I am amazed by the disunity of our nation. I would have thought this crisis would have brought us together in order to fight against this invisible enemy that we have. But alas, it has not. The left sees the right as not doing enough and the right sees the left as doing too much. No matter what side you are on, each politician is stuck in a rock and hard place – damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
The people blame governments for the shutdown. But what is their motivation? What compelled them to shut down our businesses and churches? It was based upon medical and scientific evidence that this virus has the potential to kill many people. But it is not the virus itself that will kill. Those who are healthy who contract the virus will have a 98% survival. What does kill is the mass influx of people into our medical system rendering it incapable of treating not just the virus but all the other ailments and injuries that happen every day. It would be a shame if someone died of appendicitis because there was no room for them in the hospital.
Political disunity is not new in our country. But, what I am deeply troubled at the disunity within the Church. One movement, in particular, is the complete distrust of our government and defiance that once was only found in pagans.
But Christian, why are you so defiant? You tout the first amendment complaining about “Mah RIGHTS!” You call out the government, or even other churches, for blasphemy for not allowing church on Sunday. Words like “tyrant” and “dictator” are being thrown around. Should hateful words come out of the same mouth in which we praise our God?
Let’s look at what the apostle Paul has to say considering he lived under and actual tyrant. In his first letter to the Corinthians Paul addressed food offered to idols. There were those who ate such food knowing it was within their freedom, within their rights, to eat such food and it not affect them spiritually. But, there were those who did not know or understand and witnessed these people eating food offered to idols and came to believe it is ok to eat this food in homage to those idols. In effect, these “weaker” people fell back into idolatry. Paul says, “Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off is we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.” (1 Cor. 8:8-9)
In our churches, we have individuals who are more vulnerable to the virus: the elderly and people with existing health issues. Looking at our congregations today it is no stretch to say the majority of our congregations are vulnerable.
In our exegesis here the most vulnerable are the “weaker” of the Church. Our right to assemble as given to us by God should not become a “stumbling block” in the health of our weaker brothers and sisters. If you know the gospel, you know that going to church will not commend us to God. We are not worse off if we do not attend church, and our standing with God is not better if we do. The human was not made for church, but church for humanity. In our day technology, though a poor substitute, still gives us means to fellowship and receive the word of God form each other.
So yes, it is unchristian to assemble your church during this pandemic. The love of your neighbor and their wellbeing trumps the rights you have. Do not let your freedom destroy our neighbors. Though I am free, I have become a servant, so as to ensure the life and wellbeing of others. Don’t risk the lives of others for your freedom.