Among the excuses pastors cite for closing our churches is their immense love for others (it’s a strange kinda love that denies folks an opportunity to hear the Gospel, but there we are). As one man of the cloth explained in an email to parishioners, he was suspending services “in a spirit of love for one another and with hope of slowing the spread of this virus within our communities, ….We want to do our part to prevent the spread of illness, especially to those who are at greater risk.”
Hooooo-kay. Intriguing that until Caesar ordered churches to close, no priest, vestry, or board of trustees worried about the 40,000 folks who die in car accidents each year—some of whom may have been on their way to worship. If clerics’ selfless love is so overwhelming, shouldn’t they long ago have cancelled services to spare drivers’ lives?
But I digress. However much concern these preachers may profess, the world doesn’t see it that way. Rather, their dereliction of duty results from the low priority they give Christ—or so this op-ed assumes: “Most of the nation’s clergy do not see packing pews as defensible, much less essential, during this pandemic.” In other words, loving and obeying the Lord comes well after preserving our health.
On a related note, those of us who’d rather die on our feet than live on our knees also prefer to lie abed with the flu in a free country than enjoy perfect health as a slave.5:33 pm on April 7, 2020 Email Becky Akers