In a move promoted as faith-filled and wise, Bethel Church, the Redding, California, megachurch of over 11,500 people which also runs a school of supernatural ministry, has shifted their popular healing rooms to online events weeks after suspending their faith healing ministry at hospitals due to the new coronavirus.
Now most of their healing is related to stress from the virus.
“As the local and global community come together to address the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, Bethel Church is seeking to promote health across the community. In moments like these, we do not partner with fear, but choose to lean into faith and hope, as well as practicing wisdom and safety,” the church announced on March 20.
“We are actively encouraging health practices and precautions to our whole community. We believe that wisdom, modern medicine, and faith are meant to work together, and express the value for each in the pursuit of on-going health and healing. We continue to remain in close communication with Shasta County Public Health to be aware of their recommendations for Shasta County,” the church said.
While all in-person meetings and gatherings at the church have been suspended until further notice to comply with social distancing restrictions in California, Chris Gore, the church’s head of healing, told The Washington Post that their 700 healers are now working seven days a week online from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. And the most common ailment among the approximately 100 calls they get daily from around the world are mostly related to stress about the coronavirus, Gore told the publication.
In a post on his Facebook page, Gore promoted Psalm 91 in a message urging Christians not to partner with fear.
“What’s happening in the world is just horrible. It’s heart breaking to see the loss of lives. So many of these people are the elderly and people with underlying health issues and weakened immune systems. I have written the last few posts mentioning not partnering with fear,” he wrote on March 29.
“I think we can all agree that fear is a real thing. I personally don’t like the words ‘fearless or no fear’ as we all experience fear but it is a matter of how we respond to fear we experience that counts. This virus has created so much fear in the world. Science tells us that prolonged fear will weaken your immune system and that makes us more vulnerable to this virus. I refuse to partner with fear,” Gore added.
“I encourage you today, yes we have some facts going on in the world but Jesus is not the spirit of fact or fear, He is the spirit of truth and the Prince of peace. Fact is we have a virus, truth is He is the protector, savior, redeemer, healer, and restorer. I’m working hard to stay in and to stay partnered with peace. I pray that you will also encounter peace in this storm. Declare with me today that ‘fear is not my friend’ I pray that this attack will quickly come to an end and the loss of precious lives would stop. #Shalom#Peace#FearisNotyourfriend#Psalm91,” he wrote.
The CDC says fear and anxiety about the coronavirus can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in both adults and children. Some symptoms of stress can include: Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones; changes in sleep or eating patterns; difficulty sleeping or concentrating; worsening of chronic health problems; worsening of mental health conditions, as well as increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.
In order to better cope with stress related to the coronavirus, the CDC recommends taking breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media as hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
Eating healthy balanced meals, exercising and meditation and avoiding alcohol and drugs were also said to help with managing stress.