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Bill Nemitz: Brooks Pentecostal Church, trying to escape the crisis and go deeper



At first glance, this sounds like good news: A pastor in Brookstown is apologizing for a COVID-19 outbreak that started in the church in early October and quickly spread to Waldo County in central Maine.

But then Matthew Shaw, the pastor of Brooks Pentecostal Church, began to speak. From there, everything went along the hillside.

On Sunday, Xiao posted his fake donations on the church’s Facebook page. After weeks of criticism against him and his congregation, they ignored the pandemic safety precautions in Maine and spread the coronavirus to 60 people and counted them. This at first seemed a sincere effort to admit his wrongdoing and seek Community pardons.

But in the end, in this age of biased responsibility, we got too much—a kind of “apology”

; that danced around real crimes, but never really embraced it. Also called “artificial biology”.

Let’s watch the videotape.

Where the impact on the virus may spread, Brooks made comments to the Brooks, Monroe, Jackson, and Waldo communities. Xiao said something simple: “We regret what happened, and we ask for your forgiveness.”

So far so good.

Then he continued: “We apologize for the disease coming to our church, for the consequences that the community may be feeling, for the fears in the hearts of men and women, and for those of you who might inconvenience them. The restrictions imposed after the virus outbreak, of course, and the restrictions that may even have been physically affected by the virus today.”

Pause for one second. By apologizing to “the disease was introduced into our church,” Shaw avoided the real sin here-he opened the church to more than 100 people, many (if not all) of them were exposed to listen to Oklahoma An introduction by a visiting missionary in Massachusetts. Pandemic.

In addition, by expressing his dedication to the “community may feel the consequences”, he performed another ingenious avoidance. “Maybe” people feel scared and frustrated? Understandably, what about people?

Then there is the real cork. In order to avoid the impression that he was speaking to the public in general, Run Run drew a firm line between friends and enemies in the church.

He said: “When I say community, I don’t mean everyone who takes this opportunity to advance your career and agenda… (and) use this opportunity to express your opposition to the church.”

got it. Therefore, please be clear, if you happen to think that the church has been messed up by the royal family here, and put all faith in God but not science at the root of the disaster, you are not sorry!

Instead, Xiao went on to say that he was speaking to those who “we stood together after church services and were on standby on Sunday, when we were lining up at the local grocery store, waiting for pizza or deli sandwiches, we laughed and talked In the following week, neighbors rushed to talk with our groceries; when your house was burned down and your memory disappeared, those who stood with us started anew due to the destruction of the building fire. When your family The people we were with when we were taken away in an injured car accident and were receiving medical care.”

He continues to include people his church has comforted at the funerals of their loved ones and the funerals of veterans who participated in the local July 4th parade, but the sudden change here is obvious: instead of talking about him and his sheep What the group did wrong in October 2020, the pastor dexterously compiled a list of all the things they did in the past 25 years.

Translation: We care very much, and only our friends.As for the others h!

Now, I am not suggesting that Pastor Xiao is a bad person. I have never met this person, but considering his scope of work, I think he is trying to make the world a better place.

However, before setting up public measures to make him and his church headline news, you might think that he might have spent some time on the art of apologizing, or even conducted some research.

My own Google search quickly brought me a lot of suggestions, which can be summarized into some basic suggestions.

First, describe exactly what you did wrong. This “disease” does not just appear in the Brooks Pentecostal Church. Its pastor opened the door and almost everyone invited in. Once there, he ignored all the uncovered faces, greatly increasing the chance of it spreading.

Second, admit why it was wrong. So far, we all know the speed and degree of spread of COVID-19. Denial, not wearing a mask, and just leaving it in God’s hands may make you mess, but at the same time put countless people in danger.

Third, own it.The epidemic is not what happened in the church, it was Caused by the church. The fact that Shaw and his congregation have not gathered since the outbreak is a tacit recognition that Shaw has never spoken out: our church has done this. This is our fault. We have to blame.

Finally, say sorry, please forgive me. Not only will the people you trust will forgive you, but everyone you hurt may forgive you, no matter where they are relative to your comfort zone.

On Wednesday, the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced 87 new COVID-19 cases, which is equivalent to the total number that Maine has not seen since May. At the same time, the 7-day average of new cases is now 54.1, which is the highest level since the pandemic began.

Meaning, we are heading in the wrong direction again.

For faith leaders like Sean, these numbers convey a message: Now, when we enter the long and dark winter, Maine needs your leadership, which is more important than ever.

Not your hypocrisy.


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