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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2 weeks ago
Believing Faith

Greetings in Jesus ‘ name

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33:3

Prayer is fellowship with the Unseen and Most Holy God. It is the essence of true religion and the channel of all blessings. It is the secret of power and life not only for ourselves, but for others, for the Church and for the world. God has given the right to take hold of Him and His strength to prayer. The promises wait for their fulfillment.
If you ask, He will be delighted to take you to closer fellowship with Himself and teach you to pray.
See MoreSee Less

Greetings in Jesus ‘ name 

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33:3

      Prayer is fellowship with the Unseen and Most Holy God. It is the essence of true religion and the channel of all blessings. It is the secret of power and life not only for ourselves, but for others, for the Church and for the world. God has given the right to take hold of Him and His strength to prayer. The promises wait for their fulfillment.
If you ask, He will be delighted to take you to closer fellowship with Himself and teach you to pray.
1 month ago
Believing Faith

Recovery From Emotional/Psychological Trauma

Emotional trauma is the result of stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world; it can leave you struggling with memories and anxiety that won’t go away.
Emotional/psychological trauma could be caused by accident, injury, an unexpected violent attack, living in a neighboring known for crime, battling a life threatening illness; it could also be as a result of experiencing traumatic events that occur repeatedly like domestic violence, sexual abuse, bullying, loneliness, and addiction. It could also be caused by the sudden death of a loved one or deeply disappointing experience.

What are the symptoms of trauma?
*Anxiety and panic attacks; anger and irritability
*Fear, emotional numbing,depression and confusion
*Racing heart beats, mood swings, muscle tension and agitation
*Shame, guilt, feelings of sadness and hopelessness
*Fatigue, feeling of worthlessness, withdrawing from people.
*Ache and pains, obsessions and feeling of being overwhelmed.

What do you do to recover from emotional trauma?
1. Don’t isolate: Make an effort to maintain your relationships and avoid spending too much time alone
2. You don’t have to talk about the trauma all the time
3. Participate in social activities.
4. Join a support group for trauma survivors: connecting with them help reduce the sense of isolation; and hearing how others cope could help in your own recovery.
5. Volunteer to help others: In fact, this is a great way to challenge the sense of hopelessness that often accompanies trauma. Remind yourself of your strengths and reclaim your sense of power by helping others.
6. Make new friends if you live far away from family and friends; and avoid toxic people.
7. Self regulate your nervous system: No matter how agitated, nervous, or out of control you feel; it’s important you know that you can calm yourself.
8. Take care of your health
9. Get plenty of sleep
10. Avoid alcohol and drugs as their use can worsen your trauma symptoms, and increase feelings of depression, anxiety and isolation.
11. Eat a well balanced diet to keep your energy up and minimize mood swings.
12. Reduce stress by relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises and schedule time for activities that bring joy to you such as your favorite hobbies.
13. Forgive all hurts and forget the past as this can also worsen the symptoms.

Recovery from trauma takes time, and everyone heals differently. So, avoid being negative or hard on yourself.

Beyond all the tips mentioned above, is the power of God to heal your broken heart and mend your broken life in Jesus’ name.

“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 53:5
But, for you to be healed with His stripes, you need to be reconciled with Him.
Jesus is the only Mediator between God and man; and you can only be reconciled to God if you believe in Jesus; in what He accomplished on your behalf. What did He do? He, being the Son of God and the Mediator between you and God, paid the price of your iniquities(sin) by leaving His abode in Heaven, became flesh, at the appointed time, He was betrayed, crucified, died and was buried; but He rose on the third day granting victory to whoever believes in Him. He was sinless but He tasted death for you and me. He paid the ultimate price to grant us access to the Father and to His Kingdom because no one can access the Father without Him.
He says : “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man cometh to the Father but by me.” John 14:6
We can’t access God’s Kingdom with good works, morals and religious activities alone; they are not enough to save your soul and reconcile you with your Maker, because it is written: “For all have sinned, and have come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23
So, you simply need to believe in Jesus, repent of your sin, and be saved
“Whosoever call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”
Talk to Him and He will heal you.
See MoreSee Less

Recovery From Emotional/Psychological Trauma 

Emotional trauma is the result of stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world; it can leave you struggling with memories and anxiety that won’t go away. 
Emotional/psychological trauma could be caused by accident, injury, an unexpected violent attack, living in a neighboring known for crime, battling a life threatening illness; it could also be as a result of experiencing traumatic events that occur repeatedly like domestic violence, sexual abuse, bullying, loneliness, and addiction. It could also be caused by the sudden death of a loved one or deeply disappointing experience.

What are the symptoms of trauma?
*Anxiety and panic attacks; anger and irritability 
*Fear, emotional numbing,depression and confusion 
*Racing heart beats, mood swings, muscle tension and agitation 
*Shame, guilt, feelings of sadness and hopelessness 
*Fatigue, feeling of worthlessness, withdrawing from people.
*Ache and pains, obsessions and feeling of being overwhelmed.

What do you do to recover from emotional trauma?
1. Don’t isolate: Make an effort to maintain your relationships and avoid spending too much time alone
2. You don’t have to talk about the trauma all the time
3. Participate in social activities.
4. Join a support group for trauma survivors: connecting with them help reduce the sense of isolation; and hearing how others cope could help in your own recovery.
5. Volunteer to help others: In fact, this is a great way to challenge the sense of hopelessness that often accompanies trauma. Remind yourself of your strengths and reclaim your sense of power by helping others.
6. Make new friends if you live far away from family and friends; and avoid toxic people.
7. Self regulate your nervous system: No matter how agitated, nervous, or out of control you feel; it’s important you know that you can calm yourself. 
8. Take care of your health 
9. Get plenty of sleep
10. Avoid alcohol and drugs as their use can worsen your trauma symptoms, and increase feelings of depression, anxiety and isolation.
11. Eat a well balanced diet to keep your energy up and minimize mood swings.
12. Reduce stress by relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises and schedule time for activities that bring joy to you such as your favorite hobbies.
13. Forgive all hurts and forget the past as this can also worsen the symptoms.

Recovery from trauma takes time, and everyone heals differently. So, avoid being negative or hard on yourself.

Beyond all the tips mentioned above, is the power of God to heal your broken heart and mend your broken life in Jesus’ name.

“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 53:5
But, for you to be healed with His stripes, you need to be reconciled with Him. 
Jesus is the only Mediator between God and man; and you can only be reconciled to God if you believe in Jesus; in what He accomplished on your behalf. What did He do? He, being the Son of God and the Mediator between you and God, paid the price of your iniquities(sin) by leaving His abode in Heaven, became flesh, at the appointed time, He was betrayed, crucified, died and was buried; but He rose on the third day granting victory to whoever believes in Him. He was sinless but He tasted death for you and me. He paid the ultimate price to grant us access to the Father and to His Kingdom because no one can access the Father without Him.
He says : “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man cometh to the Father but by me.” John 14:6
We can’t access God’s Kingdom with good works, morals and religious activities alone; they are not enough to save your soul and reconcile you with your Maker, because it is written: “For all have sinned, and have come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23
So, you simply need to believe in Jesus, repent of your sin, and be saved
“Whosoever call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”
Talk to Him and He will heal you.
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By Eric Dunbar

I am the founder of Believing Faith Blog and the author of the book "Believing Faith Speaks." Once addicted to the heinous drug, crack cocaine, I was delivered by the power of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Believing Faith is my Online Ministry, through which I take the opportunity to spread the good news of the Gospel of Christ. It gives me great pleasure to help other believers to activate, feed, exercise, and speak faith. because believing faith speaks. 2 Corinthians 4:13

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