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Posts Tagged ‘Coronavirus’

Pastor John MacArthur speaks at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, July 26, 2020. Video screengrab via Vimeo/Grace Community Church

We ought to obey God rather than men.

  • Acts 5:29

Back in April, this space featured a post titled “Church, Sate and Coronavirus: Does the Civil Magistrate Have the Authority to Ban Church Gatherings?” It was a complaint principally inspired by a threat made by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear to punish Christians for gathering for worship on Easter Sunday.   According to an article published on the Gateway Pundit website, “The state of Kentucky is cracking down on Easter weekend worshippers by recording the license plates of people who attend services and forcing them to ‘self-quarantine’ for two weeks afterwards.”

Go to church on Sunday as the Good Book commands; Governor Beshear sics his hall monitors on you and rewards you with two weeks house arrest.  What a guy.

The intervening four months since the above article appeared have seen a continuation of the coronavirus Caligulas’ crackdown on American Christians’ liberty to worship.  As such, it seemed good to revisit this issue. 

Of course, the coronavirus Caligulas don’t limit themselves to cracking down on Christians.  There are plenty of examples of governors and mayors decreeing this or that thing verboten that no one until just a few months ever so much as thought would be banned for any reason.

All this in the name of fighting the dreaded “second wave.”

But for now, these other outrages I elect to pass over.  Not because I think them unworthy of discussion, but because time and space would fail me were I to go through them all. 

If you’re inclined to learn more about the ways in which big government, big pharma and various and sundry globalists are joining forces to use Covid to strip you of your God-given, Constitutionally guaranteed, liberties, there is no better source than the Ron Paul Liberty Report.  There you will find dozens of videos on the Covid crisis made over the past five months.

One recent video that is especially relevant to our discussion today aired Thursday, August 13 and is titled “Defiance! 6,000 Attend ‘Illegal’ California Church Service.”        

This video concerns the decision by Grace Community Church (John MacArthur’s church) to hold services in defiance of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s July 13 ban on indoor church services on the state’s COIVID-19 monitoring list.  This affects about 80 percent of California’s population.  The California Governor’s decision to ban indoor services altogether followed a ban earlier in the month on singing in church

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Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks at a White House press briefing.

The so-called corona virus (CV) pandemic has taken the world by storm.  Like many people, this author had never so much as heard the term “corona virus” until about three or four months ago.  But writing now in early May 2020, it seems as if it’s been with us forever.

One of the barriers to thinking clearly about the CV pandemic and resulting lock down of the economy was the remarkable speed at which it all occurred.  It seemed that one day all was well, and the next that governors across the country were ordering their citizens to “shelter in place.”  It was almost as if the entire nation were sucker punched at once.  One day we were going about our business, working our jobs as we always had, and the next we were working from home or not working at all.  Who could ever have imagined such a thing as recently as the beginning of this year?

The official narrative is that the virus is an unexpected event, originating in China.  Despite the Chinese leadership’s heroic efforts to contain it, the virus managed to spread throughout all the world.  Here in the US, Anthony Fauci is officially hailed as a hero and governors who locked down their states are thought to have taken bold action to save the nation from an even higher death count than has been reported.  They are heroes.  And the more severely they locked down their states, the more heroic they are.

Although the rapidity at which the crisis emerged and my unfamiliarity with pandemics made analysis difficult at first, the whole CV pandemic always seemed more than a bit suspect to me.  And the longer it has gone on and the more information that has come out, the more my original suspicions have been confirmed.  Below are thirteen reasons why I doubt CV narrative.

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All Seeing Eye

The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed.

  • Psalm 2:2

 

In last week’s post, we considered the many passages in Scripture which speak of conspiracies.  It seemed good to approach the subject of conspiracies in this way for at least two reasons.  If the fist place, this is a Scripturalist blog.  As such, it is the goal of this author to approach every subject with the understanding that that the Bible has a systematic monopoly on truth.  If one can establish that the infallible, inerrant Bible clearly teaches that conspiracies have occurred in the past, this poses a significant problem for those who claim, as some do, that it is impossible for conspiracies to occur today and to dismiss those who have doubts about the official explanations as “conspiracy theorists.”

