sudofox's journal

Austin Burk's journal, where I share little snippets of my writing, code, and dreams.

When something feels off: a moment of concern after the message I heard this morning

Sermon/church notes

I was planning on going to another church today but I got the time wrong and missed it, so a good friend let me listen in to her church service instead over Discord. But things were a bit strange.

Speaker: ???

Morning worship
- There is Power In the Blood
- ??? (Call kept cutting out)
- ???
- Thy Word [is a lamp unto my feet]

Personal testimony/discussion
- A lady had good news about car repairs
- Some story about catching fish

Prayer of thanks, for continued health, for help in day to day things.

Scripture reading: Colossians 1:1-29



And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
1 Kings 18:45‭-‬46 KJV

(Anecdote: Speaker questioning the necessity of some modern gimmicks intended to get people to visit church -- when God's word is the thing that the people should be spiritually hungry for)

(Anecdote: The Israelites wandering in the desert with aged and worn clothing)

(Vaccination was mentioned at some point in here about being a requirement to attend churches now, but it was sorta slipped in and not connected)

(Something about becoming closer to God? It was really unclear)

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 Peter 2:1 KJV

(Anecdote: Spanish flu - it's mentioned but I was unclear why it was mentioned)

(Callback to Elijah running with the horses, related to our spiritual focus: No matter what happens on Earth, we should fix our spirits/spiritual focus on Christ)

I was having immense trouble connecting the different things the speaker was saying -- but I pulled out some concepts:

- Empowerment to do great things through God (this was the mention of Elijah, the verse wasn't mentioned but I was able to locate it as being from 1 Kings)
- The eventual destruction of those who preach false doctrine
- The rebuking of Satan
- Satan slowly chips away at us
- We should be "forceful" in how we reject false teachings
- Closer relationship with God


I felt troubled listening to this. It was a bit hard to follow along.

I felt rather uncomfortable, but not in the "right" way of discomfort when faced with my own sin or conviction. It felt like something was wrong: there were several things mentioned: quarantine and the pandemic from (1918?) with no real connection to the other concepts.

The message felt a bit more like a collage of concepts and doctrine that are implied to be related than a sermon proper. So while it wasn't explicitly stated, if we pull all those concepts together, we end up with something troubling. I can't say that the message explicitly said anything about this, but it reminds me of something else I've heard (and that I think is both disingenuous and harmful):

- That we've faced things like pandemics before and gotten out alright
- That in the Bible, there's stories about superhuman feats enabled by God, and that we should look to God as the source of our strength
- That we are being restricted from fellowship with each other unless we get vaccinated
- And the most troubling bit: that these are works of Satan to drive us apart as believers

All in all, the whole thing had a bad smell to it. It calls back to this wild idea that medicine and healthcare somehow become, at best, unnecessary in the face of God's love for us, and at worst, hindrances and dangers to us as a body of believers. Not only is it unsupported by Scripture from what I know of it, but I believe it actually flies in the face of how we are supposed to provide care for those who are sick and weary as outward expression of the love we live through Christ.

Rest of the day

I spent most of the rest of the day kinda sitting around, and decided to open Minecraft for the first time in a long while. I hit zombie pigmen and loaded swords into the smelter for a while.