Amid coronavirus pandemic, a theology for not ‘assembling’
OKLAHOMA CITY — Well, this is awkward. We are used…
I love assembling with brethren and feel deeply saddened over this time of loneliness and separation from those whom I love.
For many years I have preached to thousands of shut-ins via the television program “In Search of the Lord’s Way.” They too longed to worship in the assembly and were unable. God understands. I think of Paul in stocks in prison, singing with Silas, but winning souls. I think of Jews in isolation due to their leprosy (see Leviticus 13).
Lest anyone think I have gone soft on assembling, let me be clear: No one in America encourages people to worship with the Lord’s church more than I do.
Lest anyone think I have gone soft on assembling, let me be clear: No one in America encourages people to worship with the Lord’s church more than I do. “Search” regularly helps people to find a congregation of the Lord’s people where they can worship.
My wife and I have been confined at home, quarantined, by her illness and by our state and city. “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution …” (1 Peter 2:13). This too is in Scripture.
Some have said it is wrong to partake of the Lord’s Supper at home. These are unusual and difficult times. One can and must, as an individual, remember the Lord in his supper. Examining self is an individual act. If you were sick or confined, you could still partake.
We are legally separated — not purposefully forsaking — and God knows that. He will not fault you for partaking any more than for singing or praying alone. Our communion is with Christ. Would Paul sin if he partook of the supper alone while confined in the rented house or prison cell?
It is true that we must not forsake assembling, but let’s be fair. No one has willfully abandoned the Lord by having to be confined at home.
Mercy triumphs over judgment.
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