What should a pastor do? Coronavirus edition

User avatar
steve
Posts: 3362
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:45 pm

What should a pastor do? Coronavirus edition

Post by steve » Fri May 01, 2020 2:12 pm

Dear Steve

Pastor R. and I are seeking your Biblical Counsel regarding the relationship to government authority and this COVID 19 pandemic. This relates to Romans 13 regarding "Let every should be subject to the governing authorities". We live in the state of Illinois and as most states, we have been under social distancing, using Zoom for prayer meetings, messages are recorded etc. We have a group in the church that have begun to meet for prayer in spite of the "stay at home order" because they say the Bible states to not to forsake the assembling of the church (Hebrews 10:25).

As Pastors we are concerned because they are not following our advice that we obey the ruling authority in this case, because there has been no prejudice towards Christians at this point, since all businesses (except food related) as well must stay at home. Our guidance would be that civil disobedience to the ruling authority would only take place if all businesses were to open up, yet Christians were singled out to still not meet. Also, we are not forsaking the assembling, because we are still assembling using Zoom.

Appreciate your feedback.

Pastors J & R

Hi J. and R.,

Thanks for writing. I cannot speak authoritatively on this question, since it does not fit neatly into any one biblical category. I can share some thoughts, but you will need to follow the Spirit's guidance in your own church situation.

1) The command to obey government officials obviously is not absolute, just like the command to wives to submit to their husbands is not absolute—that is, a wife should not sin, even if her husband commands her to do so. The government is authorized to serve God (as Paul says, in Romans 13) in maintaining criminal justice—which means keeping innocent people safe from criminal predators, and such.

2) Governments often overreach their divinely-appointed sphere of authority. Even when they do so, it may be wise to submit to them, rather than to stage a revolt. On the other hand, we do not have to recognize a mandate from God for the government to do anything more than to maintain societal justice, and to levy taxes in the support of that goal. Where the government gives orders that are beyond these boundaries assigned to them by God, they have no divine sanction. In such cases, we need not obey as a matter of conscience, though we may do so out of convenience or wisdom.

3) One obvious case in which we should not only recognize the lack of divine sanction, but should also resist or disobey the government, is when the authority of the state sets itself against the commands of Christ—in which case, "we must obey God rather than men." We sin if we disobey God, no matter what other "authority" we may be obeying in doing so. We know of numerous Biblical and post-biblical examples, from the Hebrew midwives in Exodus 1, to the three Hebrew young men defying Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel defying Darius, the apostles defying the Sanhedrin, etc.

4) The question of the government's authority to issue "shelter in place" orders is very questionable. Conservative legal scholars have said that there is no constitutional authority for the government to forbid free assembly, or free exercise of religion, without demonstrably compelling reasons. Do they have such reasons at present?

One may argue that the government is doing this to protect the innocent, but from what? It was once thought that the coronavirus was 100 times more deadly than it has proven to be. This suggested that it posed a public danger greater than the seasonal flu by a huge margin. It is now known that the fatality rate among the few (less than 15% of the population) who actually become infected is probably less than .1%. This means that, if I go out among the infected people, I have one chance in six or seven of becoming infected myself—which is similar to the odds in playing Russian roulette. However, the danger is much less than in Russian roulette. In the latter, if you lose your bet, you die, whereas if I become infected by coronavirus, there still remains only 1 chance in a thousand that I will die. That is, I have a 99.9% chance of survival. This, frankly, is a risk that most rational people are willing to take, rather than to put their whole lives on hold indefinitely. The chances of dying from a non-coronavirus cause may be greater than that. Even if they are not, I know that something will eventually kill me, and there are worse things to die of than this virus.

A nanny-state treats all adults as children. A growing number of ostensible adults (like 40-year-olds supported by, and living at home with, their parents) do not seem to object to this dehumanizing infantilization. Historically, adults have been allowed to take their own risks with their health. I do not know why today should be different. People, without thinking, argue, "But even if you are willing to take your own chances, you might bring the virus home and infect family members." True. I might also bring a gun home and shoot my family members. Does the government really have to protect my family from me? If all self-quarantining were left to be voluntary, then the at-risk family members could freely and voluntarily quarantine themselves from their bolder kin. Can't grown-ups make grown-up decisions for themselves? Seriously!

