This is an exchange on my Facebook page with Timothy Flanders, who appeared in the videos with Taylor Marshall, that I critiqued in my paper, Taylor Marshall: Pachamama “Idolatry” Judged by Coronavirus (Yet “Antichrist” Pope Francis Walks the Streets of Pandemic-Ravaged Rome Free of the Virus . . .) [3-17-20]. His words will be in blue. Any further replies from him will be added to this paper.
If I understand you correctly here, you have selectively quoted the OT, making your argument lack force, and sound more like a hit piece, with due respect. David asks God your exact question in the OT passage from II Kings that we discussed in this video.
24:17 And David said to the Lord, when he saw the angel striking the people: It is I; I am he that have sinned, I have done wickedly: these that are the sheep, what have they done? let thy hand, I beseech thee, be turned against me, and against my father’s house.
Again, if I’ve understood your argument correctly, this verse alone disproves your entire argumentation in this article. You contend that Marshall and myself have to explain why the Holy Father is not stricken with the virus but Alexander is, yet David himself asks this very question in the context of God’s wrath.
As I noted, these observations are only a tiny portion of my entire writing on the topic of both God’s judgment and disease. I’ve written many articles on both. I also stated that “the overall picture: taking all of the Bible into account, is far more complex and multi-faceted” and “I want to highlight one particular aspect of Marshall’s claims” [bolding presently]. I also cited you [from the videos], to be totally fair about this, saying, “This falls on many innocent souls who had nothing to do with any of this stuff.”
So I understand that. The main disagreement here is between you and Marshall and myself, along with all who believe in biblical inspiration, over against the modernist and liberal so-called Bible scholars.
My case here remains utterly unaffected by this critique, because it is of a particular nature. I think I explained it well enough (of course I always think that!). But to concisely summarize:
1) Taylor Marshall appealed to the OT teaching on judgment (mocking those who dismiss it), to explain and interpret the coronavirus.
2) He specifically applied it to the current situation as a judgment against the alleged “Pachamama” idolatry.
[claiming it is divine wrath, and that it’s because of the Vatican ceremony, are both sheer speculations]
3) I agree with this OT teaching on divine wrath, as one article of mine in particular, proves.
4) A key part of this judgment motif is that God (typically, but not always) judges individuals and groups for the sins that they themselves have committed. He “singles them out,” in other words.
5) #4 doesn’t fit the current state of affairs, under Marshall’s hypothesis (#2), insofar as the ones guilty of the alleged idolatry that is supposedly the initiating cause of the alleged divine judgment and wrath (especially Pope Francis) seem to be undergoing no great suffering.
6) On the other hand, the person most known for opposing the alleged idolatry (which in fact did not take place, as shown ad infinitum), Alexander Tschugguel, has himself contacted the virus.
This makes no sense under the paradigm you have set up. In effect, God would be judging the “Jeremiah” that He Himself has sent to warn about the coming judgment. Marshall mentioned in the video about the Jews being judged via the Babylonians, and losing their temple. Who was warning them about it? That was Jeremiah the prophet. And who is warning us today? Supposedly, the heroic Alexander Tschugguel, who fearlessly (after committing an act of theft) disposed of the alleged idols, Boniface-and Elijah-like.
Scripture teaches that in particular judgments, the ones committing the sins are judged; not the ones warning about the sins.
7) Therefore, the hypothesis of #2 (taking into account #4, which is entailed by #1), appears to be falsified, by Marshall’s own OT criterion.
8) Moreover, you two have argued that the cessation of Masses in Rome is part of God’s judgment for “Pachamama”. Thus, you yourself make a particular application of judgment in that case, yet you want to make an exception or create an “anomaly” when it comes to Alexander over against Pope Francis and all the other alleged wicked, apostate, heretical bishops.
Why? Extreme presumption and internal incoherence and inconsistency rule the day. I think you have to go back and reconsider your several false premises to see where your reasoning has gone awry.
I’m glad you brought up King David. In this instance, he did not suffer, and his people did. Sometimes that is how it is in Scripture. But of course, in the case of David’s murder and adultery, he did suffer terribly. One son died and another led a rebellion against him. Many other kings were struck down by God because of their sins.
So why wouldn’t God do this with Pope Francis, if he is so terrible?
I won’t even get into how utterly ridiculous it is to classify the temporary shutting-down of churches in a country [Italy] which currently has 35,713 coronavirus cases (the second-highest figure after China), with 2,978 dead so far (475 more since yesterday), in order to stop the spread of a super-infectious virus, as “God’s wrath.”
In fact, this is simply following biblical injunctions from the Mosaic Law, which indeed stopped the spread of infectious diseases 3000 years before modern science figured out germ theory and the laws of contagion.
If they didn’t do this during the Black Death, it was because they had no idea of how it was spread. It wasn’t necessarily heroic faith, but it had to do far more with massive ignorance.
A reasonable interpretation of the alarming spread in Italy is to note the fact that it has the third oldest average age in Europe, after Monaco and Germany (which is presently fifth in the world in numbers of infections), and the sixth-oldest population in the entire world.
