This is the story of Paul Van Noy and Candlelight Christian Fellowship. Its the story of a pastor who didn’t believe in face masks who then contracted COVID-19 and ended up in the ICU. While he was in the ICU he still called for his church to meet in person, and his wife shared Q Anon postings on Facebook during the medical crisis. Pastors like Paul Van Noy should be prosecuted in this blog’s opinion. And it begs the question who is the actual virus? Is it COVID-19 or is it places like Candlelight Christian Fellowship?
“Responsibility walks hand in hand with capacity and power.“
Josiah Gilbert Holland
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Philippines 2:3-4 ESV
Paul Van Noy
This story is one that is profoundly sad. Its totally unnecessary and shows the recklessness of evangelical behavior and what happens when people reject science.
Paul Van Noy Who Is Skeptical of Face Masks and What He Says About COVID-19 Over the Summer
Paul Van Noy is the senior pastor of Candlelight Christian Fellowship and he is also the founder of the church. Paul is originally from Sacramento, California. He attended Global University in Springfield, Missouri which is affiliated with the Assembly of God. Candlelight Christian Fellowship is not affiliated with the Assembly of God however. Van Noy likes to emphasize and defend pre-millennial, pre-tribulational eschatology. You can find many of them uploaded to YouTube. Paul it appears subscribes to Christian nationalism and mixes politics and faith. He has lived in Idaho for at least eleven years.
As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded across the United States Paul Van Noy questioned it and remained skeptical of face masks. Look at what he wrote on his July 17, 2020 Facebook post. By the way there is some coding issues with this post so that will be a problem as to why the Facebook section is out of whack.
Paul Van Noy Contracts COVID-19 and Ends up in ICU
Paul Van Noy met with his church and many people did not wear masks. On Facebook he pined about how masks are not effective. Then the senior pastor pastor his wife, and several staff members from Candlelight Christian Fellowship contracted COVID-19. While his wife was going through the illness she was sharing Q Anon updates on Facebook which the company has been flagging and constantly pulling down. Paul Van Noy’s health took a turn for the worse and he ended up in the Kootenai Health’s ICU. While he was in the ICU a group of 60 from the church met outside and sang some hymns. They did not wear masks and did not practice social distancing. Some waved signs that read “Honk 4 Pastor Paul,” “We love you Pastor Paul,” and “Get Well Soon Paul.” While the pastor was fighting for his life there were discussions about re-opening the church and having in person meetings. If you want to read more about this rally you can do so in, “‘Praying for a miracle’“As Paul Van Noy is still in the ICU and hooked up to oxygen he issued a statement calling for the church to resume worshiping in person. This is part of what he said on September 17, 2020.
“Upon immediate revelation of the Covid-19 virus, almost all things came to an abrupt halt or slow down—understandably. Few if any really knew the effect this virus would have, and all took caution for the sake of natural protections and human survival. However, as discovery began to emerge we all started to see that Covid-19 was not going to wipe out cities, states or countries, and we needed to refocus and work toward “normalizing.”
Statistics proved the position as we began to see that of the entire earth population (a growing 7.8 billion) only a fraction of the populous (30 million) have been affected directly by way of the virus. At present under 1 million have suffered death. Global death tolls show that in any given year 55 million people die period—(plus an additional 40 million via abortion.)
In Kootenai County we have had (at present) 33 people die from Covid-19 and I remain 1 of 6 in critical condition—slowly recovering.
By these facts I wish to speak with authority.
My dear friends, recently, I was the one who asked the staff to shut down the programs at Candlelight for a 13-day window beginning Monday, August 31st to prevent any spread of Covid-19 within our staff or building. We resumed service this past Sunday, September 13th with understandably low attendance. Now it is time to get back to church.
The Church is Essential!”
And then there is this part which stood out to me.
