How many of us remember “playing house” when we were growing up? We pretended that we were the mother or the father or a brother or sister, etc. It was an imaginary way to reflect the world that we lived in.
Are we “playing” church today? At this point in time we are being restricted. What do I mean by that statement in general? We are “playing” church in the sense that we are gathering and praising God, which is what we should and must be doing, but the church is supposed to impact the culture and yet is not impacting the culture. There are church leaders speaking out about the persecution of the Church that is taking place right now from governors who are “outlawing” gathering to a minimum of 10 or less or one particular governor in California who has gone so far as to ban singing in church and meeting in homes for Bible studies! This is good but it appears it is only a few who are speaking out across the United States.
We need a Moses to get us to the Promised Land. God chose Moses to lead the people out of bondage. All Church leaders need to speak out against the assault against the church. Fortunately, there are some pastors who have been speaking out and refusing to follow the mandates, but not enough. The Catholic Diocese in my area has shut the churches down until further notice.
The Church is more than a building or even a gathering of people. It is Christians with one faith who have given their lives to the Lord and who walk in His precepts. Being a Christian is not just showing up at church but a way of life. Having said that, it is still important for us to be able to freely gather without the government mandating what we can and cannot do. We have a right as citizens for assembly and free exercise of our faith.
The last time in our history in the United States that churches were shut down was in Missouri during the Spanish flu of 1918. Saloons, of course, were allowed to be open. In my opinion, this COVID 19 virus is a Trojan horse that is being used to take away our freedoms and our faith. Yes, the virus is real and unfortunately, many, many people have died and suffered greatly. It is precisely during these times that people need to find solace with other believers. It is essential that the churches stay open in whatever form, i.e., outside or maybe less people inside the church. We need to advocate for this.
Watching a service on-line is fine but it is not the same. It is the corporate gatherings that bring the Body of Christ together. In I Corinthians 12:12 it says, “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.” (New American Standard Bible)
We need to “be the Church.” We need to be strong. We need to realize what is going on around us. It is no longer church as usual. We need to take back what has been taken from us. We need to realize that church is not just a “social” gathering but a time to come together to give praise to God and pray but we also must be the mature church, the bride that is getting ready to meet her groom, Jesus Christ. I believe the Lord is using this time to prepare His Bride for purification. We forget that the United States is not the only place in the world. The Body of Christ throughout the world is being persecuted right now with more martyrs now than any time in history. Are we willing to give the ultimate price for our faith?
“Playing” church is a statement that means that we need to mature as a church. Where are the strong leaders that will stand up and speak out against this persecution that we are now experiencing? It’s not just about sermons and filling pews in a church or even, in some cases, entertainment, but commitment. Do we sit back and let the powers that be dictate what we can and cannot do? We need to get back to the book of Acts. “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2:1-4 (New International Version)
Yes, there was persecution then, but there were also great miracles and signs and the Church continued to grow. The disciples received power from on high when the Holy Spirit fell on them and 3,000 were brought to the Lord in one day! Why can’t the Church be like the Book of Acts? We should not be afraid of the virus. We should be praying for people to be healed. God is an awesome powerful God but He chose to use us to manifest His glory on the earth. The Church should be the strongest force on the earth because the God of the universe lives and abides in us.
The church should not be putting up the CLOSED sign but the OPEN sign that will never be taken down again!