Update – 5/8/20: I am very pleased to announce that our corporate worship services will resume on 5/10/20.
“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.” Psalm 122:1
Update – 4/4/20: Until further notice, our corporate worship services at Peace Baptist Church will be temporarily suspended. Until the day that we will be joined together again I would encourage our PBC brethren to invest time on the Lord’s day to to that of prayer and family devotions. While this is no substitute to the corporate assembly, it will be the best use of our time during this unusual season of life. Devotional videos will be posted each week for the edification of our flock, and I would encourage you to use these videos as an aid to your own times of family devotion. Further updates will be posted on this page in the weeks to come – Pastor Michael J Beasley.
As a result of the president’s coronavirus guidelines, most churches are temporarily suspending their worship services. This is quite new to all of us. It is especially new to me over the span of my own pastoral ministry. These matters should not be taken lightly and so I wanted to share a few relevant thoughts on the subject:
1. Some have asserted that a temporary cessation of church meetings is a violation of Hebrews 10:24-25, but this is a misapplication of the text. Clearly, the author of Hebrews was dealing with a persecuted church. Assembling in the name of Christ was potentially dangerous, not because of some unseen contagion, but because of the growing persecution of Christ’s disciples.2. Others have suggested that Romans 13:1-7 relates to this situation, rather than Hebrews 10:24-25, in view of its call to submit to governing authorities. I agree on the applicability of this text, even though there is no specific “law” established regarding the president’s “15 day guideline.”3. While Romans 13:1-7 gives us an important reminder regarding our need to honor those who serve in governing authority, there are also important considerations to observe regarding our neighbors. I invite the reader to consider the texts of Romans 13:8-10 and Philippians 2:3. In Romans 13:8-10, Paul heralds the supremacy of the law of love, reminding us that “love does no wrong to a neighbor,” and in Phil. 2:3 he says, “…with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself.” Why might these texts apply to our present situation? I believe that these texts apply seeing that this particular coronavirus appears to be uniquely pernicious because those who carry it may not know that they are infected at all – for several days. This, it is believed, accounts for what is a much higher transmission rate than other known viruses. Because of this, the risks posed by this particular contagion bring to mind that there is more to consider than just submission to governing authority: there is the consideration of our neighbor and his/her well-being. Overall, a person who feels quite healthy at present may inadvertently infect others unintentionally. Though unintentional, it would still result in a measure of harm done to another, and for some it may result in their death. This consideration extends not just to the frail and elderly, but also to children.