Two days ago I posted the following on Facebook:
Dustin Benge @DustinBenge – You’re not sinning for canceling your worship gathering tomorrow and you’re not holier if you’re having a worship gathering tomorrow. However, you will be sinning if you do not preach Christ.
Much changed in 24 hours that has led to my decision for this post.
Yesterday President Trump under consultation with the CDC and other top government and medical officials took the unusual step to make the following recommendations (NEXT 15 DAYS AT LEAST)
- Work from home whenever possible
- School your kids from home, if possible
- Avoid any gatherings of 10 or more people
- Avoid eating or drinking in bars, restaurants, and food courts; use drive-thru, pickup or delivery options instead
- If you are sick, stay home, and if your kids are sick keep them home
- If someone in your household is diagnosed with this virus, the entire family should quarantine inside your home
- Avoid all discretionary travel, including optional shopping trips and social visits
- Do not visit nursing homes or critical care facilities, unless it’s to provide critical care
- Older people and anyone with a health condition that weakens their immune system or impairs lung or heart function should stay home and away from other people
- Practice good hygiene: wash your hands and avoid touching your face, disinfect frequently used items and sneeze or cough into a tissue, when necessary
THE BIBLE SAYS
As you can see the BIG one is point #3 and how it impacts the church. Or maybe I should say how it should impact the church.
There is NO DOUBT that God and God alone is in control of all things including COVID-19, and the Civil Government Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Romans 13:1
There can also be no doubt (at least in my mind) that we are to be obedient to that civil authority Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation Romans 13:2.
As long as the government is not asking, recommending or issuing guidelines that are illegal, immoral or unethical Peter days: Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. 1 Peter 2:13-17
Also we know that as Psalm 91 above states that God protects HIS own. That however does not mean that no True Christian will not get COVID-19. God may choose to allow it to happen for His glory.
- God’s Protection does not mean equate to the right to assembly
- The Recommendation to not gather in groups of 10 or more IS NOT and infringement on anyone’s 1st Amendment rights.
- Churches; like individuals should follow the recommendations of the government
- To not do so is to say we in the church are “better” or above the law
- Those outside the “Faith” are always looking at those walking in the Light
- It is the perfect opportunity to get back to basics with small groups or home style church meetings.
- It is the perfect time to get in our prayer closets with Christ
The bottom line I will not be gathering at my normal place of worship not because I am afraid of COVID-19 or lack confidence in God’s ability to protect me. I will not because I want the folks in my neighborhood to know I respect the authority appointed over me.
MS Dept of Health, Mississippi Coronavirus Hotline (8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday): 877-978-6453