John Grady: The divided church

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See what an example the churches are to the world, and then wonder why so many in the world are not attracted to what we offer.

Testing time always reveals the truth, so we offer you the churches into three groups so you can decide where you fit in.

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1. Those that openly rebelled by defying government guidelines conducting church services and now going to the Courts under the Charter of Rights stating their rights are being denied under Covid-19 restrictions. This case will be presented to the courts in March. The provincial government requested an injunction from the courts to prohibit the services of the three churches, but the court ruled the government can enforce the restrictions under the Public Health Act and there is no need for the courts to be involved.

2. The churches who do not openly defy the government protocols but sit on the sidelines with the Pastors throwing verbal barbs during their livestream services at the government regulations, telling their congregations to pray for the courts to deny the government protocols and cherry pick a scripture to justify their displeasure without openly rebelling against the pandemic protocols. Sadly, it is their personal will they want the congregation to pray, and not as the Lord taught us in “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by THY name, THY Kingdom come THY will be done..." etc.

3. The majority of churches are desperately hoping and praying that the pandemic protocols and the start of the vaccines will allow them to safely start-up regular church services even with some restrictions. These churches are adhering to the scriptures in the book of Romans Chapter 13, verses 1 to 7, submitting to government authorities that have been established by God as well as the teaching of Jesus of “love your neighbor,” meaning sacrificing for the protection of the whole congregation to save lives.

Noted is an interesting portion of an article posted on CNN Health referring to the pandemic in 1918: “In 1918, many churches around the world closed their doors to save lives. For some families, the home became the altar.”

For the sake of argument, let's pretend the courts agree with churches 1 and 2, ruling they don’t have to abide by the pandemic protocols. Do these churches tell their congregation, including the elderly who clearly are dying from Covid-19, as well as those with underlying health problems, “Come on back and disregard the health warnings as we know best”?

I dearly love the church, the fellowship, serving, praying, relationships, encouraging, and am looking forward to churches being opened safely.

Jesus Christ is still the head of the church and when He came the Jewish people believed He was the solution to the Romans and would change the government political rulings. But as we know He came not for politics but to give His life for the souls of all mankind, including the Roman soldiers who put Him on the cross.

Let’s remember why He came, repent, and focus on His role for us in spreading His Gospel in love.

John Grady writes about faith and lives in Fort St. John.

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