make excuses. I will shoot every one of them down like a slow pheasant on the first day of hunting season. No money for a lawyer? Please. Churches are in the fund raising business. And see Acts 2, describing how the first Christians pooled all their money and property together for mutual aid and protection. No lawyers? Most churches have lawyer members, or at least, know other churches with lawyer members. Not all lawyers are pagans. So don’t even try it with me.
The reason your church didn’t keep on meeting and file a lawsuit last year wasn’t the pastor’s fault. The pastor’s job is to lead the congregation in worship. It was ultimately the church members’ fault. Nobody organized to show their pastor or their priest that he was safe to take a stand, that we had their back. We were sleeping, waiting for somebody else to do it. So it was our fault.
Why didn’t we organize and fight for our rights? Or at least, encourage our priests and pastors to do it, if necessary?
It’s because the Spirit of Fear was possessing us.
The “Love Thy Neighbor Through Covid Works” Heresy
Make no mistake: the Spirit of Fear’s mission is to destroy the worldwide Church. How? Fear and faith are mutually incompatible. Fear and love are mutually incompatible. The Spirit of Fear aims to first displace and then utterly destroy faith and love:
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
— 1 John 4:18 (ESV).
Perfect love casts out fear. When there is fear, there is not love. One of the greatest lies of the pandemic is that we must be fearful or pretend to be fearful in order to love our neighbors. That is rank heresy. Far too often, we’ve heard it from the pulpit and accepted it. This heresy, by the way, is everywhere:
Every single headline I posted above is a dangerous heresy. Instead of preaching love and hope and joy, the fearful church is busy manufacturing a Covid-19 works-based theology. Instead of grappling with the Spirit of Fear, the government, the media and even the church has been teaching we should practice all the fearful habits of nonbelievers: wear a mask, socially distance, close the church, and take the vaccine, or we are sinning. Allegedly sinning by breaking Jesus’ second commandment, because under this logic, we shouldn’t challenge people’s fear but we should confirm it.
Paul said that works of law are death:
For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. Galatians 2:19 (ESV)
I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. Galatians 2:21 (ESV)
For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. Romans 3:20 (ESV)
If we want to love our neighbors we have to be courageous and lead them out of fear, not further into it. People are literally being psychologically crippled by fear:
Getting vaccinated isn’t going to end anybody’s fear. Especially now that it is starting to look like the vaccines don’t prevent infection, serious illness, or even death. These people are stuck in a permanent state of fear and anxiety. They are completely possessed by the Spirit of Fear at this point. And as I explained in Part I, the Covid vaccines won’t end the pandemic. They can’t. They are leaky, the virus is mutating around them, and the virus is hiding out in animal reservoirs. The heretical advice to “get vaccinated” to love our fearful neighbors only exacerbates their fears, by setting up an unholy contrast between “church leaders” and Christians convicted that they shouldn’t do these fearful things.
Vaccinations will not end their fears. It will make their fears worse.
Let me ask you a question. One out of four children is now experiencing clinical levels of fear and anxiety. Fear is literally killing people, as “fear and anxiety-based disorders” have now caught up to obesity as the top risk factors for Covid-19 mortality. Where is the Church’s approach to dealing with those problems? Nowhere. Most pulpits are preaching that whatever the CDC says is the Gospel instead of the actual Gospel. And the CDC is run by ungodly politicians. The CDC controls the Church’s message now. What the CDC wants, the Church preaches, and what the CDC ignores, the Church is ignoring.
Don’t believe me? Why are pastors preaching masks and vaccines when natural immunity is the only way out of this pandemic?
A nobel-prize-winning scientist just said it — vaccine mandates are unethical. Why are we having to hear this from scientists? About ethics? It’s because the specialists in biblical ethics are completely silent about the unethical and discriminatory nature of vaccine mandates. The CDC hasn’t okayed talking about that.
These Covid “works of law” will never ever end. Just as the Mosaic law eventually metastasized into volumes of rules, subrules, and exceptions that no one could possibly follow, the Covid laws are metastasizing too. Now it’s not enough to get “fully vaccinated” to alleviate our neighbors’ fears. Now to love our neighbors we must get boosted, put our childrens’ masks back on, download our vaccine passports, and never, ever challenge anything the CDC says, no matter how many times its chimeric and unethical orders flip and flop like loose roof tiles during a hurricane.
