Mailbag

The Mailbag: Why no COVID weigh-in?

 

Just out of curiosity, is there a reason you (like many other leaders/public figures) are choosing not to take a stand [on churches not gathering during this time, when the “right time” to open the doors again would be, etc.] one way or another, publicly? I feel as though now more than ever, we are looking to our leaders, pastors, etc for guidance on navigating this current situation and there is hardly any to be had. Why are so many choosing not to discuss it? I know that you have a large following, which is why I was wondering why you weren’t being more vocal.

This question was posed by one of my dear Facebook followers last week, and I thought it would be a good question to answer in The Mailbag. 

She is quite right. Other than this episode (Church Was Never Meant to be Remote: Reuniting After COVID-19) of A Word Fitly Spoken, I haven’t really addressed any of the specific issues surrounding COVID-19 nor taken sides on things like wearing masks, opening up the economy, when is the “right time” for churches to start meeting in person again, etc.

I cannot speak to why other people with platforms have or haven’t addressed any or all of these issues. I can only speak for myself. Others may have some of the same reasons I’m about to share, or they may have different reasons. If you want to know what someone else’s reasons are, you’ll have to ask him or her. Here are the reasons I haven’t publicly addressed these issues:

😷¹ I am not your leader. (I know the lady who asked the question knows that, but I think it’s important to clarify this point in case it might be fuzzy to others.) I am a content creator. My job is to provide you with doctrinally sound leisure time reading and listening material to bolster what you should already be receiving at church². Think of this ministry as an optional, nutritious, between-meals snack, and your local church as your essential three square meals a day. You should not be looking to me or any other online personality for leadership or shepherding. That’s your pastor’s and elders’ job at the church level, your parents’ job if you’re a minor living in their home, or your husband’s job if you’re married. As I often say, it is my joy to serve you in Christ. That’s what I am to you – a servant, not a leader.

😷 I’m global. For reasons He hasn’t disclosed to me, God has chosen to make my content available on every continent on this planet except Antarctica (although I actually have one follower who has been to Antarctica – does that count? :0) That means, if I “took a stand” on various issues surrounding COVID, it would go out to all kinds of different countries and areas with all kinds of different cultures, laws, and governmental leaders. All I know is America, Louisiana, Baton Rouge. That’s what molds the way I think and form opinions about these issues, and that’s not only not necessarily applicable to someone in Pakistan, or Venezuela, or Eritrea, it could be discouraging to people in those countries, or even dangerous for them to act on my America-centric pronouncements. I mean, my goodness, my Louisiana viewpoint and advice on these issues probably aren’t even applicable to people in New York or Nebraska or Oregon.

😷 It’s political. COVID-related issues are saturated with politics. You can’t divorce one from the other. And if you’ve followed me for any length of time, you may have noticed that I don’t get involved in political or legal issues unless they intersect directly with Scripture. I’m a “stay in my lane” kind of gal, and politics and policies are not my lane. For me, personally, for this particular ministry and what I’m trying to accomplish here, politics is an unnecessary distraction. My focus (and I realize it’s a narrow focus, and I’m OK with that) is helping to build spiritually strong, biblically literate Christian women who can strengthen their local churches and evangelize and disciple other women and children at the local church level. We’re all different body parts here, ladies. I’m going to focus on being an ear and let somebody else focus on being an eye. (If you’d like to listen to a solid Christian content creator whose focus is politics, I highly recommend Allie Beth Stuckey’s podcast, Relatable.) 

😷 It’s a local church issue. When to start meeting again, whether or not to go to multiple services to spread everybody out, whether or not masks and hand sanitizer will be required, even whether or not to accept a loan from the government…these are all things (and more) that the pastor and elders of each local church will have to decide for that particular church. Every church is different. Every pastor is different. Different decisions will need to be made for different churches because these types of things are not mentioned in Scripture, they’re issues of adiaphora (Christian liberty). What difference does it make what I think if that’s not what your pastor has decided for your church? All that does is set me up in opposition to your pastor forcing you to choose between him and me. You don’t need that kind of tension in your life, and your pastor certainly doesn’t need it in his church. I’d rather say this: Whatever your pastor decides for your church, as long as it’s in keeping with Scripture, I support him, and I encourage you to joyfully submit to his leadership. That’s way more constructive and biblical than offering you my personal opinion.

