Addressing Basic Assumptions
Hello friend, this is part 2 of an article series I wrote addressing pastors on the issue of opening the church. If this is your first time to the blog, welcome, and I would recommend you check out part 1 of this series here.
You, dear reader, are evaluating my words and opinions based upon your own previously held foundational beliefs. I have to recognize that fact or else I will fail miserably in this article series. As an example, suppose I were to tell you that I believe you should not mandate masks in your church. The way by which you evaluate that statement will depend upon multiple other beliefs. Your ideas on the efficacy of masks, the scope of governmental authority, and the amount of authority pastors possess over their congregations will all impact how you view my hypothetical unmasking suggestion. It is at these foundational beliefs I want to take aim at in this article. If I don’t address these at this point, then I will never be able to move forward in this blog series.
So, let us start off by examining one of those basic assumptions and that is the threat of COVID-19. Most likely if you are not opening your church it could very well be because you believe coronavirus poses a vital threat to the safety of the congregation you serve. We could have a long conversation over whether or not the CDC statistics are accurate.1 However, let’s forgo that for the sake of time (at least for now) and just analyze the threat of COVID based upon the CDC numbers. Bear with me for a second as we enter the entirely dull but necessary aspect of crunching numbers. As of the time I am writing this post, the CDC says there have been 145 million cases of COVID-19 across the entire world.2 As of 2019 the population of the entire world was 7.674 billion. That means that if you are alive then you have roughly a 1.8% chance to be listed as a positive COVID case by the CDC. What is your chance of actually dying from COVID according to the CDC? Well, if 3.07 million individuals have lost their life from coronavirus according to the CDC and dividing that number by our previously mentioned world population figure that means you have a .04% chance of dying from COVID. This fact means your chance of surviving coronavirus according to CDC statistics is 99.96%.
However, this statistic is even a bit misleading. The CDC currently says this about their own data for the United States:
“For over 5% of these deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned on the death certificate. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 4.0 additional conditions or causes per death.”3
If we apply this concept to the world, only 5% of the COVID death cases had COVID as the only cause that fact means that of the roughly 3.07 million deaths, 153,500 individuals died solely from COVID across the world according to the CDC. Consequently, if you are a healthy individual with no known issues, then you have a .002% chance of dying from COVID. Applying this concept strictly to the U.S your chance is .009%. According to the number of people getting struck by lightning every year in the U.S. you literally have a higher chance of getting struck by lightning in your lifetime than of dying from COVID globally and it is about the same chance in America specifically.4
Put This In Perspective
How many people have been unable to get to a hospital because of COVID-19 lockdown measures across the world? How many families are now living in poverty due to the shutting down of their businesses due to governmental restrictions? How many churches have closed because they shut down due to coronavirus? How much time could have been spent in discipleship and evangelism instead of sitting in lockdown due to a virus that kills .04% of individuals? Pastor, have you factored these considerations into your decision-making process regarding whether or not to open the church? Maybe you think I am not performing my analysis correctly because you do not see any way possible these statistics bear themselves out in real life. Let me urge you to follow this link and listen to the real-life example of Pastor James Coates whose church has not had a single case due to meeting for months in defiance of COVID restrictions.5 Please note, I did not say they have not had a single death I said they have not even had a single case, brothers. Also, if COVID is so deadly then how can it be that Grace Community Church of California has been meeting for months with thousands of people and not had any cases due to their meeting activities nor any deaths?
My main purpose in this article was to try to shed light on the previously held presuppositions you have about coronavirus. If I did not take this action, then I would be leaving a glaring hole in my case for opening the church. I know this post has been rather nerdy and quite weighty in terms of number crunching. Believe me, I enjoy writing a different style of post much more. However, this was necessary for the subject at hand and I staying attentive thus far. We’ll continue the conversation in a not-so-nerdy way in the third post of this series!
1 My thoughts on the accuracy of COVID numbers and the mainstream narrative can be found here:
2 Covid stats here:
4 Notice the “Odds of being struck in your lifetime” number. If you divide that number your chance of getting struck by lightning in your life is roughly .007% https://www.weather.gov/safety/lightning-odds