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Old 05-19-2020, 09:35 AM
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Today's Bible Lesson: "You Reap What You Sow."


Ga. church closes two weeks after reopening as families come down with Coronavirus

Two weeks. Right on schedule.

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A Georgia church that reopened after shutting down due to the coronavirus has axed in-person services again in what they describe as “an effort of extreme caution” as several of their families have become infected by the deadly disease.

Catoosa Baptist Tabernacle, an independent Baptist church led by Pastor Justin Gazaway in Ringgold, Georgia, restarted in-person services on April 26. Church representative Joan Lewis told The Christian Post on Monday, however, that they decided to suspend “in-person worship services for the foreseeable future” on May 11 after learning several families had contracted the virus.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:50 AM
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This seems to please the OP, I also notice you fail to mention other churches which have opened yet not had a similar situation occur.

This is the problem when you cherry pick examples.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:54 AM
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This seems to please the OP, I also notice you fail to mention other churches which have opened yet not had a similar situation occur.

This is the problem when you cherry pick examples.
Yes, because diseases are only a problem if everyone gets them.
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:00 AM
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Somebody did not pray hard enough.
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:01 AM
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This seems to please the OP, I also notice you fail to mention other churches which have opened yet not had a similar situation occur.

This is the problem when you cherry pick examples.
We are still very early in the reopening process. Some are literally doing it as we speak. Just wait a while.

The Georgia church in question has only been reopened for two weeks, and the incubation time for COVID-19 has been recognized as one to two weeks. That implies the damage began almost immediately upon reopening.
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Last edited by Jasmine; 05-19-2020 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:02 AM
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This seems to please the OP, I also notice you fail to mention other churches which have opened yet not had a similar situation occur.

This is the problem when you cherry pick examples.
It isn't every drunk driver that injures or kill someone on the way home from the bar.
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:08 AM
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Somebody did not pray hard enough.
The real problem is arrogance. It's the attitude that, because they are Believers and worship God, He will give them Carte Blanche to do whatever they want regardless of the consequences.

I guess they never read Matthew 4, verses 6 & 7:

“If You are the Son of God,” he said, “throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command His angels concerning You, and they will lift You up in their hands, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’” 7Jesus replied, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:19 AM
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The real problem is arrogance. It's the attitude that, because they are Believers and worship God, He will give them Carte Blanche to do whatever they want regardless of the consequences.

I guess they never read Matthew 4, verses 6 & 7:

“If You are the Son of God,” he said, “throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command His angels concerning You, and they will lift You up in their hands, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’” 7Jesus replied, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
There's that viral video about the woman in her car leaving a service, claiming she was protected because she was "Covered in the blood of Jesus". It doesn't matter what the book says. Just say the magic words and olly-olly-oxen-free!
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Last edited by QuickSilver; 05-19-2020 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:28 AM
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I feel that the familiar story about the man in the flood who rejected help from two boats and a helicopter applies here. Don't ask for miracles when you could achieve the same result merely by not being an idiot.

Last edited by Gyrate; 05-19-2020 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:32 AM
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Not idioting is hard.
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:38 AM
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Speaking of Georgia, did everybody see this---is it really true?

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/stor...ata-brian-kemp

"The state of Georgia made it look like its covid cases were going down ***by putting the dates out of order on its chart*** May 5 was followed by April 25, then back to May again, whatever made it look like a downslope." (tweeted one writer).

and

“I have a hard time understanding how this happens without it being deliberate,” microbiology and molecular genetics PhD and state Rep. Jasmine Clark told the Journal Constitution. “Literally nowhere ever in any type of statistics would that be acceptable.”

Georgia isn’t the only state itching to reopen that has a penchant for dubious data. Florida actively tried suppressing county coroners from releasing COVID-19 death tallies.
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Carryon View Post
This seems to please the OP, I also notice you fail to mention other churches which have opened yet not had a similar situation occur.

This is the problem when you cherry pick examples.
The anticipated hypothetical outbreak at two weeks has happened, Jasmine is providing evidence.
At this point, NOT having an outbreak at two weeks is the hypothetical you propose. Have you any examples to support your hypothesis, or is your position still just "possible"?

