At Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding, California a large outbreak of COVID-19 took place. The event affected the county and Bethel advocated for temperature checks, social distancing, moving worship outside an wearing face masks. So when will Sean Fecuht get the memo to wear a face mask and cease challenging authority and endangering people’s lives?
“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”
Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.
Romans 13:1-2 NLT
I did not think I would be writing about Bethel in Northern California so soon. This blog wrote about Sean Feaucht last week but Bethel landed in the news again and that leads us to look at another COVID-19 outbreak in an evangelical setting.
COVID-19 Outbreak at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry and Implications for Shasta County, California
Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry in Shasta County, California was the source of a large COVID-19 outbreak that affected the county in the coronavirus pandemic. In Shasta County since September 18, 2020 there have been 102 individuals in their 20’s who contracted COVID-19. Eight of those are affiliated with the local secular colleges in the county. But then according to the Health Department there have been 123 cases of COVID-19 that are linked to Bethel’s school with 68 being active. In researching and studying different press sources the numbers are different. What can’t be denied is that a large outbreak took place and Bethel was the source. At Bethel they do not provide dormitory housing and people live with each other in surrounding neighborhoods. That allowed the coronavirus to spread quickly. Because of the pandemic Bethel reduced its capacity from 2,300 to 1,600. The COVID-19 outbreak pushed the county into the red tier for the California. In August California Governor Newsome rolled out a color coded tier system to track and monitor counties amidst the pandemic. You can read more about the COVID-19 situation in Shasta County, California here.
If you would like to read more about the Bethel COVID-19 outbreak you can do so in the following articles.
- Los Angeles Times, “Northern California evangelical college tied to spike in COVID-19 cases.”
- Redding Record Searchlight, “COVID-19 case spike in college-aged students partially attributed to Bethel.”
- Religion News Service, “A surge of over 100 COVID-19 cases linked to evangelical Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry.”
Bethel Responds to Outbreak
Bethel responded to the outbreak by canceling indoor worship services on October 4, and 11 and moving them outside. They announced that they would expand COVID testing and do temperature checks on students who came to class. The school urged people to quarantine and reminded them to wear face masks. The director of the school Kris Vallotton released a statement to the Redding Record Searchlight.
“Our school culture values community. In this unprecedented year, our strength in building community presents challenges and a temporary need for change. We deeply care about the health of our students, and have strongly communicated to them the importance of protecting our local community in Shasta County by wearing masks, social distancing and staying home when sick.”
If you would like to read more about Bethel’s response you can do so in the following articles.
- My Christian Daily, “Bethel Church Responds After Large Outbreak Of Covid-19.”
- Redding Record Searchlight, “Bethel responds after virus outbreak is linked to its School of Supernatural Ministry.”
Is This Reaping What You Sow Especially When Sean Feaucht Rejects Health Guidelines?
So in looking at this situation a question needs to be asked. Is Bethel now reaping what it sowed? Well it appears to be a little more complicated. Back in March of 2020 Kris Vallotton wrote a blog post asking if facts or fear were guiding your response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the post he even advocated for working with the government in an approach to COVID-19. Consider some of what he said in the following. “Let me be clear—I’m not proposing we ignore critical facts and turn our eyes and ears from concerning information that may help us to safeguard ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities; instead, we respond differently as our faith and hope is rooted in God’s abilities, not our finite efforts. With this in mind, we can partner with our government officials in wisdom to practically take care of ourselves, and therefore the greater good, without allowing fear to dictate our decisions.” I remain a critic of Bethel at this blog but I think that was encouraging and it needs to be stated.
So did Sean Fecuht miss this blog post? Is he not paying attention to what is happening in Bethel? There is a problem of mixed messages. Did Bethel lapse in the topic of face masks over the last couple of months. Did Sean Fecuht inspire people to reject their face mask. Does Sean Feucht reject Bethel calling for face masks. I mean doesn’t that sound a little off for your main organization to be asking people to wear face masks, while one of your worship leaders is running around the country like a blithering fool screaming religious freedom and encouraging people not to wear face masks. I wrote about what Sean Fecut is doing with a strong focus on the COVID-19 pnademci in Wisconsin, You can read about that in, “#LetUsWorship Sean Feucht of Bethel Leads Worship Protests as COVID-19 Pandemic in Wisconsin Gets Worse.”
If anyone in the Bethel community or the greater Redding community contracts the COVID-19 virus and has long term health problems or passes away due to it, this blog believes that Sean Feucht should be held accountable. It will be interesting to see what happens in the days to weeks to come. If there is anyone who can fill in more of the story please comment or shoot me an email.