With Covid 19, many churches have found themselves on the “outs” with their government. Some have chosen to beleive that since it has not affected themselves personally, it isn’t as bad as it portrayed in the media. Here in the United States it was even suggested that the virus was a vast conspiracy to keep our president from a second term. So I find myself trapped between two view points of peer pressure of political freedom and governmental approval.
Some are out there daily reminding us that though there might be a potentially deadly virus to some lurking out there, we still have a governmental right to meet in unmasked large groups. They fail to distinguish between a governmental right and what we in America refer to in our Declaration of Independence as “unalienable rights” and what God may want of us.
- “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,”
There is what lies the rub, that God has given us governmental rights . . . do I want my governmental rights here in the United States, the answer is 1000xs over YES. But are governmental rights needed for the church to exist and function . . . . the answer is 1000xs over NO. The reality is that the church existed and functioned for over 1700 years prior to birth of the United States and should Jesus tarry, then the the church will exist for over 1700 years past the end and folly of the United States.
I have visited many large churches that have decided they have a right to meet in large groups. And in each of those services the subject eventually comes back to “we need you to give extra to meet our bills.” The unwritten theology is that without large crowds to donate large amounts of money, the church is in trouble.”
Yet, as we were reminded several posts ago, that Jesus said:
- Matthew 18:20 NASB – 20 “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”
The idea that Jesus is any less present in small numbers is NOT taught by the Holy Spirit. We act like God was caught off guard by Covid. God was not caught off guard by Covid, we were. I would suggest that instead of Covid being a detriment to the church, it is instead a wake up call to the church. Here in America we have married our church to the state of our government. We refuse to see that what can be written into law by one administration can be unwritten by the next. The church in America, I believe has been seeking the wrong approval. We spend more time and money on politics than on doing such things as James said:
- James 1:27 NASB – 27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of [our] God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, [and] to keep oneself unstained by the world.
Might I be so bold as to suggest something so radical as a wake up call for the church, “If it can not be accomplished by as little as two or three than it is not part of the purpose of the church.” It may be a great thing to do to help support the church, but not part of the church’s mission. For should the church become persecuted, as in other parts of the world, and need to go underground, it still functions. Funny thing is about the church, everything that Scripture suggests we do as Christians does NOT need large groups to accomplish. Living without persecution or meeting as large groups is never stated as a “right” in Scripture.
Am I thankful for the right to meet and accomplish things in large groups, yes once again 1000x times over and over again. But if the church should not have the right to meet in large groups it will still be the Church. The church does NOT need governmental rights to exist. It is time to ask ourselves, whose approval are we really seeking?