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
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
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
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
I’ve written much over the past few years about work and its role in the Kingdom.
I have also discipled men and helped them understand how their job advances King Jesus’ twin goals of ruling the earth and expanding His Kingdom on earth.
Some jobs are easier to address in a Kingdom-context than others.
The role of a physician or nurse are the easiest: the Lord works through a physician or nurse to treat and heal people.
Jobs that are more specialized and removed from an obvious Kingdom service are more difficult. For example, a computer systems technician for an engineering firm keeps the computers at the firm working properly, so the business can run more efficiently and build more excellent buildings at a more affordable price. King Jesus wants to provide excellent buildings for businesses so they can provide their services more excellently and efficiently to meet people’s needs on the earth. Continue reading