State mandates on church practices

Started by peter_speckhard, April 10, 2020, 11:29:25 AM

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Richard Johnson

Quote from: Charles Austin on April 11, 2020, 07:55:29 PM
Richard, is your is one of those Episcopal churches Where, when you come up for communion,  you get a wine list?

;D
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS


J. Thomas Shelley

#47
Quote from: Pr. Don Kirchner on April 11, 2020, 11:21:20 PM
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/kansas-governor-wins-court-battle-over-order-limiting-church-gatherings-to-10-people

From the article at link:

Quote
The state Supreme Court of Kansas ruled Saturday night in favor of Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat whose recent order limiting religious gatherings to 10 people because of the coronavirus outbreak was overturned by a GOP-led panel of state lawmakers, local media reported.

So the legislature failed to overturn the ban, and the SCOK upheld the ban?

Meanwhile:

https://www.foxnews.com/us/doj-expect-action-government-regulation-religious-covid-19

Embedded Tweet from DOJ spokesperson (bold emphasis mine):

Quote

KerriKupecDOJ

@KerriKupecDOJ

During this sacred week for many Americans, AG Barr is monitoring govt regulation of religious services. While social distancing policies are appropriate during this emergency, they must be applied evenhandedly & not single out religious orgs. Expect action from DOJ next week!
8,049
8:01 PM - Apr 11, 2020 · Alexandria, VA

Greek Orthodox Deacon - Ecumenical Patriarchate
Ordained to the Holy Diaconate Mary of Egypt Sunday A.D. 2022

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

Donald_Kirchner

DOJ intervenes in Mississippi drive-in church case, says city's actions 'target religious conduct'

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/doj-mississippi-church
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Brian Stoffregen

I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Dave Benke

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on April 14, 2020, 02:14:56 PM
A pastor who opposed and disobeyed the ban on large church gatherings has died of Covid-19.


https://www.foxnews.com/us/virginia-pastor-who-said-god-is-larger-than-this-dreaded-virus-dies-from-coronavirus

I like the quote that the pastor "transitioned from labor to reward."  This is a case where the intermediary stage, a place of cleansing and purifying, purgative if you will, would seem to be in order.  Except it's not in the pastor's belief system.  "What am I doing in this waiting room?"

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

Pastor Ken Kimball

The deceased pastor said, "God is larger than this virus."   That's true.  God still is and always will be.  The pastor however was not larger or mightier than virus.  The temptation for pastors and Christians is to conflate ourselves with God. 

As one who has lost a member (and friend of 25 years) to Covid-19, and had to do a less than 10 gathering of family at the graveside (no funeral in the church building--a memorial service on hold for a later date), I have sympathy for this pastor and his family on his death.   I have no sympathy for the arrogance and self-glorification by which he put God to the test, for what seemed to me to be merely an extension of his ego. 

I have been witness to God's miracles of supernatural healing (after the limits of human medicine had been reached) and I believe the witness of others who have also seen and experienced God's supernatural healing and protection.  But it is egoistic presumption, not faith, when we assume special protection for ourselves in every case, in refusing to exercise God's gift of reason and prudence, putting others (neighbor and fellow believers) at risk. 

Throughout Holy Week, including Easter Day, near the close of our live streaming services, I included the following in my remarks:
In this time when we are not gathering together in person, we remember that we have done so for three reasons:
1. Out of love for our vulnerable neighbors—especially the elderly and those with underlying conditions—so that we will not contribute to the spread of the corona virus to those most at risk from Covid 19. 
2.  To not put God to the test by our pride and presumption, falsely assuming some special protection for ourselves and refusing to use the good sense and prudence that God has given us—pretending that somehow we would be glorifying God but actually we would be glorifying ourselves.
3.  Out of respect for the government and civil authorities which God has established to preserve life and civil order.   

And then where we would usually have celebrated the Eucharist, I used that excellent prayer for times when individual believers or the larger Church have not been able to celebrate and receive the Sacrament, that Will Weedon shared with us (thank you Will!).

I will end this post by acknowledging that there are indeed times and places when we as pastors and churches do have to forego prudence and what the world considers good sense, in order to be faithful to our Lord.  But I think those times and moments must also be marked with a particular humility and understanding that we may well suffer the consequences, including illness and death, as part of our witness, e.g. "deny yourselves, take up your cross" and "whoever loves his life, must lose it."  Anything else that smacks of our ego is a theology of glory.   

Coach-Rev

"The problem with quotes on the internet is that you can never know if they are genuine." - Abraham Lincoln

blog:  http://coach-rev.blogspot.com/
photography:  https://jeffcottingham.smugmug.com/

Newt Kerney

Frankly, some of these egoist clergy, whose "Mark 16" theology (let's show the virus, snake, poison, that we are stronger, more powerful, protected etc) have reaped what they have sown.   As the old song says, you don't tug on Superman's cape...

