It’s bad enough that some Christian pastors, despite the threat of COVID-19, held large services over the weekend.
In the case of Trump-supporting pastor Guillermo Maldonado, who founded the King Jesus International Ministry (in Florida) and hosted an event for Trump’s re-election campaign earlier in the year, he did more than just hold a Sunday service.
He mocked everyone who chose not to attend.
On a since-deleted Facebook video showing Maldonado making similar comments, according to the Miami Herald, the pastor had previously told followers who might feel sick and were thinking about not coming to church, “You have two choices. Come in and receive your healing, or stay home and miss out on it.”
Echoing those remarks during the two-and-a-half hour service on Sunday morning, Maldonado noted that the church was not as packed as it usually is, and mocked those who are “home in the cave afraid of the virus.” He told members of the congregation watching at home via livestream that he expected to see them at the 6 p.m. service.“Do you believe God would bring his people to his house to be contagious with the virus?” Maldonado asked. “Of course not.”
By that logic, if God is everywhere, then the virus shouldn’t exist at all. But it does. (Checkmate.)
It should go without saying at this point, but here we go again: The virus doesn’t care about your religious beliefs. It will affect you whether you’re Christian, atheist, Hindu, Pagan, or a devotee of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Maldonado has a history of putting his congregants in danger, so his response to a pandemic is just par for the course.
Someone may want to remind this pastor (and other church authorities) about Romans 13:1-2, which talks about the importance of obeying government authorities. It sure was a convenient verse to use when they were trying to justify turning away refugees at the border.