Faith

Worship Concerts Serve as Protests During COVID-19 Restrictions

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A series of outdoor worship concerts give Christians the chance to worship God while playing the persecution card.

A California worship pastor launched a series of worship concerts in the face of COVID-19. The concerts are popping up around the country and serve two purposes.

The first, obviously, is to give believers the chance to publicly worship. I’m not against that per se.

The second, which too many church people seem willing to jump on, is to protest COVID-19 restrictions. This is a problem.

Some believe temporary bans on church gatherings and singing in church are nothing more than religious persecution.

They aren’t.

State and local governments put bans on large social gatherings in place to prevent the further spread of a pandemic. What’s up with singing? Simple. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report in May stating COVID-19 could be highly transmittable in certain situations. Singing is one of them.

Another report in July “found that singers, as well as certain wind and brass instrumentalists, generate respiratory aerosols at high rates.”

I’m no doctor. I don’t pretend to be one. But plenty of doctors have made it clear that the virus that causes COVID-19 doesn’t just float by itself in the air. Instead, it floats in aerosol droplets in the air.

That’s how it spreads.

When you have certain situations that make that spread more probable, you have two choices: you either ignore the threat or you temporarily prevent those situations.

To put it another way, you either shove your head in the sand or you actually do something about it.

One of those outdoor worship concerts happened days ago here in South Carolina. It will be interesting to see whether we see a spike in COVID-19 cases. But on Thursday, the state’s daily COVID-19 test results showed more than 1,000 newly-confirmed cases.

That was the first time since early September that the state had seen that many new cases in a single day. We started October with less than 300 cases a day.

I hope Thursday’s report was a fluke. It probably won’t be.

Some protests aren’t worth the effort.

I’m a Christian who happens to believe that ignoring science and potentially putting people at risk just to say you protested is a bad idea.

You may disagree and you’re more than welcome to do so.

I don’t think God is going to expect us to potentially infect people in a pandemic just to worship Him. In fact, I don’t think a public concert — even an outdoor concert — is the only way you can worship Him.

Music is one way to worship. If you’re a worship pastor, I’m sure you probably think it’s the way to worship.

But it’s only one way. Here are 10 ways, in fact. You’ll find music high up on the list. But you can listen to music without actually taking part in singing. (Or being around people who are singing in close proximity.)

Protecting people from a pandemic is not religious persecution. It’s not about preventing people from worshipping.

It’s about keeping people safe.

That’s all it should ever be about.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.