COVID-19 Update

 
We have attempted to move along as a church, doing what we think is best for our congregation through this COVID-19 pandemic. We have endured criticism from people on both extremes. That is normal. If you take a middle of the road position, you will get hit from both sides. I think it appropriate to outline our position and answer a few criticisms in the hope it will help a few people in understanding.
Our position: We are a church. Our allegiance is to Jesus above all others. Our mission is three-fold:
  1. Proclaim and defend the truth of God’s Word, the Bible.
  2. Equip the saints for the work of the ministry.
  3. Encourage the saints in their walk with Jesus.

Everything we have done is with the intent of fulfilling our mission.

We are not:

  1. Epidemiologists
  2. Healthcare professionals
  3. Political operatives

None of the things we have done are for the cause of any of these.

Following are some criticisms we have received and our response to them. They are from both ends of the spectrum:

  1. We are living in fear because we have taken certain steps related to the virus.
  2. We are complicit in undermining the Constitution of the United States.
  3. We are hypocritical for taking some steps and not others.
  4. We are reckless and unwise in not taking all governmentally recommended steps.
  5. We are anti-science.
  6. We are not showing Christian love because we are not adhering to all recommended steps.
  7. We are being a bad example to the community.
  8. We are not submitting to governmental authorities as Biblically required.
  9. We are using the pandemic to make a political statement.
We have attempted to implement any recommended steps that do not prevent us from fulfilling our Biblically mandated mission. Those recommendations which inhibit our carrying out our mission we have decided not to comply with. Furthermore, we have maintained at all times that people are responsible for their own health and safety. We are not experts on it and will not advise people what they must do or not do.

When we shut down temporarily to help “flatten the curve” and relieve the hospitals of expected overcrowding, we never agreed to shut down long term or indefinitely. We did not act in fear of the virus or of the government. When starting back up, we took some recommended steps which we determined did not impede our mission.

The Bible is clear we must obey God rather than the government when they are at odds with each other. We are not, however, being rebellious to our authorities in as much as a judge ruled in NC the government could not restrict our meetings and the governor has excluded us from requirements since then. He may recommend but not require. In the judge’s ruling he stated, “The First Amendment has no pandemic clause.” In light of this, we are not even resisting the ordinance of the government as they have ruled it does not apply to us.

To the objections we are reckless, unwise, unloving or a bad example, I would point out the Director of the CDC stated recently that more people have died from suicide and drug overdose since March than have died from COVID-19. We as a church have been blessed to have no deaths from suicide or drug overdose since March, but neither have we had any deaths among our congregation from COVID-19. We have seen a marked increase in depression and relapses into substance abuse. The incidents of these have been far more numerous than those who have tested positive for the virus. We are not medical professionals. We appreciate greatly those who are fighting this pandemic. We pray for them regularly. We are, however charged with the spiritual and emotional health of those in our congregation. Isolation is spiritually and emotionally damaging. This is scientifically undeniable and easily observable. We believe it is wise, loving and a good example to continue to provide essential support to those struggling in these areas.

As to making a political statement, all the politicians in our country have changed positions multiple times while we have held to this position continually since this pandemic started. If those who hold the position we should shut down again changed their position, and those who say we are essential changed their opinion, we would stay the same. We are not making any decisions with political ramifications even being considered.

We have steadfastly recommended that the elderly, the immuno-compromised or any who are concerned for their physical health to stay home. We are live streaming our services for their benefit. We have put no pressure on anyone to come to church meetings. We have multiple services to accommodate social distancing. We have not even come close to the 50% occupancy limit currently in place for restaurants or other venues. We have placed hand sanitizer stations by all entrances. We are not handing out programs or passing an offering plate. We have made many adjustments to help in the war on this virus. We are unwilling to cancel our service to our congregation.

We do not think every church should do as we do necessarily. Each congregation is different. We think it is each church’s responsibility to carry out their calling before God. The same is true for individuals. If you are a member of Triad Church, I urge you to be kind to those you disagree with. Do not allow the enemy to destroy your friendships over a virus. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact one of the pastors.