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48 Responses

  1. Babylon's Dread says:

    There are no known cases of the virus in my state. We have reached the time when parents routinely keep their families home during flu season because of infection. I am one who typically grouses about us weakening our kids by protecting them. I grouse about the fact that the immune system strengthens by being challenged. Usually however, I do not complain in the pulpit as — infectious disease is not in my lane.

    This weekend is Lord’s Supper usually, what to do? I am getting the questions about it. It is shocking to my system. To serve or to delay. Of course my liturgical friends face this weekly. So what advise can I find here? On top of all that – we are a healing church with many who believe the atonement covers healing — (I’m not up for that debate) I am up for input.

    Finally, and just because it is on my mind. Anyone have systematic theology texts that you favor. Assume that I have the most popular and obvious choices. I am always interested in this field and in new texts and yes, old ones that I might have missed.

    Your input is desired.

    My plan so far is just to say that there is nothing to respond to in my high desert haven until there is. So for me life goes on as per usual. However there is an infectious disease expert in our midst and the alarms are sounding from that source.

    Fear is fearful. Fear is contagious. Fear is the near kin of death. Rev. 21: 8 But the fearful (deilos)… ok that’s a sidetrack – I know it is not the common word for fear.

  2. Michael says:

    BD,

    Unless you drink from a common cup there shouldn’t be an issue with communion.
    If you do, sacramental theology in my tradition says that both the body and blood are present in each element…some may prefer to take only the bread.

    Systematic theologies are only good if you have a system to defend…I still say that Ramsey’s “Gospel and the Catholic Church” is the best representation of where my tribe starts.

    I am prudent and cautious…I have bad lungs and a failing heart.
    I am not fearful, but I choose to model wisdom.

  3. Babylon's Dread says:

    Thank you Michael,

    I don’t actually have Ramsey to my shame – remedy in process.

  4. Jean says:

    I have a very good theological treatment of a Christian’s duty during a plague or epidemic, with an emphasis on vocation, such as pastor, health care professionals, and civil servants, written by Martin Luther, in response to questions sent to him when Wittenberg was hit with the plague in 1527. I think he answers almost any question and scenario we are facing today. If anyone is interested, I can send it to Michael.

  5. Em says:

    If i knew the preparers wore gloves, didn’t cough or sneeze or even breathe on the cup or wafer…. But common cup or trays passed among those gathered…. A test of faith indeed…
    Can you say that you displease God, if you don’t and you give a poor testimony? Or. Can one score points for being prudent?
    I guess i would have to declare that, since i don’t know the strength of the faith of each congregant, i would protect the weaker… Is that rationaluzing? Dunno.. Do i? 😟. sorry – sigh

  6. Babylon’s Dread says:

    Jean

    Send to babylonthegreatfallen@newlifecity.org

    Thanks

  7. Jean says:

    BD,

    I sent the letter to from two different email addresses and both came back undeliverable from the email address you provided.

  8. Michael says:

    Jean,
    Send it to me and I’ll get it to him.

  9. Jean says:

    Thank you Michael.

  10. Babylon's Dread says:

    Jean,

    I was out and about and made a mess of that.

  11. Jean says:

    Not a problem.

  12. Duane Arnold says:

    BD

    The Episcopal Diocese of New York sent out information last week which I have shared with several clergy. Basically they do not consider intinction to be a good idea, as multiple fingers come in contact with the chalice. That leaves communicating with one element (consecrated bread) or the chalice with proper use of a purificator and alcohol based wine. The passing of the peace may also be done liturgically without physical contact (shaking hands, hugs, etc.).

    PS – First reported case in Indiana a few miles away from me. The governor is set to declare a state of emergency to get CDC assistance.

  13. Dan from Georgia says:

    Since this is Open Blogging and in light of the tornadoes in Tennessee, I will put this out there…

    For those here that live in the southeastern U.S., please be aware that nighttime and early morning tornadoes are not all that uncommon and they cause a disproportionate number of fatalities in relation to daytime tornadoes.

    This is in contrast to what you typically see on the news about tornadoes in “tornado alley” (generally considered to extend from north Texas northward to Nebraska), where afternoon and early evening present the most risk to life and property.

