A Pinch of Safety Incense

The churches that have, almost without critical moment, readily divided and dissolved themselves on the word of the mendacious media-political-medical complex will never have normal worship again, unless they repent of forcing a pinch of safety incense on those who would gather to assemble in Jesus’ name. If we do not stand up now to fearlessly worship King Jesus — despising the fear of sickness or death, and despising the dreaded loss of reputation among the pagans around us who demand absolute conformity to the medical-safety dystopia, we will be in the machinery of perpetual pandemic protocols for the rest of our lives. 

Those who have been duped into going along thus far may be forgiven, as we are not used to revolutions. We aren’t accustomed to being lied to by every expert at the same time. We want to believe in the basic reliability of public news and data. Many of us grew up with “Uncle” Walter Cronkite in a time when the media seemed so much a part of our national fabric. Today, all pretense of objectivity or national loyalty has been dropped.

We are occupied by a hostile, global, corporate-secularist empire puppeteering our ostensibly domestic media outlets, driving us toward infinite division down to the atomic level. The family is of course on the chopping block, and the willingness of local churches to comply with the hostile forces of the safety-as-ultimate-good secularist culture is nothing short of horrifying. Where is our witness as salt and light, when we cower beneath our face diapers like the gentiles do, barring open, clear access to the King of kings who can destroy both body and soul in hell?

To continue past this point requiring all people to pinch the safety incense in order to worship Christ is to enter into league with the revolutionary force, which seeks to dissolve the last bonds of family and community that exist outside the control of the progressivist, globalist borg cube. The local church is supposed to be an organic, living nexus point of spiritual bond between born again people in a shared geographical area, serving as the protective core of our resistance to being conformed to the world system around us. When she is co-opted into destroying herself, the culpability cannot be anything less than spectacular for those who could have done differently. Paul admonished the leadership in Ephesus day and night for three years, in tears, knowing that fierce wolves and existential threats arise within the church constantly. Those tasked with shepherding the flock in this time of universal deceit, fear, propaganda, and division must find their spines and refuse to further comply with the arbitrary and unscientific edicts now ruining our common life of worship, or step aside to allow men undaunted by their threats to lead the assembly in our divine business.

Some churches have decided to hold every-other-week services where respect of individual conscience is upheld. One may attend freely, without the face-covering incense in place. Other churches might hold two services each Sunday, allowing for those same matters of conscience in one service for those not trembling beneath the specter of the virus. In this case, the service where masks are mandatory is no longer an incense pinch, since there is an option for those whose consciences are violated by mask-wearing-as-access-to-worship.

To refuse to make concessions for non-mask wearers is to demand a pinch of incense to the empire before Christ’s sheep may meet with Him corporately. What odiousness. 

And yet, our problem is not who is right about the particulars of this disease, how it spreads, etc. Our problem is that we are a weak, fruitless generation of consumers, governed by the same lusts and fears as our pagan neighbors. We are leaderless and scattered. We quickly shut down our church gatherings when the demonstrably irrational ruling class said to do so, but nearly a year later, have yet to notice that virtually everywhere the virus behaves the same, regardless of what “safety” protocols are in place. We deny access to the assembly for those whose consciences are wounded by the requirement to participate in the charade. This is sin, and it reveals deeply-rooted confusions about the role and responsibilities of church leadership.

Apparently for some, acting as a lecturer on the Bible is virtually the whole of a local church ministry. Seeing as the virtual delivery of a sermon is nearly the same as the in-person, what’s the issue? Oh, well, yes, the Lord’s Supper sort of requires physical proximity, doesn’t it? Well, let’s just deliver bread and juice to the scattered people of Christ, for safety reasons. But of course, if you pinch your incense, you are welcome to partake together in assembly, of course, taking your mask off to eat and drink, because the virus will be busy praying and examining himself and won’t try to spread in that moment. He isn’t a monster, you know.

No one in our local churches, very few in general evangelicalism in fact, is/are making the name of Jesus known by a consistent witness from pulpit and home. Pulpit? Sure. Lots of doctrinally-decent sermons we’ve got. Home? Titus 1:7-8 “For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.” 

