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Discussion Forum : Miracles that follow the plow : Pastor James Coates Church Shut Down and Fenced

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SHMILY
Member



Joined: 2009/12/13
Posts: 202
Northern Idaho

 Pastor James Coates Church Shut Down and Fenced

A church in Alberta, Canada, has been shut down and fenced off by the Alberta government for running afoul of coronavirus rules.

Alberta Health Services announced in a statement that GraceLife Church would stay closed until it can provide proof that it will comply with health restrictions, the Canadian Press reported.

CTV News reported that the police and security staff were around as chain-link metal fencing was installed around the church building and its parking lot Wednesday.

The church, located west of Edmonton, dismissed public health warnings for months, and its pastor, James Coates, spent a month behind bars.

Coates was charged in February for violating coronavirus public health orders. He was then jailed for refusing to comply with a bail order that stated he could only hold services that followed public health orders.

In early March, Coates’s attorneys argued that it would go against Coates’s religious conscience not to lead worshippers. He returned to preaching on March 28 after paying a $1,500 fine and pleading guilty to a count of breaching bail.

Churches in the region are allowed to open at 15 percent capacity with social distancing and masks, but officials say GraceLife has had hundreds of congregants attend its church services.

Alberta Health Services said they attempted to work with the church for months before shutting it down. Some of the steps they took before enforcing a closure include the following:

- Issuing an order on December 17 requiring the church to comply with restrictions from Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health.

- A Court of Queen’s Bench order obtained January 21 requiring the church to comply with the previous order.

- A closure order issued on January 29 requiring the church to shut down until they complied with the restrictions.

- Issuing a letter to Pastor James Coates on March 27, informing him of the continued spread of the coronavirus.

- Last week, Alberta Health Services invited Coates to a virtual meeting to discuss coronavirus risks, but the church did not provide any dates to meet.

GraceLife has become the target of criticism against Premier Jason Kenney’s government as the church remained open, despite Kenney’s warning that those who violate the rules will face the consequences.


https://www.breitbart.com/health/2021/04/07/canadian-church-shut-down-fenced-following-coronavirus-rules/

 2021/4/7 17:53Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5764
NC, USA

 Re: Pastor James Coates Church Shut Down and Fenced

I am trying to figure out if playing Russian roulette with Covid in church is on the same par as snake handling.

Maybe worse, because it is very likely that far more people have died from being exposed to Covid at church than have died handling poisonous vipers.

ADD: Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Luke 4:12


_________________
Todd

 2021/4/7 18:24Profile
JFW
Member



Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1531
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: brother Todd

So to be clear... you’re in favor of this measure [locking down churches with fencing] to protect people from covid?

If not could you please clarify your statement as it seems to suggest as much but wanted to be clear about your intentions regarding your statement- ie; what are you hoping to accomplish?


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Fletcher

 2021/4/8 8:16Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5764
NC, USA

 Re:

Of course I’m not for such ridiculousness.

What I AM for is pastors not putting their congregants at unnecessary risk. If you must meet in person, meet outside, like our church did this past weekend. Or spread folks out. Or wear masks.

What if an unsaved person is infected by an unmasked saved person inside and dies? Was the loss of that soul worth it?


_________________
Todd

 2021/4/8 8:23Profile
JFW
Member



Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1531
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: hmmm 🤔

Yeah that just doesn’t really pass the smell test...
you say (when questioned) that you’re “not for this ridiculousness” yet you make no effort whatsoever to address or even appeal to the plight of the OP purpose in posting,.. instead you mock with a callous spirit thinly veiled in humor and then go full humanist in redress of your initial position. I’d expect this from an unbeliever but not a beloved brother :/

The “what if” game you’re playing here places concern over physical health well beyond that of spiritual health... and that dear brother is squarely a humanist disposition that [sadly] surprises me coming from you as I have been repeatedly blessed by your faith and sincerity over the years here on SI -

This is a first [in my understanding] and is in no way a small matter but the first crack in what may prove to soon be a formal breaking of the levy.
As such, to mock and jest would be in all accounts inappropriate... for how by your comments can one be edified 🤷🏽‍♂️


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Fletcher

 2021/4/8 8:56Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5764
NC, USA

 Re:

I guess it would help me if I knew what your position is on the issue.

