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LETTER: Retired pastor says church leaders holding in-person services need to publicly apologize

Violating public health orders is not only selfish it violates Biblical teachings
Chilliwack Free Reformed Church on Yale Road (seen on Dec. 1, 2020), along with Free Grace Baptist Church, held in-person services despite the Nov. 19 public health order banning indoor gatherings. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

I am a retired pastor and I, together with scores of others have deep concerns with respect to the actions of a number of Chilliwack churches who recently held in-person services in contravention to current government health restrictions. Those actions have far-reaching effects and do not speak well of what the mission of the church is, and are in direct violation of what the Bible teaches.

READ MORE: Chilliwack churches continue to defy public health orders with in-person gatherings

With respect to our responsibilities towards government we are taught clearly in such passages as Romans 13:1-6 that believers are to be in subjection to governmental authorities “and whoever resists such authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves (verse 2).” Verse 5 says, “Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience sake.”

Instead of resisting authority we are taught in 1 Timothy 2:1-2 that we are to make supplications “for kings and for all who are in authority that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” With respect to the restrictions placed upon the churches, we should gladly support a government that is seeking to protect all of us from further rampant spread of COVID-19. To demonstrate against these restrictions is to put further stress on the already overworked nurses and will inevitably lead to more loss of life.

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I also believe that the churches who are demonstrating, are exercising selfish attitudes by wanting to meet the needs of their own holy huddle instead of working together with all of us who are dealing with inconveniences to support the efforts of others in trying to control the spread of the virus. Those churches are also sending a wrong signal to their congregants as well as to all churchgoers that it is alright to disobey authorities when it infringes upon our desires.

It is my prayer that the respective church leaders will see how wrong it was to demonstrate against authority and will issue a public apology for their actions to clear the hurt that their actions have made to the Christian cause.

Arthur Isaac

Harrison Hot Springs

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