Last edited by Inigo Montoya; 05-19-2020 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:11 PM
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Wow. Where to start. First off, the article says that 75% of its congregation didn't attend in person when they reopened. And it doesn't say anything about whether the infected families were part of the 25 percent or the 75. So, there's that, as a starting point. But the far, far more troubling notion is that someone would jump straight from correlation to causation here. if there's one thing I'd guess about families that attend a smallish church in a smallish town, which I'm assuming is what we're talking about here, it's that their lives are likely in some way intertwined. Like, maybe their kids play together, maybe they get together for cards on Saturday night, watch sports together on Sunday, that kind of thing. Hell, maybe they are even family. Don't cousins in Georgia often marry? Or maybe they work together at the same factory, or meat packing plant.

Point is, there's no way to tell from this article how the families got infected. The article also says the church did the whole social distancing thing in what sounds like a pretty rigorous way. I guess one might be of the point of view that even careful social distancing protocols and 75% reductions in capacity still don't make gatherings like this acceptable, and I do agree with the sentiment that it's attitudes like those that are doing more to harm right now than to help.

And yes, I agree completely with Carryon that if this is thought to be 'right on schedule' then we should line up the other in-person services from the same weekend, the ones that didn't make the paper because their familes aren't sick, and put them in the other column. You know, to be fair and all. And then let's see whose right about how reckless, or not, it really is.
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Jasmine View Post
The real problem is arrogance. It's the attitude that, because they are Believers and worship God, He will give them Carte Blanche to do whatever they want regardless of the consequences.
First, this does not apply to the church in your link. They were taking precautions.
Quote:
During that time, officials noted that “all modes of social distancing were practiced and followed by the families attending.”

“Seating was marked to only permit sitting within the six foot guidelines, all doors were open to allow access without the touching of doors, and attendees were asked to enter in a social distancing manner and were dismissed in a formal manner as well to ensure that the social distancing measures were adhered by all,” the church said.
Second, the article doesn't say whether the people who got infected got infected at that church, or elsewhere, perhaps where fewer precautions were taken. I'd guess it's unknown whether those people got the infection there or elsewhere. Maybe that church is the "sower"; maybe not.

Sorry if I'm spoiling your schadenfreude. But there are plenty of other, more egregious examples of churches being arrogantly reckless.
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:21 PM
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And yes, I agree completely with Carryon that if this is thought to be 'right on schedule' then we should line up the other in-person services from the same weekend, the ones that didn't make the paper because their familes aren't sick, and put them in the other column.
Because evidence of absence is absence of evidence? Or is it the news media's conspirational fault for not running stories about gatherings that turned out safe? Now, if you want to say the OP is an example of confirmation bias that's another thing entirely. But it is at least one example of "well who wouldn't have seen that coming?"
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:36 PM
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Because evidence of absence is absence of evidence? Or is it the news media's conspirational fault for not running stories about gatherings that turned out safe? Now, if you want to say the OP is an example of confirmation bias that's another thing entirely. But it is at least one example of "well who wouldn't have seen that coming?"
Yes, that is exactly the point, that you don't make broad generalizations based on isolated cases. (What is the other thing entirely, in this case, is that the generalization itself is not even well-founded.)
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:51 PM
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I believe that religious websites are still number one at spreading computer viruses. If you're not willing to risk yourself by visiting friends and family, why are you at a church when a human virus is roaming around? Since the websites aren't clean, I wouldn't pass the collection basket in real life.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:23 PM
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Wow. Where to start. First off, the article says that 75% of its congregation didn't attend in person when they reopened. And it doesn't say anything about whether the infected families were part of the 25 percent or the 75. So, there's that, as a starting point. But the far, far more troubling notion is that someone would jump straight from correlation to causation here. if there's one thing I'd guess about families that attend a smallish church in a smallish town, which I'm assuming is what we're talking about here, it's that their lives are likely in some way intertwined. Like, maybe their kids play together, maybe they get together for cards on Saturday night, watch sports together on Sunday, that kind of thing. Hell, maybe they are even family. Don't cousins in Georgia often marry? Or maybe they work together at the same factory, or meat packing plant.

Point is, there's no way to tell from this article how the families got infected. The article also says the church did the whole social distancing thing in what sounds like a pretty rigorous way. I guess one might be of the point of view that even careful social distancing protocols and 75% reductions in capacity still don't make gatherings like this acceptable, and I do agree with the sentiment that it's attitudes like those that are doing more to harm right now than to help.

