There are two basic responses that the Bible requires of us, to the coronavirus outbreak.
The first is submission to the governing authorities. Presently, the CDC has called for
- self-isolation for those over 65,
- “strong” social distancing and
- canceling events over 50 people.
I see no sin in these. Therefore, Romans 13:1-7 straightforwardly applies:
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
So then, we are beholden to God to follow the CDC’s guidelines, as best we can. Because, as Paul says above, God wears the governing authorities as His mask – even those who do not acknowledge Him – to push good into the world. What matters more than our personal assessment of the necessity of our government’s guidelines is our conscience, and whether we are humbly submitting to God’s sovereignly-placed authorities.
But secondly, we don’t place our faith in those governing authorities. Submission to someone is different than trusting in someone. In fact, the only way we can submit to another fallen human being is by not trusting in them, but in God. What enables our submission to the governing authorities is our ability to look over their shoulder with a wry smile, to the face of our real Protector, Provider and Leader, knowing that He does more good than we can imagine.
He provides for us . . . through us. Now’s the time to be “Grace” Church – to flow grace to each other! We want to be grace in the following ways:
- Pay special attention to those who are isolated. Reach out to them, by phone, card, etc.
- If you are part of a small group, find ways to continue to be in touch.
- We are working to have a live stream available by Sunday. You will find it by clicking on “Live Stream” at the top our website – gracechurcheg.org. We will post more details about our approach to Sunday worship very soon.
- Before the coronavirus situation came on the scene, the elders were already feeling a burden to take our role as shepherds more seriously. The coronavirus situation has only heightened that concern. Expect to hear from us soon – we want to know how you’re doing, and what’s most important to you right now, as you seek to follow the Lord, and walk by faith in Him.
Pastor Jed, for the elders