    For those here that call areas from Louisiana and Arkansas east to the Carolinas home, get access to National Weather Service warnings. Outdoor civil defense sirens may fail from power outages during the storm. Your best bet is a battery powered weather radio and a phone app or two from a trusted and consistent vendor.

    And lastly, for comparison, Oklahoma City’s most recent destructive tornadoes (1998 and 2013) occurred in the afternoon and evening hours. Georgia’s most deadly tornado hit Gainesville just around sunrise.

    Brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Meteorologist Dan from Georgia.

  14. Michael says:

    Dan,

    Good stuff!
    I have dear friends who just dealt with this in Nashville…

  15. bob1 says:

    White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CNBC that American workers should “stay at work” despite the coronavirus outbreak.

    Instead of “let them eat cake,” I guess it’s “let them die.”

    Well, Larry, millions and millions of workers, especially those in low-paying jobs, really don’t have a choice, now, do they?

    Honest to God, I’ve never run into such a tone-deaf group as this
    current bunch. No knowledge of the average citizen.

  16. Jean says:

    bob1,

    It’s the manage by hunch bunch.

  17. Em says:

    Quick drive by to urge taking Vit D 3 (up to 10,00 units daily)
    it, if i’ve got this right, strengthens the cell walls giving your system extra protection – i received some articles written by a virologist with stong bona fides … can’t copy link on this small tablet… But when i get to my Mac i can, if anyone interested

  18. Dan from Georgia says:

    Michael,

    Thanks. Me too…I have a friend who lives in the Nashville area and spent about an hour in his basement that night.

  19. Em says:

    For the record, the government has said that if you have symptoms, call hospital or doctor for instructions and, if you can’t pay, the government will pay for your treatment
    Kudlow isn’t in the loop…. Most bean counters are myopic

  20. bob1 says:

    If Kudlow isn’t in the loop, then what about Melania?

    She’s crowing about her new tennis pavilion right now. As people are worried
    about their health and futures.

    Like I said…tone-deaf.

    And…I don’t trust anything our current administration says..if you do, you’re
    a damned fool.

    I guess it might have something to do with the 15000+ lies our “commander in chief” has uttered. Trust has to be earned…this is a total FAIL.

  21. Em says:

    bob1, not trying to educate you. 😇. Sorry
    Hope i’m not a damned fool… LOL
    Quite a few medical people in my family and they have all been quite concerned about this new virus from the first – no panic, but seriously taking precautions – wish the hospitals up here (run by business models) had done so
    Stay well and God keep. 🙏

  22. Em says:

    bob, o could relate some stories that would curl your hair, but i ain’t gonna…. From your link i read that Congress originally wouldn’t allocate the necessary funds to stockpile testing supplies
    I am sure we differ on this, but i see our burgeoning bureaucracy form of government as a big handicap – overpaid and under qualified
    “The times they ARE a changin” … No doubt. 😐

  23. bob1 says:

    Be very careful right now who you listen to WRT coronavirus news. It could be a matter of
    life and death. Especially be wary of selfish politicians who have their own agenda
    in mind, not of you, the public.

    Constituent Dies After Gaetz Made Light of Crisis

    “Days after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) wore an enormous gas mask during a House floor vote on an emergency funding package for the coronavirus response, the congressman announced that a resident in his northwestern Florida district had died of covid-19, the Washington Post reports.”

    Source: politicalwire.com

  24. bob1 says:

    Example: Here’s transcript between a Trump supporter and a CNN reporter at a Trump
    rally in NC:

    REPORTER: You don’t believe coronavirus exists?

    TRUMP SUPPORTER: I don’t.

    REPORTER: So the two people who have been reported to have died from it in Washington state, you don’t trust that that’s true?

    TRUMP SUPPORTER: I don’t trust anything the Democrats do.

  25. Babylon's Dread says:

    I was hoping for a little more systematic theology.

    My plan is to carry on as usual with obedience to the common strictures that are being offered. 1) Hand washing 2) instructing people to stay home if they are symptomatic. 3) making preparations for virtual ministry in the event of instructions to avoid public gatherings.

    I will also attempt to stay in my lane, but as a minister of Jesus we have a lot of overlap so wisdom is required.

  26. Michael says:

    BD,

    I can’t imagine that there is a systematic of note that you don’t already possess.