And yes, I agree completely with Carryon that if this is thought to be 'right on schedule' then we should line up the other in-person services from the same weekend, the ones that didn't make the paper because their familes aren't sick, and put them in the other column. You know, to be fair and all. And then let's see whose right about how reckless, or not, it really is.
I think the larger point is that while these people could have been, and almost certainly were, infected elsewhere, attending church offers the opportunity for the virus to spread. Which is the entire point of avoiding gatherings like this. Even if they had the best intentions and practices of keeping people 6 feet apart, having people gather for non-essential reasons opens the church to speculation and criticism.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:30 PM
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Yes, that is exactly the point, that you don't make broad generalizations based on isolated cases. (What is the other thing entirely, in this case, is that the generalization itself is not even well-founded.)
Which generalization is unfounded? That people gathered in larger groups tends to aid the spread of the virus? Or that it's impossible to know who carries a virus asymptomatically thus an abundance of caution is advisable when considering non-essential gatherings?

Keep in mind, the church is not being blamed for the virus. Only its spread in the community.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:33 PM
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I believe that religious websites are still number one at spreading computer viruses. If you're not willing to risk yourself by visiting friends and family, why are you at a church when a human virus is roaming around? Since the websites aren't clean, I wouldn't pass the collection basket in real life.
Cite? I've never even heard this claimed, let alone established. AFAIK the top sources of malware are porn and piracy. And a few minutes with Google seems to bear this out.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:40 PM
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This seems to please the OP, I also notice you fail to mention other churches which have opened yet not had a similar situation occur.

This is the problem when you cherry pick examples.
This is a valid rebuttal only if you are claiming that there is no causal connection between large groups of people gathering together in close proximity and the spread of contagious disease.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:47 PM
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...far more troubling notion is that someone would jump straight from correlation to causation here....
I'll grant that if there are reports that the church services were conducted under rigorous social distancing protocols, perhaps less harsh judgment is warranted. But it's hardly a "jump" to suggest that there's a causal connection between gathering in large groups and the spread of contagious disease. Whether or not the spread occurred at the church or at the supermarket, the church services increase the risk. Just as with cancer we can often not say definitively that one specific thing caused it, it's a question of risk factors. If large numbers of people start going back to mass religious services, that additional risk factor will cause harm, even if we can't pin down the causal chain in any specific instance.

Last edited by Riemann; 05-19-2020 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 05-19-2020, 02:09 PM
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Wow. Where to start. First off, the article says that 75% of its congregation didn't attend in person when they reopened. And it doesn't say anything about whether the infected families were part of the 25 percent or the 75. So, there's that, as a starting point. But the far, far more troubling notion is that someone would jump straight from correlation to causation here. if there's one thing I'd guess about families that attend a smallish church in a smallish town, which I'm assuming is what we're talking about here, it's that their lives are likely in some way intertwined. Like, maybe their kids play together,
They are not supposed to be doing that.
Quote:
maybe they get together for cards on Saturday night,
They are not supposed to be doing that.
Quote:
watch sports together on Sunday,
What sports?

Oh, and they are not supposed to be doing that.
Quote:
that kind of thing. Hell, maybe they are even family. Don't cousins in Georgia often marry? Or maybe they work together at the same factory, or meat packing plant.

Point is, there's no way to tell from this article how the families got infected. The article also says the church did the whole social distancing thing in what sounds like a pretty rigorous way. I guess one might be of the point of view that even careful social distancing protocols and 75% reductions in capacity still don't make gatherings like this acceptable, and I do agree with the sentiment that it's attitudes like those that are doing more to harm right now than to help.
What we can take from the article is that people who were infected with the virus went to church and exposed others. How many got infected by attending services vs going to the Satruday night card game is not relevant, what is relevant is that people with the virus came in contact with a large group of people that did not.
Quote:
And yes, I agree completely with Carryon that if this is thought to be 'right on schedule' then we should line up the other in-person services from the same weekend, the ones that didn't make the paper because their familes aren't sick, and put them in the other column.
For that to make sens,e you'd have to think that something about the church itself is causing the virus to spread. There is a pretty decent chance that if you go to church, that no one in attendance has it. If no one has it, then there is nothing to be spread. If anyone has it, then it can spread to all those they come into contact with.