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner. Hebrews 13:17-19

😷 I’m not the bandwagon type. Usually. Every once in a while, I’ll weigh in on whatever the hot topic du jour is, but when I do, I normally try to address an aspect of it that hasn’t been addressed by others. If I have nothing to say except the same thing everybody else is saying, I figure, “What’s the point?”. At that point, I’m just adding noise to the clamor and it’s boring. And that’s the case here- I have nothing new to add to the conversation about masks, when to go back to church, etc.

Also, I figure if I’m sick of hearing about a particular topic, you’re probably sick of hearing about it too. Several weeks ago, I posted a question on Facebook asking whether y’all wanted me to write something about COVID or write about something else. I didn’t do the math, but I got dozens of responses and it looked to me like about 98% of y’all were begging me to, “please write about something else, anything else!”. So I figured y’all are just as sick of hearing about COVID-related issues as I am.

😷 I hate dumpster fires. There aren’t words in the English language to express to you how deeply I detest social media fights (especially over non-scriptural issues) between professing Christians. Honestly, some of y’all are worse than my kids when it comes to arguing. You can’t just politely state your position, let others state theirs, and move on. No, you’ve got to argue the issue to death even when it was clear 20 comments ago that the other person wasn’t going to change her mind. If you want to do that on your social media page, have at it. But remember, when you do it on my social media page, I’m the one who has to read through all the ugly comments, feel all the angst and anger, and end up blocking people who can’t behave like godly adults. And I know that if I took sides on some of these COVID issues that’s exactly what my social media, blog comments, and e-mail would turn into- one great big dumpster fire of arguing. I know this because I’ve posted far more innocuous things and people have started arguments over those issues and even issues completely unrelated to the original topic. By refraining from offering my opinion on COVID-related issues, I prevent the distraction from and derailing of my ministry, and I keep strife, arguing, and unnecessary division off my platforms. 

😷 Because…the Bible. As I was writing this article, a few passages of Scripture came to mind:

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. Proverbs 18:2

Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome… 2 Timothy 2:23-24a

…and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 2 Timothy 2:14b

When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. Proverbs 10:19

Now, not all of these verses apply directly to the issue at hand. But I think they do enlighten us to some general biblical principles:

  • God don’t like ugly.
  • God doesn’t want us arguing. Yes, sometimes we have to contend for the faith, but that’s completely different from quarreling over opinions and issues the Bible doesn’t address.
  • Sometimes the wisest thing a Believer can do is keep her mouth shut.

 

These are the reasons I have chosen not to share my position on the various controversial issues surrounding COVID-19 (as well as several other issues over the years). If you want to know what do do about a particular issue, read up on it from a reliable source, compare what you read to rightly handled Scripture and reject anything that contradicts it, ask your pastor, and follow his leadership.


¹The masked emojis are not my way of subtly “taking a stand” one way or the other on masks. I just find basic bullet points boring, and that was the most relevant emoji I could find for this subject.😆
²I am assuming, for the purposes of this article, that you are in a doctrinally sound church, with a solid, trustworthy pastor. If you’re not, you have bigger problems than not hearing my opinions on COVID issues. Please see the “Searching for a new church?” tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page.

If you have a question about: a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.

11 thoughts on “The Mailbag: Why no COVID weigh-in?”

  1. I would like you for my new best friend…you are a blessing. BTW…I found a reformed Baptist church in my small town and attended a worship there yesterday…so wonderful to be taught the gospel, sing glorifying music and worship in spirit and truth. Thanks for your help with that. Patti

    Like

  2. Thank you, Michelle, for your wise response! There is so much useless chatter right now over this subject, it is so refreshing to read your answer with delight! May God continue to bless you as you build us up in the Word. 😷😷 Also only meant to be funny!

    Like

Before commenting please see the "Welcome" tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page. Comments are handled manually, so there will be a delay before approved comments are posted. I do not publish comments which promote false doctrine.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.