A brief and limited expression of concern to whom it may concern:
I’m thinking this virus and the shut down is revealing some faulty understanding regarding the church (ecclesiology). Simply put, a family stuck at home, dunking each other in the bathtub calling it baptism or sipping Dr Pepper and nibbling Ritz crackers for Communion makes not a church.
Certainly there may be individuals in that house who are Christians, maybe even all of them. But a church is not first a family who reads the Bible together and does religious acts on their own. A church is a group of people organized according to apostolic commands (I Tim 3:14,15; I Cor 14:26-38; 4:17; 7:17). There are to be duly recognized shepherds (pastors) who provide instruction & oversight for the sheep (Acts 14:23; I Peter 5:1ff; I Tim. 2:8-3:16). There is to be a means by which it can be determined who is a member and who is not (Acts 2:41ff; I Cor 5). And, there is to be a means by which baptism and the Lord’s Supper are rightly understood and observed by the church (Acts 19:3; I Cor 11:17-34).
While this post certainly isn’t exhaustive, I trust it might give pause to folks who appear to be thinking this crisis is an opportunity to ‘blow up’ what is presently perceived as unnecessary religious structures us geezers insist on — and the church can really and finally get to the business of making disciples.
There certainly are man-made traditions that become a false norm and must be recognized as such. But mark it well and deep: there will always be ways of doing things in the name of Christ that void the cross of its power (I Cor 1:17; 2:1-5). Trying to be ‘contemporary’ has a long tradition. The desire to be counted relevant typically comes with a large dose of wanting to be approved of by our present generation. And in our present age of ‘progress,’ it’s easy to forget it is evil that evolves; truth can’t (II Tim 3:12-4:5).
Being perceived as irrelevant comes with the unchanging Gospel; it will always be foolish to natural man. That also applies to how a church conducts itself; neither the unbelieving world nor our own whims are to dictate what we are to proclaim or how we are to do so. Christ is the Cornerstone and His apostles our foundation.
– Humbly, Pastor Tedd