Quote:
You know, to be fair and all. And then let's see whose right about how reckless, or not, it really is.
Talk about bias though, you ever notice that the media only talks about the accidents, and never covers all the drunk drivers that made it home safely?

Last edited by k9bfriender; 05-19-2020 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:10 PM
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I'll grant that if there are reports that the church services were conducted under rigorous social distancing protocols, perhaps less harsh judgment is warranted. But it's hardly a "jump" to suggest that there's a causal connection between gathering in large groups and the spread of contagious disease. Whether or not the spread occurred at the church or at the supermarket, the church services increase the risk. Just as with cancer we can often not say definitively that one specific thing caused it, it's a question of risk factors. If large numbers of people start going back to mass religious services, that additional risk factor will cause harm, even if we can't pin down the causal chain in any specific instance.
The implication, it seems to me, is that the church service resulted in a (pretty efficient, you may even say) spread that wouldn't have happened otherwise. Not there is some small risk that it did, but that it did. It's the kind of thinking that doesn't appreciate, as I heard it put recently, that closing a cinema in a little town in the middle of Iowa is not the same thing as closing a theater on Broadway. Yes, there is risk in everything that doesn't keep you in a bubble, but that doesn't give us license to start thinking we know things we don't know.
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Old 05-20-2020, 06:15 AM
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Even if they had the best intentions and practices of keeping people 6 feet apart, having people gather for non-essential reasons opens the church to speculation and criticism.
Non-essential to you, maybe. Perhaps there are people who see church services as an essential or the most essential part of their lives.
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Old 05-20-2020, 06:25 AM
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Non-essential to you, maybe. Perhaps there are people who see church services as an essential or the most essential part of their lives.
As Jesus said, we do not worship the Lord on this mountain or in Jerusalem, but in spirit and in truth.

Jesus also said to love your neighbor as yourself. To put your own need (such as it is) to meet with fellow believers under one roof ahead of the well-being of the larger community is doing quite the opposite.
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:34 AM
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Non-essential to you, maybe. Perhaps there are people who see church services as an essential or the most essential part of their lives.
Do these people not own radios or TVs? A computer? At any given moment, a person in need of a good ole churching-up can find what they're looking for by turning a dial, clicking the clicker, or hitting a button. There are also such things as prayer hotlines. And of course, if someone is that much of a devoted church member, they should be able to ring up Pastor if they need words of encouragement. That's what their tithes and offerings help to pay for.

There are all kinds of people who think non-essential things are actually essential. It is perfectly OK to judge these people negatively when their beliefs are putting other people's lives at risk.
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:06 AM
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Do these people not own radios or TVs? A computer? At any given moment, a person in need of a good ole churching-up can find what they're looking for by turning a dial, clicking the clicker, or hitting a button. There are also such things as prayer hotlines.
Now this, OTOH, is bullshit. "Good ole churching-up" isn't something you can just tune into on the radio, or get by clicking on a website. Church is about being part of a faith community, and none of these suggestions have anything to do with that. Church isn't something you receive; it's something you participate in.
Quote:
And of course, if someone is that much of a devoted church member, they should be able to ring up Pastor if they need words of encouragement. That's what their tithes and offerings help to pay for.
Better than nothing, I guess, but a more personalized one-to-many relationship still isn't a community.

Imagine, for instance, that this message board went down, and it was replaced (for paid members, anyway) by personalized messages of encouragement from Cecil Adams. Would you feel that was a meaningful replacement? Me either. But that's a pretty good equivalent of what you're suggesting.
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:27 AM
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Non-essential to you, maybe. Perhaps there are people who see church services as an essential or the most essential part of their lives.
Indeed, their hearts yearn for their church service. But, as Jermiah says, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?"

I think he meant that, if it is the wrong thing to do, then really,really wanting to do it doesn't magically transform it in to the right thing to do.
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:56 AM
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Now this, OTOH, is bullshit. "Good ole churching-up" isn't something you can just tune into on the radio, or get by clicking on a website. Church is about being part of a faith community, and none of these suggestions have anything to do with that. Church isn't something you receive; it's something you participate in.
You've got the nerve to lecture me about bullshit?! There are plenty of devoted Christians who cannot go to church, but they are still manage to participate in a faith community. Why do you think televangelists are so successful? Do you think the people who tune into the 700 Club every day aren't participating in something much bigger than themselves?

