Updated: Apr 28, 2020
Gathering together in high praises to God; After corona virus, will it ever be the same or will pastors, leaders and believers cede that ground too, just as easily as we ran for the cover and safety of online streaming?
Yes, it’s a big question and one that no one person can answer, especially me, a newly installed pastor of a very small congregation. However, as one who strongly believes and teaches on the importance of being Holy Spirit led, woefully I have to admit, I never saw 2020 coming into view the way it has with church doors being shut and the handful of pastors who didn’t shut their doors being mocked, ridiculed and belittled for taking a stand in faith. Oh, did I fail to mention that it was other Christians who were among those who did the most mocking, ridiculing and jeering?
But I digress, the point is, I cannot claim any authority on forecasting what will follow next however, I believe God is giving me a glimpse into the probable responses some Christians will take. In sharing my insight with you, I’ll be trying extremely hard to refrain from a tone of condemnation, guilt, shame and coming off as being judgmental. Candidly I have to tell you it’s a very challenging task to refrain judgment in this matter because I’ve been in complete disagreement with the entire overall response of the Body of Christ in the United States. Witnessing the responses of men and women of God I respect and admire has taken me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions ranging from sadness and anger, frustration and betrayal and, abandonment and shame. Personally, I don’t think too much foresight had gone into preparing for the repercussions that will follow the shut down and if some have thought
these matters through, they considered them of minimal importance and secondary to human wisdom and obeying the authority of bureaucrats. Clearly constitutional rights and the obligation we all have to protect those rights were completely disregarded and trampled underfoot as the fear of man, the fear disease and the fear of death were elevated to god-like status. Again forgive me if this all comes off sounding judgmental but there’s really no politically correct way to describe how foundational tenets of The Christian faith were so easily reinterpreted and explained away to provide a sense of comfort in helping us believe we were doing the right thing.
Years ago, one of my school of ministry teachers had a very childlike simplified explanation for deception. He used to say, “when you’re deceived, you think you’re right, so you don’t know you’re being deceived and that’s what deception is, believing a lie, accepting it as truth, and acting on it.” It would be even worse to try and comfort ourselves and each other by continuing to call it something else. The fact of the matter is, we’ve allowed political correctness, the fear of man and the lies of the devil to usurp the authority of The Body of Christ to gather together in prayer and corporate unity at a time when corporate prayer and worship was an essential need. We abandoned our positions in the community and the authority of moral responsibility we have to speak out against lies, untruths and over-exaggerations that were the outgrowths of pure, unadulterated uncut, unvarnished fear.
This leads to my intent on writing this which is to say, some people will never be the same. The devil is a theif and a liar and for some people corporate worship has been stolen from them and they will never again enter the House of God. Many of those that do will never again hold hands in prayer or allow themselves to be in any environment where they can’t have 6 feet. Some people will refuse to be in an environment where masks aren’t being worn. The churches that can afford it will provide separate sections where these people can fill safe.
Again, I don’t claim to have the answers, but I do know that when people “feel” a certain way, it’s impossible and unacceptable to tell them their feelings are foolish, irrational or unfounded. I do know that nothing short of an overwhelmingly massive influx of truth will undo the extensive disrepair of corporate worship we’re about to experience and while I don’t have the answers, I can safely say, corporate worship will never be the same and I’m almost certain that some will hail those changes as good and necessary.
On that point I’d beg to differ, instead I’d say, it is what it is, nothing more, nothing less.
Needless to say but necessary to state, these are my own thoughts and opinions and as such they are not intended to be an official stance of the denomination I belong to, the church I pastor or any of its members.