The Los Angeles megachurch pastor who has been at war with the city, county and state over COVID-19 health and meeting restrictions told his congregation last Sunday the truth has finally come out: “There is no pandemic.”
The congregation of Grace Community Church erupted in applause with these words from their pastor, who has international standing among conservative evangelicals and Calvinists as an author, teacher, preacher and radio show host.
“I don’t want to offer myself as any kind of an expert, but a rather telling report came out this week, and, for the first time, we heard the truth,” he said in his Aug. 30 sermon. “The CDC … said that, in truth, 6% of the deaths that have occurred can be directly attributable to COVID. 94% cannot. Of the 160,000 people that have died, 9,210 actually died from COVID. There is no pandemic.”
MacArthur’s carefree message about a global pandemic runs counter to all reputable scientific reporting on the subject and misrepresents the CDC data.
“What is embarrassing for MacArthur is that this has been known for months. The CDC has released reports before showing the underlying health conditions of deaths and hospitalized patients,” wrote Warren Throckmorton, professor of psychology at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, who has been tracking MacArthur and other church responses to the virus online. “Yet, in ominous tones, MacArthur makes it appear he is revealing some previously concealed truth. While his scary announcement may serve his persecution narrative, it also makes his congregation and followers more vulnerable to the virus.”
For his part, MacArthur said he doesn’t know anyone who has been ill with the virus.
“We’ve all been suspicious of the fact that we’ve been meeting together now for weeks and weeks and weeks, and we don’t know anyone who’s ill,” the pastor said. “Nobody in our congregation has ever been to the hospital with this.”
“We know there are reasons for this that have nothing to do with the virus. There’s another virus loose in the world, and it’s the virus of deception.”
Then MacArthur spun his non-expert opinion on epidemiology to make a point about spiritual warfare: “We know there are reasons for this that have nothing to do with the virus. There’s another virus loose in the world, and it’s the virus of deception, and the one who is behind the virus of deception is the arch-deceiver, Satan himself. And it’s not a surprise to me that, in the midst of all this deception, the great effort that is going on is to shut down churches that preach the gospel.”
Within hours of the sermon being posted online, commentators began rebutting MacArthur’s grasp of the CDC data and questioning where he was getting his interpretation. Links were cited to the conspiracy theory network known as QAnon. And others pointed a finger at MacArthur’s attorney in his fight with county officials, Jenna Ellis, who also represents President Donald Trump as a lawyer. Earlier Trump had tweeted similarly misleading information about the CDC data but that tweet was later removed.
Experts and watchdogs took quick aim at MacArthur’s statements and labeled them dangerous.
The so-called co-morbidity rate refers to people who were killed by coronavirus but also had some other underlying health condition, whether heart disease or diabetes or asthma. Experts say those people still were killed by coronavirus, not by their underlying condition. In other words, they would not have died at this time from those earlier diagnoses, but did in fact die from coronavirus.
MacArthur’s attention-getting declaration came just days before he and the church face off with Los Angeles County public health officials in one of the most-watched legal actions related to public health mandates against churches meeting for in-person worship.
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Source: Baptist News Global