Social isolation requirements are becoming more and more strict around the country. Yet even as health officials request and mandate closures of places where crowds gather (including churches), there are some Christians that see this as an opportunity to flaunt their faith. There are multiple examples on social media of Christians saying that they don’t need to listen to what experts and community leaders are saying, that they will continue going to church as an act of honoring God and defying man.
This is a seriously problematic attitude for two reasons. First this type of response puts people in danger, real danger. Current estimates are that 30-50% of people with the coronavirus do not have any symptoms but are able to spread it to others. To recklessly put ourselves and others at risk does not exhibit faith, but presumption. In Luke 4:12, Jesus makes it clear that having a presumption of God’s protection (i.e. putting God to the test) is wrong.
Second, it goes against the clear expectations that God has for His followers. He wants us to honor our leaders, as long as they do not contradict Him and His values (1 Peter 2:13). But even more specifically, God gives precise instructions for people to quarantine themselves when they have a contagious disease. “Someone might have a swelling on their skin, or it may be a rash or a bright spot. If the sore looks like the disease of leprosy… the priest must separate that person from other people for seven days” (Leviticus 13:2, 4). Read the whole chapter and you’ll find that God does not provide a single allowance for infected people to rejoin the camp for worship service. Just because they are medically quarantined, does not make them any less faithful. May we all have the assurance that just because we are choosing to forgo corporate worship for a few weeks does not mean that we are choosing to forgo our faith in God.