Thursday, 06 August 2020 08:50
Walking With Jesus in UnityWritten by Jeron Parkins
As Christians there will always be political or social issues in which we won’t see things the same way. At times, as in any family, church members will be in disagreement on how to proceed or come to different conclusions on a decision that needs to be made. It’s normal. Across America churches are being put into some difficult situations with their brothers and sisters in Christ regarding the wearing of masks. Maybe you’ve felt the tension? Maybe you’ve become frustrated with a fellow Christian? A Deacon gave me his opinion that we have 3 different views of mask wearing among the members of Living Water. View #1 is that we should wear our masks at all times in public and that it is the loving thing to do and it will help us be good witnesses to our lost neighbors. View #2 is the viewpoint that if the government or the business wants us to wear a mask, fine, but they are not sure whether it helps or not. Those holding this view are skeptical and irritated by the mask mandate and likely won’t voluntarily wear a mask, but will wear the mask if it’s required. View #3 is the outlook that people are welcome to wear masks but it shouldn’t be imposed on everyone by the government. These folks say if people are worried about getting sick, let them wear masks, but we aren’t going to do so. Those who are not worried about it should be treated as adults who are free to choose whether or not to wear a mask, as this virus isn’t nearly as deadly as what was anticipated, or they feel that their rights are being taken away unconstitutionally. There are likely more than these three views or variations of each of them that are held to by people in our church and in many congregations across the land.
Whatever view you hold and for whatever reasons, let’s not let it come between our relationships, or hinder our mission as a church. We have been reconciled to God through Christ and therefore are part of the same family and commissioned for the same purpose. The enemy would love to separate us from one another over this issue. He would love to make the body weak and unable to stand for Christ in unity. We might be very uncomfortable or even upset at someone for holding a view we have rejected but let us remember that this issue will pass and the only one who wins if followers of Christ separate is Satan. Keep loving your brother and sister who looks at this situation differently than you do. This is a situation where Ephesians 4:2 applies: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” It’s fine (and good) to dialog and even debate in love, but don’t let your anger overflow to scorch a brother or sister in Christ who doesn’t see things as you do.
Over the last 5 months we as an Elder Board we have asked the Lord for discernment and wisdom for how to address this situation. In our meetings we’ve looked deeply at passages such as Romans 13:1-7 (the importance of submitting to governmental authority), 1st Corinthians 13 (the importance and application of love) and Hebrews 10:24-25 (the importance of continuing to meet). As Elders we haven’t seen things the same way and all three views listed above are present on our Board. But we are united under Jesus and will continue to find a consensus that we think pleases the Lord and puts us in the best position to fulfill our mission, while at the same time respecting our elected officials and not taking unwise risk (it’s impossible to live life well or to live an authentic Christian life without taking on some risk). It has seemed best for us to offer services and meetings which are “touchless” and are encouraging folks to avoid physical contact (not shake hands, etc.) and are continuing to encourage everyone to wear masks when they enter our facilities and urge those who are at greater risk (the elderly and those who have pre-existing conditions) to be very cautious in engaging with activities or meetings at the church.
Thankfully at this time the San Luis Valley is seeing a very low number of cases of the virus. Let’s pray for better and better days ahead, lets keep serving one another in love, and let’s stay unified in the mission to exalt Christ as Lord. There are thousands and thousands of people who need salvation and Jesus has called us to work together to see the gospel proclaimed. Our church is all about seeing lives changed through the gospel but we can’t do it well if we aren’t united.
SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICES 9:00 & 10:45 a.m.
We continue our Acts sermon series this Sunday. We want to encourage you to wear a mask (we’ll have some on hand if you forget yours), and ask that you refrain from physical contact and keep some distance from others. If you are sick please stay home and join us via the live stream of the service.
SATURDAY MASK ONLY WORSHIP SERVICE 6:00 p.m.
We continue our Acts sermon series this Saturday. Since May we’ve really been missing a good section of our church on Sunday mornings who really want to be with the Lord and church in person, but because they are vulnerable to the virus can’t participate freely in a setting where lots of people aren’t wearing masks. So Saturday night services are Mask Only.
The project is proceeding according to the timeline and things are going well! We will likely see the concrete pad being poured in the by mid-August. Our own Allan Haverfield (and crew) has been working on some bathroom plumbing before the concrete comes. Last night our tech team (Dale, Kenny and AJ) met with the architect to make some adjustments. Financially we are right on target for our fundraising goals – praise God! So you know, our current target is to see $60,000 pledged or given over the next three months to reach our year one goal. Please continue to pray for this endeavor! We have informational folders in the lobby or you can visit https://www.bringinglifeproject.org/ Pray for the continued safety of the workers.
FRIDAY FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT Tomorrow August 7
This is a mask friendly event literally...kids will get to pick out a mask and keep it. We will have children size breathing masks and also adult size masks if you should need one.
9:00 and 10:45 a.m.
Thanks for reading!
“But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:43-45).