Sometimes the evangelical news stories du jour aren’t worth keeping up with. Sometimes they are. I think this one is worth examining, because it’s one that can help us look at a similar situation we might be in ourselves through a biblical lens – even if we, or our pastor, ends up making a different, yet biblical, decision.
As you may know, the governor of the state of California has issued an edict stating that, due to the Coronavirus, churches may not meet indoors in person (there are also prohibitions on businesses and other gatherings).
Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California (pastored by John MacArthur), released a statement on July 24 entitled:
Christ, Not Caesar, Is the Head of the Church,
which respectfully and biblically explained why GCC would not be abiding by the governor’s restrictions on churches. (By the way, if you read the statement between July 24, and July 31, you might want to read it again. An addendum has been attached, and there is now a signatory page.)
I would like to ask you to read it as an exercise in apologetics. Examine the Scriptures presented. Are they handled rightly and in context? Objectively consider the arguments made. Do they make sense, and are they logical (even if you don’t agree with them)? How would you present a biblical case for another church to make a different godly decision? Which Scriptures and objective, logical arguments would you use to make your case?
One of the phenomenal ways God has uniquely wired women, generally speaking, is the emotional passion He has knit into us. We tend to feel things deeply and strongly. We bring compassion and zeal and kindness and bravery to situations in which they are desperately needed in special ways that God has only equipped women for. But with this beautiful gift He has given us comes the challenge to harness it and use it only in the situations it’s appropriate for. Not in situations such as making a dispassionate, objective, logical, reasoned apologetic argument. Allowing our passions and emotions to run wild in that situation would be using the wrong tool for the job.
I don’t know about you, but I need practice at that. Practice at letting thinking, not feelings, take the lead. And so, the particular issue of meeting/not meeting aside, I found GCC’s statement very helpful in that regard. It’s a good example of how to make a biblical, well-reasoned argument.
On Sunday, July 26, GCC did, in fact, meet together for worship, and Dr. MacArthur preached the following sermon, which I highly recommend:
We Must Obey God Rather Than Men
I was remarking to someone the other day that this will probably forever hereafter be known as the “Fresca Sermon” (you’ll see why when you watch it). If you don’t follow me on social media, here are a few of the funnier Fresca memes I came across (if you can’t handle humor, please look away):