We know that Coronavirus attacks older people exponentially more than young (virtually every one of the now 100+ victims in the US are over 50: most over 60, and the bulk of those 70 and older).
So the sensible and obvious thing to do is to stop public gatherings as much as possible, and that includes Masses. That’s not God’s wrath or “self-interdiction.” It’s a straightforward application of loving our neighbor, so that they won’t die from viral infection.
How is Alexander doing now? Have you heard news of any improvement yet?
[ received no reply, so I inquired on the Internet:
Alexander Tschugguel, 26, of Vienna, Austria, . . . has been hospitalized today due to having contracted the coronavirus.
Alexander has been at home in bed with fever for nine days and is very weak. He texted me yesterday only to say he was too weak to speak. Today, he was admitted to hospital, and first reports suggest that his life is not in danger. [3-18-20 on a reactionary site]
I had asked my readers to pray for him in my previous paper, and added: “Let’s continue praying. It sounds like he has some serious immune deficiency problems.” Then I found a message straight from Alexander himself:
After so many of you already know about my state of health I wanted to thank you all deeply for all the prayers and support I get.
It is now day 11 with the virus and up until now it did not get any better. After I have been in home quarantine until yesterday morning my wife and I decided that it got worse and that I have to go to the hospital. Now I am here and they take good care of me. Please continue to pray! Especially for the ones who got hit by the Virus as hard as me or even harder but who can not have all this help and this support. Let us always pray for the sick and old, for the ones who do not have families or friends which take care of them.
As soon as I am healthy again, God willing, I will write another update here.
Christ will win!
I am sorry that I can not answer your private messages right now. It is too much.
Please continue to keep him in prayer]
Here is some more data about how God judges. According to Taylor Marshall and Timothy Flanders, coronavirus is His wrath for supposed idolatry in the Vatican, in the tree-planting ceremony. It would be very difficult to prove such a thing, but let’s accept it for a moment, for the sake of argument. It would mean that our loving God, Who became a man and died on the cross on our behalf, decided in His wrath to afflict (as of the latest statistics), over 222,000 people; 9,115 of them fatally, because of one ceremony in the Vatican (which I strongly believe — and have proven by fact and reason, many times –, was wildly and wrongly misinterpreted, and lied about by reactionaries, in violation of the Ten Commandments).
These figures include 8,154 cases in China, including 3,249 deaths, or 36% of all fatalities. Yet what would China have to do with a ceremony in the Vatican? That is not how God’s judgment works! I’ve already noted above the current figure for Italy, which has 33% of all fatalities. We now know that, according to a Bloomberg article (3-18-20):
More than 99% of Italy’s coronavirus fatalities were people who suffered from previous medical conditions, according to a study by the country’s national health authority. . . .
The Rome-based institute has examined medical records of about 18% of the country’s coronavirus fatalities, finding that just three victims, or 0.8% of the total, had no previous pathology. Almost half of the victims suffered from at least three prior illnesses and about a fourth had either one or two previous conditions.
More than 75% had high blood pressure, about 35% had diabetes and a third suffered from heart disease.
The median age of the infected is 63 but most of those who die are older . . . The average age of those who’ve died from the virus in Italy is 79.5. As of March 17, 17 people under 50 had died from the disease. All of Italy’s victims under 40 have been males with serious existing medical conditions.
So, please note what this entails: we’re told that God is judging via the coronavirus. The biggest sin and alleged precipitating cause for this occurred in Italy. But did God go after the very ones who allegedly committed it (the pope, cardinals, bishops, and those who agreed with their acts?). No, not at all. Instead (in Taylor Marshall’s absurd scenario), God looked around for elderly people (average age of the dead: 79.5 years), and particularly those who already had two or three other diseases (high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease), and killed them, up to the tune of 33% of all worldwide fatalities. These are the people God in His omnipotence and providence decided to judge and kill by His wrath. That is supposedly just and loving.
Another of Taylor Marshall’s blasphemous theories is that God is also judging because the pope (so he pontificates) abandoned Chinese Christians. So who does God go after in retribution for that? Not Pope Francis, the alleged perpetrator, but . . . the Chinese (!): most of whom, no doubt (i.e., among the victims), are not even Christians: 3,249 deaths there, and 36% of all fatalities. That’s God’s judgment and wrath, you see! Does that make any sense? Of course not. It’s equal parts outrageous and absurd. It’s certainly not consistent with the God revealed in the inspired revelation of the Bible.
This is not only outrageously false and unbiblical, but literally blasphemous (how ironic, in the midst of a false charge that the pope and bishops were supposedly committing sacrilegious idolatry). If this is the nature of the God Whom Christians serve, count me out. I’m gone yesterday. Thankfully, it is not the God I know and the true God revealed in the Bible. He is fair and just in His judgments: terrible though they may sometimes seem from our perspective. If He judges a nation, it’s because most of the entire nation has gone astray, and are ripe for judgment, as part of the collective.