Quote:
Better than nothing, I guess, but a more personalized one-to-many relationship still isn't a community.

Imagine, for instance, that this message board went down, and it was replaced (for paid members, anyway) by personalized messages of encouragement from Cecil Adams.


I've never met Cecil Adams. I've never heard him speak. I don't know anything about him. So of course a personalized message from him wouldn't mean anything to me.

But Pastor is presumably someone a church-goer has met before. They've listened to his or her sermons every week. They've at least shaken his or her hand, if not full-on embraced them and invited them over for dinner. A regular church-goer (you know, the person who thinks church is essential) should have a personal connection to their pastor. If Pastor (or an associate minister) is someone they can't call up in times of spiritual crisis, then why the hell are they going to church?

My mother is an associate minister at her medium-sized church. Her phone has stayed busy over the past couple of months as her congregants have reached out to her for comfort and spiritual guidance. Do you really think it is reasonable to liken her to Cecil Adams? Do you really think that's how she sees herself? Do you think that's a fair, non-bullshit characterization?!

You've got to come up with a better analogy than that, bruh.
  #31  
Old 05-20-2020, 09:19 AM
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More church infections. This one comes in direction violation of the lockdown order in California.

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Public health officials in Butte County issued a strongly worded warning after a person who attended an in-person religious service on Mother’s Day tested positive for the coronavirus.
The person infected tested positive a day after the service. There were more than 180 attendees that all had to be notified by the government that they had been exposed.

The pastor said that he would never put people in harm's way. But he justified it by saying that getting together was essential. He took down the post and stopped answering questions about it later.

Quote:
“For 7 weeks we have been kept out of our church and away from our church family,” Jacobsen wrote in the post, which has since been deleted. “I am fully aware that some people may not understand that for our church it is essential to be together in fellowship.”
If any others in the congregation get the coronavirus, they'll be not getting together for a lot longer.

This next example comes from a livestreamed event. The people livestreaming didn't take the necessary precautions and got each other sick and then passed it on.

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Meanwhile, a livestreamed Mother’s Day church service in Northern California is being blamed for a cluster of coronavirus cases in Mendocino and Lake counties.
  #32  
Old 05-20-2020, 09:33 AM
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https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/canadi...ings-1.5570044

Seems relevant in this thread
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:34 AM
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I grew up Methodist, and was taught not to tempt the Lord. The Lord has given us knowledge on how the corona virus works. Church is wherever you and the Lord are together.

Why pile up in a building when God specifically says it’s not necessary?
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:40 AM
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Can anybody top this for "Imagine the COVID spread at a gathering, religious or otherwise?" WSJ article is behind a paywall for me, but here's an intriguing title:

Muslims Worry Coronavirus Will Prompt Saudi Arabia to Cancel This Year’s Hajj
The five-day religious event, which gathers millions of people in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca and other sites, is due to begin in late July

Bars (for example) are packed, but not with millions of people. People spend an evening in bars, not five days. And the people in bars are probably not from all over the world.

It seems only fair that if people are going to assert that one religious service is essential (e.g. a Sunday service at your local Baptist church), then this pilgrimage would be as well. IANA Muslim, but if I understand correctly, it's one of the five pillars---a very big deal to believers.
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:45 AM
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“For 7 weeks we have been kept out of our church and away from our church family,” Jacobsen wrote in the post, which has since been deleted. “I am fully aware that some people may not understand that for our church it is essential to be together in fellowship.”
I'm sorry, but if I can go months without hitting bars, y'all can go without church.
  #36  
Old 05-20-2020, 09:49 AM
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You've got the nerve to lecture me about bullshit?!
Well, I think you've got a lot of chutzpah to lecture me about Christianity.
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There are plenty of devoted Christians who cannot go to church, but they are still manage to participate in a faith community. Why do you think televangelists are so successful? Do you think the people who tune into the 700 Club every day aren't participating in something much bigger than themselves?
And if you think that's the same thing as attending church, I gotta wonder where you're coming from.
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I've never met Cecil Adams. I've never heard him speak. I don't know anything about him. So of course a personalized message from him wouldn't mean anything to me.
OK, make it TubaDiva. Whatever.