Those who have been designated "essential service providers" have not been required to shelter at home. They wear masks, gloves, have sneeze-guards between themselves and those they serve, etc. I don't know if the fatality rate among these essential workers is much above the rate for the general public, who are not permitted to take these risks. I have not heard the statistics on this, but my suspicion is that the overwhelming majority of these people are surviving. The lock-down advocates should explain why it is, if essential service providers can safely do their jobs, that those in other businesses, taking the same precautions, would not be equally safe in doing theirs.

The question then becomes two-fold:

1) If the government is denying our right to free assembly and public worship, thus protecting me against my will from dying of the coronavirus, how many other constitutional rights will they feel they should deny me in order to protect me from every other danger in life—e.g., auto accident, cancer, criminal assault, nuclear attack from N. Korea, falling off a ladder or out of a tree, etc.? It seems to me that they do not have a special mandate to shred the Constitution in order to save us all from a one-in-a-thousand danger of fatality from a disease. If they do, then, upon the same principles, they can lock us all down (meaning, putting non-criminals under house arrest for an extended indefinite sentence) every year to protect from the flu, or take our cars away to protect us from pollution and possible accidents, or take our guns, in order to protect us from accidentally shooting ourselves...ad nauseam. The government keeps moving the goal posts, stretching out the public internment, for seemingly no real cause. It is not hard to theorize what their real motives are for doing this, but the question is, do they have the legal authority to violate constitutional freedoms for seemingly trivial causes?

2) Does the lock-down really prevent my fulfilling any Christian duties? If so, then I should violate the government order, even if they were acting within their constitutional authority. I am not sure that any Christian duty is really compromised by my staying indoors—though Christians may have discomfort in observing a trend which may soon lead to the government infringing upon our unambiguous Christian responsibilities. Already, some have been forbidden to visit aged parents dying in care facilities. Is the duty to visit the sick and the prisoners (Mat.25:31ff) now temporarily suspended? Personal, face-to-face evangelism is currently definitely curtailed, though I don't know how many Christians do any of these things, even when conditions are normal.

3) Is meeting by Zoom really able to meet all the same spiritual needs of the body of Christ as face-to-face, tactile fellowship is able to do? Probably not, but again, I am not sure how many Christians practice biblical fellowship under normal conditions, as opposed to sitting in the Sunday morning theater-seating to hear music and a message. Zoom gatherings probably meet as many of the needs of some people as would ordinarily be met in Sunday gatherings. However, fellowship is supposed to involve more than mere listening to the same music and sermon together (both of which can be done on Zoom). The Christian community, ideally, should be interacting helpfully with each other on a daily basis. For those who generally practice such community interaction, I think there are limits to what can be done online.

Everyone must follow his or her own conscience on this matter. In the first week or two of the shut-down, there seemed to be some valid basis for rigid, possibly mandatory, distancing. In the weeks following, so much new information has been learned about the virus that it seems gratuitous to maintain anything but voluntary sheltering in place. Pastors may advise their people to voluntarily comply with the widely-publicized safety protocols, but I do not think we can charge people with sin if they voluntarily wish to take their chances with others, who also voluntarily wish to take the same chances, in order to meet and pray. Daniel, in praying to Yahweh was certainly risking his life, and was defying a government order as well. It might be suggested that he could have been more secretive about his praying, but one gets the impression that Daniel defied the order in order to make a specific statement of defiance. Should we? I do not think I can make that decision for anyone else (nor do I see how a governor, who has no interest or stake in prayer meetings, should be able to make that decision for anyone else either).

Well, Brothers, you obviously got me started. You do not need to make any decisions based upon my thoughts, since they are simply my thoughts. I share all of this for your consideration, because you asked. You may have to take factors into consideration, in your state and your church, that do not apply to my case in California. Let us pray that these hard decisions do not have to be made for much longer.

