A conservative pastor from Virginia who declared he wouldn’t get the coronavirus was recently served a big slice of humble pie when he contracted said coronavirus.
The surprising announcement was revealed when E.W. Jackson updated his congregation about his noticeable absence over the past couple of weeks during a live sermon streamed on Facebook. As it turns out, he caught the ‘rona and gave it to his wife.
“I want to say that I’ve been out for the last several weeks, probably … because I was speaking somewhere else, and last week, I was out because I was tested positive for COVID-19,” Jackson said to his followers at Exodus Faith Ministries. “I’m back, I’m healthy, I’m sound, I’m whole, praise God. I’m feeling good.”
“My wife, of course, she got it from me,” he added. “But she’s doing fine too, and she’s going to be back to work tomorrow.”
In an exclusive interview with Newsweek, Jackson claims his busy schedule exposed him to the contagious virus, which, according to him, could have been avoided if he just took a page from God’s book and reserved one day a week for rest.
“The only person who ever walked in perfect faith was Jesus Christ. So when I make these professions, what am I doing? I’m striving for the highest standard I can reach. When I fall short, as in this case, it’s not God’s fault. I’ll tell you what-exactly what I believe really happened to me. The Bible says we’re supposed to rest one day a week, and I’ve been working seven days a week probably for-I don’t know-who knows how long. So while I’m confessing that I don’t have it-I’m not gonna get it-I’m wearing myself off,” Jackson told Newsweek in a phone call.
His reflection about contracting coronavirus continued, somehow rationalizing his blind faith against the warning signs of science.
“You immune system gets worn down, and this virus, like any other infection, is opportunistic, and I opened up myself up by just running, running, running, running, running and never getting any rest,” Jackson said on the phone. “A confession of faith does not absolve you of consequences for not acting consistently with that faith. What I told my congregation is ‘I’ve learned something.’ I’m just going to start doing what I knew I should’ve been doing in the first place, which is taking time to rest, and not running myself ragged.”
The energy was very different back in March. With his tablet in hand, the shuffle foot pastor stood in front of his congregation and denounced the seriousness of the virus and claimed the bible inoculated him from it.
“I don’t have the coronavirus,” Jackson said at the time. “I’m not going to get the coronavirus. I’m not going to give anybody the coronavirus, because I can’t get it, because I talked to God about it, and I’ve taken my vaccine. My vaccine is Psalm 91, and I am free from that mess.”
“I read an article, and it was criticizing me, and part of it, they said, like, ‘He acts like Christians can’t get the coronavirus,’” Jackson added. “Now I never said that. I never said that, because of course they can. But here’s what I’m saying: You don’t have to. If you guys believe in God, you don’t have to. Hallelujah, and if you don’t have to, then don’t.”
Jackson, a former candidate for U.S. Senate and Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, is a known Trump supporter who weaponized his homophobia to attack the LGBT community for destroying the Black family.