Jason Dees of 9 Marks Christ Covenant in Atlanta, Georgia, has tested positive for the coronavirus. Church is canceled tomorrow and this blog would like to pose a question. Would a COVID-19 pandemic in a Neo-Calvinist church be a sign of God’s sovereignty at work? In a system of theological determinism should Jason Dees accept God’s will for him even if he passes off the disease to others?
“With infectious disease, without vaccines, there’s no safety in numbers.”
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT
This blog is writing about Christ Covenant Church in Atlanta, Georgia because this blog was formed as a result of a spiritual abuse situation from Redeemer Arlington here in the Washington, D.C. area. As Jordan Kauflin has joined the staff of Christ Covenant this blog is also committed to writing about him. This afternoon Jason Dees sent out an email to the congregation informing them that church is canceled tomorrow and that he has tested positive for the coronavirus. This is the email that he sent.
Friends and Family,
I have some unfortunate news that I need to share with you. To give you a little background, I did not sleep well last night and was feeling a little groggy this morning. I was planning on spending some time with a friend of mine today, a physician, but out of an abundance of caution, I took my temperature this morning, and I had a low-grade fever of 99.7. I informed my friend of this, and we decided to cancel our plans. To be on the safe side and because we were going to have our in-person gathering tomorrow, I decided to seek out a rapid testing facility to be tested for COVID-19. At 4:00 pm today, I was informed that I tested positive for the virus. Since noon today, I have felt fine. I’ve actually not had any symptoms since then which is honestly rather bizarre to me. So, in light of this latest development and because I’ve had exposure to the other Christ Covenant staff and key leaders, we have decided to cancel the in-person gathering tomorrow at The Foundry at Puritan Mill and only stream our service at 10:00 am. By God’s providence, we had already prerecorded the service, so we have a worship service that’s ready to go that we can all enjoy together.
Obviously, this is heartbreaking for me and many in our church, but we feel that this is the wisest course of action particularly because I’ve had contact with so many of our staff and key leaders. Those key leaders and staff all plan to be tested on Monday of this coming week, and we hope to be back on track by next Sunday at The Foundry at Puritan Mill. Of course, I will have to quarantine for 10 days, but because I’m asymptomatic, I don’t foresee my quarantine going beyond that time. As you can imagine, I am saddened by this and any inconvenience this may have caused you. I appreciate your grace and understanding as we maneuver during this very challenging time. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.
Would a Coronavirus Outbreak Be God’s Will at Christ Covenant?
As the staff of Christ Covenant go and get tested for COVID-19 this blog would like to raise a question. In the context of the Neo-Calvinist theology if there is a coronavirus outbreak would that be ordained by God? Is it God’s will that such a thing take place at Christ Covenant? Would that be the sovereignty of God at work? If this does indeed happen what this could also show is how flawed Calvinism is as a theology system. After all John Piper regularly teaches about the sovereignty of God amidst tornadoes, bridge collapses, disease and more. Why would Jason Dees or Christ Covenant be exempt from that theology? The short answer is that they are not. When you follow a theological determinism system were there is no free will and God control’s every molecule and action, then yes that includes Jason Dees testing positive for COVID-19. So should Jason be grateful to God for being a COVID-19 carrier? According to theology that would be the correct interpretation. But as this church starts to deal with this issue it is a question that hangs over this Neo-Calvinist church.
What Does this Mean for Jordan Kauflin and His Family?
Before I get into Jordan Kauflin look at the above video which was recorded a few days before Jason Dees tested positive for COVID-19. Jason Dees is on the left, Jordan Kauflin is center and Matt Papa is on the right. There is no social distancing at all in this video. Since Jordan Kauflin shares his thoughts on worship originally I had planned to write a post in the next couple of weeks to ask the question what good is worship amidst spiritual trauma, spiritual abuse, PTSD and more? Now keep in mind if Jason Dees is asymptomatic then he is a carrier of the coronavirus. He may not get it but he can be a carrier and pass it on individuals he meets. So in that worship video up above with Jordan Kauflin talking, and discussing with Jason Dees could the coronavirus be transmitted during such a conversation? This blog thinks that is possible.
What makes this deadly for the Kauflin family is that Jordan and Tali Kauflin’s son Jack has dealt with leukemia. He has had treatment for it and recently had a relapse which was medically treated. This blog wrote about that issue in, “Jordan and Tali Kauflin’s Son has a Relapse of Leukemia. And an Olive Branch to Redeemer Arlington is Ignored.” So there could be a major medical crisis that happens in that Jordan can become infected and all he has to do is hold his son Jack and thus pass the coronavirus to someone who is at higher risk according to the Centers for Disease Control. This blog hopes that does not happen but it will be following the situation as well for developments.