Do not test God. Churches can worship without congregating.

Some of the religious right have gone completely off the rails with their refusal to follow public health guidelines. I am thankful that the churches in my area are all doing a fantastic job of maintaining worship while following public health recommendations. God’s church is in it’s people and not in a building. I believe in the importance of going to church and having a church family. However, worshipping God does not require congregating inside a church building in large numbers during a pandemic. No one in the US is being prevented from worshipping God. Churches can have drive-in worship in many areas, online worship, or record and send out DVDs to members who cannot get out of the house or do not have internet. Churches can mail out sermons, devotions, and new letters. No, it is not the same as sitting inside a church in a church pew. This is temporary and the importance lies in worshipping God and spreading his message. What message are you spreading?

One of my childhood friends wrote a Facebook post this Easter weekend. I hadn’t heard this story in a long time and am glad he shared. Here it is:

When I hear of churches saying they will gather anyway and God will protect them, I am reminded of the story and I am paraphrasing:

A man lived in a river valley and during a long rainy season he found himself in his house surrounded by water. A neighbor in a boat rowed up and offered to take him to safety. “No thanks” he said, “God will save me”. The waters continued to rise. Another boat came to his house, which had water up to the second floor windows. Again the man said, from the second floor, “No thanks, God will save me”. The waters continued to rise. While standing on top of the chimney, a helicopter came by to pull him to safety. The man shouted, “No thanks, God will save me”. Later, the man found himself in front of God. He asked God why he didn’t save him, God said, “I sent two boats and a helicopter”.

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