#47 At Issue: Church Closings by Government

According to Jason J. McGuire, New Yorkers For Constitutional Freedom, Gov. Cuomo has NOT ordered the cancellation of church meetings that would contain 50 or less people. At the same time he highly recommends using computer programs to “meet” while people stay home. Granted, most church services would have more than 50 attendees, but this order is not singling out the Christian faith but rather pertains to ALL groups.

Some Christians are encouraging others to defy the order and attend church services. They claim that it would be a sign that they have faith rather than fear. Would this attitude be similar to “putting the Lord to a foolish test” as was the temptation flung at Jesus by Satan while in the wilderness? There are some cults that go out of their way to allow themselves to handle or be bitten by poisonous snakes in order to show their faith. But even though St. Paul shook off a poisonous snake while on an island and had no ill effects, he did not GO OUT OF HIS WAY to get bit.

One major criticism of Christianity over the years is that believers ignore or have disdain for science, and by defying orders to not assemble for a while will underscore this attitude. Can you imagine what many would think if Christians who met in masse began to spread this virus to others?

If our government made a law that forbade our gathering together in any way, that would be unconstitutional. If our government eroded into communism and passed this restriction, I assume we would still meet like the underground churches do in other countries. Jesus said the “gates of Hades will not prevail against His Church.”

Romans Chapter 13 tells us to obey the government. This assumes it’s not telling us to sin. In our current case, our government is trying to protect all people, not stamp out Christianity. I know some will say, “Yes, but this how how suppression begins…and then begins the slippery slope downward.” I am fully aware of this form of deception genesis, but I do not see that spirit operating here with this issue of health safety. For those defiant believers: Do you also not wash your hands or cover your sneezes because you have faith that God will protect you and others? Are they also always protected by God to not catch a highly contagious disease? We cannot return to the horrible feudal days where sanitation methods were not yet developed and millions died via plagues that could have been prevented.

So I think that we Christians need to allow the Holy Spirit to probe our motivations that dictate our stances and convictions. Allowing this probe, however, is difficult to do properly when emotion runs strong. So unless we empty ourselves (opinions/thoughts/biases) totally before the Almighty, it is difficult to hear His Spirit speak.