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Thread: Not the Time

  1. #1
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    Not the Time

    My old pastor in Lexington from years ago wrote this. I agree totally.

    Not The Time To Defy Our Leaders

    Why do some pastors continue to defy quarantine orders by government officials? I have refrained from commenting on this issue because I thought by now common sense and a desire for the health of their congregations and communities would have prevailed. But, no, there are still selfish grandstanding pastors who are determined to defy the orders to stay at home.

    Giving the benefit of the doubt, I’m sure there are some who have sincere motives and think they’re doing the right thing. It’s true that the NewTestament says not to forsake assembling with fellow believers. But complying with a temporary order to preserve parishioners’ health and prevent people from dying is not forsaking anything. We are temporarily and voluntarily staying apart to preserve a greater good.

    There are others who cite their First Amendment rights. Well and good, but those rights are still intact. No laws have been passed outlawing churches or making it illegal for believers to assemble. If that were true, I would be the first to defend our right to assemble. I firmly believe that God’s mandates supersede the mandates of the state. I believe that nonviolent civil disobedience is necessary when the state demands us to disobey God. But that does not apply here. This is a completely different issue. It grieves me that some are so tied to their religious traditions and customs that they are willing to put hundreds, even thousands, of others at risk.

    So far no laws have been passed that would limit our religious freedom. Hopefully these non compliant leaders will not push authorities so hard that such laws are enacted in order to control their rebellion and disrespect for their authorities. Perhaps they should go home and read Romans 13.

    I heard one pastor say in a public statement that the church is not a non-essential organization, but is as essential as hospitals and grocery stores. I totally agree in principle, but the fallacy is his assumption that somehow the church being the church is tied to the building it gathers in. But the church doesn’t somehow become itself when it enters the building and then cease to exist when the building empties. It appears that some of our brothers and sisters are afflicted with a serious case of edifice complex.

    The good news is that the church is the People of God, the Body of Christ. The church is not only real for a couple hours a week while inside a building. The church is actually better positioned to be Jesus to others when we’re not assembled. We have digital tools to use to encourage one another and even to gather virtually for worship, teaching and small groups, and there are many ways we can help our neighbors and those who are most at risk, without violating the guidelines we’ve been given.

    Many of us have been given the gift of time. Time we can use to reach out and time to be quiet before the Lord and listen and pray and read. Coupling this with the virtual opportunities mentioned above, the church can emerge from this crises stronger than if we had gone on with business as usual. When this is over we will certainly have greater appreciation for one another and the blessing of corporate worship.

    In the meantime I appeal to those advocating that we ignore the present crisis and carry on as usual. Please stop putting people at risk. And please stop besmirching the name of Christ and His Church by your irresponsibility and selfishness.

    John Meadows
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Well said.
    Here is an interesting perspective from my wife. She said she has been able to attend many different churches since the social distancing has been in effect. For us living with a child with medical issues and weak immune system for 17 years has made us social distance before that was even a thing. This does not have to weaken our relationship with God. It can make it stronger.

    God Bless,
    Dave

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