I have provided this excerpt and a link to the full article. If you are interested and cannot access the entire article, let me know and I will send it to you via email. The point is to help us see that we need to examine all the research/information and not accept anything at face value whether it is labeled “science” or not. Also, if you want more information on the following the science “mantra” just do a Google search using “follow the science” or combining the words “follow and science” etc.
Defenders of coronavirus lockdown mandates keep talking about science.
Defenders of coronavirus lockdown mandates keep talking about science. “We are going to do the right thing, not judge by politics, not judge by protests, but by science,” California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom said this week. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer defended an order that, among other things, banned the sale of paint and vegetable seeds but not liquor or lottery tickets. “Each action has been informed by the best science and epidemiology counsel there is,” she wrote in an op-ed.
But scientists are almost never unanimous, and many appeals to “science” are transparently political or ideological.
But scientists are almost never unanimous, and many appeals to “science” are transparently political or ideological. Consider the story of John Ioannidis, a professor at Stanford’s School of Medicine. His expertise is wide-ranging—he juggles appointments in statistics, biomedical data, prevention research and health research and policy. Google Scholar ranks him among the world’s 100 most-cited scientists. He has published more than 1,000 papers, many of them meta-analyses—reviews of other studies. Yet he’s now found himself pilloried because he dissents from the theories behind the lockdowns—because he’s looked at the data and found good news.
In a March article for Stat News, Dr. Ioannidis argued that Covid-19 is far less deadly than modelers were assuming. He considered the experience of the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined Feb. 4 in Japan. Nine of 700 infected passengers and crew died. Based on the demographics of the ship’s population, Dr. Ioannidis estimated that the U.S. fatality rate could be as low as 0.025% to 0.625% and put the upper bound at 0.05% to 1%—comparable to that of seasonal flu.
“If that is the true rate,” he wrote, “locking down the world with potentially tremendous social and financial consequences may be totally irrational. It’s like an elephant being attacked by a house cat. Frustrated and trying to avoid the cat, the elephant accidentally jumps off a cliff and dies.”
First words from the commercial … At a time when things are most uncertain, we turn to the most certain thing there is, science.
I am posting this because someone may wonder if I overreached with my comments on the role science is playing in shaping the narrative around the Covid-19 pandemic. How many different voices have urged us, or urged our governors, or urged our president to “follow the science”?
As I said in Sunday’s message, that if we blindly “followed the science,” then upon opening our Bibles and beginning to read, we would immediately have to deny the very existence of God let alone his stated role as Creator.
(Genesis 1:1 ESV) In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
My question for those who urge us to “unhitch” from the Old Testament is this–What kind of God is so inept that he cannot give us an account of himself and his creation that withstands the scrutiny of time and culture … whose account crumbles under the microscope of “scientists”? What kind of God claims to be infinite in wisdom and all powerful but cannot even give us an accurate account of creation? What kind of God is so low to this earth that scientists can outdo him in explaining the origin and operation of the planet?
Not the God of the Bible. Not the God I know and trust. Not the One who is coming again in great power and glory.
(1 Chronicles 29:11 ESV) Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.
(Matthew 24:30 ESV) Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
(Revelation 4:11 ESV) Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.
(Revelation 19:1 ESV) After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.”
Back to the commercial …
I had not seen this commercial until after I preached Sunday’s message and it only affirmed what I had been saying.
We, as in the Church … the Body of Jesus Christ … need to be awake and not asleep.
(1 Thessalonians 5:4–6 ESV) But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.
I believe that as we continue in our study in 1 Peter that the Holy Spirit will continue to clarify “what our part is” and help each of us answer “am I doing my part?”
We need to make sure that God is not left out of the discussion. And isn’t it interesting that during the first global crisis our planet faced that God was completely left out of the discussion? Just the humans and the devil sharing their opinions on what God “really said”. As they say, “And how did that work out?”
(Genesis 3:1–6 ESV) Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
This world may go with “science will win” but I’m going a different direction: God will win. And we will find our victory only in him.
(Proverbs 21:30–31 ESV) No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the Lord. 31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.
(Revelation 19:11–16 ESV) Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
(1 John 5:4–5 ESV) For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
Our present situation brings to remembrance an important lecture given by C. S. Lewis in October of 1939. The lecture, “Learning in War-Time”* was delivered to a crowd of Oxford undergraduates questioning the purpose of education and learning in general in the midst of a world war. Lewis was himself an ex-soldier and was believed to be the right man to put things in the right perspective—and indeed he was.
Lewis draws in his undergraduates, and us, with several questions:
What is the use of beginning a task which we have so little chance of finishing? Or, even if we ourselves should happen not to be interrupted by death or military service, why should we—indeed how can we—continue to take an interest in this placid occupation when the lives of our friends and the liberties of Europe are in the balance? Is it not like fiddling while Rome burns? (47)
Lewis is addressing the question, “Why pursue education in the midst of a war?” Although, we are not at war with another country, make no mistake, we are at war. The enemy in the current case is not a nation state outfitted in military gear flying a flag. Our enemy is a silent killer—a killer that makes no judgments about gender, ethnicity, or social class. In recent days Queen Elizabeth II said the world faces an “enemy that brings death, not in terrifying bombing raids, but in the ordinary encounters of people transmitting a dangerous pathogen.” We are at war with an enemy that seeks to kill from the inside, that seeks to systematically infect and destroy us cell-by-cell. Make no mistake about it, we are at war with COVID-19.