Paul isn’t just thinking of having church people over the house for hot dogs and beans on a warm summer night. Hospitality is reflective of Jesus’ own personality, as a welcomer, a seeker of the weak and needy, and one who never made the broken and hurting feel like they were putting Him out to come and ask Him for something. And even with the SyroPhoenician woman who was called a dog, He had in mind the full inclusion of her and her household in the covenant family. Being hospitable is a requirement of being an elder in the Church. Welcoming, opening doors, breaking down natural and sinful barriers between Christians — and seeing to it that if there were some extraordinary season wherein the people of God absolutely could not gather to worship, that the flock would be visited and ministered to in a more intense, personal, scrupulous manner. That if there were any way under the sun to gather some of the people, that leaders would find those ways, make those ways, and lead the way, never accepting for one minute that a single one of Christ’s sheep was left to languish in isolation and in fear. The leaders of the local assembly who loved their people would recognize that if we can choose to risk our lives to travel in automobiles to get to church, we can choose to risk our lives to breath the same air for a couple hours a week.

In past generations, Christians embraced danger if the other option was a dereliction of duty to love, worship, and so forth. In this generation, we gluttonize ourselves into oblivion, sending the numbers of diabetics into the stratosphere, and no one blinks an eye, but when the aborto-fascists tell us they want to save lives so we must stay home and not assemble for worship, suddenly we are health conscious, and don’t wish to put people at unnecessary risk. It is absurd, baldly self-contradictory behavior from the world’s weakest, most ineffective generation ever produced. We are not pleasing our Master. Showing up to heaven having squeezed out an extra 5 years by playing it ultra safe, while having hardly used the mountains of resources we have to reach the nations, is terrifying. And it is us. We are allowing our civilization to be disassembled and sold for parts, while we think ourselves virtuous for our holy detachment from this evil world, which by the way, someone once called “very good.”

I leave you with the words of our new masters, ready to go along with this as requirements for church attendance?

“I predict that we’ll restore the ability to socialize safely by developing more sophisticated ways to identify who is a disease risk and who isn’t, and discriminating—legally—against those who are. We can see harbingers of this in the measures some countries are taking today. Israel is going to use the cell-phone location data with which its intelligence services track terrorists to trace people who’ve been in touch with known carriers of the virus. Singapore does exhaustive contact tracing and publishes detailed data on each known case, all but identifying people by name. We don’t know exactly what this new future looks like, of course. But one can imagine a world in which, to get on a flight, perhaps you’ll have to be signed up to a service that tracks your movements via your phone. The airline wouldn’t be able to see where you’d gone, but it would get an alert if you’d been close to known infected people or disease hot spots. There’d be similar requirements at the entrance to large venues, government buildings, or public transport hubs. There would be temperature scanners everywhere, and your workplace might demand you wear a monitor that tracks your temperature or other vital signs. Where nightclubs ask for proof of age, in future they might ask for proof of immunity—an identity card or some kind of digital verification via your phone, showing you’ve already recovered from or been vaccinated against the latest virus strains.”

In grief,

The citizen of New Jerusalem

What’s An Exile To Do? Live in Reverent Awe of Your God

When I was in seminary, I studied the final judgment for believers as my Master’s thesis. This short post captures the biblical essence of the subject – highly recommended. Encouraging!

Green Baggins

Posted by R. Fowler White

Exiles are non-essential, or haven’t you heard? Even as God’s kingdom-colony of exiles, the church is expected to pipe down, if not shut down. In response, however, the Apostle Peter cites a higher standard. Throughout the time of our exile, he says, we’re to trust and obey God’s commands. Called as we are to His eternal glory in Christ, we’ll endure the trials that test our faith, confessing that the God of all grace will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us after we’ve sufferedforalittlewhile (1 Pet 5:10). In the meantime, Peter exhorts us: conduct yourselves with fear—that is, live in reverent awe of your God (1 Pet 1:17b). In 1 Pet 1:17-21, Peter provides us ample incentives to do just that.

Live in reverent awe of our God, says the Apostle, because He is our Father…

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