Quote:
But Pastor is presumably someone a church-goer has met before. They've listened to his or her sermons every week. They've at least shaken his or her hand, if not full-on embraced them and invited them over for dinner. A regular church-goer (you know, the person who thinks church is essential) should have a personal connection to their pastor. If Pastor (or an associate minister) is someone they can't call up in times of spiritual crisis, then why the hell are they going to church?
We aren't talking about a time of spiritual crisis. We're talking about a stand-in for ongoing participation in a community.

No, the occasional phone chat with the minister can't replace that. Not to mention, it's a bit much to ask the minister to be the only one everybody in the church is interacting with.

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My mother is an associate minister at her medium-sized church. Her phone has stayed busy over the past couple of months as her congregants have reached out to her for comfort and spiritual guidance.
Well, good for her. But I would HOPE that she's doing a bit more than that - that she's trying to help her congregation find alternative ways of connecting with each other during this time, like small-group Bible studies on Zoom or something.
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Do you really think it is reasonable to liken her to Cecil Adams? Do you really think that's how she sees herself? Do you think that's a fair, non-bullshit characterization?!
Like I said, try TubaDiva instead of Cecil. Whatever.

And OK, your mother's a minister, but don't take this quite so personally, OK?

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You've got to come up with a better analogy than that, bruh.
Sure, sis.
  #37  
Old 05-20-2020, 09:57 AM
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I'm sorry, but if I can go months without hitting bars, y'all can go without church.
Yeah, that's one more thing. Here you have a church - a community of people who profess some sort of spiritual connection with the Lord who created the Universe and everything in it.

One would hope they'd be a bit more resilient and less needy than the average person lacking such a connection, that they wouldn't need coddling and special treatment.
  #38  
Old 05-20-2020, 10:12 AM
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You've got the nerve to lecture me about bullshit?!

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Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
Well, I think you've got a lot of chutzpah to lecture me about Christianity.
Moderating

Dial it back, please.

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Last edited by Colibri; 05-20-2020 at 10:13 AM.
  #39  
Old 05-20-2020, 10:18 AM
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Moderating

Dial it back, please.

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Will do. Apologies.
  #40  
Old 05-20-2020, 10:40 AM
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Can anybody top this for "Imagine the COVID spread at a gathering, religious or otherwise?" WSJ article is behind a paywall for me, but here's an intriguing title:

Muslims Worry Coronavirus Will Prompt Saudi Arabia to Cancel This Year’s Hajj
The five-day religious event, which gathers millions of people in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca and other sites, is due to begin in late July

Bars (for example) are packed, but not with millions of people. People spend an evening in bars, not five days. And the people in bars are probably not from all over the world.

It seems only fair that if people are going to assert that one religious service is essential (e.g. a Sunday service at your local Baptist church), then this pilgrimage would be as well. IANA Muslim, but if I understand correctly, it's one of the five pillars---a very big deal to believers.
Saudi Arabia have been considering suspending the hajj for this year for a while. Unsurprisingly it's not a decision they will make lightly.
  #41  
Old 05-20-2020, 10:57 AM
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I'm sorry, but if I can go months without hitting bars, y'all can go without church.
Most excellent rebuttal!
  #42  
Old 05-20-2020, 10:59 AM
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Well, I think you've got a lot of chutzpah to lecture me about Christianity. And if you think that's the same thing as attending church, I gotta wonder where you're coming from.
Dude. Bro. I didn't say anything about anything being the same as going to church.

Gyms are closed. Some people would consider a gym work-out to be superior to whatever the workout they can get in their homes. I would not argue with them on that point. But if they argued that a gym workout was essential--one that cannot be approximated anywhere else--I would push back on that. And if they said it was "bullshit" to suggest that a person in need of a work-out avail themselves of workout videos, workout TV shows, and online exercise services in lieu of a gym, you better believe I would lecture them. Because that's crazy bananas.

Quote:
OK, make it TubaDiva. Whatever.
Analogies are not your strong suit, I see.

