March 20th, 2020
Dear CCC Family,
The elders and I
have been praying for you, and we hope that you are all doing well. We have
been reading, discussing, and praying for wisdom concerning the COVID-19 virus.
We thank the Lord that so far He has spared us as a group. We also praise the
Lord for being sovereign over every aspect of life, including viruses.
As we have prayerfully
considered how best to honor the Lord during this outbreak, we unanimously
agreed that at this stage of things, we ought to adjust our worship service so
that we worship together through remote streaming exclusively. Here are some of
most crises, there is a spectrum of different levels of concern. While there is
a place for godly alarm, we should not give ourselves over to anxiety (Matt. 6:25-34).
It is equally true that we should not completely disregard some danger to
ourselves or our neighbors (Luke 10:25-37) – even if the other person is more anxious
than we think is appropriate.
though many of us may not get sick at all, there are still plenty of at-risk people
in our congregation, and within our close circle of influence (our family,
friends, coworkers, etc.). We are called as Christians to love others the way
we love ourselves (Luke 6:31). It appears that the best way to love our neighbors
is to participate with them in social distancing and self-quarantining. It is
FAR better, in our opinion, to be overly cautious and to protect those we love,
than to risk spreading this virus, even if the risk is very low. However, this
does not mean we stop helping those who need help!
Lord Jesus Christ is the King over our government, therefore we are never to
submit to any civil authority in a way that violates our fidelity to Jesus, his
word, or his people. Civil government is however, a gift of Common Grace meant
for our good (Romans 13). At this time our Civil Government is asking us to
practice social distancing and quarantining, which we believe is a reasonable
request. In this case, honoring the requests of our government is honoring the
Lord. Please understand that this is just one of several reasons to move our
service to live streaming. We are not closing our doors because the government forbids
us to worship.
I want to share with you one of the things that challenged my initial instinct.
Over the last 2000 years, the church has faced many diseases, viruses, plagues,
wars, etc. Sometimes the church has handled these challenges well (ex. Calvin in
Geneva during the “Black Death”), but at other times the church has been less
than helpful (the 1918 Spanish Influenza in Philadelphia). While we do not have
the ability to look into the future to see how serious COVID-19 will become, we
can look back at our history and learn from those things we have done well, and
those things we have not done so well. The church ought to lead by example in
our dedication to the good of the community, including taking whatever
recommended steps there are to minimize the threat of this virus. We should
also be the first to offer help to those who need it!
Scott, and I are working on what our Sunday Streaming services will look like. There
are many tools out there to make this not just more feasible, but also more
immersive. Please be on the lookout for an email tomorrow, which will contain
some instructions for this upcoming Sunday. We will begin our service at the normal
Now, may the
grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the
Holy Spirit be with you all both now and forever, amen.
Grace and Peace,