I see three possible positions but perhaps there are more. 1) don't allow churches to meet, period. 2) Allow them to meet with limitations to protect congregants. 3) Free for all (no masking, distancing, etc).

It is my understanding the church in question was at #3- but I not 100% certain about this. If this is the case, then to me it is irresponsible for a pastor to invite persons in to a free for all, potentially to their doom. That is why I equated it to snake handlers. My understanding is that persons who do this are trusting that God will either keep them from being bitten, or will protect them from the venom if they are bitten. COVID-19 is simply a very small serpent that can kill just like a snakebite. But in the case of snake handlers, you can see the snake and know what you are getting into. It is also why I posted the scripture about not putting God to the test.

You seem to be equating common sense with humanism. If that is how you are defining the term then I simply disagree.

I am certainly not placing physical health over spiritual health. You seem to see this as a black and white, one or the other issue. I believe that both are possible. We have been attending two different Zoom services on Sunday, a Bible study on Sunday afternoon and a Bible study on Wednesday evening. Of course I would rather be able to meet in person and very soon we will be able to. In the interim, thank goodness for Zoom.

If congregations cannot use Zoom, there are other options to meet in person safely.


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Todd

 2021/4/8 13:22Profile
JFW
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Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1531
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: brother Todd

I suppose we are indeed viewing it from differing perspectives as such we are unlikely to change one another’s minds in an online forum -

Personally I find your response saddening,... not the “common sense” part (as you put it) but the lack of concern much less empathy for this body of believers not to mention the callous jesting at their expense comparing the desire to meet together and worship (when schools are open in CA) to snake handling 🤔 just seems quite detached and unlike your historical disposition 🤷🏽‍♂️

As for common sense vs humanism... if common sense were actually a thing, more people would have it ;)


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Fletcher

 2021/4/8 15:16Profile
TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5764
NC, USA

 Re:

But Fletcher-

Didn’t the church bring this on themselves? Didn’t they know they would be shut down if they did not comply? It’s not like they weren’t warned. I guess I find it a tad hard to feel too badly for them because I think they were engaged in an act of civil disobedience and weighed the cost of doing so. Perhaps God will use this closure to His benefit, and theirs. I suspect He will.

They won’t be shut down forever.

Again I am not sure what you think should have happened in the US (I realize this church is in Canada). 559k have died in the US. Do you think that nothing should have been done from day 1 and just let nature take its course? Do you think everything except churches should have restrictions?

I do realize what the media has done with Covid and it is and was an atrocity. Nonetheless 559k are still dead.


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Todd

 2021/4/8 16:10Profile
JFW
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Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1531
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: brother Todd

The church should receive (at least) the same provision and consideration as schools, businesses and governments, no?

So yes I do see this as governmental overreach as the “rule” is being inconsistently applied to different groups based on perceived importance with no serious considerations for the health and wellbeing of the populace, just lip service-

As for the death toll... none of us are getting out of here alive 🤷🏽‍♂️ wether by disease, distress, violence or otherwise- if people are giving the right “my body my choice” on abortion why not here?
Honestly Todd, Walmart’s are a preverbal cesspool and no one usually gets a bath before going but churches are generally the cleanest place we go all week and most everyone usually bathed beforehand ... yet big box stores were allowed to stay open and received an increase in visits while churches and small businesses like mine had to close ... I’m not buying it


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Fletcher

 2021/4/8 17:04Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5764
NC, USA

 Re:

I don’t disagree with your sentiments. But there are so many buts. It’s a complex issue.

I can understand why grocery stores etc were given preferential treatment. I mean you gotta eat.

Here’s where I expect you and I may greatly differ. Let’s say there were no restrictions placed on churches. No masks, no distancing, full capacity etc., all while Covid was raging. I think, in that instance, a godly Pastor would self-restrict(masks, distancing, capacity limits) as an act of loving his neighbor. I suspect you would disagree with this, which essentially is where we differ.


_________________
Todd

 2021/4/8 17:30Profile





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