Coronavirus prevention

Church services, Covid-19, civil liberties and the culture war

The question is not whether American Christians should seek legal and political redress using the avenues available to us. The Apostle Paul did that very thing in Acts 22:25–29.

The question is how we seek political and legal redress. Paul appealed to Caesar, as was his civil right as a Roman citizen (Acts 24:11). By the way, when Paul appeared before the magistrate, he took the opportunity to preach the gospel. He did not, however, use the Roman congregation or any other as a vehicle to achieve a cultural objective. Chemical abortions were commonplace in the 1st century Greco-Roman world. We know certainly that the ancient church opposed them, as they opposed the pagan practice of abandoning infants to their death. We find no reference in the New Testament to any ecclesiastical movement to end chemical abortions. There is some evidence, in Philemon, that the Apostle Paul opposed Christians owning servants, but there is no NT evidence of an ecclesiastical movement against it.

Many American Christians are justifiably frustrated and angry at the manifest injustice of the state declaring an obviously essential institution, the visible church, “non-essential” even as the magistrate simultaneously gives privilege to other constitutionally protected groups and acts (for example, civil rights organizations and protests). This is incoherent and clear evidence of bias. Nevertheless, the church must move beyond looking for culture-war heroes, strong men who “fight back” and “stand up” for us, especially when that culture war comes at the cost of the definition of the church and her message to the world. Read the full article by R. Scott Clark on the Heidelblog.