Rebellion is rebellion, whether in the home, church, or society

Regarding being away from the assembly for a possibly extended time makes me think of King David, driven away from Israel for a time, and when he was in the dry wilderness what he thirsted for was the Lord’s house:

For the choir director; on the Gittith. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. How lovely are Your dwelling places, O LORD of hosts! My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. The bird also has found a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God. -Psalm 84:1-3

I am surprised that David did not write this psalm, but I still think (based on 1 Sam 26:19 for example) that it captures how he felt in the years that he was not able to be with his brothers. What lay heaviest on his mind was that he was cut off from the assembly. He longed, even fainted, for the courts of the Lord. And the Lord answered his prayer and brought him back.

I pray that the Lord shortens the time of this quasi quarantine; with all the inconveniences the thing we long for most is to get back to his courts with his people.



Agreed. But the irony is that I have felt more “part” of the virtual services I have been following (morning prayers, a Compline, two main Sunday services) than I have sometimes felt in a church where I have been physically present … but not present in spirit, tbh.

As Mark Driscoll joked recently, “and just like that, we are now all TV evangelists”. :grinning:

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Speaking personally, the other part of this is: avoiding going into a job where exercising authority comes with the territory. I have steadfastly avoided going for jobs where I would have to manage other people, for a mixture of good reasons (I am low-level Aspie, so would not do it well); but maybe for not-so-good reasons (as they say in the north of England, “nowt so queer as folk” (= “nothing so strange as people”), and I’ve always thought I would far rather get on with work I like).

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The conversation has shifted a bit from authority regarding the government during COVID19, but I found this last night and was interested in any thoughts?


There are some good recommendations in here, such as taking special offerings to help those in need caused by the economic crises. However, it dismisses the civil authority in a way that makes no sense of the Apostle’s command to submit to Caesar—an authority just as godless as the ones we have today.

I’m inclined to agree that social distancing is not required per se, but that assumes other things are in place that we have not had, such as intrusive contact tracing (which he would probably oppose) and widespread testing.

As to this claim:

In China, CV is currently “burning out” as the disease has not spread, by the Providence of God, throughout the country like wildfire causing mass casualties. Given longer days and warmer temps, a “burnout” here very soon is most probable.

It is false, as far as I can tell. It has not burned out in China. It was snuffed out through even more aggressive action than we have taken. And here is the weather report in New Orleans where the cases are exploding:

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Yes, but UV light does kill it, so heat and sunshine stop these things. They are latitude driven, interestingly enough. Love,

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I’d be interested to see where you’ve read that about latitude. I know people are hoping for that, but I’ve not seen any evidence for it yet.

Regarding UV light, UVC is what we use to sterilize things, and UVA and UVB are the only ones that make it past the ozone in sunlight. A and B may have a good impact, but it is slow with other viruses.

We also know heat is effective with every virus at some level, but we don’t know how much heat for how long, yet, for this one. At least that’s my understanding.

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Rebellion against authority is part and parcel of Adam’s original sin. There’s nothing new under the sun.

We’d agree that if the government would forbid us to do something contrary to the Scripture we have the obligation to resist that (too strong?).

Would we agree that there is a biblical mandate for a man to care for his family? The government has curtailed many men from this responsibility. Yes, we currently understand the reasons. At what point does the man of a small business say, I can no longer do this.

These are competing mandates. How do we apply/reconcile these?


Related to our ongoing discussion of COVID-19 more broadly, does the calculus of what constitutes rebellion change if the government more or less arbitrarily (or at least unwisely, in the face of strong urging to the contrary) decides it soon will be safe to cease social distancing? Am I thusly in rebellion if I petition my employer to let me continue working from home because I have a pregnant wife with gestational diabetes (which increases the likelihood of developing serious complications) who is due to deliver in May, which will give me three children under the age of 5 (which increases the likelihood of developing serious complications, especially for my newborn and my daughter with asthma)?

Am I being “sentimental” about life vs. death? Am I being defiant, sinful, or rebellious if I decline to take the word of the civil magistrates or my bosses that return to normal by Easter is safe? If Pastor Tim’s paraphrase of Romans 13 holds true more or less across the board, then the grounds for my declining to return to work would be on the basis of belief that the civil magistrates and my employers are wrong (wrong, that is, that it is yet safe to return to work). To avoid sinning, if declining to return to the office early is a sin, do I just obey and then hope that my family doesn’t die? And if they do, well then at least I didn’t rebel?

