EDITOR’S NOTE: This letter was submitted before the prime minister’s announcement in the House of Assembly yesterday that worship services will be allowed to take place in the sanctuary of churches on Saturdays and Sundays, between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m., on New Providence, Grand Bahama and Bimini, effective Saturday, June 6. He also announced that as of Tuesday, June 2, graduation ceremonies, funerals and weddings will be permitted to take place with up to 30 people attending.
I am called by God’s Holy Spirit to respond to the prime minister’s public directives to the church and its operations.
The call to be compliant with the COVID-10 health/safety regulations – i.e. practicing social distancing, frequent hand washing and other sanitary behaviors – are welcomed and should be obeyed by all. However, my spirit was challenged when your regulations seem to conflict with what God calls me to as it relates to worshipping Him.
I am called to respond to the restrictions of time, how and when to worship. Also to be told to alter the “most sacred aspect” of my worship – the holy communion, which speaks to the death of Jesus Christ for my salvation.
Please allow me to share what God’s word says and what I live by and, with God’s help, will die by.
In Acts 5:24 when Peter and the apostles were threatened to cease preaching about Jesus Christ, their response was, “We must obey God rather that human beings.”
This is my position when what I am called to do conflicts with God’s word. I must obey the creator.
With regard to the holy communion, it is a command of God to do this in remembrance of Jesus Christ – a memorial, a constant reminder of who died for me and in my place.
Worship is what we were created for and what we will be doing for all eternity with God in heaven. You called me to a one-hour worship. Paul calls me in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Worship, to the Christian, is not governed by human time and standards because our worship is to the spirit God who is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent.
To be a disciple of Jesus Christ, one must put the teachings into practice – hold to the teachings. In James 1:22, he says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. I must do what the Bible calls me to or all and sundry would call me a hypocrite and I would be trampling the blood of Christ.”
I will close by using a passage from 2 Corinthians 5:14-15: “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”
I implore you sir, to not put restrictions and regulations on God’s people which are contrary to God’s Word, because “true believers” will disobey man rather than God.
One who prays for you and the nation regularly and will continue.
Absolutely no disrespect intended by this letter, but God’s word says he will raise up stones if his people fail him.
— Rick T.