In Jesus,

Steve

User avatar
darinhouston
Posts: 2230
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:45 am

Re: What should a pastor do? Coronavirus edition

Post by darinhouston » Fri May 01, 2020 2:49 pm

I have struggled with this one as well, and I'm not a pastor. My own tendency is entirely consistent with Steve's post, but I'm not sure it's justified. I'm curious Steve about the scriptural limits you suggest as to obeying authorities. Isn't government's authority positional instead of a mere delegation of powers? How does the duty to obey a slave-master or an employer differ? Is a slave-master specifically ordained in his role? How much of an employer's sphere of authority is ordained and so to be obeyed? What about the wife's submission to a husband. Instructions to sin aside, is that the only limitation in that role? How is the authority of a government or employer any different? Isn't this a slippery slope? Once we have established an authority over ourselves, or should it be established without our will (a prison guard perhaps) isn't the only limit to avoid doing something that would contravene a command or requirement of God? It seems the only alternative might be to lawfully or rightfully find a way out of from under that authority. Otherwise, it is what it is, regardless whether it exceeds a scriptural mandate. Further thoughts?

User avatar
Homer
Posts: 2682
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:08 pm

Re: What should a pastor do? Coronavirus edition

Post by Homer » Fri May 01, 2020 5:36 pm

As one who was raised to believe that failure to attend church every time the doors were open was a sin, my instinctive position is with Steve's thoughts. However, the command cited from Hebrews, "Do not neglect the assembling of the saints" is a present active participle in the Greek which speaks of a continuous or repeated practice of neglect. So I am not so judgmental as I once was.

The wife and I have been listening to gospel music and Ravi Zacharias for our "church" (a misnomer, I know, unless the two of us constitute an assembly) on YouTube which is on Dish Network for free. Last Sunday we went to a "drive in" church and heard a good sermon but there was no interaction at all with everyone sitting in their cars.

Having thought about this I would say we should aim to follow "the law of love" as taught by The Master, wherever that leads.

Singalphile
Posts: 903
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:46 pm

Re: What should a pastor do? Coronavirus edition

Post by Singalphile » Fri May 01, 2020 5:37 pm

A very similar question was asked in a recent TNP program, and I have to say that I was a little disappointed.

I don't think Paul (nor Peter) states that I can disobey laws as long as they do not aim to "maintain social justice" to my satisfaction. Obviously, we are not to commit evil acts or approve of evil acts. That's true regardless of the laws of the land.

Is it really okay to pick and choose which laws I'm going to obey? I'm required to have auto-insurance in my state? Nah. My kids are required by law to have a formal education? Nope. I can't pay my employees less than x amount? I don't think so. That is indeed an extremely slippery slope, to say the least.

Oh, it annoys me that someone is telling me - a grown man - that I have to wear a mask to the grocery store. But you know, I swallow my pride and I do it. We are ambassadors. Like it or not, we obey the laws of our hosts ... unless of course they violate a command of our own kingdom/Lord.

As for church meetings, at least there I can understand the conflict. In my view, we can give our hosts some leeway. The writer of Hebrews does not say how often to assemble or how it must be practiced (obviously it was in person back then). I agree with everything Steve said about that.

Like it or not (often I don't), I think the instructions are clear enough: do not resist authority, submit to the authorities, pay your taxes, honor the ruler.
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23

User avatar
steve
Posts: 3362
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:45 pm

Re: What should a pastor do? Coronavirus edition

Post by steve » Sat May 02, 2020 9:14 pm

Hi Darin and Singalphile,

First, Singalphile, I did not say the state's mandate is to uphold "social justice," but rather, "societal justice." I know the terms should be interchangeable, but that cannot be assumed today, when "social justice" is specifically a buzzword for "identity politics"—or "institutional injustice."

Now to your questions:

Christians are to obey their rulers within their respective spheres (which differ in different modes of government—more on that, presently). We do not have to disobey every order for which the issuer has no divine mandate. Almost all Christians, throughout history have found it convenient to obey a great many laws for which the government had no moral authority to issue. Doing so is usually convenient, and, in most cases, involves us in no moral compromise.

Darin asked about slaves and wives. Slavery is a social contract, as is marriage (though the latter was established by God and the former was not). The respective spheres of authority belonging to masters, employers and husbands (and parents) are not coextensive, since these are different kinds of institutions. By definition, where slavery is legal, slaves are subject to their masters essentially without limitations. This is less so, of course, with wives, since they, in some cases, have a right to divorce (slaves do not). The authority of parents over their own children has its own perimeters, separate from the others considered.