A second reason for placing a post on biblical examples of conspiracies first in this series is one of interest.  It’s likely that many Christians have not considered the extensive evidence supporting the existence of conspiracies furnished by well-known Bible passages.  Coming to see these passages as examples of conspiracies not only adds to our understanding of Scripture, but gives Christians added intellectual ammunition to analyze events of the present day.

In today’s post, I would like to explore the term “conspiracy theory” itself.  As it turns out, one can make the case that the term “conspiracy theory” is, oddly enough, something of a conspiracy.

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Tweet_Rand Paul

We ought to obey God rather than men.

  • Acts 5:29

Rand Paul and Thomas Massie rip Kentucky governor for tracking license plates of Easter church attendees,” ran the headline in the Washington Examiner.  The story went on to detail the reactions of KY Senator Rand Paul and KY Representative Thomas Massie to KY Governor Andy Beshear’s Friday statement outlining the actions the state plans to take against Kentucky Christians who gather for in-person worship on Easter Sunday.  “Taking license plates at church?  Quarantining someone for being Christian on Easter Sunday?  Someone needs to take a step back here,” tweeted Senator Paul.

Although the statement from the Governor’s office makes the point that the “order is for all mass gatherings and not just worship services,”  given the timing of the announcement (Good Friday), the preface that references people of “multiple faiths”, the statement’s specific warning that, “anyone planning to attend an in-person mass gathering this weekend [Easter] will face quarantine orders, and the statement’s reference to six churches in the commonwealth that are still planning to hold in-person services,” it is fair to see this statement from the Governor’s office as directed at Christians in particular.

Governor Beshear’s stance is not unique.  Last week, Louisville mayor Greg Fischer barred drive-through church services in the city, saying that he can’t allow “hundreds of thousands” of people to drive around town this weekend in observance of Easter festivities when they need to be home riding out the COVID-19 pandemic.  Just yesterday (April 11) a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order filed by a Louisville church against Mayor Fischer.  In his ruling, which applied only to the church that brought the suit, Judge Justin Walker blasted the mayor’s decision to prohibit drive-in church services as ‘beyond all reason’ and akin to what one might find only in a dystopian novel.

Earlier this month, a Tampa, Florida pastor was arrested for holding church services in defiance of a county order.  He was charged with violating quarantine orders during a public health emergency and later posted a $500 bond and was released.

Some Reformed brethren may argue that the churches in Louisville and Tampa are not Reformed and, therefore, these cases do not concern us.  But it’s worth asking this question, would it matter if the pastors of these churches were rock ribbed, 5-point Calvinist Presbyterians?  It’s highly doubtful.  They would have been arrested just the same.

These and other examples raise the important question, what is the relationship between church and state?  Does the civil government have the right to tell churches they may not hold in-person worship services, or have the magistrates overstepped the proper limits of their authority when they arrest or threaten pastors and church members for attending Sunday worship? It’s doubtful most American Christians have even considered this question before.  It’s simply never come up.  But now that it has, how do we as Christians answer it?

Citing Romans 13:1-7, some Christians have concluded that they must obey all coronavirus related government orders prohibiting mass gatherings.  Romans 13:1-7 reads,

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

For them, the command, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities,” and the conclusion, “Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves,” apply in the case of orders from the civil magistrate prohibiting in-person Sunday church gatherings.

Other Christians disagree, citing, for example, Jesus command to “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Mark 12.17).

It is this author’s studied conviction that the former group is in error and the latter group has the correct understanding to the relationship between church and state as set forth in the Scriptures.  What is more, this author believes the US Constitution is on the side of the latter group as well.

It is my goal in this post to defend the proposition that the government has no authority in matters related to church meetings and that by prohibiting in-person worship, these civil authorities have exceeded their rightful jurisdiction and have thereby sinned.  Further, it my conviction that this point can be proven from the Scriptures.

Before proceeding, it is worth noting what this argument is not as well as what it is.  This argument is not that churches are wrong to cancel in-person services and to seek alternate worship service arrangements due to concerns over coronavirus.  Citing 1 Cor. 11:13,  the Westminster Confession of Faith says, “Nevertheless, we acknowledge…that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.” If a church Session believes that, in light of that church’s circumstances that it is best to suspend regular worship and institute some alternate form or worship such as internet video, then the Session is within its right to do so.  This author has no argument with such a decision.