“Candlelight needs a pastor and I am thankful to be that man. I will recover and will return. However, it does look as though it will be quite a journey back. I remain in the ICU now on day 15 and have been told it will be a few more days until I even get from the ICU to a regular room. Even then, the journey back maybe weeks in all. This cannot hinder our worship, service, gatherings, and healthiness as an essential entity in the community. We must be strong, stronger, and all the more effective! The body serving the body is as essential—as is the fact that we are here to represent the Gospel and purposed plans of God.
Please note that we gather for the glory of God: to serve one another, to learn, teach, disciple, grow, and serve one another for the great purposes God alone intends.
The next weeks we have a great line-up of speakers for Sundays and I anticipate being back as soon as the Lord allows. Until then, please my friends, give glory to the Lord, live without fear, be wise, and serve the Lord. I want to see a full house Sunday! Fulfill my joy by being likeminded.”
If you would like to read more about this situation there are a number of press articles about Paul Van Noy and COVID-19. You can see a few of those below.
- Spokesman Review, “After balking at masks, pastor and church staff in North Idaho contract COVID-19.”
- Idaho Statesman, “North Idaho pastor who balked at masks contracts COVID-19. So do some church staffers.”
- KTVB7, “Coeur d’Alene pastor who contracted COVID-19 gives update from hospital.”
It appears according to KTVB that Brenda Van Noy stated that she did not take COVID-19 seriously when she should.
Why Paul Van Noy Should Be Prosecuted in this Blog’s Opinion for Neglect and Endangering the Community
This is not the first time I have written about Candlelight Christian Fellowship. Two years ago this blog wrote about an infamous member of Candlelight Christian Fellowship. His name is Jeremy Morris and as an alumni of Liberty University he has the distinction for being known for his lawsuits over Christmas displays. You can read about that in, “Is Jeremy Morris the Clark W. Griswold or Cousin Eddie of North Idaho? A Look at the Culture Wars Colliding at Christmas.” Over the past few months this blog has written some disturbing stories about evangelicals and the COVID-19 pandemic. In Alabama a Southern Baptist Church decided to have a revival during the pandemic. It led to an outbreak with over half of the church becoming sick. You can read that in, “Southern Baptist Church Has a Revival in Alabama and Has a Massive COVID-19 Outbreak. Pastor Daryl Ross Defends it and Why Such Pastors Should Be Prosecuted.” In Florida an Assembly of God church held a party which led to an immune compromise child contracting COVID-19 and then dying of the illness. You can read about that in, “The Tragic Death of Carsyn Leigh Davis Who Attended a Party at First Assembly of God in Fort Myers, Florida and Contracted COVID-19.” Then there is evidence that suggests that many evangelical churches and evangelicals have been the source of spreading COVID-19. You can read about that in, “Evidence Suggests That Evangelical Churches Meeting During a Pandemic Are Helping to Worsen COVID-19 and Accelerate the Spread in the United States. Also Ed Stetzer Responds to a New York Times Article.”
Despite that this blog keeps learning of situations like Candlelight Christian Fellowship. And again I shake my head. The fact of a pastor being in the ICU and calling people still to meet and his wife posting Q Anon updates on social media while this pandemic is affecting them would be a great psychological study. It would be a great example of cognitive dissonance. These stories are angering and ridiculous. Its a reminder as to why I am no longer evangelical. The lack of intellectualism, rejection of science and embracing of conspiracy theories is troubling. You do not have the right to place other people at risk. Just as you do not have the right to drive intoxicated or under the influence of narcotics. What Paul Van Noy was doing is no different than someone who is driving drunk. Both are hurting people and placing others at risk. This didn’t have to happen. If they masked up and social distanced and met online none of this would have happened. This story is not over yet, but this blog believes that people like Paul Van Noy should be prosecuted as they are endangering their community. While Jesus said to love thy neighbor its clear to Candlelight Christian Fellowship that means one is to despise them. But honestly I look at stories like this and I find myself asking…which is the virus? Is it COVID-19 or is it Candlelight Christian Fellowship?