The Tuesday Talk.

I hope, in time, to look back on the events caused by COVID-19 and learn several valuable lessons. However, in the present, I think one frustrating insight surfaces in regards to human nature and our desperate need of God. We appear incapable of dealing with tension. Take a moment and reflect upon a few defenses of such a proposition. We wrestle with God’s sovereignty and human free-will. We struggle to rectify how grace and obedience exist in harmony. We do not understand how God’s wrath and mercy are righteously united. Self-denial and personal preference seem forever irreconcilable. One might suppose that reverence for God and intimacy with God appears as diametric opposites. Recently, our response to COVID-19 has demonstrated we seem inept to function in an arena where tension is present. The last few days has revealed our tendency to experience panic, overwhelming fear, and to embrace extreme measures. On the other hand, others have demonstrated a cold, cavalier, and skeptical attitude. In truth, I’ve alternated between both fields of thought similar to that of a pendulum. As I’ve witnessed and experienced our tendency towards extremes, this has opened my eyes to our great need of God. You see, left to our own ends, we would venture into and remain within numerous camps occupying extreme positions. Racism, prejudices, hatred, wars, divisions, and factions emerge—in part—because of our inability to reconcile tension between extreme positions. Paul gives an example when he states that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor freeman, male nor female (Gal. 3:28); meaning, outside of Christ, there are constant natural and unnatural reasons for division. In our attempt to process a response to COVID-19 divisions arise within people groups that are supposedly united. Let me show you below. I recently learned that a church lost some of its members because the church temporarily suspended its meetings (due to the church following CO-VID 19 prevention adherence policies). However, had the church decided to remain open, it risked losing members for failing to show concern, sympathy, and effort in eliminating a potentially deadly virus. Do you see the extremes? Leaving the church for either one of these is an unnecessary extreme. Our knee-jerk tendency towards extremes is both necessary and completely unnecessary. Necessary in the fact that there is only ONE way of salvation (John 14:6)—which is pretty extreme, right? Unnecessary in that we are commanded to strive for unity in the face of division (1st Cor. 1:10). We should NEVER compromise the gospel message or the word of God; however, we should NEVER treat our opinions as something that cannot be compromised. Sadly, the church often adulterates the word of God while maintaining an ironclad grip upon its traditions, opinions, and preferences. The level of division and discord surfacing during this outbreak should motivate us to repent towards God and intercede for others rather than motivating us to choose camps. My encouragement for you is simple:

  1. Take hold of this opportunity to worship the Lord! “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” (Heb. 10:23-24)

  2. Encourage others towards unity in Christ! “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Heb. 3:13)

While we have breath within our bodies, we have an opportunity to both enjoy and proclaim the glorious richness of our God. Please capitalize upon this privilege to glorify God! I love you and pray for your growth in God. In Christ, Pastor Darin