“War creates no absolutely new situation; it simply aggravates the permanent human situation so that we can no longer ignore it. Human life has always been lived on the edge of a precipice” (49), says Lewis. Here’s the main thrust of Lewis’ lecture: war time helps us to see something that was there all along—our fragility. James put it starkly, “For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14). Lewis is reminding us that war time doesn’t make the words of James true—wartime enables us to see and feel the words of James anew.
In Lewis’ context he is arguing for learning to continue in wartime. He is arguing for the academy to stay open—for the progression of intellectualism. By way of application, Lewis offers three mental exercises to serve as defenses against three war-time enemies. I believe these are valuable for us to consider in our current context, and I offer them to you with some thoughts of my own. I write this not as an argument for the academy to stay open (although, I believe it should). Rather, I write this, as a war-time Christian, for the progression of your faith.
The enemy of distraction. (Lewis calls this excitement.)
Oh, how the news rages! A new press conference, a new graphic, a new post, new test results, and on and on. Face it, we are distracted. And, if we are not careful, this enemy will prove to make us an immensely unproductive people. Lewis says, “The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable” (60). The apostle Paul put it this way, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of your time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15–16).
Church, there is no “favorable” time; there are not “good days.” We are at war and we have been at war
We are at war with our flesh and the schemes of the devil (Eph. 6:11). As the distractions of life press in, let us hear Paul’s remedy:
And do not be drunk with wine, for that is debauchery [i.e., don’t waste your time with frivolous things], but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Eph. 5:18–21)
The enemy of future joy. (Lewis call this frustration.)
True, we will experience joy in the future. However, this enemy rises when we project our joy into the future. Doing this leaves us more than ineffective, it leaves us shielded from God’s daily mercies. It blinds us from the daily strength to which God calls us to be tethered. Lewis reminds us that Jesus commanded us to ask for “daily” bread. I’m sure you’ve seen a dog chase his own tail. This is what you do when you assign your joy to the future. Recall the words of the Psalmist, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24).
If you have assigned your joy to peace time, you might be waiting a long time
Reel in your joy; rejoice and be glad!
The enemy of fear.
I think Lewis is most poignant on this point, “There is no question of death or life for any of us, only a question of this death or of that” (61). What does COVID-19 do to death? Does it make it more frequent? Certainly not. One hundred percent of us die! Yet, COVID-19 does do something to death—it brings it front and center. COVID-19 moves the subject of death from the background to the foreground.
This crisis allows us all to see something we too often overlook: our mortality
We are given the antidote for fear in 1 John 4:18: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” The antidote for fear is love—and, not just any love, but love offered by one who has already experienced the pangs of death.
Church, when COVID-19 rears its ugly head, when the enemy of distraction calls, when you are tempted to push your joy out of the present and into the future, when fear pollutes your every thought—look to Christ. Look to the one who was without distraction, who was full of joy, and who was without fear. The fourth verse of a favorite hymn, In Christ Alone, sums it up well:
No guilt in life, no fear in death, This is the power of Christ in me. From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny. No power of hell, no scheme of man, Can ever pluck me from His hand. Till He returns or calls me home Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.
*[Lewis, C. S., “Learning in War-Time” in The Weight of Glory (New York: HarperCollins), 2001.]
Hello Everyone, No bulletin to post, so I thought I would at least remind us to stay in touch in the ways that we can. We, of course, need to keep each other and our world in our prayers during this very difficult time.
I am hoping to have some music for our Sunday Easter service; instrumental arrangements of Christ Arose, Christ the Lord Is Risen Today, He Lives and O Worship the King. I had hoped to have the words streaming over the top of the audio but I don’t know if I am going to have the time to learn how to do that and do it well and still get everything else done.
If you have been reading the emails, you know that I have begun copying the service to DVDs for those who do not have internet access or the ability to access our YouTube channel. I am hoping to have the video uploaded and the DVDs copied and delivered by Saturday evening so you can watch and listen on Easter morning. (For those of you who prefer the audio only version of the service I have good news. I have fixed the annoying hum that was coming through.)
This is a very trying time for all of us so let’s try to be pleasing to our Lord and live joyfully and patiently and prayerfully for his sake during this storm in our lives.
(Philippians 4:4–7 NLT) Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Let’s also keep our president and all of our government leaders in our prayers. And our neighbors and our world. Many people are very frightened. My hope and prayer is that the Church will be rebuked and refined during this time of trial and tempering and that we will come out stronger and brighter than ever in our witness to the glory of God.
(1 Timothy 2:1–3 NIV) I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior.
Holy, holy, holy is our Lord God Almighty. How I praise his holy name.
Sincerely, Pastor Dave Church Phone: (309) 776-3786
(Psalm 40:11 NLT) Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me. Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me.
(Psalm 103:2–4 NLT) Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. 3 He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. 4 He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
(Psalm 119:76–77 NLT) Now let your unfailing love comfort me, just as you promised me, your servant. 77 Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live, for your instructions are my delight.
1 PETER MESSAGE 15 The Loving Commands of the Shepherd of Our Souls, Part 1 1 Peter 2:13-17, 25 Dave Scott
Hello. This video is not too bad for my first try. Dark. I have to set up the video camera differently. Very pleased other than that. It took me a while to get used to watching myself … rocking back and forth, etc. … You see this every Sunday so maybe easier for you. Let me know if you think this is a benefit over only audio. Please let me know if anything is not working. I believe I scheduled the video message on the YouTube channel to be accessible tomorrow. Not really sure why I did that but didn’t want to mess with the settings once I finally uploaded, gained permissions, etc. Whew! Wore me out. 🙂 Thanks, Pastor Dave Here is the link to our church YouTube channel: FFC YouTube Channel