My Motivation For Writing
2020 was my first year to be involved in pastoral ministry. Admittedly, it was quite the fascinating ride in many ways. Here in the good old U.S. of A. we had a fiery political season, we had this unique anomaly called COVID, and at the start of 2021, we had a bit of an upheaval at the Capitol! Of course, that is not even referencing events, both joyful and tragic, that occur in the life of every local church as a pastor. So, I get that 2020 was a unique year and, 2021 has been a barn burner so far as well. So, why write an article series asking for the churches to open?
My motivation here is not to target the body of Christ at large, my primary goal is to write this article series to my fellow pastors. If you are reading this as someone who is not a pastor, keep reading, and share it with your pastor, but just know I will be writing mainly to my fellow brothers in pastoral ministry. I have preached a little over 100 sermons, I have about a year’s worth of pastoral experience, and I have not graduated seminary yet. I do not write this article as a 50-year seasoned vet in pastoral ministry, many of you reading this post have more experience than I do. However, just because I do not have a ton of years under my belt does not mean that I have absolutely nothing to offer in this conversation. I write this to spur my fellow brothers on to consider this subject and handle it faithfully to Christ. If what I say is true to Scripture brothers, then praise God for communicating biblical wisdom through the meager means of this blog and this writer. If anything I say is contrary to Scripture, then you can find the contact form here and I urge you to feel free to engage me in conversation regarding my error!
Foundations For A Hopefully Productive Article Series
I want to spend the rest of this first post in this series laying a couple of foundational aspects for this conversation. I expect some, if not many, will disagree with my final conclusions on this subject, though I sincerely hope they do not. However, I do not suspect to have any disagreement yet at least in this section as I am simply reminding folks of basic principles we should all understand when thinking through any issues. First of all, let me remind you of The Great Commission:
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:18-20
Why am I bringing this verse up in an article series about opening the church? Simply because I want to remind pastors and Christians that Jesus Christ has ALL AUTHORITY! Period. Full-stop. Christ is sovereign over everything. Since the Lord has complete authority, and since He has given us the Scripture as His special revelation, then the Bible must be the final authority for all of our life and practice. The CDC does not trump Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Now, the government and the authorities may or may not give good wisdom depending on the circumstance. However, they are not ultimately our final authority, Christ holds that position alone. As such, we must base our life, practice, thoughts, and everything upon what is honoring to Christ.
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirit of the world, and not according to Christ. – Colossians 2:8
When we are thinking and using our minds intellectually, we must use them in submission to Christ. We have got to understand that there is an enemy who wants to take us captive and if we do not hold fast to the Lord, then we will fall prey to the assaults of the evil one. Consequently, we must think about every area of life in submission to the Lordship of Christ. That truth most certainly includes our response to COVID. I would hope that all of us, as pastors and Christians, would agree that we should seek to think about this issue in a distinct way from the world by focusing on the glory of Christ. I know this vein of thought is basic, but that is my point in this first post. Personally, I feel like so many of us launch into these types of conversations at warp speed and forget to abide by these basic truths. Now, that we have covered these foundational principles, let us next evaluate the facts behind Coronavirus. See you then in the next post!
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