F Rosa Rubicondior: Covidiot News - Welsh Christians Above The Law

Wednesday 28 October 2020

Covidiot News - Welsh Christians Above The Law

Pastor Wade McLennan, New Hope Church, Llanrumney, Cardiff.
"God told me to break the law!"
Watch: Police in riot van interrupt Welsh church during 'illegal' lockdown service

American-style Christian covidiocy is alive and well (unlike many American pastors and their Covid-19 victim dupes) and living in Wales.

Because of the high and rising numbers of coronavirus cases in Wales, the Welsh Government has introduced a partial lock-down which includes a ban on gathering in places of worship. In the USA Churches have proved to quickly become Covid-19 hotspots and church services have become super-spreader events.

So, when American-born evangelical preacher, pastor Wade McLennan of New Hope Community Church in Llanrumney, Cardiff decided he should ignore the ban, because "God told him to", he opened his church as usual. McLennan preaches an American-style 'Prosperity Gospel' which encourages poor people to give him money in the belief that God will repay them generously later, or at least reward them in a supposed after-life, because, you know... an omnipotent God needs lots of money - in the local curency!

In Pastor McLennan's own words:
The Lord convicted me because I wanted multiple pastors to stand, and if we had one voice, we could do this. And the Holy Spirit really spoke to me in this, and it was something that was quite specific. It's not a bunch of people, it's one man, one person who will stand that can often make the difference. So it wasn't something I was longing to go into. We were trying to take care of our people, we want to minister to them and care for them.

Strangely, Pastor McLennan seems blissfully unaware of St Paul's instruction that Christians should always obey the government, since all governments are ordained by God and can therefore do no wrong.

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.

Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

Romans 13:1-7
Covid-19 cases
However, having so incited Pastor McLennan to ignore St Paul and break the law, and so risk a hefty fixed-penalty fine, God apparently forgot to inform the police that the ban was illegal and should be ignored. So the police moved to tell the congregation that they were breaking the law and should go home and then God stood by and allowed pastor McLennan to take the blame.

But perhaps Pastor McLennan just assumes that he has a God-given exemption from St Paul's instructions, or maybe he just feels his piety entitles him to a self-licenced exemption when the law is inconvenient and could damage his income stream.

After explaining the law to the congregation, officers left the church and waited outside while the assembled Christians held a brief prayer meeting then left the church and dispersed.

A Welsh Government spokes-person told Premier Christian News:
We appreciate how incredibly difficult these restrictions are for many, but they have been introduced for two weeks to prevent the spread of this deadly virus and save lives.

We support all faiths in Wales and have not stopped people from worshipping, but we face a very serious situation; people are dying every day as a result of coronavirus. We need everyone to work together to make this firebreak successful if we are to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed and even more people losing their lives over the weeks and months ahead.

We are absolutely aware of the serious impact loneliness can have on individuals, and we are determined to do everything we can to support people through these difficult times. We have made changes to our regulations to allow people to form an "extended household" if they live alone, whilst our Looking Out For Each Other campaign offers advice about how we can support others.
But Pastor McLennan is unrepentant and has decided his and his congregation's selfishness must take priority over the health and welfare of them and their families, friends and acquaintances, and the community as a whole. After all, what do a few lives matter compared to the loss of income for New Hope Community Church in Llanrumney, Cardiff?

He has announced that he will continue to break the law and blame it on God. In the best tradition of Christian entitlement, McLennan and his followers believe themselve to be above the law of the land and entitled to pick and choose which to comply with and which to ignore and of course, the mere health and welfare of others is of no consequence when they feel their privilege is being threatened.

Religion provides excuses for people who need excuses.

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