The Coronavirus has officially arrived. Many state governments are making drastic measures to curb the spread, and it seems like just a matter of time until the federal government steps in and puts large restrictions in place. In all my life I have never seen anything quite like this. The effects on the church has been something to observe. Elders have been put in a unique situation of trying to figure out what to do about worship services. With those decisions I have seen almost everyone get involved in the discussion.
The general consensus seems to be that we are doing something loving and compassionate by shutting our doors on Sundays. We don’t want the church to be responsible for killing people and so we have swiftly made a stand. We have determined that we will save a lot of lives by doing this. People have become extremely passionate about what good we are doing by cancelling assemblies.
My question is have we forgotten that sin is a bigger problem than any physical virus?
I know that many congregations have gone a long time without doing anything about the sin floating around among some of their members. The church in many locations looks the other way in a lot of situations that need to be addressed and handled. What does it say if we will make drastic moves to protect the church from physical sickness, but haven’t done anything about the spiritual disease in years? A young lady in her mid 20’s witnessed a congregation practice disfellowshipping and had no clue what was going on. Her sentiments are the norm.
It took careful thought, consideration, and searching the word of God to find out what we should do with Covid-19 and the assembly. The reason it took so much thought is because there is not a single verse that you could turn to. We have to draw conclusions from synthesizing a lot of verses and principles.
That is not the same for removing the sin virus from the Church. Much of the New Testament is dealing with correction and discipline yet it seems we do everything we can to not see those texts. When we consider that Jesus’ entire purpose was to preach (Mark 1:38, Luke 4:43) and that message was one of repentance (Matt 4:17), we are faced with the reality of what our emphasis should be. I wonder if it is.
If someone gets sick and passes it to someone else, that’s bad, and we should try to avoid that. If sin enters in to the church and it spreads, those people will go to hell if they don’t repent. Those stakes are not even comparable. What is a better display of love? What is more compassionate?
As bad as sickness and disease is, may we never forget that sin is enemy number one.