By Larry Robertson
Pastor, Hilldale Baptist Church, Clarksville
If your church is viewed by your community as part of the COVID-19 problem and not part of the solution because you continue to gather, shake hands, hug necks, you’re killing your influence in the community after this thing’s done.
Government leaders requesting that churches not gather during this time of increasing viral spread is not persecution. It’s not an attack on religious liberty. It’s not a judgment against the content of our beliefs. It’s not part of some global conspiracy to stop the spread of the gospel.
It is an attempt to save lives, and we should be a part of that effort.
I’ve been pondering what churches would’ve done had all this happened in the ’80s. I don’t know what that might’ve looked like. But churches are rising up now in amazing ways using technology that anybody can access from almost anywhere. Our gatherings online might be virtual, but the worship and connections are real!
We’ve said that the church is not a building or a place, that it’s a body and a people. We’re proving our true ecclesiology in this crisis. (Ecclesiology is a fancy word for what we believe about the church.)
We’ve said we believe in doing everything “for the sake of the gospel,” 1 Corinthians 9:23. We’re proving our true soteriology and missiology in this crisis. (Soteriology and missiology are fancy words for what we believe about salvation and missions, respectively.)
We’ve said that we believe God is sovereign and that He “causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose,” Romans 8:28. We’re proving our true theology in this crisis. (Theology is a fancy word for what we believe about God.)
This observation is not directed toward any particular church or individual; that’s not how I roll. But I do implore my brothers and sisters to think through not only the “so what” and “now what” of this current crisis but also the “then what.”
We’re going to make it through this thing. Then what? B&R Larry Robertson is pastor of Hilldale Baptist Church, Clarksville.