I don’t normally blog on a Monday and I’ve got to say, I sometimes find it difficult to think of a topic to write about when in lockdown. However, when I heard this morning that a Church had gathered in Blacktown yesterday, I felt the need to pull out a rare-as-hens’-teeth Monday post.
You can read more about the service here.
That people would meet and claim in the name of God that the lockdown is over is just downright crazy. Even more so, when the people are gathering in a current ‘hotspot’ location and coming from additional neighbouring ‘hotspot’ areas. If these people believe they are living in line with God’s word, in The Bible, then they are sadly mistaken.
Here’s the start of Romans Chapter 13:
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
I think that’s pretty clear.
Sure, there are times when the authorities may ask us to deny our faith and then our allegiance is first and foremost to God. But that is not happening right now. There is liberty to conduct Church services via zoom, livestream and the like – which is what is happening all over New South Wales right now.
My Church was online yesterday while I was online with a bunch of children in Years 6-8 running their Bible Study. Sure, it’s not great – even more so after a week of teaching down the tunnel (that’s what it’s like with kids, seriously, put your camera on!!) – but life isn’t great right now. That doesn’t give licence for civil disobedience in the name of God though.
A final comment:
Gathering and Scattering are natural processes that have occurred with the people of Israel and the Church since they have been in existence. Sure, no one likes the scattering, but it’s still Biblical.
Now is sadly a time of scattering. Weep, mourn, wail and get all Old Testament prophet style and put on your best sackcloth and ashes suit, if you must.
But don’t gather.
Show compassion for your Church and your city. In love, keep them safe.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
Jesus said that one.
Yours in keeping others safe,