My argument is simply this, that there is no support in Scripture for civil government to prohibit church meetings, whether it be on the Lord’s Day or any other day, and that those civil magistrates who do prohibit such gatherings of the Lord’s people have overstepped their God-given authority and are sinning thereby.

Let us turn now to the Scriptural proofs.

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Closed

“[W]hen it goes down to essentially no new cases, no new deaths at a period of time.  I think it makes sense that you will have to relax social distancing.”

  • Anthony S. Fauci, Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases

“I want to be able to say to the people of New York – I did everything we could do, and if everything we do saves just one life, I’ll be happy.”

  • Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York

 

Here in Ohio, we’ll soon be entering the third week of Governor Mike DeWine’s Stay At Home order, which requires Ohio residents remain in the homes unless out on essential business.  Only business deemed “essential” are permitted to remain open, meaning a significant portion of the state’s economy has been shut down by government order.

Nationally, the situation is much the same.  Perhaps no statistic better illustrates the severity of the economic impact of the government led economic shutdown than last weeks unemployment claim numbers which reached the truly staggering total of 6.6 million.  Taken together with the previous week’s total of 3.34 million new jobless claims, the second half of March saw a total of 10 million new jobless claims.  To put this is some perspective, the previous weekly record for new jobless claims was 650,000, which total occurred at the height of the 2008 global financial crisis.  The employment crisis taking place now is an order of magnitude greater

Is there any end in sight to the economic decimation going on in America?  If we take Dr. Anthony Fauci and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at their word, no there is not.  Dr. Fauci wants to see new cases and deaths attributed to Coronavirus go “to essentially” zero before relaxing social distancing rules. Since social distancing is the driving factor behind shuttering businesses, this means that if Dr. Fauci gets his way, there will be no return to normal business until the China coronavirus is eliminated.

So how long will it take to get to the point where Anthony Fauci allows Americans to get back to something like normal levels of activity.  According to this article in ScienceNews, “probably not any time soon.”  The article goes on to state that social distancing measures will need to be in place, “for one to three months, at minimum.”  Based on this assessment, early May is the soonest we can expect a return to normalcy, and it could well be much later than that.

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New York_Times Square_2020_03_23

An almost empty street is seen at Times Square in Manhattan on Monday in New York City. On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo dismissed rumors that a quarantine would be in place for the state after days of rumors of New York City being put on lockdown. JJOHANNES EISELE/AFP/GETTY

All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean:  he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.

  • Leviticus 13:46

“We haven’t faced an enemy like we are facing today in 102 years – we are at war. In the time of war, we must make sacrifices, and I thank all of our Ohio citizens for what they are doing and what they aren’t doing. You are making a huge difference, and this difference will save lives,” said Governor DeWine. “Right now, we are in a crucial time in this battle. What we do now will slow this invader so that our healthcare system will have time to treat those who have contracted COVID-19 and also have time to treat those who have other medical problems. Time is of the essence.” Thus reads the announcement on the Ohio.gov website where the state’s Stay At Home Order is also listed.

Clearly, Governor DeWine takes the coronavirus [the Ohio.gov website calls it COVID-19] outbreak very seriously.  Note the repeated use of military terminology in the quote above.  We are told that “We haven’t faced an enemy like we are facing today in 102 years” [apparently, this is a reference to the 1918 outbreak of the Spanish Flu]…“we are at war”…“In time of war”…”we are in a crucial time in this battle”…”What we do now will slow this invader.”

With all this military terminology, one wonders when the Governor plans to institute a draft.  Then on second thought, in a way, he already has.  As the website notes, beginning March 23, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Ohioans are under a Stay At Home Order.  This order is effective until 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020 “unless the order is rescinded or modified.”  This order applies to everyone, and as of this writing on March 29, no recension or modification of this order has been announced.  So in a way, all Ohioans already have been drafted into the Governor’s war.

One question that seems not to have been asked in the wake of Governor DeWine’s announcement is, on what authority does he give this order?  Reading through the order, one finds that it contains provisions that shutter a not insignificant portion of the businesses within the state.  What is the legal basis for the Governor’s order?

