God Help Us!

I am writing this piece to help me work out what I believe are the priorities of a local church in the midst of the current coronavirus pestilence. As I see it there are at least six considerations:

The Lord’s will

This is simple and plain enough. Hebrews 10:25 (KJV)

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Biblical

I recently outline Psalms 27:1–6 in my Daily Visit with God, April 26, 2020.[1] It is through the assembly of the local church that God works in the people of God. Assembly is essential because there is no such thing as an invisible church, universal church, or virtual church.

Constitutional

I do not believe our anabaptist father would have concerned themselves with this question. I think it is helpful that A.G. Barr wants to ensure our Constitutional right to worship is upheld but I believe we are justified in worship even without that right.

Legal

While I am concerned that our governor has little interest in the need of assembled worship, he has not specifically targeted churches. His measures have been broad sweeping and, for the most part, irrational and indiscriminate. He has forbidden everything from fishing to bicycle riding for heaven’s sake. I believe, concerning assembled worship, he has simply set it aside as:

1. An obvious health risk

2. Of little concern among all of his concerns

Cultural

While precautions seem warranted, some of them have the risk of long term and negative impact on the future of local church culture.

1. I have specifically preached against drive-in church services for 30–35 years probably (ever since I saw it happen at a drive-in theater in Utah while traveling through. More recently I have preached against virtual church services, as that is becoming very popular.

2. The subject of “social distancing” has concerned me at least as long as my youngest son has been alive. He was born with allergies so that his doctor, aware that I am a pastor, advised us not to have him in the nursery. We refused that advice. I have said for years that the way to have a strong immunity is to be exposed to germs, not isolate from them.[2]

The worldwide response to this virus, I believe, will damage to body/family culture of a local church. If we allow it to become our cultural practice to wear masks, not shake hands, and avoid strangers or any but our favorites at church, God help us.

Health Concerns

When the news of the Wuhan coronavirus first surfaced, I was skeptical about whether it was as dangerous as everyone thought. I like to listen to a medical doctor named Adam Nally. I consider him reasonable and one to study out a position rather than just mimic the traditional medical party line. Early on[3] he said that the reason this virus was more serious than the flu was:

1. It is very contagious

2. It has a high degree of turning to double pneumonia

3. It seems to settle in the kidneys, making it very dangerous for people with type 2 diabetes

These concerns were legitimate and of great concern to me.

When President Trump presented his “15 Days to Slow the Spread” I was willing to take extreme measures because:

1. The plan was reasonable, well stated, and for a limited time.

2. I want to protect the members of our church if possible.

3. I would hate to be responsible for a non-believer becoming ill and possibly dying to face an eternal hell.

4. Governor Inslee seemed to take great measures to give, especially churches, liberty to comply voluntarily.

I am now convinced:

1. This coronavirus is only a little more dangerous than the flu. It may be more dangerous, but it is not the “killer of the world” at first feared.

2. Governor Inslee is now content to leave churches locked up until there is a cure for the virus. This is unreasonable and likely impossible.

3. Our Federal Government has limited power over state government (rightly so) and will be of little help.

4. Our command to obey God supersedes state orders.

5. The suggested “safe practices” are in and of themselves an encroachment on the spiritual culture of a local Independent Baptist Church.

6. We must therefore wisely and discreetly begin to move back to local church, local body worship.

Marvin McKenzie

In the fields

[1] I could recite many other supporting Scriptures.

[2] I do understand that there are some legitimate exceptions — just not as many as some people suppose.

[3] He has since changed his position and said that the coronavirus is no more dangerous than the flu.

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Marvin McKenzie

Marvin McKenzie

219 Followers

Pastor, self published Amazon Author, avid student of the Bible. teacher of the Word of God in college level . Daily visit with God www.marvinmckenzie.org