From the Pastor:
I received a visit from the St. Eustache police while at the church office today, informing me of a standing order from the city that public gatherings at places such as our church be suspended until the end of March. As law-abiding citizens in subjection to “the powers that be” (Rom. 13:1) we are happy to comply with these TEMPORARY conditions. So, we won’t be having services at our usual location in accordance with this rule, at least for now.
Now, I don’t like being told we can’t have church any more than YOU do; but let me give you my thoughts on this situation and explain what our approach is going to be, and why.
1. This is NOT religious persecution. We would not cancel if it were.
Is it government over-reach? Yes; but they are not targeting Bible believers to shut us down. They are simply scared like the rest of the world is scared right now, and are asking (firmly!) for us to do something that is quite reasonable when you look at it from their standpoint, considering the facts and influences controlling them.
2. This is the zombie apocalypse…to THEM.
If you’ve been to church over the last couple weeks, you know where “your’s truly” stands on the virus—based on what I’ve observed and read, I’m not even sure anyone would have NOTICED there was a new flu virus, had the media arsonists not dumped out the gasoline and lit the match. I’ve yet to see anything that would change my mind. We’ll see.
Remember, this “crisis” is brought to you by the same bunch that brought you the Y2K “crisis”, the African (racist!) killer bees “crisis”, the hole in the ozone layer (or in Al Gore’s head, I forget which), El Nino, polar vortexes, global-cooling/global-warming/climate change/the sky is falling/half the country will be under-water by 1990…er, 2000…uh, 2010, no, 2020…um…etc. Get the picture?
But the world is scared of this thing right now. REALLY scared. They don’t have the Lord, they don’t have the Bible, they don’t have any assurance of where they’re going when they die, and this world and this life is all they have, in their minds. So, I believe we need to understand that, and realize we are not going to win them to Christ while at the same time appearing not to care about their health or their safety. And I believe for us to continue to gather at church right now, and publicly thwart the rules that are supposedly there for their health and safety GIVES THAT APPEARANCE.
3. We probably have the “right” to do what we want, but that’s not the point here.
There’s no indication on the QC Government website that it has been made a LAW that we can’t have church; however, being “wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (and about “four serpents to one dove”), we are not going to venture down the road of civil disobedience. We are not going to get in trouble with the police (even if we have “rights”) over a couple services being cancelled due to a viral outbreak. Rights or no rights, it’s not a smart thing to buck the police, nor is it right. When you do that, they always remember it, and you’ve now made an enemy of someone who should be your friend—an enemy you really didn’t need to make at all. They asked us politely to comply; we will comply politely. We want the testimony and reputation that we are on their side.
4. We will not be “live-streaming” any services or gathering the entire church at somebody's house.
You have heard me preach for years that “the internet is not a replacement for church.” We are not, then, going to turn around and use it…to replace church.
Having church at my house or someone else’s tomorrow presents the same problem as having it at our building right now. I don’t want to alarm or anger our neighbors or disobey the civil prohibitions that are in place.
5. What we CAN do...
You can’t replace church with anything. The assembling of ourselves together for teaching, preaching, singing, and fellowship is irreplaceable. My thinking is that, this weekend, we will simply not replace it. We will miss it. And perhaps by missing it, we will appreciate what we have when we come back together as a church, and appreciate each other a little more for having missed it. Sometimes you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone.
I would suggest that tomorrow you set some time aside for Bible and prayer. Husbands and fathers should take the opportunity to lead their families in devotions and give the Lord some worship. It doesn’t replace church, but it would be profitable. If another idea presents itself, I’ll let you know.
6. This is very TEMPORARY.
We will have a “work-around” of some kind in place for this coming Wednesday and next Sunday, and I will keep you posted on what that will be. Until then, Lord bless and keep these matters in prayer.