coronavirus and the church

Many Christians are hopeful that their faith alone will sustain them during the coronavirus pandemic. But why do the faithful feel the necessity to go to church in the midst of such a deadly pandemic? Is church worship about faith, worshiping God, or love of social life? In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic does God require us to praise Him in mass numbers? Can we revere God without assembling in large social-type gatherings? Should churches implement social distancing Will the faith of the faithful prevail? I dedicate this blog to finding answers to these questions.

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the Novel Coronavirus Disease, COVID-19, a pandemic. On March 13, the United States declared it a national emergency. The first case of Coronavirus was confirmed on January 30. Since then, the virus has set off a firestorm of fear among people around the world.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. But it appears that this disease is shaking the faith of many of the faithful. Rather than helping put an end to Coronavirus, the church is playing a major role in spreading the pandemic. In spite of the virus, worshipers continue to congregate in mass numbers. Across the U.S. the faithful are defying local government lock-downs, causing some people to question church leaders.

Social Distancing in Church Services During the Pandemic

social distancing in church
Credits: Damian Dovarganes |AP

Many churches are uniting in efforts to slow the spread of the Coronavirus by social distancing and ratifying stay-at-home orders. A number of churches are hosting online services, advising their followers to worship online. Several church members attended Easter services online in their bed robes. The government deemed liquor stores and bars essential services. However, the government did not consider churches as essential. This prompted some of the faithful to think the government was infringing on their right to freely exercise their religion.

To add to the Coronavirus pandemic, the killing of George Floyd has fueled the Black Lives Matter Movement. In addition, several peaceful protests have turned into riots. Rioters looted businesses and burned churches. This further angered some church followers. The government’s willingness to allow protests without social distancing while refusing the church’s right to assemble also angered some pastors.

Thousands of protesters protest without social distancing. The Coronavirus pandemic has prompted the State of California to ban churches from having indoor services. The state limited church attendance to a maximum of 25% capacity of a minimum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower. This further angered church followers.

The Truth Concerning Religious Assembly

After more than two thousand years, the church is still a mystery to some Christians. Why does the church remain a mystery? You would think everyone knows that Christians assemble to worship. Right? At least that is what we have heard. But does the Bible tell us this? Where does the Bible tell us that the purpose of the church is to worship? The Bible says believers should not forsake assembling together (Hebrews 10:25). However, the Bible does not tell us that the church should assemble to worship God. So what is the true purpose of the church?

Many believe the faithful congregate to worship and hear the word of God proclaimed. But, that is not the primary function of the assembly. The Bible says believers should assemble for the purpose of stirring up love and good works and to exhort one another.

“…let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another.”

Hebrews 10:24-25

Why Churches Should Follow Public Health Recommendations During the Covid-19 Pandemic

coronavirus pandemic

We should seek God when trouble arises. However, the devil takes advantage of every opportunity to harm us in any way he can. I am of the opinion that we should take every precaution to avoid this sickness in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Advocates of church services argue that places of worship are a vital resource of strength and community bonding. Those in favor of holding regular services say they should be allowed to congregate. But critics say the Coronavirus has made it impossible to gather in large groups. They advise that we follow public health recommendations.

Churches that host jam-packed services have been linked to Covid-19 outbreaks. In July, more than 650 coronavirus cases were linked to nearly 40 churches in the U.S. In Oregon alone, more than 230 cases have been connected to an outbreak at the Lighthouse Pentecostal Church in defiance of the state’s stay-at-home order.

Many churchgoers argue that they have a right to assemble, and I agree. However, I believe churches and protesters should follow government guidelines concerning Covid-19. Churchgoers who do not support the stay-at-home orders of their local government should read their Bible more often. The Book of Titus speaks of Godly living. It says we are to be subject to rulers and authorities. We are to be obedient, ready, and willing to do good. Never should we slander or abuse anyone. We are to be kind and gentle, showing courtesy toward everyone” (Titus 3:1-2).

