<<< This is not an instruction or final ruling!!!! These are just my thoughts after prayerful consideration and my searching of God’s word. Let this be the beginning of a conversation! 😊>>>
Hello wandering soul who has happened to find this post! 🙂
There have been some different views on how Christians should approach Shelter-In-Place mandates in various states who have locked down pretty hard. Our Life Group of Young Married Couples has also been discussing this topic a bit and through scripture reading and prayer I have put my thoughts down for them to read and am posting here as well.
Passages to read first – Leviticus 21:16-23 and Romans 8:18-23 (I have pasted the ESV versions of these texts at the bottom of this post if you want to just scroll down and read first).
One of the things I used to struggle with the most in my early Christian walk was-> why does God allow sickness, pestilence, birth defects/deformities, COVID-19, etc?
Short answer – Sin has caused all of the nastiness that our world endures.
- The results of that sin also affects the innocent.
- God still weaves His goodness, plan, and purposes through these effects of sin.
- Christians suffer from these same effects of sin on our world.
- The cyclical nature of life, death, and change will continue until the Lord Jesus returns.
So what conclusions have I drawn from these passages?
Our world is cursed by sin and our soul and spirit have been redeemed by the gift of the cross in Jesus Christ; however, our bodies are yet to be glorified with Jesus. 1 Corinthians 15:50-53 says that we will die with perishable bodies but be raised with imperishable bodies. Even the family lineage of Aaron would be the only line from which Priests of the tabernacle would come, yet that same blessed family within the chosen children of Israel would suffer from the same deformities, sickness, sores and the like as everyone else…and those stricken would be unable to serve as Priests to give sacrifices…they were not immune to the effects of sin on a fallen world.
In Truth, Grace, and Love (I believe all positions like this need to be framed by these three lenses):
TRUTH (speaking openly about how I feel): If I think that I am immune to the effects of the COVID-19 virus then I am not paying attention to the message of the bible. I do believe in the almighty power of God to heal anyone or protect someone from COVID=19; what I am saying is that I am NOT going to expect that I AM protected (from either getting it myself or spreading it to others). The spiritual realm supersedes physical boundaries and I do believe that there is still value in meeting over wonderful inventions like Zoom and care for one another over electronic means. I am also called to love on those around me, both saved and unsaved; so our family does venture out to bring things to people in need, bring blessings to those we love, and serve those less fortunate. I also believe that we can come closer together respecting the instructions from our local government by taking the proper precautions. I also believe a day will come when the government will overtly act to limit my worship of the Creator God, will persecute my evangelism, and will work to subvert my ability to shepherd; but that is not what is happening here. We are being asked to take precautions to prevent the widespread propagation of a virus that has a 10 to 14 day incubation time (one that is very hard to get in front of). I believe we are doing right by God and His word to obey these instructions yet doing our best to adhere to God’s call to support one another in love, accountability, and service. Many of the letters we have from Paul were written because he had the inability to be present with the church he was writing to because he was in a place that prevented his movement; yet he still communicated effectively.
GRACE: I think that people’s opinions on this topic are like the one covered in Romans 14:13-19. Christians will have different views on the same topic and neither are inherently good or bad – but they may be deeply felt. I appreciate these differences (that do not stand against the teaching of Jesus) and hope that we can give grace to one another in our different views. What I want to encourage is for us to talk openly about how we feel, just as I am doing here. Please hear me in that this is not a heretical or show stopping issue and I hope that we can continue an open dialog in our pursuit to be Christlike and build on our theology while staying together in community and growth in our spiritual lives.
LOVE: I love each of you so much and I need you in my life. I feel a deep sense of protection for each one of your families; especially those of you who have compromised loved ones that you must interact with on a regular basis. Our brotherly/sisterly love rises above this virus and our situations – expressing love for one another in service, accountability, peace, and encouragement is part of what God has always had in His ultimate plan of redemption and rescue of His chosen. I am so thankful to my Lord and Savior in bringing us together through Canyon Hills and I expectantly look to a future where these ‘Shelter In Place’ orders are lifted. Until then, I hope to opportunistically and responsibly meet together to share in closeness and community. I believe that meeting together over Zoom is still fulfilling Matthew 18:20. Love is an aspect of the heart and mind that, again, breach physical boundaries. When I hear your heart and see your face, I am together with you. I am so thankful for each and every one of you!
Scriptures noted above:
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron, saying, None of your offspring throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the bread of his God. For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, a man blind or lame, or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long, or a man who has an injured foot or an injured hand, or a hunchback or a dwarf or a man with a defect in his sight or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles. No man of the offspring of Aaron the priest who has a blemish shall come near to offer the Lord’s food offerings; since he has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God. He may eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy and of the holy things, but he shall not go through the veil or approach the altar, because he has a blemish, that he may not profane my sanctuaries, for I am the Lord who sanctifies them.”
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
1 CORINTHIANS 15:50-53
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”