Even though I’ve been out of the local pastorate for around 10 months, I’m a pastor at heart. I try to think like a pastor in my current position. With that being said, if I was still pastoring a local church, I would follow the federal, state, and local recommendations being presented and updated on a regular basis.
Think about it, we’re not being told we cannot worship. We’re not being forced to believe something contrary to Scripture. We’re simply being asked to temporarily restructure the way we do so in order for everyone to benefit. From my perspective we can make these work.
I base this decision on what I see in God’s word.
For example, my Scripture reading yesterday was from Luke 10. Verse 27 in the Parable of the Good Samaritan says:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,” and “your neighbor as yourself.”
Love God and love my neighbor is the command. In our present context, with all the information that I have at the moment, that means protecting my neighbor. No, I am not afraid of getting COVID-19, but, I have an obligation to my neighbor to take necessary, even unprecedented, steps to not transmit this disease to those who might not be healthy enough to fight it. I certainly have a neighborly obligation to not add to the potential crisis facing our healthcare providers.
Therefore I’m going to participate and I’m leading our state missions staff to participate as well. I urge you, my fellow Louisiana Baptists, to join us in adhering to these guidelines. As we do, let’s pray fervently that these guidelines work, allowing us to get back to assembling again sooner rather than later.