Church Life

We Weren't Afraid

For many of us it was never about fear. We wore masks. We social-distanced. We avoided gatherings. We encouraged people to consider participating in Sunday school and worship over Zoom or Facebook Live. We respected the officials who—for better or worse, correct or incorrect—made the tough calls and closed businesses, limited gatherings, and recommended or required masks.

We were not “afraid.”

We didn’t choose “fear instead of faith” and certainly didn’t choose “fear instead of science.”

What we felt was a sense of responsibility. We felt that responding wisely to a fast-spreading, largely mysterious disease required millions of people to do things that, individually, would only help a little bit, if at all, but that might, repeated millions of times by millions of citizens, reduce suffering and death.

This sense of responsibility seemed to be missing among many of our fellow Christians, and that grieved us.

We’re responsible to be good stewards of our own personal health and the health of our families.

Stewardship runs all through Scripture. The first man is instructed to take care of Eden (Gen 2:15). David publicly acknowledges that our possessions come from God and remain actually His (1 Chron 29:14, 16; cf. Psalm 24:1). Jesus teaches the parable of the talents (Matt 25:14-30) and declares that to whom much is given much will be required (Luke 12:48).

Paul gets intensely personal:

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"Members of the blood-bought church of Jesus Christ have a holy calling to put up with one another."

"Forbearance is more than a nicety we extend to fellow church members when convenient. It’s a moral responsibility: we are called to clothe ourselves with the virtue of “bearing with one another” in fidelity to Christ (Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:13; cf. Rom. 15:1)." - 9 Marks

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“Protestant churchgoers (86%) say they are proud of how their church has responded during the coronavirus pandemic”

"Most churchgoers experienced some type of back-and-forth with the availability of in-person services. For 3 in 10 (31%), in-person services stopped at their church for a short period of time and have since resumed. Another 22% say in-person services were halted for much of the year but have resumed." - LifeWay

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Four pictures of the church you won't find in the Bible

"The church as a gas station—where you fill up your spiritual gas tank when you’re running low... The church as a movie theater—a place that offers entertainment... The church as a drug store—where you can fill the prescription that will deal with your pain... The church as a big box retailer—the place that offers the best products in a clean and safe environment for you and your family" - Colin Smith

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Not So Unprecedented Times: What We Can Learn From the Spanish Flu Church

"Since most of us don’t know anyone who was alive in 1919, it’s easy to feel like we’ve never been here before. And yet, a brief look into the not too distant past shows that in some ways, this is nothing new. Specifically, the church in America has been here before and emerged stronger on the other side, which raises the question: How did that happen?" - F&T

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