We could just shrug our shoulders and say it is a mystery as to why so many congregations are reporting pre-versus-post-pandemic numbers, but is there really a big mystery here? It is a plain fact that congregations are routinely reporting a difference in their numbers. You can see this for example in the popular Scoops blog by Jeff and Dale Jenkins at http://www.thejenkinsinstitute.com/

  1. Some brethren still fear death (Hebrews 2:14-15). There is really no excuse for this. It shows a lack of Christian maturity at best and a lack of faith by many. I have talked to people and some are not afraid of death per se, but rather afraid of being a burden as an invalid to their spouse or children. I can understand this, but they take that same risk when they get out in their vehicle and think nothing of it. They overeat and risk stroke and think nothing of it. They go on trips to places that are not very secure and they could be harmed but think nothing of it. No, it is only when it comes to Coronavirus that they suddenly become scared to be a burden to their family. I don’t get it.
  2. Some brethren believe whatever they are told. They are carried about by every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14). You believe a conspiracy theory? Well, if they are encouraging masks at church then get offended and don’t come back, that’ll show ‘em. Hear in the news that you should be alarmed and you believe the newscaster when he tells you that loving people means “shutting down?” Well, certainly, believe him and fuss at every sermon of your preacher even if it is straight out of the Bible. Folks, you can only put implicit trust in the Bible, period. Anybody else can be and they often are wrong. Quit believing the media and your speculative neighbor.
  3. Brethren have become way too interested in social events and news of the world. They don’t work enough so they gossip and read news headlines and sit around and worry. I know nothing but Christ and Him crucified (1Corinthians 2:2). I’m worried about people’s souls. I don’t want anyone to die of the virus, but they are going to die of SOMETHING and they need to get ready for Jesus FIRST.
  4. Many brethren suddenly forgot what church is. That’s right, after 2000 years they all of a sudden forgot that one of the meanings of church is the ASSEMBLY of the brethren (1Cor. 11:17 all the way through chapter 14). They were told by preachers too-quick-to-speak that they were having church with the brethren at home on a computer in their ‘jammies’. Now when the virus dies down some of those brethren figure that they like that version of “church.” Suddenly those preachers are embarrassed to tell those people that they were missed because they were not at church! Why are they surprised when those people tell them they went to church “online?”

Brethren, if you worship at home for certain reasons then I am NOT saying that you didn’t worship. I AM saying that if you are a member at congregation XYZ then when you worshipped at home you did not worship with congregation XYZ! You worshipped at home. How long will your conscience allow you to do that instead of going back to see the brethren? Some will say, “You’re going to get people killed.” No, it is their conscience, it is their inconsistency, it is their choice – but I don’t have to keep quiet about it just because the ignorant misunderstand me.

-Tim McHenry, TBC Online Instructor