The authority of the state also is not absolute, but is defined, morally, by divine mandate (which is very narrow). By contrast, the state's de facto authority is defined, legally, by the nature of the social contract between the governing officials and the governed. Is the society a totalitarian state? an oligarchy? a constitutional monarchy? a republic? a pure democracy?—or what? The "legal" range of state authority will differ according to these societal agreements and their social contracts.

The country that I am writing from has a social contract called the U.S. Constitution, which specifically places not only moral, but also legal, restrictions upon governing officials. It is the supreme law of the land, so that officials that act in violation of it are acting illegitimately. Our officials were not "born to rule," and cannot presume to themselves powers randomly. They possess no authority beyond that given to them by the governed, as defined in the Constitution. We don't actually have "rulers" here, since government officials are hired by the people to do the will of the people. The people are the legal rulers, and the officials are actually "public servants"—we can actually fire them. The Constitution contains a list of rights, in the first ten Amendments, which specifically denies to the government any power to interfere with basic rights of the citizens, as enumerated in these Amendments.

If it were not for the Constitution, we might have a Monarch, a Czar, or a Führer who could legally impose such arbitrary and nonsensical limitations upon citizens as we see some state governors pretending to be able to do. Remember, every governor has sworn that he or she will uphold the Constitution. Therefore, governors who violate the Bill of Rights, either do not understand the Constitution, which makes them morons (since they have sworn to uphold it), or else they know it all too well and are testing us to see how much treasonous behavior they can get away with—this time.

If your neighbor's child comes to your door telling you that you need to wash your car, you have as much moral and legal obligation to let him dictate your car washing schedule as to obey a State Governor who is flagrantly overstepping the constitutional range of his authority. Every sign you see that says, "Wear a mask, it's the law," is bluffing. Governors don't have the power to make laws. Laws are made by legislatures. Unless the State Legislature has made such a law, it is not the law. I may be wrong, but I don't think any legislatures have convened to make a law about social distancing.If they haven't who did, and who authorized him or her to doing so?

American ignorance of the role of constitutional government seems to be at an all time high, which bodes ill for people who believe that it is a form of government worth preserving. When government officials say, "You cannot do this..." we have every right to say, why not? Who says so? If they can show that their constitutional mandate warrants the demand, and if obedience does not violate the moral obligations of Christians, then we should politely obey them.

Darin, you are a lawyer and I am not, so I welcome any correction on any point which I may have misunderstood or misrepresented.

Singalphile
Posts: 903
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:46 pm

Re: What should a pastor do? Coronavirus edition

Post by Singalphile » Sun May 03, 2020 12:03 pm

steve wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 9:14 pm
First, Singalphile, I did not say the state's mandate is to uphold "social justice," but rather, "societal justice." I know the terms should be interchangeable, but that cannot be assumed today, when "social justice" is specifically a buzzword for "identity politics"—or "institutional injustice."
My mistake there. I remember pausing at that point and going back to look at exactly what you wrote, but I guess I didn't copy/paste and I misread it. Anyway, I did not at all think you were referring to "social justice" in that buzzword sense (even if that had been what you wrote).

As for the content, I would still appreciate a few direct responses to my points, if you have the time:

1) It still sounds to me like you're saying that each believer, while obeying God's laws, can then put on his lawyer hat and decide which gov't laws he will obey based on Roman 13:1-7 and 1 Pet 2:13-17. Is that what you teach?

2) I gave just a few practical examples (insurance, education, wages) that were not addressed. I specifically picked laws given by state or local governments, to which the U.S. constitution's power limits do not apply. (See, now we're having to be lawyers.) Are these the kinds of laws that I can politely and quietly disobey? Am I right to calculate the cost of such things and subtract them from what I pay in taxes (if willing to risk it)?

3) Again, consider that we are ambassadors with a mission. Obedience, submission, and honor for the governing authorities are far more consistent with that mission, wouldn't you say?

Thank you for your consideration thus far and any more that you can spare, Steve. Have a great day all. It's always nice to hear from you. Facebook is no substitute, and it's not a good discussion platform!
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23

User avatar
darinhouston
Posts: 2230
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:45 am

Re: What should a pastor do? Coronavirus edition

Post by darinhouston » Sun May 03, 2020 9:20 pm

steve wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 9:14 pm
American ignorance of the role of constitutional government seems to be at an all time high, which bodes ill for people who believe that it is a form of government worth preserving. When government officials say, "You cannot do this..." we have every right to say, why not? Who says so? If they can show that their constitutional mandate warrants the demand, and if obedience does not violate the moral obligations of Christians, then we should politely obey them.

