“Churches Are Not Above The Law,” by Dr. Paul Collins

Thirty-seven states in the United States of America have issued “shut-down” orders because of COVID-19 (commonly called “Coronavirus”). At the time of this writing, within many other states some cities and counties have issued Stay-At-Home orders. Should Christians abide by the orders? Should groups identified as Christians, and organized as churches, obey the orders?

Recently, a “Dr. Who” was arrested in Florida for disobeying the state’s mandate to forgo having services or gatherings that exceed a certain number of persons.  Was “Dr. Who” doing his own thing acceptable Christian behavior? I won’t waste your time having you read too many of my personal opinions. I refer you to the writings of the Apostle Paul in his letter to the church at Rome.  The recommended reference is Romans, Chapter 13, verses 1-7. Please read it for yourself.  I conclude this column, however, with my opinion:

Christians, especially evangelicals who profess a deep-seated belief in following the Bible, should be familiar with Romans 13:1-7. It is written there with clarity that the great apostle believed Christians were to be in compliance with secular authority.

In other words, I believe that for a Christian to be obedient to the authority of God’s word, he or she must be obedient to the laws of their government. When “Dr. Who” chose to have several hundred people defy the laws of man, he set an example saying disobedience was desirable, and he potentially exposed hundreds more to the virus.

During my 65 plus years of ministry, I have never seen any form of civil disobedience posing a greater threat to an entire community, a state, and (perhaps) the nation as a whole. COVID-19 can, and will be defeated, but not by the likes of “Dr. Who.”

Let us pray.