Mark Armstrong’s March 2020 Member and Co Worker Letter

March 19, 2020

Dear Members and Coworkers,

Among God’s people, fear and panic is just not how we react. Especially if fear and panic is what the mainstream media is selling. Do we not remember that they’ve been lying about everything for as long as we can remember? So now we’re to take them seriously? Seriously?

It seems that most Church of God groups went months into the future with cancellations of everything. Maybe it’s not entirely their fault. We’ve had instances where meeting rooms were made unavailable by the landlord. In California the Police might chase you down and arrest you, but that’s probably a trial run for the martial law they’ve dreamed of. Remember the window stickers and T-shirts that proclaimed NO FEAR? Have you seen any of those lately? We’ve been advised to be afraid, very afraid, of the invisible enemy.

It’s probably a poor analogy, but then again… Remember what the Israelites did when the death angel swept over Egypt? They painted blood from the slain Passover lamb on their door posts and no harm came to them or their families even while Egypt mourned the deaths of every firstborn, whether man or beast. That philosophy has been repeated in sermons throughout the churches of God in response to any and all fears. Is there any need to spell it out further?

King David wrote about fear and panic, and it’s recorded in Psalm 91. Some of those words seem made to order in the face of the pandemic. Look out, Bible thumping is in progress. Verse 5 and continuing, “Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at the right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.” We put our trust in God, not government, even though everyone seems to be screaming for the government to save them. Consider our door-posts painted.

Will panic over the coronavirus allow the government to do things that could never have otherwise been done under Constitutional guarantees? We’re all beginning to wonder what will be left of the American economy, assuming the panic winds down while we yet live (Sarcasm). It seems that others are making our decisions for us, and we have little choice in any matter you can think of. It seemed from the beginning that panic was being promoted. President Trump apparently took it to heart after a British study predicted a couple of million Americans would die. But alas, maybe that won’t happen.

If you listen to the expert prognosticators, the situation is mighty grim. While the President seemed to want to underplay the magnitude of the health-scare in the early going, he seems now to have bought into the worst of worst case scenarios. Nevertheless, a reporter just accused the Trump team of having called the virus the “kung-flu.” A female Asian reporter then reminded the President that he’d called the virus “Chinese,” and isn’t he concerned that would stoke racism against Asians?

We’ve heard that Chinese media is claiming that the virus was produced and taken to China by the U. S. military, a claim the President said would not be allowed to stand. He simply explained that he called it a Chinese virus because it came from China. Next question. Not so quick! The networks are suggesting that calling the sickness “Chinese” is putting Asian lives in danger. No evidence that is the case, but they’re not about to pass up a chance to call the President and any who dare support him racist. They’ve made a three and a half year habit of it anyway. But it looks like China bears a lot of responsibility, and could have contained the sickness if the Communist leadership hadn’t tried to hide what was going on. It was probably something about saving face, the way they viewed it. Turns out they didn’t save face. Instead they unleashed the horseshoe-bat-strain disease on the whole world.

As you’ve heard in the endless coverage, China refused to allow the world’s top virus specialists in to help contain it in Wuhan. Maybe they didn’t want us to know that rats and bats and snakes are part of the Oriental diet in places like Wuhan, China. Their effort to “save face” may have backfired big time.

Three weeks ago we were all torn up about a whole raft of issues, the main one being whether the rampant corruption among the top investigative departments and the DoJ would ever be brought to light or adjudicated. Now that seems like the furthest thing from anyone’s mind, particularly those that produce and report the news. They’re into a full blown panic, and we’d better be too, if we know what’s good for us. No telling what punishment lies in store for those who think the whole thing is terribly overblown. The kids on the beach for Spring Break are driving them crazy.

But some countries have reportedly been hit hard. Iran for example, continued flights from China for some time after President Trump curtailed them. High officials, including one top advisor to the chief ayatollah have come down with it, as have other high government officials. Italy has virtually shut down, the virus already having spread beyond its ability to control.

How many freedoms will we lose? Will the economy ever recover? Already we’ve seen certain neighborhoods “cordoned off.” A recent headline says California is considering martial law. The President and numerous states have declared a State of Emergency. We know that it makes red tape easier to cut through, allowing emergency funds to be tapped. What additional powers are available under the declaration, we have yet to see.

What we all want to know is, when will this thing be declared over? We wouldn’t be a bit surprised if they don’t extend emergency measures well beyond the two or three weeks that we’re talking about. Some of the politicians are calling for voting by mail, envisioning the “lock-down” lasting all the way to November. You don’t suppose anyone would use this international tragedy for nefarious political purposes? After all we’ve witnessed over the past three years, anything, maybe everything is possible.

We know that several of our church services have been canceled, sometimes by the rental facility where groups meet. Others are canceling scheduled meetings out of an abundance of caution. On the other hand, some think the whole thing is completely overblown and that there’s little to fear. We’re not issuing any edicts out of Tyler, it’s not our style and certainly wasn’t my Dad’s. Everyone has access to all the information they want, and some will scare you to death. But it’s a free country (or it was), and people are entitled to make up their own minds as to what they want to do and how they want to do it. Ministers are free to cancel meetings if they feel the need, or leave the door open for those that want to attend. No one needs to get bent out of shape at anyone who doesn’t agree with their take on the pandemic (present company excepted).

But the economic fallout is undeniably real. This may be the straw that breaks the back of the already troubled European Union. It looks like Germany will have to underwrite another bailout of the underwater neighbors to the South. Italy, Greece, and Spain, are nations that are dependent on tourism and already deep in debt. That situation may well have prophetic implications.

We’d much rather trust in God, than a media that has exposed it’s desire to manipulate public opinion. Besides, we’re just finding out that there’s an effective treatment that’s been in every drug store and pharmacy for decades. A study conducted in the South of France shows 100 percent cure rate according to information that has just been reported. It’s been used to treat malaria since the 1940’s, and its widely available even under generic brand names. Let’s hope this news spreads as rapidly as the panic did. In the meantime, paint your door posts, symbolically. Our CD offer this month is Don’t Worry, Be Happy, by Garner Ted Armstrong. If you’re sick and tired of all the panic, you’ll appreciate this sermon. DVDs of Passover and Holy Day services will be sent to all who ask and we’re making them available on our websites for those to whom LIVE services are unavailable.






Mark Armstrong