As you know, there are rumors that more government mandates or “recommendations” may be coming soon about Covid. We need to think about this now and prepare what we will do. As I hope you remember, the past Covid lockdowns were a disaster, in and of themselves.
A John Hopkins study in early 2022 was reviewed in a Health News Florida article. Below are a few selections from this article: “The study was titled, ‘A Literature Review and Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Lockdowns on COVID-19 Mortality.’ The study was summarized with the following words.
‘We find no evidence that lockdowns, school closures, border closures, and limiting gatherings have had a noticeable effect on COVID-19 mortality,’ the researchers wrote in the report… The study concluded that lockdowns ‘are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument. They have contributed to reducing economic activity, raising unemployment, reducing schooling, causing political unrest, contributing to domestic violence, and undermining liberal democracy,’ the report said.
The lockdowns were a particular disaster for churches. Many churches that temporarily closed eventually closed down for good because people never came back after the lockdowns and stay-at-home orders were lifted. Many churches that didn’t close down are still suffering the ill effects of closing the doors for a time. What will your church do if the request, or mandate, to shut down churches is announced again? Let me give you some scriptural support in this matter.
What Is a church? The Greek word for church is ἐκκλησία
The word ἐκκλησία (pronounced ekklēsia) is the Greek word that is translated as “church” in the Bible. This word, in its various forms, is found one hundred and fourteen times in one hundred and eleven verses. The word is a compound word composed of two words:
ἐκ - meaning (“from” or “of”)
καλέω (Kaleo) (to “call” or “summon”)
So then, the whole basic meaning of the word is “to call from,” or “to call out of.”
A church is an assembly of people who have been called out of or away from. The question would naturally follow, “Called out of what?” One might also ask, “Called to what or to whom?”
The first use of the word “church,” in the New Testament was by Jesus. It is found in Matthew 16:18. Revealed in this verse is the teaching that the church is basically Christ’s. It is, at minimum, a group of people that have been called to Jesus. Acts 15:14 indicates that people were taken from among the Gentiles to become a people for his (Christ’s) name. I Corinthians 12:13 teaches that Jews and Gentiles are both called to be a part of the body of Christ. Additionally, John 15:19 states that God’s children have been called “out of the world.”
So, the church is people who have been called out of the world, and who are now a part of a unique group that belongs to Jesus. Every genuine believer is a part of the church that is Christ’s body (Colossians 1:24). But what about local churches? The Bible clearly teaches that local, visible churches are important!
During the past Covid lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, there were no mandates to stop being a member of the church, which is Christ’s body. However, there were mandates that believers not join together in local assemblies. In several places, there were lawsuits by churches that fought back against these mandates. Here is where things got confusing for some people in the early days of the pandemic. What is the responsibility of the church if this mandate/recommendation ever happens again? Join us next week as we seek clarity on this matter of the church and mandates/recommendations not to assemble.