I work in the largest office building in DFW in the middle of downtown. Someone who shares office space with my company tested positive for COVID-19 a couple of weeks ago (see the 3/18 entry referring to the 54-year-old man, with whom I interact on a daily basis and who shares our office kitchen space).

I’m not trying to snarky, although I know that my dubiousness over the converse situation is making it seem so, but I want to know when not obeying the authorities in this case is permissible, if ever.

There is a categorical difference (at least in the US, though perhaps not in China) between the two situations. No governmental office is going to order you to return to work, but they have ordered you right now to stay at home (I’m assuming in your state, since in most at this point, though I didn’t look it up.) If that mandate is lifted, your employer may certainly require you to return, but there is nothing wrong with petitioning for an exception in either case. But your employer is not the civil magistrate, either. If you find the terms of your employment unacceptable, you may seek other employment. In saying this I don’t mean to downplay the potential difficulty of that step. I just mean to show the category difference between the question.

I hope that helps you to make some progress in thinking about this potential scenario. However, I don’t expect it to be likely. I would assume that restarting the economy will happen with plenty of exceptions for those most in danger, and much greater acceptance of people working from home, in general.

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My employer is a civil magistrate and they were the subject of a report that they will not report COVID19 exposure in the workplace when it occurs and even when it results in death. The current policy internally, is even if you are high risk, keep working. If someone had symptoms but cleared up, they are to return to work too. I think the previous comment is very valid in my case. We also have three 5 and under. And my wife also had diabetes. But the only way I get to shelter in place is if we show symptoms. Interestingly, several of us have been coughing and my baby daughter’s stool look like she might have a bug, so out of an abundance of caution I’m calling out from work. Should I have to do that…seems like our magistrate are unwilling to accept the burden and responsibility for the decision, so I have to. Isn’t that one of the reason’s TFC decided as elders, to show leadership and take the decision away from those that were struggling with it. TFC has shown more leadership than my office. Our numbers are skyrocketing now, because we failed to act earlier.

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By now (31 March 20), “stay-at-home” orders which also prohibit gatherings over certain limits (usually 10 people) are fairly common.

Just stumbled across this news story that’s on point to some of the discussion.

This is also relevant:

I’m very sorry to hear that, Ken. However, I’m glad that you are able to make that decision at this time.

May God grant us all wisdom in the decisions we face in the coming days.

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Indeed. Thanks for your encouragement and understanding.

So sorry to hear that, Ken. We’ll be praying. Love,

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As is the story below, which concludes with this quote from a neighbor near the non-compliant church:

I wish state police would come out and do something. This is above our little local police level. The state needs to get involved. If they get out of church and go to the grocery store, it’s a serious health hazard. They don’t know how many people they’re affecting, and they don’t seem to care. That’s a problem.

A post was merged into an existing topic: Reno and Hitchens Question the Shutdown

This ship may have sailed - but I recently posted this article on our law firm’s Facebook page. Jeff Ventrella, with Alliance Defending Freedom, shares many of our theological commitments and is very well-versed in Constitutional Law and cultural apologetics. COVID-19 and Legality: An Interview with Jeffery J. Ventrella | Christian Culture

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Thanks for sharing, @TKidd. This is good:

The basis for “shelter in place” gubernatorial executive orders rests solidly in the “police power” reserved to the States. Now, the rub occurs because such measures may impact, impede, and potentially interfere with other fundamental rights also protected constitutionally, such as speech and the exercise of religion. That in itself, while inconvenient, is not axiomatically unbiblical nor unlawful. However, if a measure specifically targets a particular right, such as religious services or gatherings, instead of applying the measure to (say) all public gatherings, it is pernicious and likely unconstitutional.

Now, despite some social media sloganeering, the fundamental rights of speech and religious exercise are not absolute and thus they can be subject to the police power to some extent even in non-emergent contexts…

While a general prohibition on gathering of more than 10 people may be valid under the current legal doctrine and circumstances, restricting clergy from one-on-one in person counseling, or visiting dying patients, as some hospitals are reportedly doing – whether of COVID or not – raises deep and troubling constitutional questions.