"This is what a luke warm church sounds like...sad to see a Church of God promoting the end time pharmakiea that deceives the nation's and makes the merchants of the world rich.
Revelation is being fulfilled befor your eyes and you praise the beast that is rising.
GOD help you when the False prophet and Lawless one arise."
CGI’s Civil War Continues!
The Church of God International recently posted another article by Jeff Reed about his personal experiences with Covid-19 on their website
and on their Facebook homepage
. In the article, Mr. Reed wrote: “I’ve been in isolation since testing positive for Covid last week. I am blessed to be vaccinated, so my symptoms were very mild. My God-given immune system had a blueprint for defeating this pathogen quickly. It felt like a head cold except less of an inconvenience. Head colds usually stay with me for up to two weeks, and this infection was gone in a day and a half. I continually praise God for His guidance and protection in my life. Understanding His Word can help us avoid and mitigate a lot of problems we face in life.”
He went on to share his reasoning for self-isolating: “I’m in isolation because it has been confirmed that a small percentage of vaccinated individuals can get mildly infected with the Delta variant and be contagious to others. I am one of those individuals, and I want to do all I can to protect those vulnerable to sickness and death. In the past few weeks, Covid has hit many hard in the Church of God. Many CGI congregations have also been affected.”
Readers will recall that Pastor Bill Watson’s Medina, Ohio congregation was hit particularly hard by the virus and has been at the center of the storm over Covid-19 within the church. In fact, the reaction to Mr. Reed’s last article was so negative from that direction (Ohio) that the elder decided to take a much softer and more humorous stance in this post.
He continued: “As an elder in the Church, I have no expertise or business giving anyone medical advice. We believe the choice to receive medical care or vaccination is solely left up to the individual. I did speak to a Church elder who is a medical professional, and his warning to the Church of God is to take this Delta variant seriously. It is very contagious and is spreading quickly among the unvaccinated population of our country.” This comment was followed by a retelling of the joke about the man in the house in the midst of a flood who refused the help of a jeep, boat and helicopter that God had sent to rescue him (all the time professing his faith that God would save him).
However, even with this softer voice and a touch of humor, the rancor from the other side was not restrained. The most virulent comments appeared on Facebook. One commentator wrote: “I am out, I have been following the Church of God International for over 25 years … God I pray for the Christ followers all over the world, to See what is happening. God bless” Another wrote: “Amen, I am not taking their shot!! I am almost 65 years old, praise God, If more would trust in god and put their faith and trust in him and his hands!! There would be no sicknesses or diseases!! Praise the Lord, he is the only truth, way and light in this dark world! He is the true life, unto man!! We are only passing through. With his blood covering us!! I praise you JESUS!! And I thank you for your protection!! Amen!!”
And, if those comments weren’t bad enough, there were many more in the thread that were even more egregious! One man wrote: “This is what a lukewarm church sounds like...sad to see a Church of God promoting the end time pharmakiea that deceives the nation's and makes the merchants of the world rich. Revelation is being fulfilled before your eyes and you praise the beast that is rising. GOD help you when the False prophet and Lawless one arise.” Another lady observed: “Read Psalm 91. God is our healer. One has no idea how they would have dealt with covid without the vaccine. Doctors have told me all my life there is nothing you can do for a virus but let it run its course. The vaccine is NOT stopping people from getting covid any more than mask wearing is.” And this one was priceless: “I THOUGHT THE SABBATH KEEPING CHURCHS OF GOD WERE INSTRUCTING BREATHEREN NOT TO TAKE MURDERED, WEE ABORTED BABYS TISSUES, /// VACINES INTO THERE BODYS.......” (Many of the spelling and grammatical errors were retained to demonstrate the level of the discourse on the topic).
Poor Jeff! My own thoughts and comments were a little different from the ones quoted above. The comments which I posted on CGI’s website were as follows:
“May God speed your complete recovery from the infection, and may He bless you for your care and concern for those around you. I very much enjoyed that joke you related - it has been around in various forms for many years, and the spiritual lesson is sound. Our faith must allow for whatever means God chooses to address our needs, and we must be willing to admit that God's help may not always arrive in the way that we expected it to appear. God's thinking is superior to ours, and we must not fall into the trap of trying to make/imagine Him in our own image (we are a reflection of Him, not vice versa).
Opinions are great - everybody has them, but truth is supreme! God expects Christians to be humble and care for each other. Moreover, as long as the laws and demands of human government do not contradict God's laws and will, the New Testament makes plain (Christ and Paul) that God expects His people to respect and follow those dictates. God also makes clear in Scripture that He expects His people to take care of themselves and exhibit proper care and concern for those around them.
Public health measures (vaccines, masks, distancing, cleaning) are designed to mitigate the impact of disease - not to curtail rights or freedoms. Moreover, our failure to follow that guidance may be symptomatic of attitudes that are inappropriate in a Christian (willfulness, rebellion, haughtiness). There are numerous things that governments do to protect their citizens from harm (like requiring them to stop, yield or wear seat belts when riding in a car). We can refuse to follow those directives, but a number of very negative consequences may follow (like citations, crashes, injury, or death).
You are to be commended for the good example which you have set in this matter - an example that is consistent with sound Christian theology and teachings. Likewise, Mr. Vance Stinson is to be commended for giving voice to your perspective. I hope and pray that ALL of our brothers and sisters in Christ will take note of these examples and follow them. May God continue to bless us and help us through this current scourge.”
At any rate, let’s hope that the common sense and Christian love exhibited by Mr. Reed and Mr. Stinson prevails in CGI. The physical and spiritual lives of their membership may depend on it!