I am sure you have heard of Governor Greg Abbott’s plan to progressively re-open Texas. I am sure you have also noticed the reaction to this plan, both pro and con. Unfortunately, like most other things in our country at this time, the pros and cons have manifested themselves along partisan lines. The cultural left does not want to do what the cultural right wants to do and vice versa. This is, in my opinion, unhelpful; it promotes confusion in a time when we should be searching for clarity and truth.
Reform to the Word of God
Struggling beneath the tired political wrangling are people vulnerable to the ravages of this virus, as well as the newly-unemployed, desperately wondering how they are going to provide for their families. There are also older and retired people who are both vulnerable to the virus and struggling with diminished income from their retirement assets. The truth is, we should be concerned about all and our concern should cut through partisan lines. This is what I mean when I talk about being hard-boiled in our respective cultures and our desperate need, as Christians, to reform to the Word of God instead of to our various cultural tribes.
As we work to put our concerns into practical action, though, things get foggy. We cannot be certain about what the solutions are. We know so little about this virus; and economic repercussions have always been difficult to predict, even in the best of times. It requires good faith effort, keeping in mind that we might get our answers right — or we might get them wrong. It requires the humility to be able to try something, then go back to the drawing board if it does not work. It requires the sobriety to know that these may be life or death decisions, and that our decisions may bring either economic recovery or economic ruin for real people.
This is no time for the certainty of a child. It is the time for the gravity and crushing weight of an adult. I applaud Governor Abbott for leading. His position is impossible, as are the positions of all our leaders. The Governor has lead like an adult, in my opinion. At the end of the day, liberty as we know it has always been through the lens of Christ. Christian freedom is not blanket autonomy to exercise one’s rights. Christian freedom is the freedom to love God and love our neighbors. Christian freedom belongs to the new creation, not the old.
You might read of some churches deciding to open and have responsible in-person services this coming Sunday. You will find no judgment of them from me. We are all trying to do our best. That said, St. Thomas’ will approach the decision to gather in-person with maximum caution. We will maintain our livestream-only worship services for now. This will continue until we get a clearer picture of this whole situation.
Help Us by Taking our Survey
We will do our best (as I think everyone is trying to do) but we also have an eye towards the re-opening of our church. While we are waiting for our situation to clarify, would you take some time to respond to a survey about our eventual re-opening? We are closer to that day than when we began; it is on the horizon. I would like to know your thoughts and take them into account as we plan for that wonderful day.
Hang in there. I know it is hard. You are doing the right thing and it will all end eventually. May God richly bless you, my beloved.