Brian Stoffregen

I'm wondering if we might learn from our Jewish neighbors. All of the sacrifices mandated in the Torah were to take place by the priests in the temple on behalf of the people. Since the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70 they have been unable to offer sacrifices. Instead, they have services in synagogues. Prayer has replaced the sacrifices. The Word of God is read and studied and expounded upon. I suspect that should a new temple be built, the sacrifices would return. (Although, it's unclear who, today, might be from the tribe of Levi, and thus a priest by birthright.)


For the time being, Christians cannot worship as we were commanded. We cannot "do this" in remembrance of Christ. We can continue to pray. We can continue to read, hear, and study the Word of God. The time will come when we can again gather together and celebrate the foretaste of the feast to come together.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

David Garner

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on April 15, 2020, 02:35:53 AM
I'm wondering if we might learn from our Jewish neighbors. All of the sacrifices mandated in the Torah were to take place by the priests in the temple on behalf of the people. Since the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70 they have been unable to offer sacrifices. Instead, they have services in synagogues. Prayer has replaced the sacrifices. The Word of God is read and studied and expounded upon. I suspect that should a new temple be built, the sacrifices would return. (Although, it's unclear who, today, might be from the tribe of Levi, and thus a priest by birthright.)


For the time being, Christians cannot worship as we were commanded. We cannot "do this" in remembrance of Christ. We can continue to pray. We can continue to read, hear, and study the Word of God. The time will come when we can again gather together and celebrate the foretaste of the feast to come together.

I think this is precisely correct.  We neither view the Eucharist as an unnecessary thing that would be nice to have, but not essential, nor as something we cannot do without for a time if circumstances dictate.

God is calling us to repentance.  Let us repent instead of dreaming up ways to have the gifts He gives freely in abundance on our own terms, as we please.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

Donald_Kirchner

#56
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on April 15, 2020, 02:35:53 AM
I'm wondering if we might learn from our Jewish neighbors. All of the sacrifices mandated in the Torah were to take place by the priests in the temple on behalf of the people. Since the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70 they have been unable to offer sacrifices. Instead, they have services in synagogues. Prayer has replaced the sacrifices. The Word of God is read and studied and expounded upon. I suspect that should a new temple be built, the sacrifices would return. (Although, it's unclear who, today, might be from the tribe of Levi, and thus a priest by birthright.)

For the time being, Christians cannot worship as we were commanded. We cannot "do this" in remembrance of Christ. We can continue to pray. We can continue to read, hear, and study the Word of God. The time will come when we can again gather together and celebrate the foretaste of the feast to come together.

Yup, the Jews could have done off-site "virtual" temple sacrifices. They did not.

A very apt analogy, Brian. Thank you.
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

readselerttoo

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on April 15, 2020, 02:35:53 AM
I'm wondering if we might learn from our Jewish neighbors. All of the sacrifices mandated in the Torah were to take place by the priests in the temple on behalf of the people. Since the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70 they have been unable to offer sacrifices. Instead, they have services in synagogues. Prayer has replaced the sacrifices. The Word of God is read and studied and expounded upon. I suspect that should a new temple be built, the sacrifices would return. (Although, it's unclear who, today, might be from the tribe of Levi, and thus a priest by birthright.)


For the time being, Christians cannot worship as we were commanded. We cannot "do this" in remembrance of Christ. We can continue to pray. We can continue to read, hear, and study the Word of God. The time will come when we can again gather together and celebrate the foretaste of the feast to come together.

I don't believe for the Christian church to be church that the sacraments are "optional."    Article 7 of the unaltered Augsburg Confession states that for the church to be there the Gospel must be taught rightly AND the sacraments be administered.  It is not an either one or the other.

Dan Fienen

There is a difference between treating the sacraments as optional and temporarily suspending the celebration of a sacrament because of extraordinary circumstances. This temporary suspension of the sacramental life and the meeting together in person is not because we do not value the sacraments highly but out of concern for the health and safety of the neighbor.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Donald_Kirchner

Quote from: readselerttoo on April 15, 2020, 11:27:47 AM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on April 15, 2020, 02:35:53 AM
I'm wondering if we might learn from our Jewish neighbors. All of the sacrifices mandated in the Torah were to take place by the priests in the temple on behalf of the people. Since the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70 they have been unable to offer sacrifices. Instead, they have services in synagogues. Prayer has replaced the sacrifices. The Word of God is read and studied and expounded upon. I suspect that should a new temple be built, the sacrifices would return. (Although, it's unclear who, today, might be from the tribe of Levi, and thus a priest by birthright.)

For the time being, Christians cannot worship as we were commanded. We cannot "do this" in remembrance of Christ. We can continue to pray. We can continue to read, hear, and study the Word of God. The time will come when we can again gather together and celebrate the foretaste of the feast to come together.

I don't believe for the Christian church to be church that the sacraments are "optional."    Article 7 of the unaltered Augsburg Confession states that for the church to be there the Gospel must be taught rightly AND the sacraments be administered.  It is not an either one or the other.

It is Easter ... Dan and I are defending Brian.   ;)

Brian never said that the sacraments are optional. That's simply a straw man on your part.

What Dan said.
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

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