I am writing in response to the two letters to the editor in the Dec. 10, 2020 Chilliwack Progress.
I am saddened that [some] Christians need to be reminded to love thy neighbour and that some churches believe they are not required to abide by governmental laws and orders (particularly when the writer encourages other church leaders to be defiant to laws/orders put in place not to hinder our religious freedoms, but to protect the very people that the church is to minister to the most vulnerable!).
It is disappointing that churches have been ordered closed in spite of meeting or exceeding all COVID-19 precautions similar to other organizations that have been allowed to remain open, but nonetheless caught up with higher risk organizations/activities. This is the thankless job of our provincial health officer who does not have an axe to grind with the church, but is mandated to protect all the citizens of this province. I’m sure its exhausting.
I am a Christian who believes in the entirety of the Bible and it words which guide my actions, which include to “love your neighbour as yourself” (Matthew 22:39), to “care for the weak and elderly” (Acts 20:35) and, yes even to “submit to the governing authority” (Romans 13:1).
I don’t believe in cherry-picking one command over the other or that one command could contradict another when put into action. I believe they all work in concert. Is corporate worship important? Absolutely, otherwise the Bible would not command us to “not neglect to meet together” (Hebrews 10:25). But therein lies the truth. This is not a matter of neglect on the part of Christians, but rather an intentional act to “love our neighbour, care for the weak and obey the governing authority.”
I have found that online church services available and options have grown tremendously. (A Google search of any of the local churches will give you numerous options to view on Facebook and YouTube.) In fact, I have learned and grown in my faith often viewing more than the “standard” one or two a week gathering that the in-church services have offered. Worship has become a more intimate setting in the comfort of my home and if you don’t believe that God can meet you anywhere, anytime in any circumstance, you are missing out on the intimacy of a personal God. Finally, if you feel the need to connect with other Christians on a more intimate level, safely gather with one or two of them at your local restaurant (who I’m sure would be happy for your business!) and share with each other how blessed you are in spite of the pandemic.