Some New Helpful Reformed-Christian Perspectives on COVID-19

I realize that we are probably weary of all the mixed and confusing information being published relating to COVID-19, both in terms of the data about the pandemic and in terms of the response we ought to have as Christians. I understand, and admit that I have reached the point at times that I do not want to hear anything more about it.

But two new items entered my email box overnight that I found very helpful, in part because they are both from a clear and consistent Reformed-biblical perspective. In these days in which we all struggle with our proper attitude and calling, it is good to listen to other Reformed-Christian voices about us. I judge these two to be good examples.

The first is a new venture from Reformed Perspective (magazine and more) – a podcast on COVID-19 and its challenges to the Christian and Christ’s church. It is called “Focal Point” and is done by Chris DeBoer. You may find the YouTube version below. The Facebook version may be found here. I think you will find that most of what Chris says resonates with our faith and practice, even if you may differ with a few details. His practical suggestions at the end about how to manifest the communion of saints during this time is quite profitable.

The second item was a new post from Reformation21. Pastor Grant Van Leuven presents an open defense of his Session’s decision to submit to his government’s decisions (he serves in San Diego, California) and abide by the mandates as a conscious act to serve God and love the neighbor. I think you will find his arguments compelling because they are biblically and confessionally balanced.

Here are a few paragraphs from the beginning of his post. Follow the link below or above to read all of it.

A few weeks ago, due to the present coronavirus pandemic, our Session decided to postpone face-to-face assemblies of worship at the church building electing (for a time) to serve Christ and our covenanted saints through online Lord’s Day webcasts.[1]  This decision was not unanimous but we moved forward with it in hearty unity.

…While it sometimes seems unclear from our State and Federal mandates (or strong recommendations) of what “essential” may include or exempt for public gatherings, our local and national magistrates are strictly guiding us to presently stay home and not assemble to avoid spreading COVID-19 and the coronavirus to other citizens and risk their deaths.  After prayerful study and discussion, we decided to follow our civil leadership for this civic concern and adhere to our magistrates’ current timelines.[3]  We here provide Scriptural and confessional support.

…Let us now reflect on much of what informed our decision that our temporary change to online worship webcasts would not be disobeying God but rather submitting to Him.

First, it is important to recognize that the present government mandates are not religious persecution (if they were we would insist on public worship together and be ready to face the consequences).  Everyone in our society is suffering indiscriminately.  The government is not forbidding Christian worship assemblies in principal but is trying to curtail an unknown pandemic that life’s religious sphere affects.

Second, Christianity is a religion of submission and we are to submit to God’s authority through His ordained ministers not only in the sphere of Church but also of State.  We mainly turn to Romans 13:1-10 for our consideration and leave the reader to attend to this and other Scripture references directly.

In summary, Paul teaches that as citizens of this world we must not rebel against our earthly authorities in the civil sphere of life for they too are ministers ordained by God to serve us just as are ministers of the Word over the religious sphere of life; as Kingdom of Heaven citizens we are to lovingly work for the good of our earthly societies under their lawful jurisdiction and to do so is to obey the Law of God.

 

 

Source: Submit to the Government Serving God to Save Lives – Reformation 21

 

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