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Why Some Pastors Won't Cancel Services
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Post Why Some Pastors Won't Cancel Services FG Minister
Life Tabernacle Church in Louisiana has defied the government, and common sense, and decided to remain open during this pandemic. The pastor said:“This is an extreme test brought on us by the spirit of Antichrist and the mystery of lawlessness,” he told the congregation. “What good is the church in an hour of peril if the the church craters and caves in to the fears and the spirits of torment in our society?”

The reason pastors, especially Pentecostal, really don't want to cancel is because they are afraid it will make them look bad in the eyes of their members. It looks like the pastor is caving to fear instead of holding to faith. Because of this spiritual pride, these pastors are putting their congregants at risk of contracting the virus. Some pastors say "let the government mandate that we close, then I'll close." That gives these guys cover when they have to cancel. They will then also get to holler about government interference in local churches.

If you pastor a church and have not cancelled your services, you need to lay your spiritual pride aside and do what's right. You are possibly helping the spread of this virus and may cause your members to be laid off for being exposed. You may say "our people have a choice whether to come or not." Why are you giving them that choice? You are implying that the ones who keep attending are the people in your church who have real faith and those who stay home are living in fear. You'll never admit it, but you know it's true. Your spiritual pride sir may cause some funerals in your community. Stop it and for the sake of your community and country - CLOSE YOUR SERVICES.
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3/20/20 7:42 am


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Post Dave Dorsey
Very thoughtful and good post, IMO.

I do think a lot of it comes down to education. I was watching a video from a pastor in TN (not COG) who was announcing he was continuing services. He described at length all of the things they would be doing to sanitize their facility -- the A/C units would be running all night to filter the air, the filters would be changed just before service on Sunday, the bathrooms would be disinfected before service, etc. On and on.

That's all great, except it's all literally completely useless. COVID-19 survives in the air for about 3 hours. There's no reason to filter your air. All you're doing is making it so your congregation can swap COVID in very clean, filtered air.

Same for the bathroom. All you're accomplishing is creating a very clean environment for COVID to be swapped once your congregation gets there.

I'm sure his heart is in the right place, I have no doubt about that. But he's just not educated about the risks or the things he should be doing to mitigate them. He's doing all kinds of mitigation that is literally completely ineffective.

The only way to mitigate the risk right now is to not have people gathering in large groups. That's just all there is to it. And you're right about another thing too. This pastor did say he would not be hurt if anyone chose not to come to church, but the implicit message (even unintentional) is that the people who show trust God and the people who stay don't.

Guys... it's time to lead. Get informed, get educated, follow the guidance and direction of your government officials, and trust God for grace to serve your flock as effectively as you can in this time.
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3/20/20 10:02 am


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Post Dave Dorsey
One very important tidbit from an article about the church in Louisiana:

Quote:
On Wednesday morning, after the church's service was broadcast on local news, several church members were suspended from work, Spell said, because their employers feared spreading the virus.

The decisions pastors are making in this time have wide-reaching consequences.
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3/20/20 10:04 am


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Post One reason why some won't in my opinion... roughridercog
It's because they know a big percentage of people don't give if they're not there and a huge number of people don't do online giving.

That's my opinion.
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3/20/20 10:28 am


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Post Re: One reason why some won't in my opinion... Dave Dorsey
roughridercog wrote:
It's because they know a big percentage of people don't give if they're not there and a huge number of people don't do online giving.

That's my opinion.

I think you're right, whether they realize it or not.

I can't accept that any true pastor would knowingly jeopardize the health of his congregation for money. But I suspect there are folks thinking about the income without realizing the connection to their congregation's health.
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3/20/20 10:32 am


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Post Carolyn Smith
I don't think it's a coincidence that the first person to die in Tulsa from the corona virus was a Pentecostal preacher.

I just read this morning of a pastor who had 2 people attend 3 weeks ago that didn't know they were positive for the virus. Now 50 people are sick. This is how it works, folks! BE WISE!
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3/20/20 10:36 am


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Post Dave Dorsey
Carolyn Smith wrote:
I don't think it's a coincidence that the first person to die in Tulsa from the corona virus was a Pentecostal preacher.

One note on this case... his grieving widow and family are isolated in quarantine and are unable to receive visitors.

I cannot imagine losing my spouse. I especially cannot imagine losing my spouse, and being separated from the comfort of my church family.

This stuff is as serious as it gets folks.
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3/20/20 10:46 am


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Post Carolyn Smith
Dave Dorsey wrote:
Carolyn Smith wrote:
I don't think it's a coincidence that the first person to die in Tulsa from the corona virus was a Pentecostal preacher.

One note on this case... his grieving widow and family are isolated in quarantine and are unable to receive visitors.

I cannot imagine losing my spouse. I especially cannot imagine losing my spouse, and being separated from the comfort of my church family.

This stuff is as serious as it gets folks.


After losing my job, it was really hard to be at church and just get elbow bumps! One friend said, "I'm protected" and hugged me. (She needed it too.) I did get a few hugs from my former coworkers at the hospital on Monday when I was there with my sister. You don't realize how much you take hugs for granted!