Darin, you are a lawyer and I am not, so I welcome any correction on any point which I may have misunderstood for misrepresented.
Very briefly on the Constitutional issues, it's not up to the individual citizen to decide which laws to follow, legally. Our Constitutional form of government has divided the government in such a way that it decides for itself and provided a mechanism for us to test it and change it. But, we do not have the legal "option" to simply ignore unconstitutional laws. Of course, we can break the law and test it, but that's not the same thing. What we are supposed to do within the law is to turn to the courts and petition the courts to declare it unconstitutional or petition the Congress to change the law.

It gets more messy when there's a conflict between jurisdictions or between Feds/State/Counties/Governors vs. County Judges/Etc.

The government doesn't have to prove to us that what they have required warrants the demand. We can ask them to do so in the courts, but meanwhile we must comply or face penalties for not having done so. If the penalty was wrongful, that has a remedy as well.

So, legally, we have the right to say it's not right and I see good in exercising that right of free speech and petition and lawful protest. But, simply ignoring laws we believe are unconstitutional isn't "lawful" per se.

User avatar
steve
Posts: 3362
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:45 pm

Re: What should a pastor do? Coronavirus edition

Post by steve » Sun May 03, 2020 9:59 pm

Hi Singalphile and Darin,

Singalphile, thank you for asking. Your questions seem to dovetail well with Darin's post, so I will answer both of you jointly.

Darin,thank you for the clarifications. I think you might agree they do not address cases of a Christian's civil disobedience for actual conscience sake—though the coronavirus responses, at this point, would not seem to rise to that level of offense. I will respond to Singalphile's three questions, since you didn't ask any. However, I think my answers to him are relevant to both of you in your responses.Let me address your points briefly:
1) It still sounds to me like you're saying that each believer, while obeying God's laws, can then put on his lawyer hat and decide which gov't laws he will obey based on Roman 13:1-7 and 1 Pet 2:13-17. Is that what you teach?
Again, in a society like ours, it would be very unusual for a Christian to have occasion to have to break a law. On the matter of the coronavirus responses, I am not aware of any laws made by legislatures for us to have to consider. So far, I have seen no occasion to break actual laws. The whims of dictators are another question. I see no legal authority behind them.

If laws are made that violate constitutional authority, then that will be a matter for the courts to strike down. We don't have to be unclear about which laws to disobey. Those that force us to violate our Christian duties are to be ignored, or protested.
2) I gave just a few practical examples (insurance, education, wages) that were not addressed. I specifically picked laws given by state or local governments, to which the U.S. constitution's power limits do not apply. (See, now we're having to be lawyers.) Are these the kinds of laws that I can politely and quietly disobey? Am I right to calculate the cost of such things and subtract them from what I pay in taxes (if willing to risk it)?
The state certainly ought not to be meddling in these areas, so far as God's mandate is concerned. In some cases, like education, Christians may legitimately have strong conscience issues against turning their children over to be indoctrinated by those who hate and undermine our convictions. This would be a clear abrogation of our divinely mandated roles as nurturers and protectors of our children.

Insurance would be an issue of conscience for some, and I believe they would be within their rights and duties to obey what they believe to be the will of God. There is no one else necessarily harmed by one not having insurance.

As for minimum wage, I would have no problem working for a friend, or allowing my grandson to do a task for me, for less than minimum wage. What business is that of the government?

I have known Christians who subtracted a portion of their tax payment in protest to government support for abortion, etc. However, I believe that once we pay our taxes, we are not responsible for what the government does with it. When we refuse to keep any law out of conscience, we are subject to their penalties. This means we are still subject to the authorities.
3) Again, consider that we are ambassadors with a mission. Obedience, submission, and honor for the governing authorities are far more consistent with that mission, wouldn't you say?
Absolutely—most of the time.

It is not always profitable to exercise every right that we have, as Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 9, where he mentions several prerogatives that he has, but chooses to deny himself for the sake of the glory of God. Of course, Christians do not want to stand out as rebels against governments. This would recast our message to the world as a revolutionary political agenda, which it is not—at least not in the way politics are usually thought of.

