Criminalising Christian worship when it is needed most is counterproductive

February 19, 2021
Bennette Roach

It is out of constant thoughts of how the overall management, particularly with reference to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic which has appeared to be poorly conducted in Montserrat.

This may not be so evident perhaps to the larger majority of persons, some of whom simply suffer through the difficulties, while others cruise by enjoying the juicy fruits of the poor or mismanagement, corruptible on the way.

We address this from time to time and even recapture what we have said in previous articles, but there is something which is very striking in the protocols, guidelines and rules brought under the long emergency powers given to a single Minister. One such matter refers to the relegation of the power of worship among the ‘people of faith’ in their respective churches. Instead, these should be done via discussion and agreement with the churches who will guarantee protocols that will assist in avoiding possible setbacks.

Following are excerpts from a letter written by a pastor of a church in Canada with regards to the Orders

“Dear fellow Albertans,

It goes without saying this has been an incredibly difficult 11 months. The effects and ramifications of COVID-19 on our precious province are not insignificant. We sympathize with everyone who has suffered loss in this time, whether it be the loss of a loved one, or loss stemming from government lockdowns (such as economic loss or suffering as a result of being denied necessary health care).

Given the attention our church has received in recent days, we want to address the broader public on our reasons for gathering as a local church. What follows is not a theological defense.

We have already addressed that sufficiently and it is primarily and predominantly obedience to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that has shaped our stance. Instead, what follows will shed light on our approach to what is being called a “pandemic.” The reason we put “pandemic” in quotes is that the definition of a pandemic was changed about 10 years ago. At one time, a pandemic was defined as an infectious disease that resulted in a certain percentage of excess deaths over and above normal annual averages. The definition was changed in connection with H1N1 to remove this threshold. Ten years ago, COVID-19 would not have qualified as a pandemic. In fact, not even close.

When COVID-19 first appeared, we shifted to Livestream and abided by most of the new government guidelines for our gatherings. But when the first declared public health emergency ended, we opened our doors and returned to nearly normal gatherings on Sunday, June 21st, 2020. We did so recognizing COVID-19 was much less severe than the government had initially projected.

In early July, it was brought to our attention that two separate individuals had attended our gatherings on two consecutive Sundays and subsequently tested positive for the virus (both cases being unrelated to each other). At that time, we did our own internal contact tracing (prior to AHS notifying us of the exposure), many of our congregants were tested, and it was determined that no transmission of the virus had taken place. Out of an abundance of caution, we shifted exclusively to Livestream and shut down all other ministries for two weeks (14 days). We did this to mitigate any further spread of COVID-19. When it was evident that no further spread had taken place, we resumed our nearly normal gatherings. Since then, we have gathered as a church each Sunday without incident (28 Sundays to date).

Having engaged in an immense amount of research, interacting with both doctors and frontline healthcare workers, it is apparent that the negative effects of the government lockdown measures on society far surpass the effects of COVID-19. The science being used to justify lockdown measures is both suspect and selective. In fact, there is no empirical evidence that lockdowns are effective in mitigating the spread of the virus. We are gravely concerned that COVID-19 is being used to fundamentally alter society and strip us all of our civil liberties. By the time the so-called “pandemic” is over, if it is ever permitted to be over, Albertans will be utterly reliant on government, instead of free, prosperous, and independent.

For those who can, read the full letter at: https://notthebee.com/article/canadian-church-releases-an-insanely-eloquent-statement-on-liberty-and-covid-after-their-pastor-is-jailed-for-preaching?fbclid=IwAR30mjnixISuidQlQWb-r1VuswZSvujLVi4VnmzekgUx-QHf7acCT_QS3jc

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February 19, 2021
Bennette Roach

It is out of constant thoughts of how the overall management, particularly with reference to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic which has appeared to be poorly conducted in Montserrat.

This may not be so evident perhaps to the larger majority of persons, some of whom simply suffer through the difficulties, while others cruise by enjoying the juicy fruits of the poor or mismanagement, corruptible on the way.

We address this from time to time and even recapture what we have said in previous articles, but there is something which is very striking in the protocols, guidelines and rules brought under the long emergency powers given to a single Minister. One such matter refers to the relegation of the power of worship among the ‘people of faith’ in their respective churches. Instead, these should be done via discussion and agreement with the churches who will guarantee protocols that will assist in avoiding possible setbacks.

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Following are excerpts from a letter written by a pastor of a church in Canada with regards to the Orders

“Dear fellow Albertans,

It goes without saying this has been an incredibly difficult 11 months. The effects and ramifications of COVID-19 on our precious province are not insignificant. We sympathize with everyone who has suffered loss in this time, whether it be the loss of a loved one, or loss stemming from government lockdowns (such as economic loss or suffering as a result of being denied necessary health care).

Given the attention our church has received in recent days, we want to address the broader public on our reasons for gathering as a local church. What follows is not a theological defense.

We have already addressed that sufficiently and it is primarily and predominantly obedience to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that has shaped our stance. Instead, what follows will shed light on our approach to what is being called a “pandemic.” The reason we put “pandemic” in quotes is that the definition of a pandemic was changed about 10 years ago. At one time, a pandemic was defined as an infectious disease that resulted in a certain percentage of excess deaths over and above normal annual averages. The definition was changed in connection with H1N1 to remove this threshold. Ten years ago, COVID-19 would not have qualified as a pandemic. In fact, not even close.

When COVID-19 first appeared, we shifted to Livestream and abided by most of the new government guidelines for our gatherings. But when the first declared public health emergency ended, we opened our doors and returned to nearly normal gatherings on Sunday, June 21st, 2020. We did so recognizing COVID-19 was much less severe than the government had initially projected.

In early July, it was brought to our attention that two separate individuals had attended our gatherings on two consecutive Sundays and subsequently tested positive for the virus (both cases being unrelated to each other). At that time, we did our own internal contact tracing (prior to AHS notifying us of the exposure), many of our congregants were tested, and it was determined that no transmission of the virus had taken place. Out of an abundance of caution, we shifted exclusively to Livestream and shut down all other ministries for two weeks (14 days). We did this to mitigate any further spread of COVID-19. When it was evident that no further spread had taken place, we resumed our nearly normal gatherings. Since then, we have gathered as a church each Sunday without incident (28 Sundays to date).

Having engaged in an immense amount of research, interacting with both doctors and frontline healthcare workers, it is apparent that the negative effects of the government lockdown measures on society far surpass the effects of COVID-19. The science being used to justify lockdown measures is both suspect and selective. In fact, there is no empirical evidence that lockdowns are effective in mitigating the spread of the virus. We are gravely concerned that COVID-19 is being used to fundamentally alter society and strip us all of our civil liberties. By the time the so-called “pandemic” is over, if it is ever permitted to be over, Albertans will be utterly reliant on government, instead of free, prosperous, and independent.

For those who can, read the full letter at: https://notthebee.com/article/canadian-church-releases-an-insanely-eloquent-statement-on-liberty-and-covid-after-their-pastor-is-jailed-for-preaching?fbclid=IwAR30mjnixISuidQlQWb-r1VuswZSvujLVi4VnmzekgUx-QHf7acCT_QS3jc