I’ve had the disheartening task of trying to reason with two of my closest family members over the last few weeks. If it was something trivial I would have just let it go. Unfortunately, it is very important, perhaps even a life-or-death issue. You see, they are Covid-deniers.
What they believe is still not entirely clear to me, but it involved the coronavirus being created in a lab, Bill Gates patenting it, drug companies hiding a cure so they can make more money later on it, and 130,000 people not really dying of COVID-19 because hospitals make more money by wrongly coding the deaths. It seems like everyone is in on the conspiracy, including the CDC, the FDA, and the NIH.
I don’t think they think I’m in on the conspiracy because I was genuinely shocked. I kept asking, “You don’t really believe this, you are just joking with me, right?” No, they really believe it, and they sent me a ten minute YouTube video from a family physician in Texas to prove it. None of his COVID patients have died, you see, so he knows it is all exaggerated.
Should churches be holding worship services in the midst of the pandemic?
I don’t think it’s a hard question.
But it has apparently become difficult to answer.
My goal here is to hopefully bring some clarity to the issue and clear away some of what obfuscates providing an answer.
Let me start by saying if you believe the pandemic is not real but the result of a conspiracy between Anthony Fauci and Trump-hating Democrats, or that the 98,000 American deaths from COVID-19 are grossly exaggerated because of a secret agreement to miscode them, or that COVID-19 is no more deadly or contagious than the flu, you need not read any further. Continue reading “Church Services During The Pandemic?”
In John 8, the scribes and Pharisees bring Jesus a woman caught in adultery.
The scribes and pharisees did this to attempt to trap Jesus. (v. 6)
It’s a trap because the penalty for adultery under the Old Testament law was death, but if Jesus agreed to impose the death penalty, He would get crossways with the Romans, who alone reserved the right to impose the death penalty.
If Jesus showed mercy and didn’t apply the Old Testament law, then the scribes and Pharisees would have grounds for accusing Jesus before the Jews of not following Old Testament law.
Jesus’s response to this conundrum demonstrates He knew the law much better than those who attempted to trap Him: ““He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (v. 7). It is easy to read this too quickly as Jesus abrogating or superseding the law with mercy, but I do not believe that is what is happening here. Continue reading “Jesus’ Work-Related Excellence”
If you ever think your job is too stressful, John 7 is as a good chapter to read:
1After these things Jesus was walking in Galilee, for He was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him.2Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near. 3Therefore His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing. 4“For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” 5For not even His brothers were believing in Him.
Here, Jesus is doing the job he was sent to do, teaching people, healing them, and revealing to them who He was. No easy task. But add to all that that He was doing all these things while there was a group of people trying to kill Him.Continue reading “On Work-Related Stress”
I’ve written at length on the subject of work in this blog.
I’ve written on work because work is integral to the expansion of the kingdom of God on earth.
In lauding the importance of work in the kingdom and arguing that there is no secular or sacred work, just legitimate and illegitimate work, I realized the question of work/life balance would arise.
So, I went to the Bible; specifically, I looked at Jesus’ life.
What I found surprised me. I found nothing that looked like a balanced lifestyle. Instead, I saw Jesus ministering all day and then praying all night.
I saw Jesus walking all day from one town to another and then instead of looking for a good hotel and place to eat raising a boy from the dead.
Balance, I suggested, is a myth, an unobtainable ideal unless comfort and peace, instead of the following Jesus, are one’s primary motivators. I still believe that. But if we are not to be balanced, as we follow Jesus, and life does not come at us in nice even, predictable waves, what are we to be? Continue reading “On Being Anchored Not Balanced”