    We have our first two cases here in the county and the CDC has advised those of us at high risk to stay home as much as possible.
    I am mostly there now and have been relieved from some of my duties for a while.

  27. Michael says:

    The last two systematics i bought were Michael Bird’s…which I liked… and Gerald Bray’s, which I use to prop up the litterbox.

  28. Jean says:

    BD,

    Is topic in particular that you want to study, or are you looking for an integrated systematic theology?

    Although not called a systematic theology, I invite you to check the Augsburg Confession (and its Apology), which is available for free, IMO is biblical and evangelical, and is organized not unlike a systematic theology

    http://bookofconcord.org/augsburgconfession.php

  29. Duane Arnold says:

    BD

    I pretty much gave up on systematics years ago. What I have found useful, however, is Jurgen’s three volume set, ‘Faith of the Early Fathers’. It contains primary source material from the first six centuries arranged under systematic theology headings. The index is also fulsome and complete. It is also available online through Logos…

  30. MM says:

    Yes I know CV is a problem and needs to be fought but the drama of it all is really getting to me. All sides are using the information to forward their agendas. I’m even to the point where it seems to me many of our health organizations are doing the same. Could it be in the battle for recognition we are prone to waving our personal battle flag?

    I ask myself the question, “how many people die each day in just the USA?” Here’s what I found:

    “According to the United Nations World Population Prospects report, approximately 7,452 people die every day in the United States. In other words, a person dies in the US approximately every 12 seconds.”

    “Cause of death, by communicable diseases and maternal, prenatal and nutrition conditions (% of total) in United States was reported at 5.2 % in 2016, according to the World Bank”

    5.2% of the 7,452 means the average number of people who die of these is approx 387 people everyday in the USA.

    What’s my point?

    I’m bothered by all the attention this is getting while so many other things are happening.

    When 25% of Italy is shut down for three week is the agenda really to stop the spread of CV or are there other agendas somewhere included?

    I guess after living through the last two major virus out breaks the attention this one is getting on a global scale just seems way out of proportion. But like all things I just have to go about my day and keep my steps with Him.

    Perfect love casts out all…

  31. Michael says:

    I simply do not understand why there is so much effort being put out to downplay this virus.

    I get it that people die every day from something….but most of those somethings we are already working hard to make vaccines for or find cures.

    I listen to the medical experts and the doctors and nurses on the front line…and they are concerned.
    Therefore, I will be.

  32. MM says:

    Michael:

    “I listen to the medical experts and the doctors and nurses on the front line…and they are concerned.”

    I’ve read every report possible, the CDC, WHO, others and discuss it with my health professionals. I’m not down playing anything I’m simply putting it into perspective.

    There is world wide panic and hysteria over this one particular virus, which by all measures reported is not the worse nor will it be the last in history. We as a world Community are simply way out of balance on this one.

    But. does that mean nothing should be done? Absolutely not!!! However, living in fear is what it seems many, whether the will admit it or not, seem to want to spread.

    That is my point. We have to live!!!

    “Keep Calm and Carry On!”

  33. Michael says:

    MM,

    We will agree to disagree.
    For some of us, every flu season is a fearful time…we make sure we get our shots and do our best to avoid contracting what could kill us.
    There is no shot for this one…

  34. MM says:

    Michael

    Ask this question about the whole CV “pandemic,” what is the end game, how will it end, and how will the world know the “threat” is over?

    As far as the virus goes, history shows just one end game; it will eventually mutate to the point it isn’t a threat, individuals who had it will develop immunity and the rest will live for another day.

    Now how and when will all the experts and politicians sound the “all clear” signal so people can return to their normal lives?

    “… I walk through…”

    Thank you for letting me spout.

  35. Michael says:

    MM,

    Our governor just declared a state of emergency here in Oregon.
    The end game is to save lives.

  36. MM says:

    Michael:

    “The end game is to save lives.”

    Easy answer, but that is not what I was referring to.

    Where I live they did the same over the first death attributed to it this week.

    I can’t help but remember Psalms 23.
    That is the end game of those who love Him.

    Thank you though for responding and allowing me to post.

    BTW if anyone thinks I’m being insensitive to death and suffering think again. Such has been part of my life.