Love For the Faithful Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic

God sees believers as sheep in His flock. Church pastors are shepherds of God’s flock. The shepherd should love and protect the flock. To defiant shepherds, I ask, “Do you exhibit faith by exposing your sheep to the danger associated with Coronavirus? How are you showing unqualified consideration and courtesy toward others when you do not follow local government guidelines to social distance, or wear a facemask?”

If we go back to basics, we would not allow ourselves, nor our faith in God to be shaken. To become the unshakeable church that God ordained, we must reconsider the purpose of attaching ourselves to the church in the first place. In doing so, we will see that we need the prayers and motivation of others in the assembly as much as they need us. During the Coronavirus pandemic, we must allow God to protect our health by following the recommendations of those whom God has ordained to protect us. If you don’t have to go out, stay home. When away from home, always wear a facemask, and please, use social distancing.

Agree or disagree: I welcome your comments.

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Believing Faith

Believing Faith

Believing Faith is an Online Ministry, building faith through blogging Biblical content.

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Believing Faith

Recovery from Heroin
Heroin is an opioid drug made from Morphine. It belongs to the category of opium related painkillers. It looks like a white or brown powder, or a sticky black tar. Many people smoke or snort heroin, while some inject it into their veins. The number of people who use heroin has steadily risen over the years.
Why do people use heroin?
Some people take it as a means of reducing pain.
Some people take it in order to deal with anxiety, worries and other stressors.
Those who become dependent on or misuse these drugs may start looking for a stronger, cheaper, higher one.
Heroin is dangerous. Research showed that overdose death rate rose and some of these deaths happen because heroin is laced with other drugs such as this painkiller: “Fentanyl” No matter how you take it, whether by injection, snorting or smoking, heroin gets to your brain quickly and it’s also easy ever addicted. After using heroin just one or two times, it can be hard to stop yourself from using again.
Note this ✍
You see, the moment you take heroin, you get this ecstasy; this rush of happiness or good feelings just in a rush. Then after that rush of good feelings, you thinking and walking rate becomes slow; at times you feel like you are in a dream.
How does Heroin affect you?
It blocks your body from getting pain messages and slows your heart rate and breathing.
Overdosing leads to death.
What are the effects of taking Heroin?
Taking Heroin results in:
Dryness of the mouth.
Flushed skin
Drowsiness
Heavy arms and legs
Insomnia
Collapsed veins
Upset stomach
Vomiting
Itchy brain
Heart valves infection
Liver disease
Skin infection
Kidney disease
Mental disorders
Lung diseases
Menstruation problems
Miscarriages
A higher chance of getting HIV/ AIDS, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C
Have you ever tried withdrawing from Heroin on your own by personal struggles to stay sober?
If you try to stay sober from Heroin, you are likely to see these signs:
Severe muscle and bone pain
Diarrhea and vomiting
Restlessness
Cold flashes
Uncontrollable leg movements
Health problems
Disabilities
Trouble at home, work or school
Loss of white mater in the brain which affects decision making and control.
“Can I ever be free from Heroin? I want to be free”
Is this your heart’s cry? Does it really break your heart that you found yourself trapped by Heroin and you just can’t find freedom? I announce to you that you can be free! Sounds quite amazing? Yes, you can be free! Jesus paid the price for your complete dominion over Heroin. He has the power to break the chains of this addiction.
Think about the effects of being addicted to heroin. For how long will you struggle on your own, depending on yourself? Your life is so beautiful and your future is so bright, you must not allow Heroin destroy you. Your destiny is so promising and should not be truncated by Heroin. Your soul is so precious and should not be wasted by addiction to Heroin.
Dear reader, you’ve been fighting on your own to set yourself free, but the more you struggle, the more it threatens your life, future, family, health, present and eternal destiny; it even threatens the reality of living a beautiful life. Think about this!
Now, I know a Deliverer who has the power to liberate you and make you escape the snare of addiction. His name is Jesus! The Bible says, “Surely, he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4,5)
He did that just for you!
Do you know that He is the Mediator between you and God. Despite the fact that sin, and this addiction has separated you from the One who loves you, Jesus is the Mediator. God sent Him to pay the price of Mankind’s redemption; and yes, to redeem you from sinful nature of humans and Heroin which seem stronger than you are.
You need to repent and get reconciled with God. He is a holy God; and He loves you. But you can’t access Him based on religion, depraved merits and others. That is why He sent His Sib, Jesus who is The Way. Jesus says: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man cometh to the Father but by me.” (John 14:6)
So, you need to believe in Jesus and repent of your sins in order to make right with God. Surrender to Jesus and welcome Him into your heart as Your Personal Lord and Saviour. He will liberate you from the chains of sin and Heroin.
Do this now!
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By Eric Dunbar