That is the opposite of what Christianity teaches.
Faith Over Fear
Fear and Faith are mutually incompatible.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
— John 16:33 (NIV)
Christian, read that again. Do you believe it? Do your actions confirm that you believe your Savior? Because if not, you probably have a faith issue. Faith and fear can’t exist together. Fear is a lack of faith that God is in control, that God decides when we live and when we die, and that it was God who chose everyone who’s died from Covid. Covid is not in control. God is in control. It is self-exalting human pride that preaches that Covid deaths are tragedies. It’s a heresy that rejects God’s divine omniscience and omnipotence. Back in 1994, John Piper wrote:
Whenever your heart starts to be anxious about the future, preach to your heart and say, "Heart, who do you think you are to be afraid of the future and nullify the promise of God? No, heart, I will not exalt myself with anxiety. I will humble myself in peace and joy as I trust this precious and great promise of God―He cares for me.”
The Covid narrative is an evolving mess. You can’t follow it. You can’t reason with it. You can’t explain it. There’s a new variant — a Doomsday variant! — on the horizon at all times, with new fears and new problems and new temptations to worry. But that’s just life.
There is nothing happening in the world today with Covid that other Christians haven’t already grappled with a thousand times before over millenia.
The Bible tells an alarming story in the Book of Numbers. God sent poisonous serpents to sting and infect the grumbling Israelites. As they all lay dying, God told Moses to raise up a bronze serpent on a pole, and all who looked at the bronze serpent would be saved. Theologists say the bronze serpent was a form of Christ. Look to Christ, therefore, and be saved.
But Jewish tradition teaches that some stubbornly refused to look at the serpent and perished. In light of current events, I can imagine some Israelites shouting, don’t look at the bronze serpent! Love your neighbor who doesn’t want to look at the serpent and don’t make them fearful!
It’s About Truth
The Spirit of Fear’s war on the Church is founded in a war on truth itself. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, for what — or who — is Truth?
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
— John 14:6 (ESV).
Jesus taught that Christians belong to the truth, and Pontius Pilate wondered what truth even is:
“For this reason I was born and have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to My voice.”
“What is truth?” Pilate asked.
— John 18:37-38 (ESV)
The CDC has lied,1 and lied,2 and lied.3 The agency’s guidelines are endlessly mutating into one variant after another. The CDC does not offer truth. Dr. Fauci has lied and obfuscated on masks, treatments for Covid, and its origins from Wuhan. We now know it is more likely than not a genetically engineered virus. Fauci and the CDC are lying by omission by failing to look into or even talk about viral origins.
Christians should not place their faith in agencies like the CDC or fallible humans like Tony Fauci. Christians should value truth, and the reason God gave us, above worldly sources. Truth is freedom.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
— John 8:32 (NSV)
What Christians Need to Do Now
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
— Matthew 11:28 (ESV)
I’m not going to sugar-coat this. We have a lot of hard work, suffering, and travails before us. We are in a World War against a powerful Spirit of Fear and it is coming right for us. When Churchill address the Parliament at the outset of World War II, he could easily have been describing what is in front of us now, in 2021:
We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering.
You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs—Victory in spite of all terror—Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.
— Winston Churchill, May 1940
Victory! The Spirit of Fear will be defeated everywhere there are strong churches. The problem is that our churches are not strong; not even close to being as strong as they need to be. Every single one of us should be working to strengthen the churches. Our churches need to be a lot stronger.
We must stop waiting for buildings, priests, and pastors to do it for us. We are the Church. We, the people.
Wake up! Activate! Stop waiting for an invitation. Act. Start getting organized Speak out boldly, with passion.
Start with the Internal battle - your own spiritual life.
You won’t be able to take on the Spirit of Fear until you clean up your own house first. Shed sinful habits. Double your Bible study (or start). Start listening regularly to pastors with guts. Start getting together regularly with aligned believers. The Spirit of Fear has to be driven out of your own heart before you can be an effective warrior for others.
