I’ve been reading about the nutso preachers who are insisting on holding church services right in the middle of a pandemic. I’ve also seen the claims by a few television preachers that they’ve issued some sort of hocus pocus plague prevention rebuke to the virus.
I believe completely that God answers prayers. But I also believe without doubt that God is not at the service of charlatans and hucksters who are using people’s faith in Christ to feed their egos and fatten their wallets.
So far as I’m concerned, these men are charlatans. I am not interested in talking about them because God is real and I’m quite certain that He will deal with them in due time. In the meantime, the best thing we can do — and the most effective repudiation we can heap on them — is to simply ignore them.
At the same time that these few charlatans are getting all the attention, almost all Christians of every denomination are doing the right thing. We are staying home and praying for this to pass. Almost all Christian denominations are shutting down services during this most holy time of the year in order to save lives and stop the spread of the virus.
They are walking the walk of faith and service to the common good in a real life way. I am a Catholic, so I want to say that I am particularly grateful to and proud of my bishops for their faith-filled trust in God during this time.
They have done a magnificent job of shutting down the public mass while continuing to say the mass daily. They have provided us with internet access to mass on a daily, even hourly, basis.
I honestly believe that the only reason why some Catholics are making a fuss and trying to cause trouble over the temporary cessation of public mass is that they are trying to attract attention to themselves; either that, or they are using the situation as a political organizing tool for future power moves.
Anyone with half a brain knows that the bishops are doing the right thing and that they are doing it very, very well. I support them. I thank them. And I’m proud of them.
Almost all other Christians have the same reasons to be proud of their religious leaders. American Christianity has responded to this crisis with intelligence and generosity. Our religious leaders are doing their best to provide spiritual guidance during these difficult times. They are doing it without risking our lives.
They are doing their part.
We Christians have no reason to hang our heads in shame because there are a few showmen out there who would rather make the news than do their part to save lives. These guys are bad guys. If you remember them at all, remember that the next time they speak out — and they will — about some political issue.
I made a list of the various denominations that I personally know. I checked their websites to be sure that they were not holding public services during this pandemic. I’m sure you know many others.
A number of the denominations on this list are affiliations. They do not have the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church. In several of them, the local church provides its own governance.
For that reason, there may be exceptions in terms of behavior. The local church on the block may have a nutty preacher who has decided to hold services. But from what I’ve seen, every member of these affiliations around my vicinity is closed for the duration of the pandemic.
One of the most moving parts of compiling this list was looking at the websites and reading about the wonderful, life-giving and life-enhancing ministries each of these denominations engages in. I don’t know of any other group of institutions where you could find such a concentration of goodness and desire to love and help other people.
Being “Easter people” is not a one day deal folks. It goes on all year long.
Go to some of these web sites and look at the wonderful work our brothers and sisters in Christ are doing. This is love with feet, faith with works. It is the Body of Christ, doing its best to be Christ in the world today.