September 18, 2020
Dear TCCBC church family,
It has been a while since I last informed you about the current pandemic situation, but this week the global number of coronavirus infections exceeded 30 million and the death toll has reached 950,000. The number of Americans infected is nearly 7 million and the death toll exceeds 200,000. Worldwide behind the United States are India, Brazil, Russia and Peru in second to fifth place. In just these five countries alone, the number of infected people account for one-half of the world’s cases (15 million people). Although more and more people are now coming forward to testify, especially those Chinese scientists who left China for other countries, especially those biochemical medical experts who testify that the virus is a “biochemical weapon” developed by China. Recently, Yan Li-Meng and several Chinese scientists published an academic paper on the cause of the virus (“Unusual Features of the SARS-CoV-2 Genome Suggesting Sophisticated Laboratory Modification Rather Than Natural Evolution and Delineation of Its Probable Synthetic Route” by Yan, Li-Meng; Kang, Shu; Guan, Jie; Hu, Shanchang), for reference. The web page is: https://zenodo.org/record/4028830#.X2NdKGhKiL0
But what is strange is that many media and people living in the United States blame President Trump for the pandemic, believing that he was not effective in preventing the pandemic. If you pay attention to the facts, second-ranked India has more than 5 million infected people, and third-ranked Brazil has 4.4 million. What puzzles me is that the US media does not comment on the pandemic in these countries and they rarely mention where the source of the pandemic came from. If I want to believe that President Trump disregarded the safety of the American people and deliberately failed to control the pandemic, is hard to believe. I can only blame President Trump for shooting his mouth off and for not being popular enough.
Last week, I mentioned to you about the recent impact of the pandemic on the church community. We are particularly concerned about a few churches that advocate freedom of assembly and worship. Even if they are fined, they will continue to gather. Here is some of latest news. Under the leadership of Pastor Dr. Jack Trieber, North Valley Baptist Church will no longer hold worship in the church and instead, will gather in the parking lot outside the church. Brothers and sisters sit in their cars and use the radio to listen to the worship in progress and for information. Pastor Trieber used the theme of Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you” to encourage everyone and strengthen the faith of the
brothers and sisters. Because the church moved to meet outside, Santa Clara County also withdrew the original case against the church. Pastor Trieber believes that this is the “victory” God has given to the church (Source: Part of it comes from my participation in their online worship last Sunday, looking at their gatherings, and the other part from HillFaith, “California Church Changes Course, Moves Services Back Outdoors,” Published on Sept. 16, 2020). If you are interested, you can watch it on the following YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rz3CkstRd2I&t=3s.
Additionally, Pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church in Southern California is sticking with the church to the very end. He believes that the California government has no right to make governmental orders that violate the church’s charter. He believes that the death toll in California is very low compared to the ratio of some other states. He also argues that the so-called Pandemic is defined as an “infectious area” only if there is a certain proportion of infections. They are a church with thousands of members and in the past few months, no one has been found to be infected with the coronavirus because of attending church meetings. He believes that these government bans severely restrict the freedom of the church. He also pointed out that a director of the California Department of Health has publicly stated on several occasions that “schools will not be opened until after the election.” He strongly questions the political tone of the official’s words. Whether it has anything to do with the pandemic, it is just something for political consideration.
Someone asked Pastor MacArthur in an interview: “If you continue to meet in the church building, you might be arrested and could be imprisoned for up to six months of detention, what do you think about this?” Pastor MacArthur’s answer was: “I have already figured this out. If the Apostle Paul can be arrested and imprisoned for the sake of the gospel, I can follow his example.” He continued, “After serving the Lord for so many years, there would be a real opportunity to preach the gospel to those in prison. If I am really caught and imprisoned, I must take the opportunity to bring the gospel to those who need it.” (If you want to know more about Pastor MacArthur’s thoughts, a helpful YouTube video interview is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFHbmvV40sY )
Frankly speaking, these two pastors’ treatment and practices are different, but they are also respected by me. I admire their courage and am moved by their love for the Lord and the church. At least, there is one thing that they share: the same philosophy – they both think they are fighting a spiritual war. In the Mandarin Church worship this week, I will also make mention of the relationship between the pandemic and spiritual warfare. Perhaps this is the time for our church to seriously think about how we should respond.
Finally, let us congratulate Deacon Roddy Kwan and Sister Grace Kwan. Last Sunday, God gave them a grandson named Brayden Benjamin Yeung, who is their fourth grandson. Thank God for his great love, adding people to their homes. We offer our sincere blessings here. May God lead this child to grow up blessed by God’s Holy Spirit, to have a heart of love for the Lord like Roddy and Grace, and to fervently serve the Lord’s church. I would like to use the words of Proverbs as a congratulatory message: “The righteous lead blameless lives; blessed are their children after them.” (Proverbs 20:7 NIV)
Enjoy the love of the Lord together,
Pastor Job Lee, Senior Pastor
With fellow church leadership team