God used the Babylonians to judge even the Jews, the chosen people, after they massively engaged in idolatry and other sins and abandoned Him (Jeremiah chapters 49-52). But He also judged Babylon:
Isaiah 14:22-23 (RSV) “I will rise up against them,” says the LORD of hosts, “and will cut off from Babylon name and remnant, offspring and posterity, says the LORD.  And I will make it a possession of the hedgehog, and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction, says the LORD of hosts.”
Nations who opposed Israel became incorrigibly wicked, and God judged them:
Isaiah 19:17 And the land of Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians; every one to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the purpose which the LORD of hosts has purposed against them.Isaiah 30:31 The Assyrians will be terror-stricken at the voice of the LORD, when he smites with his rod.
Isaiah 34:5, 9 For my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens; behold, it descends for judgment upon Edom, upon the people I have doomed. . . .  And the streams of Edom shall be turned into pitch, and her soil into brimstone; her land shall become burning pitch.
Jeremiah 47:1, 4 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the Philistines, before Pharaoh smote Gaza.. . .  because of the day that is coming to destroy all the Philistines, to cut off from Tyre and Sidon every helper that remains. For the LORD is destroying the Philistines, the remnant of the coastland of Caphtor.
Ezekiel 25:2-3 “Son of man, set your face toward the Ammonites, and prophesy against them.  Say to the Ammonites, Hear the word of the Lord GOD: Thus says the Lord GOD, Because you said, `Aha!’ over my sanctuary when it was profaned, and over the land of Israel when it was made desolate, and over the house of Judah when it went into exile;
This is what God does: He judges wicked nations (including His own chosen people, several times). When virtually the whole world became wicked in the time of Noah, He judged it, too. What He doesn’t do, on the other hand, is judge people who had nothing to do with one alleged sin, for that sin. He judges individuals or relatively smaller groups for their own sins, as I documented last time. Here are a few more examples:
2 Kings 9:33-37 He said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down; and some of her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses, and they trampled on her.  Then he went in and ate and drank; and he said, “See now to this cursed woman, and bury her; for she is a king’s daughter.”  But when they went to bury her, they found no more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands.  When they came back and told him, he said, “This is the word of the LORD, which he spoke by his servant Eli’jah the Tishbite, `In the territory of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jez’ebel;  and the corpse of Jez’ebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the territory of Jezreel, so that no one can say, This is Jez’ebel.'”
Jeremiah 29:21-22 `Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning Ahab the son of Kola’iah and Zedeki’ah the son of Ma-asei’ah, who are prophesying a lie to you in my name: Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadrez’zar king of Babylon, and he shall slay them before your eyes.  Because of them this curse shall be used by all the exiles from Judah in Babylon: “The LORD make you like Zedeki’ah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire,”
Acts 5:1-10 But a man named Anani’as with his wife Sapphi’ra sold a piece of property,  and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles’ feet.  But Peter said, “Anani’as, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land?  While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”  When Anani’as heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear came upon all who heard of it.  The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.  After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.  And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.”  But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Hark, the feet of those that have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.”  Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
1 Corinthians 11:27-30 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.  Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.  That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.
Revelation 2:12-16 “And to the angel of the church in Per’gamum write: `The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.  “`I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; you hold fast my name and you did not deny my faith even in the days of An’tipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.  But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice immorality.  So you also have some who hold the teaching of the Nicola’itans.  Repent then. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth.
I simply can’t find in the Bible a “judgement” or “wrath” such as Taylor Marshall and Timothy Flanders posit in the present case. There are plenty of very widespread sins that God might conceivably judge (and on a very wide scale): abortion, homosexual acts, economic exploitation, making riches or power into an idol, pornography, sexual trafficking, drug dealing, sexual abuse, terrorism, racial and ethnic prejudice, sexism, on and on and on. He could incinerate the United States to ashes in the next hour and we could say nothing in our defense: due to abortion alone; not even getting into many other serious sins we commit and even sanction by unjust, immoral laws. It would be perfectly just for Him to do so.
But none of that is mentioned when Marshall and Flanders talk about God’s wrath: only one ceremony which they (along with legions of reactionaries) never understood in the first place; which was a Catholic ceremony, without any idolatry at all. See my many articles regarding it. Such are so many falsehoods currently being spread about Pope Francis. May God open the eyes and have mercy on the souls of those who broadcast them, unwillingly or willingly.
Ecclesiastes 10:20 Even in your thought, do not curse the king, . . .
Titus 3:1-2 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for any honest work,  to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all men.
Acts 23:1-5 And Paul, looking intently at the council, said, “Brethren, I have lived before God in all good conscience up to this day.”  And the high priest Anani’as commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth.  Then Paul said to him, “God shall strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?”  Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God’s high priest?”  And Paul said, “I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, `You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”
Explanation of Coronavirus Statistics (Dr. JD Donovan) [3-26-20]
Mini-Debate on Laying Blame for Lack of Knowledge of Coronavirus, and Irresponsibility (vs. Jon Curry) [Facebook, 4-5-20]
Photo credit: Queen Jezebel Being Punished by Jehu, by Andrea Celesti (1637-1712) [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]