Next, scrub the Spirit of Fear out of your Church
Your church must be strengthened, and organized for battle. The first step will be to build consensus in your church that the Spirit of Fear problem exists. The next step is to come alongside your pastor so he knows he will be supported.
The Spirit of Fear has to be driven out of the Church in the same spirit that Jesus drove the money lenders from the temple. Quit parroting the ungodly, untruthful CDC. Stop with the fear-mongering masks, the vaccine pushing, the social distancing, the limits on singing. If you are concerned about the spread of the virus in the building, study HVAC engineering controls. I recently interviewed the owner of an 80,000 square-foot gym. They put $120,000 into their HVAC system to mitigate Covid. They’ve never had an outbreak. Your church can do it, too. You don’t need masks.
Using engineering controls is relying on truth, reason, and science. Masks don’t stop Covid infections. There are no peer-reviewed, randomized, controlled trials showing any significant efficacy for masks in controlling the pandemic. Masks are just a way that public health officials are using fear to encourage government-approved Covid habits. We don’t need any more fear. We need a lot less of it, actually. But engineering controls have a decades-long track record of working. Use them. Lean into the Spirit of Truth, not the Spirit of Fear.
Then Attack the Spirit of Fear in the World
Once you’ve secured the foundation of your own faith, your groups of aligned believers, your organization, and you’ve driven the Spirit of Fear from the Church, then it will be time to drive it from the World. Start local.
Like I told the pastors in my previous post, Christians (and other faith traditions) have powerful First Amendment rights. Those are talents. We should be using them while we still have them. Jesus taught that those who use their talents will be given more in abundance. It’s time to use every bit of those talents, and then we’ll get even more of them. Stop thinking only about social media. Start thinking about the public square, and calling out evil wherever it is. Get out of the church, from behind the computer, and into the world.
Attend local government meetings in large numbers.
Christians should be organizing to encourage their pastors to stand up to government overreach. If we don’t fight for all our rights, we’ll lose them, one by one, and sooner or later they’ll get around to deleting our fundamental religious liberties. It’s already started. We should be organizing to attend school board meetings, city councils, and county commissions — in large numbers — and pushing back against every single encroachment on liberty. And preaching to our public officials. We need to encourage our pastors to attend every single meeting. Working together with other local churches, and being organized, we could have pastoral support at every local public meeting.
I would love to see Bible verses being read in those school board meetings. I’d love to see catholics and pentecostals using their three minutes to exorcise demons from city council meetings. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Let’s get that on Youtube!
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.
— 1 Peter 3:15
Gentleness and respect does not exclude firmness, passion and conviction. Remember how Jesus spoke about the religious leaders.
Church members who’ve retired and have the time should be assigned to review every public notice and agenda issued by any local government agency and prepare summary briefs for everyone to review. That way you’ll know what to support and what to oppose.
Form A letter-writing committee.
Members with writing skills should be writing grace-filled letters, non-stop. Letters to the editor of every newspaper in America. Letters to individual school board members, county commissioners, state representatives, and city councilmen. Letters to business leaders, chambers of commerce, and every online influencer. Talk, Christian! Go public! Speak up! Do it now, before you’ve lost the right through under-use.
Social media is also important. Posts on local social media should emphasize love, hope, truth, and Scripture. The Word of God is our greatest weapon and tool:
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
— Hebrews 4:12 (ESV)
Remember that there is no such thing as a small church.
In fact, smaller congregations might even be more nimble and be able to get organized faster than large organizations, especially if your pastor isn’t ready yet. Size won’t matter. God will lift up your church as you put those talents to work. Believe me. Look at how Coffee & Covid has been lifted up.
Start organizing resources to help parents work together to form “pods” to get kids out of public schools.
“Pods” are the latest homeschool innovation, where small groups of 3-5 parents get together to hire a teacher for their collective kids, across whatever number of grade levels. But busy parents and single parents have no realistic way to get this organized on their own. Do it for them. Kind of like roommate matching on steroids. Create a place to recruit good teachers out of the public schools (some might already be in your church) and help parents find each other and figure out how the finances, payroll, and books and class materials work.