None of us know TubaDiva. She isn't our spiritual leader. We don't sit in front of her week after week, listening to her sage words. She doesn't know our (real) names. She knows little about us personally. We don't pay her salary, so she isn't duty-bound to address our emotional and spiritual needs.

Quote:
We aren't talking about a time of spiritual crisis. We're talking about a stand-in for ongoing participation in a community.
How is it that millions of people are still able to participate in their workplaces from their living rooms, but churchgoers aren't able to do this? They can't hold bible study through Zoom? They can't hold prayer circles through conference calls? Pastor can't deliver his sermons through live streaming on the church website? Parisioners can't call or IM other and fellowship via electrons? They have to be in the same physical room to be able to participate in their communities? Give me a break! That's nuts.

Just to reiterate: I'm not saying that these alternatives are just as good as church. I'm not saying they are better than church. But they enable millions of people who can't go to church still feel connected to their communities. If it works for these people, then there's no reason it can't work for everyone.

Quote:
Well, good for her. But I would HOPE that she's doing a bit more than that - that she's trying to help her congregation find alternative ways of connecting with each other during this time, like small-group Bible studies on Zoom or something. Like I said, try TubaDiva instead of Cecil. Whatever.
You keep saying "Whatever" but you keep posting stuff.

I don't know what bug crawled up your ass, but I wish you'd pull it out. I never discounted the value of church, so I'm not understanding the point you think you've made here. My point was that someone looking for church can get plenty of church without physically going to a church. And you think that's bullshit? I know I've made some controversial statements on the board in the past, but come the fuck on.
  #43  
Old 05-20-2020, 11:04 AM
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Moderating

Dial it back, please.

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I posted before seeing this. You will find that my tone is still harsh, but I will do better going forward. Sorry.
  #44  
Old 05-20-2020, 11:54 AM
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I posted before seeing this. You will find that my tone is still harsh, but I will do better going forward. Sorry.
Thanks. Yeah, your last post wasn't acceptable either. Keep it more civil going forward.
  #45  
Old 05-20-2020, 01:34 PM
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Dude. Bro. I didn't say anything about anything being the same as going to church.
Could you then please clarify what you meant by a "Good ole churching-up," as in "At any given moment, a person in need of a good ole churching-up can find what they're looking for by turning a dial, clicking the clicker, or hitting a button."

Maybe it's me, but it was hard for me to read that any other way than, 'if they need what they usually get from attending church,' they "can find what they're looking for by turning a dial, clicking the clicker, or hitting a button."
Quote:
Gyms are closed. Some people would consider a gym work-out to be superior to whatever the workout they can get in their homes. I would not argue with them on that point. But if they argued that a gym workout was essential--one that cannot be approximated anywhere else--I would push back on that. And if they said it was "bullshit" to suggest that a person in need of a work-out avail themselves of workout videos, workout TV shows, and online exercise services in lieu of a gym, you better believe I would lecture them.
Well, so would I. The important thing about the gym is the exercise. Many forms of gym exercise can easily be duplicated at home: one can go for a run, or get on one's bike, in lieu of a treadmill or stationary bike. Exercise around the house may not fully replace the machines at the gym, but it can certainly do so at least in part.

The important thing about church isn't "doing something religious-like," it's participation in a faith community. I was making the point that watching the 700 Club or calling Dial-A-Prayer is the former, not the latter, and doesn't replace a faith community at all. Calling your pastor is somewhere in between: your pastor may be the leader of your faith community, but s/he can't be the whole durn thing for you. These are not meaningful substitutes. I've got a bookshelf across the room with books by Thomas Merton, Madeleine L'Engle, C.S. Lewis, Rowan Williams, and even a few Bibles. Reading them is spiritually uplifting, but they don't in any way substitute for a faith community either.

This doesn't mean that the congregants must physically be present at the church building. In this day and age, there are innumerable substitutes for that that allow for personal interaction and building of bonds between believers. I gave the example of small group Bible studies on Zoom, but there are others of various online generations, going all the way back to antique community discussion fora like this one.

The important thing is that being in the same room is not the essence of community, just like being at the gym is not the essence of exercise, and there are abundant ways of maintaining a community nowadays that don't involve being in a room together, just like there have always been abundant ways to exercise without going to a gym.
Quote:
How is it that millions of people are still able to participate in their workplaces from their living rooms, but churchgoers aren't able to do this? They can't hold bible study through Zoom?
Um, see post #36.