  37. Michael says:

    MM,

    To be honest, I think the Scripture quoting is unneccesary…not just referring to you, but all that is being passed as counsel in a medical crisis.
    I don’t think Scripture speaks to how to prepare for a pandemic…I think God gifted and skilled medical people do.
    It is well beyond my ability to understand why the two get conflated.
    I know where I’m headed when I die, but I still have some things left to do…

  38. MM says:

    Michael

    It has nothing to do with where I’m going when I die, it’s about where I am in this life.

    It brings calm in the light of trouble. You might remember 23 is a popular scripture with men going into battle.

    The daily battle is fear and panic, Jesus talks about our daily struggles and this virus is just another one off those and will be replaced with another one when it runs its course.

    You rightly go after those who are bringing injustice to others, I’m sure you noticed there is a never ending line of replacements for the Rosens and all those like them, essentially a string of CVs. Just when one is dethroned another jumps in the chair.

    So where is God in all this and in my daily calm and walk?
    We walk in that valley now.

  39. Michael says:

    I think there are things we ought to be afraid of…and act wisely in faith.

  40. Jean says:

    “The government’s top infectious disease expert on Sunday said that the coronavirus outbreak is getting worse and warned elderly and sick people to think twice before traveling or circulating in crowds.

    The remarks from Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, signaled a change in tone from health officials representing the Trump administration, making it clear that the outbreak is past the point where it can be prevented from spreading or easily tracked. That contrasted with the more measured language from some Trump officials including Vice President Mike Pence.

    “If you get infected, the risk of getting into trouble is considerable, so it’s our responsibility to protect the vulnerable,” Fauci said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “When I say protect, I mean right now, not wait until things get worse, say ‘no large crowds, no long trips, and above all, don’t get on a cruise ship.'”

    Fauci noted many of the newly confirmed cases showed signs of “community spread,” meaning they couldn’t be traced back to a single source and suggesting the outbreak is intensifying.

    Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon who leads the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that healthy people should go about normal daily activities but noted, “If you are not healthy, think very seriously about attending places where there are crowds.”

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/health-officials-shift-tone-on-coronavirus-say-elderly-and-sick-at-risk/ar-BB10Upjh

  41. MM says:

    Michael:

    Scripture reference isn’t about preparing physically or the practice for something.

    I have had the opportunity to be trained and carry deadly weapons to defend the innocent from our enemies and differentiate scripture as a heart preparation for my walk with God. The training and maintenance of the skill set and equipment is the physical preparedness for a possible attack by evil men.

    Okay, I’ll move on, I’m probably becoming boorish, and thank you again.

  42. Michael says:

    Jean,

    Fauci is the one guy I listen to above everyone else.
    My guess is he won’t last long, but I’m glad he’s in this process.

  43. Jean says:

    Notice that the health officials do not offer anything to treat or care for the soul. They also do not opine on God’s involvement on the midst of this. That is the vocation of God’s ministers.

    I have had to go back 500 years to get good pastoral advice. Thanks be to God in times such as these that we have access to history and tradition.

  44. Michael says:

    MM,

    We all appreciate and respect your way of conversing…especially the already tired owner of the blog. 🙂

  45. Michael says:

    Jean,

    There are actual minutes of the meeting where Calvin and his pastors discussed how to minister to those with the plague…fascinating stuff…

  46. CM says:

    In many ways, pastors today have the advantage of knowing about how diseases spread and what causes them.

  47. Jean says:

    “People you trust, people you probably voted for, have spent weeks minimizing what is clearly a very serious problem,” Carlson said, later adding, “They’re wrong. The Chinese coronavirus is a major event. It will affect your life, and by the way, it’s definitely not just the flu. In a typical year, the flu in this country has a mortality rate of about 1 in 1000. The overall death rate for this virus, by contrast, is as high as 3.4 percent.”

    “The Chinese coronavirus will get worse,” Carlson said. “Its effects will be far more disruptive than they are right now. That is not a guess, it is inevitable no matter what they’re telling you. Let’s hope everyone stops lying about that and soon.”

    Tucker Carlson, Fox News

    https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/tucker-carlson-coronavirus-will-get-worse-while-trish-regan-claims-impeachment-scam-063219250.html

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