I bet there are a lot of online services already out there for managing pods. Do the research for them and help desperate parents get connected with what they and the children need. And not just parents in your church. Help any parents. That’s how we reach the World.
Start preparing NOW for Vaccine Apartheid.
It’s good that many in the Church have been vaccinated. Vaccine apartheid is coming. We’ll need the vaccinated members to get things for unvaccinated people. We need to be ready before it gets here.
The Church needs to start standing up medical clinics and hospitals to treat unvaccinated people who can’t get treated in secular hospitals. Treatments are already being denied to the unvaccinated, loopy doctors are calling for even more of this, and ungodly newspapers are calling for unvaccinated people to receive a lower standard of care.
Our Christian doctors should be giving Covid-19 positive folks ivermectin if they want it, since they can’t get it at many hospitals. I know that for a fact since I get calls from frantic relatives all the time. We should be caring for Covid patients when the hospitals are overrun and overburdened and the standard of institutional care has devolved into very poor conditions where relatives can’t even get into see their loved ones and make sure they are being treated properly.
Offer to volunteer at local hospitals.
When local newspapers report that doctors and nurses at local hospitals are “overwhelmed,” the church should immediately respond. Call the hospital! Call the doctors! Call the nurses! How can we help? Can we change linens and bedpans? Bring meals? Check on patients? Can we pick up doctors’ dry-cleaning, run their errands? Can we drop off and pickup nurses’ kids at school, or provide daycare or babysitting? Where is the church while these hospitals are being so overwhelmed and crying out for help?
Remember — we, the people are the church. If the buildings and pastors aren’t doing it, we should be.
Men! Activate the Men
Men, I’m not going to shame you. I already touched on that in my previous post. But it is shameful that our wives and moms are being arrested at school board meetings without us there to stand up for them. The Bible teaches that we are supposed to lead and protect, not hide in the background while our wives fight. Fear made that. Stop it, right now.
Christian men need to stand up, start leading, and stop making the women do all the work. Stop being afraid of being cancelled, fired, shunned, or whatever else is holding you back. That is the Spirit of Fear talking. Cancel culture was the precursor to eroding your faith. Do you trust that if you are canceled, He will take care of you and your family? Don’t fear cancellation. That’s the enemy’s tool. Start taking your stand. There is safety in numbers. Be wise. Be strategic. Be strong.
If we can get organized and can help people who get fired during the transition to new jobs, people will be a lot less fretful about speaking out. The church has been helping people this way for a long time. Just not lately, so much. Or our members would already know that was available.
Start Organizing Inter-Denominational Cooperation. Christian denominations should be meeting together. Baptists, pentecostals, and conservative catholics should be regularly meeting and discussing how to work together for everyone’s interest. You don’t have to wait for a pastor to do it. You can do it. Once you’ve put your own group together, assign people to be “ambassadors” to approach folks who’re members in other local churches of different denominations. Hold a monthly inter-denominational meeting.
It may get worse before things get better. There may be more severe lockdowns. There may be food shortages. There may be civil unrest. The Church needs to be prepared to respond to these things. Christians need to re-learn how to work together, like the early Christians did, as described in Acts.
We need massive amounts of intercessory prayer. Most churches already have prayer teams, but it might be a good time to reinforce them.
I wish I could tell you this was all going to be over soon. I wish I could tell you that we’ve seen the worst of it. But that wouldn’t be truth. We need the truth, and it will set us free.
This is going to take a lot of work. But consider this: it is the most important thing all of us have ever done. In our entire lives. This struggle will define our generation. It will be something that historians write about for decades — if not centuries — to come.
Many of us who think we are insignificant now will be given historic roles. U.S. Grant resigned from the army six years before the Civil War amid allegations of drunkenness and threats of military discipline. He was selling firewood in the street when the War started. He went on against all odds to become the greatest general and arguably the greatest president in U.S. history. Many other completely unknown folks whose civilian lives were totally unremarkable went on to become historic heroes.
Let subsequent generations speak of us that way. Let them say that when the Church and the Nation called, we stepped up and answered the call. Let us pray to be courageous and not lukewarm. Let it be us, and let it start now.