Home Religious LibertyFirst Pentecostal Church: A Dangerous Result of Misleading Narratives

First Pentecostal Church: A Dangerous Result of Misleading Narratives

A Mississippi church has been destroyed, evidently by vandals who oppose the church’s public gatherings. Each side of the polarized COVID-19 narrative should agree that this unmerited act of heinous vandalism is despicable. We all agree, right? Good. But I want to speak beyond the obvious and note how these actions were ushered down a path greased by fear-mongering narratives.

 

This is what happens when people allow seeds of false narratives to be sown.

 

This is what happens when people are too weak to show restraint and share misleading information on social media.

 

This is what happens when people allow selfishness to get the best of them.

 

This is what happens when people fail to die to self, fail to silence themselves, and can’t dare to actually look at the facts through a lens of objective truth.

 

More to be said but first, facts:

 

  • Governor Tate Reeves has categorized church services as “essential” since restrictions began, although CDC standards such as 6-feet distancing still apply.

 

  • On April 25th, a Federal Judge ruled that First Pentecostal Church (FPC) of Holly Springs, Mississippi may remain open, albeit for drive-in services, in response to a complaint filed by the church after police repeatedly disrupted services citing violations of a local stay-at-home order. A judicial ruling for in-person services is still pending.

 

  • FPC was practicing safety standards set by Mississippi Department of Health and the CDC, and held their services outside other than during inclement weather.

 

  • On May 20th, a fire destroyed FPC’s building and a graffitied message in the church parking lot read, “I bet you stay home now you hypokrits [sic].” Maj. Kelly McMillen of the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department deemed the attack arson.

 

The above information matters. Why? A wise contemporary political philosopher once said, “facts don’t care about your feelings” because feelings are relative to facts, not the other way around.

 

The villains responsible for this religious assault called the parishioners “hypokrits” for allegedly putting their neighbors’ health at risk instead of loving their neighbors. But these villains care not about facts (nor their spelling apparently) because next to not showing up, there’s no greater health safety precautions that FPC could have taken with their services thus they are anything but hypokritical.

 

But this is what happens when we care more about having a voice than we care about being informed. It’s a gross display of self-centered greed when we crave attention and affirmation so bad that we’ll sacrifice truth on the altar of our pride.

 

When we allow false narratives to be sown, we awaken the social justice warriors who would rather act on emotions than any means of informed rationale. Don’t get me wrong, narratives are inanimate and thus cannot be blamed for human action. But people who sow misleading narratives and ignorantly follow them with emotionally-fueled criminal acts should be made an example of.

 

Yes, this is an attack on our religious liberty because while the Church can operate outside of a building, the Bible is clear to not forsake the assembling of the saints and while temporary exceptions to the rule are understandable, we have to understand that “temporary” ended weeks ago and the Church needs to be BOLD to advance this truth.

 

If the underground Church in closed countries can meet in person despite the chance of execution, certainly Christians in a free country can congregate with safety precautions.