One of the things that many Conservative Evangelical Christians have been discussing and debating is how the church should respond to the lockdown orders from our local governments. The questions is this: Does the government have the constitutional authority to close churches in a State of Emergency as we are experiencing with COVID-19?
In my recent episode of Conversations with Jeff, I discussed this very thing with Pastor Sam Jones, who discussed how many pastors and churches are trying to figure out how to move forward with their local churches.
Many Christians point to Romans 13 to justify always submitting to the government, including when they tell the church to stop gathering together. Pastor Sam takes a different approach, sharing how he believes that passage actually teaches us that we are to obey the government when they are implementing legitimate laws and rules. The case is made that the government doesn’t have the authority to tell the church to stop gathering.
It’s important that we compare all of our decisions with Scripture, making sure that we aren’t just cherry-picking verses out of context. We need to compare Scripture with Scripture to ensure that we are behaving as God actually wants. I hope that this discussion with Pastor Sam helps you to consider what God actually wants for us in light of Romans 13.