Quote:
They can't hold prayer circles through conference calls? Pastor can't deliver his sermons through live streaming on the church website? Parisioners can't call or IM other and fellowship via electrons? They have to be in the same physical room to be able to participate in their communities? Give me a break! That's nuts.
See post #26.

I was disagreeing with your original set of examples of things that you regarded substitutes for church. I was not claiming that none existed, and I was not suggesting that they should be allowed to physically meet in numbers that others aren't allowed to. Those examples were a mismatch, like substituting a strand of spaghetti for an electrical wire because they look sort of the same: the spaghetti isn't just a poor substitute for the wire, offering it as a substitute misses the whole point of what the electrical wire does. It's not just a poor substitute; it can't substitute at all. Your latest set of examples is all about people being able to communicate and share with each other. Whether they're good or bad substitutes, they are substitutes for physically worshiping together; it's just a matter of degree. The 700 Club is not a substitute at all for faith community, any more than my bookshelf with Merton et al on it can be.

I think we're basically in agreement. I hope you understand now what I was disagreeing with you about, and why.

Last edited by RTFirefly; 05-20-2020 at 01:37 PM.
  #46  
Old 05-20-2020, 01:49 PM
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Non-essential to you, maybe. Perhaps there are people who see church services as an essential or the most essential part of their lives.
Note that the Pope goes along with social distancing, and no services in groups.

It's always nice to have a religious leader that believes in Science, also.
  #47  
Old 05-20-2020, 02:23 PM
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Could you then please clarify what you meant by a "Good ole churching-up," as in "At any given moment, a person in need of a good ole churching-up can find what they're looking for by turning a dial, clicking the clicker, or hitting a button."
Why are you so confused by this?!

If someone told me they need to work out but they can't go to the gym, do you think it would be bullshit for me to say, "Hey, if you need a good ole work-out, you can do stuff at home with some basic props?" Because that's all I was saying, except in the context of religion.

Now, if you want a gym experience, you will only find that at the gym. You aren't going to be able to simulate a true gym experience in a tiny efficiency apartment, watching a Jane Fond aerobics tape. But if you just need to workout, you can do get that anywhere as long as you are resourceful enough. You don't need a gym just to get in good physical shape. Plenty of people are physically fit and they don't go to the gym.

Similarly, if you need a good ole churching up (praise and worship, sermon, praying), you can find what you are looking for on radio, TV, and internet. If you want the experience of sitting in a church pew, then yeah, you're only going to be able to get that at a church. But most people would consider pew-sitting secondary to praise, worship, prayer, and wisdom. Praise, worship, prayer, and listening to wisdom are essential for churchgoers. Pew-sitting really isn't. It's a "want", not a "need".

Why is what I said so controversial? And why are you disagreeing so much with me when I'm only echoing what others have said? This post is going to be it for me. You came at me aggressively for no good reason, and it still has me feeling quite pissy. And I don't want to get another warning.
  #48  
Old 05-20-2020, 04:02 PM
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I find it interesting that some people are using the idea of community as a reason for allowing these large in person church services.

Because communities are about something bigger than the individuals involved. And the idea of making personal sacrifices to protect the weakest and most vulnerable members of your group goes to the heart of the idea of community.

There is one thing that happens in large churches that can’t be duplicated online. And that’s the passing of the collection plate, the very public and visible donations. I imagine that goes to heart of the motivations of some of these houses of worship, especially the large mega churches.
  #49  
Old 05-20-2020, 05:40 PM
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Why are you so confused by this?!

If someone told me they need to work out but they can't go to the gym, do you think it would be bullshit for me to say, "Hey, if you need a good ole work-out, you can do stuff at home with some basic props?" Because that's all I was saying, except in the context of religion.
I know what a workout is.

Not only have I never heard this 'churching-up' expression from my wife or Southern Baptist in-laws in the three decades we've been family, but Google doesn't turn it up either, with or without the 'good ole.'

That's why I'm confused about this expression.
  #50  
Old 05-20-2020, 08:03 PM
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Here is what Urban Dictionary has to say about church it up:

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to make something appear better or nicer than it actually is.
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