One possible answer is that Ohio has adopted some form of “Medical Martial Law” legislation that was propagated in the wake of the Swine Flu pandemic in 2009.  Researcher James Corbett produced a video back in 2009 related to the Swine Flu pandemic which he titled Medical Martial Law and which dealt with the legislative response that followed the outbreak of that pandemic.  In his video, Corbett states that something called “The Model State Emergency Health Powers Act” was drafted by the Center for Law and the Public’s Health at Georgetown University (Jesuits) and Johns Hopkins University.  According to the website of The Centers for Law & the Public’s Health, the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (MSEHPA) “grants public health powers to state and local public health authorities to ensure a strong, effective, and timely planning, prevention, and response mechanisms to public health emergencies (including bioterrorism) while also respecting individual rights.”

The website boasts that forty-four states have adopted MSEHPA in whole or in part, but, curiously, Ohio is not listed among them.  Neither was I able to find anything on other websites linking MSEHPA to Ohio.  That being the case, this model legislation, as dangerous as it is, apparently is not the basis for the Governor’s actions.

According to the language in the Order itself, the basis for the Order is R.C. [Revised Code] 3701.13 which allows the Director of the Ohio Department of Health to “make special orders…for preventing the spread of contagious or infectious diseases.”

That said, although he doesn’t come out and say it directly, Governor DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton (Ohio’s Director of Health) seem eager for the public to see the Stay At Home Order as some form of Medical Martial Law.  This can be seen from the Governor’s own words, laden as they are with military terminology.

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Costco

Signs hanging inside a Costco store notified customers that they were out of supplies on Monday, March 2. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

“Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

  • Luke 10:24

What’s my topic?  That’s the first question every writer must answer before starting. Sometimes topics suggest themselves easily.  Other times, coming up with an appropriate subject can be a bit daunting.

With all the events of last week – coronavirus, and the stock market crash to name two – you’d think that finding a topic would be easy.  But it’s been more of a challenge than may seem at first.

I had a number of ideas coming into today and had even written an outline for a possible series addressing ways in which entrenched vested interested manipulate events and the reporting on those events, giving people a false sense of reality and allowing them to surreptitiously advance their own hidden agendas.

Lord willing, I hope to be able to write that series.  But today, it just didn’t seem right.

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Coronavirus

CNBC headline on 2/21/20.  They want you to think it’s the Coronavirus that’s behind the stock market selloff, but the truth lies elsewhere.

“But we will certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem.  For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and saw no trouble.”

  • Jeremiah 44:17

In his book Logic, Gordon Clark noted a number of informal logical fallacies.  On page 17, he mentioned, among others, a fallacy called in Latin post hoc ergo propter hoc, or as we would say it in English, “after this, therefore because of this.” This logical error, hereafter the post hoc fallacy, involves asserting that, because event B took place after event A, that A is what caused B.

Now it’s true that there can be a cause and effect relationship between an earlier event and a late event.  In Jeremiah 44, the prophet, speaking for God, states, “You have seen all the calamity that I have brought on Jerusalem…because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke Me to anger.”  God makes it entirely clear in this passage that the prior disobedience of the people of Judah was the cause of his bringing judgment on Jerusalem.  We don’t have to guess at why the Babylonians leveled Jerusalem and burned the temple in 586 BC, God tells us explicitly both the cause and the effect.

Later in chapter 44, we get the reaction from the people to whom Jeremiah was prophesying.  As it turned out, they didn’t much care for his sermon. Part of their response to Jeremiah was a classic case of post hoc fallacy.  See if you can spot it.

But we will certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem.  For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and saw no trouble. But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offering to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine (Jeremiah 44:17-18).

Did I say, see if you can spot it?  Reading this passage further, it seems to me that there are two post hoc fallacies to be found.  In the first place, the people argue that their burning incense and pouring out drink offerings were the cause of their prosperity when they were in the land, when, in fact, it was God’s grace that provided for them.  Second, they attributed their current state of exile to their worshipping the queen of heaven, when, in fact, the cause of their exile was God’s punishing them for their disobedience.

I bring up the preceding Biblical example of post hoc fallacy to introduce the main point of this post, which is to refute the linkage, put forward by mainstream financial reporters, the outbreak of the Corona virus in China is reason for the recent stock market sell off and spike in the price of gold.

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