MARCH 22, 29, & APRIL 5 WORSHIP SERVICES TO BE LIVESTREAMED
Our Government officials are restricting social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people, which includes church gatherings.
It is certainly in times like these that we need to hear the Scriptures preached and assemble with God’s people all the more (Heb. 10:24-25). Since there is not a possibility to do so in person because of the virus, this does not mean we cannot meet around God’s Word. For the next three Sundays, we plan to gather together LIVE via livestream to worship through singing and listening to the Word preached. The church staff has been working since Sunday evening to serve you in the best possible way and reach as many as possible. The services can be streamed every Sunday morning at 10:30 am through the TBC Facebook page or YouTube page. You may also go the church’s website and click the “Live Stream” link to watch. This will be our only service during the week to begin with. We will not be able to have Sunday school, small group or other Bible studies until the social distancing restrictions are lifted. I want to encourage you, please do NOT miss the livestream services. We want everyone to treat these Sundays as you would any other Sunday. Have your family prepared, children fed and dressed, and gather together as a family to worship undistracted.
A NOTE FROM THE ELDERS
As Solomon has been reminding us in Ecclesiastes, we live in a world with the curse all around us. That has become very evident over the last several weeks as the lives of people all over the world have been altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While things like this can bring all kinds of fears and insecurities, as believers we have a hope that is secure. Many may suffer physical and economic difficulties because of it, and all of us will be inconvenienced by it. What a comfort it is to know that God has “an appointed time for every matter under heaven” (Ecc. 3:1) and that all things are “in the hand of God” (Ecc. 9:1). He is in total control of viruses, governments, and economies. There is not a molecule that falls outside of His control, which He is not forcing to work together for His eternal purposes.
With that in mind, we do not live in fear but in confident trust in the Lord’s good care of each of us (Isa. 26:3). We must also live wisely and lovingly to those around us. Please be careful to exercise the proper precautions that are stated in the official public health guidelines (See Reliable Resources above).
CAN THE GOVERNMENT MANDATE A CHURCH TO NOT GATHER? One of the questions the Elders have been asked and discussed is if this is something that believers should follow or if it is a form of governmental infringement. To put it plainly, “Can the government mandate a church not to gather on the Lord’s day to worship?” As with every question, we look to the Scriptures for the answer, and we believe it provides clear guidance. The two passages that directly address this issue are Acts 5 and Romans 13. Acts 5:29 addresses a situation where “obeying God rather than man” is necessary because believers were commanded to be silent about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Romans 13 tells us that God has ordained the governing authorities to promote good and restrain evil, and we are commanded to submit to them as God’s minister. Because this is not persecution or a restriction related to the Gospel, it does not fall in the Acts 5 category. Rather it is a public health emergency to promote good, and it is right for us to submit to our governing authorities, as they carry out their Romans 13 responsibilities. It is also a way we can love our neighbors who may be at health risk if they contract the virus. It would also be a poor witness to our community to have a church parking lot full of cars when it has been communicated that this is a public health risk.
MORE RESOURCES COMING In addition to the live services, we will also be sending out several other helpful resources to help you and your family to focus on Christ and spend time together. These will include devotional videos, family worship resources and other items. You will hear more about these in the coming days.
Please know that the pastors, deacons, staff and many volunteers are committed to serving you in any way possible. We will be communicating as regular as possible to keep you informed. Should you have any need, please do not hesitate to contact the church office who can route you to the appropriate person. Please also stay up to date by frequently visiting the TBC Facebook page and website.
We are praying for you and your witness for Christ over the next few weeks. The Elders of TBC