I am sorry for this family. These are hard times, no doubt about it.
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3/20/20 12:20 pm


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Post Our services continue jimmyjon
In our state we are limited to 100 or less. We will obey the law. We are livestreaming on 3 platforms, our giving is at record levels online with 3 platforms plus checks. But we will continue to have in person services until told not to. The op and others of you have a different opinion you are welcome to them but dont try shaming the rest of us who are doing opposite for good reasons. You might want to read this article. https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/03/13/christianity-epidemics-2000-years-should-i-still-go-to-church-coronavirus/?fbclid=IwAR3ix3btqWr_GwWKLLwkEMAuEJKqdGIGV8cfj3Ha8kqvuMFx7v2ztWvbKxg Member
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3/20/20 6:28 pm


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Post Re: Our services continue Dave Dorsey
jimmyjon wrote:
In our state we are limited to 100 or less. We will obey the law. We are livestreaming on 3 platforms, our giving is at record levels online with 3 platforms plus checks. But we will continue to have in person services until told not to. The op and others of you have a different opinion you are welcome to them but dont try shaming the rest of us who are doing opposite for good reasons. You might want to read this article. https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/03/13/christianity-epidemics-2000-years-should-i-still-go-to-church-coronavirus/?fbclid=IwAR3ix3btqWr_GwWKLLwkEMAuEJKqdGIGV8cfj3Ha8kqvuMFx7v2ztWvbKxg

I don't think anyone's trying to shame you. They're just pleading with you to look around at what's happening and to reconsider. I have no doubt your reasons and motives are good. But respectfully, your decision to continue meeting is not.
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3/20/20 7:23 pm


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Post Respectfully disagree jimmyjon
Your opinion is your own. Mine is mine. Neither wrong just different. And for the record the op and you are shaming those of us who disagree. That's ok I guess. But it is true. Member
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3/20/20 7:35 pm


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Post Dave Dorsey
Okay. If you're obeying your state's limit, then I can't say you're doing anything wrong. It's a Romans 14 issue at that point.

But I would just respectfully urge you to consider that places where COVID is currently exploding probably wished they had been more stringent when their area's transmission was still low. You have a chance right now to make a difference, and to not let your area become like others.
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3/20/20 7:36 pm


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Post FLRon
Our pastor is refusing to cancel services as well. Considering how many sick and elderly are in our congregation this is very foolish. It also puts those of us who play music, teach classes, etc in a difficult situation. To stay home you feel guilty for not supporting your pastor. To attend you risk exposing yourself to the virus. IMO, it shouldn’t come down to having to make such a decision. Services should be canceled until it is safe to resume.
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3/20/20 7:37 pm


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Post Well let me also tell you jimmyjon
I have to do a funeral monday for an elderly saint. The funeral home is having viewing from 1 -5 Sunday and I will do the service in their chapel on Monday to a number of people up to 100 and then go to the graveside for a burial with a bunch of strangers. Tell the funeral home they are wrong too. Maybe they are by your standards but a grieving family wants closure. I am going to give it to them and I am going to preach the word to a hurting world in person and online Sunday until I cant.

I sincerely urge you to read the post I put in my first post.
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3/20/20 7:41 pm


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Post We have told jimmyjon
Those who are elderly, immunity challenged and at risk and those who are sick to stay home. We will social distance and not shake hands. No one is forced to come nor told they dont have any faith if they stay home either. Member
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3/20/20 7:44 pm


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Post Re: Well let me also tell you Dave Dorsey
jimmyjon wrote:
I sincerely urge you to read the post I put in my first post.

I did, and I agree with the article's premise that we must continue to be Christians. In fact, when it is not safe to meet, we must work even harder to be a community of faith to each other. Our church is not meeting on Sundays, and we are all working hard to stay in touch with each other through other means, both individually and online in groups, because Christian community can never take a break.

Practical theology does indeed say care, sacrifice, and community are as vital as ever.

I am just not sure why we are so dead-set on needlessly creating more sick people, and more grieving survivors, that will require our love and care. And again, with the deepest and most sincere respect, I believe the evidence is clear that that is what churches that continue to meet in large numbers are doing.
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3/20/20 7:45 pm


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Post To your last point jimmyjon
I dont believe we are creating any more sick people. If I believed that I wouldnt do it. Member
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3/20/20 7:48 pm


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Post Dave Dorsey
But that is what has happened all across the country with churches who have had asymptomatic COVID carriers in attendance. Now 67% friendlier!
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3/20/20 7:51 pm


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Post Dave Dorsey
It's very possible you're right, and that no harm will come from you meeting.

But doesn't it seem worth it to err on the side of caution? Wouldn't you rather look back and say, "we could have kept meeting" than look back and say, "if we had stopped meeting Sister So-and-so might still be alive"?
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3/20/20 7:57 pm


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Post We will have to just pray that jimmyjon
That will not be case. You stay safe in your cocoon just kidding. I plan to be there for my people and we continue to feed many people here locally with our food bank also as we keep it open and stocked and I will preach the Resurrection at this upcoming funeral. Someone once told me that if you're not afraid to die only then can you can truly live. Paul said that if I am to go on living in this body I will be fruitful in my work.
Phillipians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will bring fruit from my work; yet I don’t know what I will choose.

23 But I am hard pressed between the two, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.

24 Yet to remain in the flesh is more needful for your sake.


Last edited by jimmyjon on 3/20/20 8:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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