An Old Sinner’s Place debuted nine years ago today with a piece titled “Seeking … an excuse”* Given what has transpired in the world in the last nine years, and 2020 especially, I thought it might be appropriate to revisit the problem discussed in 2011.
Pre-COVID-19, Sunday was a special day to most Americans and many others worldwide. Whether it was the day to go to church or watch your favorite professional sport, it was a good day. Believers and seekers entered churches across the land and in many other countries. Hopefully, believers came to worship, and seekers often entered simply to see if there was anything to this church thing.
Yes, seekers, believers, skeptics, even atheists might be in a congregation on any given Sunday. Beginning in early 2020, that changed. Relatively suddenly, gatherings of more than a handful of people were either banned or discouraged. As with schools, movie theaters, sports venues, and many businesses, churches shifted to alternative forms of accomplishing their mission, with decidedly mixed results.
Some, such as the mega-churches with satellite campuses, found it easy to make the change. Smaller or more traditional assemblies found it difficult and expensive. In one case, a small church resorted to recording the service on a smartphone until they could afford a more professional system. Friends shared the video was marginal, and the audio was horrible, yet they and the church persevered. Now, as we enter the fall of the strangest year, anyone alive can remember, churches are attempting to return to pre-COVID normal.
The lessons I tried to preach in “Seeking … an excuse” may be more important today than back then. Whether one wishes to believe it, or not, there is more going on in the world than a virus. As many know, some politicians live by the code of “Never let a crisis go to waste,” and they are not alone in this belief. Today, it should be clear a battle between good and evil is playing out before our eyes.
Atheists are attempting to destroy organized religions. Governments want to make believers more dependent on them than God. Faiths that teach destruction as a way to paradise are working overtime to turn believers and seekers alike. The world is a mess.
As we return to corporate worship. As we return to outreach ministries within our communities and around the world, we must remember. Some are coming with open minds and hearts. Others are coming seeking excuses to avoid admitting God exists. Others are coming to destroy the faith of the weaker brothers and sisters.
We must not allow our human frailties to be used against our Father, our Church, or our work. Do your best to avoid being someone’s excuse for turning away from a Walk with our Lord and Savior.
© sinnerswalk.com – 2020