Monday, March 14, 2022

Segregation & Division & the Will of God

For many weeks now, I have been meditating and reflecting on why so many Christians just take things so calmly as if there is nothing wrong in segregating or excluding other believers from Sunday worship. They may justify it on many reasons but at the end of it, they do not know the mind of Christ in this matter and they happily go about with their human and worldly wisdom. I was reading Acts 26 and one verse struck me was that Paul (before his encounter with the risen Christ) was convinced that he was serving God by opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth. When the risen Christ appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus, Jesus asked him, "Saul, why are you persecuting me?" Persecuting Christians or Christ's disciples is persecuting Christ himself.

Likewise, by excluding Christ's disciples from Sunday worship or communal gathering, we are excluding Christ himself. No wonder, in the Laodicean church, Christ stands outside the church's door and knocks waiting for someone to open the door. Why are treating some Christians like lepers of the biblical times? The lepers were excluded from the community and from worship with the congregation (Numbers). The unvaccinated Christians have become the lepers of today's world, though they are healthy like everyone else. What irony and paradox! Another big church in town has to close down again. One after another, their pastor and leader got infected with Covid-19 and they are all fully vaccinated and boosted! The more we trust in the vaccine, the more it seems God is far from us, because when we put our trust in modern medicine, we do not look to Christ, the victor over death and the giver of life. Did not God differentiate between the Israelites and the Egyptians that the plagues fell on the people of Egypt while the people of God were protected? I have nothing against vaccines, or those who choose to be vaccinated. For the majority, it may be the best course of action for them. But what I am totally opposed to is the segregation and the division in the church that this matter had led to. By simply ignoring the division, the division won't go away. Even if 10% of pastors are excluded from active service, it is a big loss to the church because to Christ, whether you are vaccinated or not vaccinated, it matters little to Him. We are all God's children and we trusted in God before vaccines were available when we sat together and we worshipped together. Even when vaccines became available, for 6 months or so, the vaccinated and unvaccinated sat and worshipped together. At least in my former church, when we looked to God, there was not a single case of Covid-19 for 18 months (Jan 2020- June 2021). We looked to God and we were protected and we were saved. When I reflected on this, I realised even now many think they serve God but they are in fact opposing the name of Jesus Christ by excluding other believers whom Christ does not exclude. Why is that so? Because they have not encountered Jesus and hence, they do not know the mind of Christ. We need a fresh encounter with Jesus so that we may be converted to know the mind of Christ and the will of God.

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