Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words
At the beginning of the pandemic, I wrote an article about Hebrews 10.25. In that article, we discussed the difference between a temporary stay on public gatherings and forsaking the assemblies. These are not the same thing!
That was probably 8 months or so ago. Many still face an uncomfortable decision: risk exposure to sickness, possibly giving it to family or friends, or violate public health orders to assemble.
I’d like to consider a few points:
- We are to obey government as long as it doesn’t violate God’s law (Romans 13). At some point, these recommendations violate God’s command for us to assemble.
- Some have become accustomed to worshipping from home or in a very limited capacity. Some have even voiced a preference for virtual worship. Fellowship, unity, relationship, and presence are a huge part of what gets us through this life with a strong faith!
- Many are strongly divided over the varied issues in this pandemic. Some have allowed this to create tension between members of the church. We must remember Romans 14 – if it isn’t a salvation issue, we shouldn’t make it into an issue (see also II Timothy 2.23, 24).
- At some point, we need to set aside our fear or any other reason we may have and worship together again. The early church faced the very real threat of death because of their faith and sometimes met in secret because of it.
This is not an article intending to downplay the seriousness of the virus that has made 2020 such a nightmare. Many have lost loved ones because of it. But it is my hope that we will move past our fears and fellowship together again!