However, I believe there is a much greater justice component to our mission than evangelicalism usually acknowledges. To stand in the name of Christ for justice for the oppressed does not require us to become excessively subversive—not yet, anyway. When we face conditions such as those faced by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Casper ten Boom, Oskar Schindler, or the Underground Railroad, this question may have to be revisited. Most of our mission is not political, but educational: "teaching [the nations] to observe all things that [Jesus] commanded"(Matt.28:20).

User avatar
darinhouston
Posts: 2230
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:45 am

Re: What should a pastor do? Coronavirus edition

Post by darinhouston » Sun May 03, 2020 10:41 pm

steve wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 9:59 pm
Again, in a society like ours, it would be very unusual for a Christian to have occasion to have to break a law. There are no laws made by legislatures that apply to the coronavirus responses. There are no legitimate dictators here. If laws are made that violate constitutional authority, then that will be a matter for the courts to strike down. We don't have to be unsure about which laws to obey. Those that force us to violate our Christian duties are to be ignored, or protested.
One of the problems here in some of our local areas is that state legislatures have, in fact, granted standing authority and sometimes broad discretion to governors and, in some cases, county judges or others when a declaration of emergency is made by having law-making authority through executive orders consistent with managing that emergency (without the legislature). Many have done so, and some are in conflict with each other. I think some of them exceed the authority granted to them, but the question then still remains -- "just because I think they have exceeded that authority, do I have the Christian "right" to ignore it? Or do I rather have the Christian "duty" to follow it?" Christian or not, I can seek redress in the courts. But, regardless of that right, what do you do in the meantime?

In Texas, a Harris County mask order was made by a county judge exercising emergency powers. It carried a fine. A local activist filed suit seeking a declaration it was unlawful and unconstitutional. The court denied it because it stated they lacked "standing" because there was not a reasonable apprehension of them actually being fined (in part because the police had discretion and he was an upstanding citizen who would likely follow the rule). So, they didn't rule one way or the other about the legitimacy of the order and the police have said they intend to use great discretion whether to fine. I think this is an unjust result and leaves a bad rule in limbo. But, that's the way it went. Should a Christian wear a mask in public anyway? It also required 6 foot distancing and washing of hands upon returning home (how on earth they would enforce that is anybody's guess). Probably exceeding the limits of her authority. But, what's a Christian to do? I know what my carnal nature wants to do. I also know what the more spiritually mature exercise of judgment probably should be. But, in the middle -- what's the Christian's "duty?" That's the question at hand, I think.

[To make things more interesting, the governor has stated he was over-ruling the county judge and issued an executive order superseding the county rules and stating no county can level a fine for mask wearing. But, I think he was probably exceeding his emergency powers in doing so. That would likely require legislative action. So where does that leave the state of the law? His powers (personally, I think) were limited to emergency orders to restrain movement and increase safety as it pertains to the emergency. He wasn't granted plenary powers during an emergency and so I don't think he has the emergency powers to issue an order ensuring "leniency" in movement. So, does the county rule stand? These are VERY interesting times.]

Singalphile
Posts: 903
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:46 pm

Re: What should a pastor do? Coronavirus edition

Post by Singalphile » Sun May 03, 2020 11:29 pm

1. I agree that laws that "violate our Christian duties" can be ignored or protested. Fair enough, regarding covid19. I've just assumed there are state/local laws regarding general emergency powers. Darin has good thoughts.

2. I agree with all of your political/social positions, I'm sure. I don't think any laws require gov't education (yet), only "formal" education, which can be provided by the parents.

Min wage: It's none of their business, and yet it's the law. If you counsel breaking the law and accepting the penalty (i.e., turning yourself in) ... I can see that as a valid option.

It does sound like you're pretty lenient on these matters.

3. Agreed!

Okay. I think we're not far off when it comes down to it. However, were I a teacher or shepherd, I think I would be a bit more firm on this. Perhaps my own strong, emotional dislike of authoritarianism and injustice tempts me to rebel or be bitter, and I am therefore overly legalistic about it.

Thank you very much!
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23

Post Reply

Return to “Miscellaneous”