1. notleia says:

    I’d be happier if there weren’t a substantial number of kook pastors who encourage breaking social distance because “religious freedom.” It does seem like the nuttier ones who buy into the conspiracy theories seem to be the same ones that drop dead later from the virus. Who’da thunk

    • “Religious freedom” set apart in scare quotes. Who’da thunk

    • Travis Perry says:

      I think the vast majority of pastors, whether believers in conspiracies or not, are following social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders. (More complain about the orders than disobey them.)

      I don’t have percentages on this–getting such stats would be tough–but I think there’s little to worry about in terms of massive numbers of pastors telling people to ignore guidelines. That’s true in spite of some breathless reporting about the tiny number of congregations ignoring the rules. (Cause some people are paranoid about “kook pastors.”)


      • notleia says:

        Granted, I’m doing a bias because I think more than like 2 kook pastors like that is substantial enough to be off-putting.
        Somewhere on the internet someone dubbed them “Branch Covidians” and I like that one.

  2. Travis Perry says:

    Kenneth Copeland, one of the heath, wealth and prosperity gurus, did in fact speak on this topic. In the name of the Lord, he declared he had defeated the virus and blew it away (with a literal huff of breath). And said it would have no more power.

    According to the Old Testament law, he should be put to death for speaking a prophecy in the name of the LORD that doesn’t come true, but I think his followers will find a way to avoid it being his fault. (And that law isn’t in effect anymore, of course…)

    Just bringing this up as a fact-check sorta thing. You said the health/wealth types have been silent–but not all have been…

    • Thanks for that info, Travis. I was relying on a source that may have spoken before Copeland made his declaration. I almost wish he had not. Like N. T. Wright, he might, in his own way, be doing more damage through his wrong message.


  3. Kathleen Eavenson says:

    My take of N.T. Wright’s article was perhaps a little different from others’. I thought he was speaking more about the pastors/speakers/teachers who are quick to rush with the “answer’ – God is doing this because [fill in your favorite answer] As if God needs them to inform the world that they know exactly why things are happening. And as if they (and they alone?) had a direct line to God. Job & his ‘friends’ should make it clear that that’s not so!

  4. Autumn Grayson says:

    Here’s a podcast episode from Phil Vischer (creator of VeggieTales) and some of his friends. I don’t entirely agree with everything they said, but it starts out funny then has a good discussion that raises some good points:

  5. Jill says:

    Viruses are part of nature that operates like nature does. We’ve had worse diseases in the past and will have worse ones in the future, but kudos to Piper for jumping on a ready-made market. Not a fan of Piper. Does it show?

    • Ah. The good old Watchmaker treatment of God. But, Jill, I don’t think this view squares with Scripture. God did all kinds of things in the Bible, working through “natural” events, in order to warn, correct, reveal His plan, purpose and Himself. See, for example, the number of times His word says, “That they may know that I am the LORD . . .” The Bible also says God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, so why should we think He has stopped using natural events today and will only work in the supernatural (which many people think only existed for a time and have now ceased—I question that idea, too!)


What do you think?