Once addicted to crack cocaine, my story is not unique but inspiring. I have been a professor of faith for most of my life. Before you inquire about my credentials, let me explain. I don’t mean professor as in “teacher” but professor as in “squatter.” For most of my life, I have been trying to occupy what I had never fully possessed, namely, faith. You see, my trust was in God long before I used drugs. To this day, I cannot tell you what happened to cause me to be addicted; it just happened. After a lifetime of serving God, somehow, I became a crack cocaine addict. I grew up in the church. I was born with talent. I started playing the organ for local churches at the age of eight years. I cultivated strong confidence in God early in life. From the time I was five until I was eighteen years old, I can’t remember ever missing a church service. I started playing keyboards in a popular R&B band at the age of nineteen years old. Midlife When you’re young, life is all about having fun, and I was indeed having a lot of fun. Playing in an R&B band exposed me to the rigors of nightlife, leading me to deviate from the church. I started experimenting with all kinds of drugs. At first, it was marijuana, then pills, and soon, I was using cocaine. All the while, I still attended church, although not as often. When I was married, my infrequent music revenue was inadequate to raise a family. So I left the band and found a job. I have always had confidence in God, but I didn’t know how to implement my faith. When my first child was born, I renewed my faith and got heavily involved in the church. A few years later, my pastor inspired me to begin a cell ministry in my home, where I faithfully worshipped God and held Bible studies every Tuesday. About seven years into my marriage, I slipped back into drug use. This time cocaine was my choice drug. Soon after, I learned to cook cocaine, converting it into a rocky substance called crack. That was the beginning of a life of trouble. I had become a slave to the drug; crack cocaine was now my master. Confident Expectation My wife threatened to leave if I didn’t control my addiction. Nevertheless, I remained confident that God would deliver me. But my wife insisted that I seek help. I wanted to save my marriage, so I enrolled in the Narcotics Anonymous Twelve Step Program. I completed the required thirty-day classes, and I went home drug-free. Fifteen days later, I was once again smoking crack. My crack smoking eventually led to my wife divorcing me. I lost my family, possessions, and everything dear to me. Life had become challenging, and I was near depression. My parents taught me that faith believes, so I understood the principle of faith. I had faith that God would liberate me, so I continued to pray that God would soon rescue me from this evil that had come upon me. One day I opened my Bible, and my eyes fell on this scripture: “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). “I don’t go to church anymore,” I said to myself, so how can I hear the word of God? Then I thought to read the word aloud to myself. The Bible was now my best friend. I read the word to myself. The word of God came out of my mouth and went back into my ears. Alas, I was hearing the word of God. I still craved crack cocaine and got high whenever the opportunity presented itself. But for the next two years, I mostly stayed to myself, reading the Bible aloud, quoting scriptures, and praying. Believing Faith Speaks After two years of practically being alone with God, my craving for crack cocaine was gone. My confidence in God rewarded me with freedom. I learned that believing faith speaks. No longer did I profess faith, but I now possessed it. Faith is having confidence in the things we hope for. Although they are not visible to our physical eyes, we believe that God is working our hope into physical existence. It is the bridge linking us to the spiritual realm and makes God a touchable reality. When we trust God, it guarantees that God’s promises and Biblical revelations are true. We cannot detect these revelations and promises of the word of God with our physical senses. However, by trusting God, we have the confidence that our expectation will come to pass. Faith is the quintessence that the things we hope for become so concrete that even belief itself becomes a definitive reality of those things that are not yet visible. Your faith becomes so tangible that you believe you possess those things in the spiritual realm.

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