Church, Charity, and the Coronavirus
The last two months have provided ample opportunity for God to grow our fruit of the spirit. However, as our staff has joked, we wish He wouldn’t use so much manure!
We trust that He is growing your faith as well.
As the GracePointe staff continues to put together a plan that will enable us to resume in-person worship gatherings, we want you to know that we are doing so with much prayer and counsel.
The greatest threat is not the ability for us to meet in person. The biggest challenge is how do we resume our gatherings while we hold our intense and diverse views.
There is so much information and confusion about the best way to move forward. It’s probably the same with your families and friends!
Some of the questions we are mulling include:
· Do we open our doors sooner or later?
· Do we roll out the plan gradually or dive in with large group meetings?
· How do we walk the line of Truth without being fearful or flippant?
· How do we put our political views in check while keeping God in His rightful place?
· How do we continue to love God and love our community when there are such diverse opinions about the COVID-19 outbreak?
God never wastes a heartache, nor does He miss an opportunity to grow our faith. As we continue to wrestle with all of this, we want to encourage you to read some passages that speak to persevering during difficult times. These are passages that speak gentle conviction to all of us.
Romans 13. In this chapter, Paul writes about respecting our leaders. He makes it clear in verse 1, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.” This does not mean we ignore the rights we have under our Constitution. It’s simply a reminder to seek God in all we do.
Romans 14. This passage specifically addresses believers. It mentions the “weak” and “strong” brother and sister in Christ and advises us to avoid behaviors that would cause someone else to stumble in the faith. Verse 10 could sum up much of what we’ve seen in 2020, “You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.” We are probably both the weak and strong brother or sister at some point, but we are all members of one family. We must treat each other with that in mind.
Titus 3. The author doesn’t waste anytime getting to the point in verse 1, “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.” Are we obedient to God? Are we speaking well of our Christian family members? Are we relying on gentleness instead of disgust? This chapter reminds us of our temporary life here, and the eternity that’s waiting for us.
James 4. This short book does not mince words, and that’s especially true in this passage! James starts by writing, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” It’s easy to blame the stress of the last three months on external forces, such as the virus, politicians, or unemployment. That’s not without merit. However, circumstances should never trump the peace that passes understanding. It should never drive a wedge between you and another Christ follower.
God has greatly blessed GracePointe during this quarantine time. He has allowed us to remain connected to you and He continues to bless us financially. As we prepare to be together again soon, let’s make sure our hearts are in a humble posture before God and each other.