Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Barring a Miracle, No Packed Churches This Easter Sunday

Apolitical statement: The notion that churches will be packed on Easter Sunday, April 12,  could be seen as dangerous wishful thinking. While I surmise that Mr. Trump was simply trying to be encouraging when he raised that possibility at a press conference, it has given rise to such dangerous wishful thinking on social media.

If the infectious disease experts think it's safe for people to congregate in crowds, then, of course, I, like every other Christian and pastor in the world, want to worship with God's people.

But medical professionals tell us that the coronavirus will not likely have reached its peak until the summer, especially since we only have significant lockdowns in some US states. (While, on successive days, the United Kingdom and India have joined the ranks of nations taking this step.)

Governors, both Republican and Democratic, have taken important steps in various states to mitigate this virus. But we have a long way to go yet.

Jesus could not be tempted by the devil to jump off the temple in Jerusalem despite God's promise in Psalm 91 that He will send His angels on behalf of believers to "lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone..."

Jesus flatly refused the devil, recalling that God's Word also tells believers, "Do not put the Lord your God to the test." (Matthew 4:7; Deuteronomy 6:16)

You see, God's promise of help to His people doesn't apply to circumstances in which God's people engage in deliberately dangerous behaviors that reflect poor stewardship of their lives. That would be, as Billy Graham used to say, "sowing your wild oats [in this case, engaging in the fantasy that believers are immune from the bad things that happen in our world], then praying for crop failure."

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