To fulfil our duty of love to God and Man, we believe it is right to live & gather as Jesus’ people by His Spirit, with measures proportionate to the various risks — if necessary, in faithful disobedience to the laws of men, leaving the consequences to the King of kings.
1. Much “Covid-security” opposes…
A. The wisdom of Jesus, because the bible doesn’t quarantine healthy people who have had no contact with disease or infection — and until March neither did the WHO’s or any nations1With the exception of China. pandemic planning, even for much more severe diseases.
B. Loving like Jesus, because He is distinctly tactile: a God made flesh, near and not far off, who washes our feet and calls us to do likewise. We are to eat, sing, greet one another with a holy kiss as we refuse to forsake gathering together.
C. The harm principle, because the net quality years of life lost stacks heavily against lockdowns, and the swiftest State sanctioned transfer of wealth from small to big business is occurring, alongside the largest imposition of debt on record — and poverty kills.
D. Historic church teaching, because our forefathers would not recognise in Covid a medical emergency capable of justifying the closure of churches, communities & businesses.
E. The supremacy of Jesus, because the biblical mandate to meet in these circumstances remains — and is not conditional upon government permission.
2. Evil impacts the world
A. Including state, industry & media — Christians have robust reasons to reject the claim of neutrality for every institution of man: including original sin, the Chronicles of the Kings, spiritual wickedness in high places and that Satan’s chief way of operating is deception and lies.
B. Constantly, via men & Satan — from the garden onwards…
C. Especially when power is concentrated — the current crisis reflects the wider problem of an increasingly antiChrist and regulatory state. The global growth of commerce and technology has raised the potential for power, influence and control to new heights — inevitably exposing mankind to increased risk as the Bible agrees that “power tends to corrupt”.2“All power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Lord Action
D. Making blind trust unwise: at a time when Man has taken historically exceptional power into his hands planet-wide, we have solid biblical grounds for remaining correspondingly alert, and not giving “the benefit of the doubt”: hope for the best, plan for the worst.
3. Our duty to obey law is altered by:
A. Conflict with Scripture — the laws that limit the fulfilment of the received pattern of love for brethren and neighbor lack Christ’s wisdom and therefore create a clear conflict between God’s guidance and man’s. Where such conflict exists, man’s laws lose binding power.3“We must obey God rather than men” Acts 5:29
B. Harm to our neighbor — “If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have been silent”,4Esther 7;4 but the chief target are “the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor”,5Zechariah 7:10, but this fourfold category is continually re-emphasised from Moses forwards, throughout the Old Testament, right up to the New: the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the stranger, the sick & the prisoner of Matthew 25:35-36 or “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: 6to visit orphans and widows in their affliction…” James 1:27 and obedience risks tacit participation in and support of a crime in progress.
C. The State exceeding its remit — laws controlling when, where, with whom and to what end individual citizens may meet seems akin to the kind of laws Jesus deliberately challenged, and outside the remit of the state Peter describes: “to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good”.71 Peter 2:13-14, cf Romans 13:1-7
4. A duty to resist is created by:
A. Threat to our fellow man — moral law comes with both negative and positive obligations. To keep “thou shalt not murder” and “thou shalt not steal”, it is insufficient for us to not murder or rob ourselves — inasmuch as it is in our power, we must also seek to stop8The proof texts for this are such as the parapet, the ox that was known to gore in times past — failure to take pro-active care leads to blood guilt and the same sentence for the actual crime, as if we had committed it ourselves. Due diligence is carefully developed in investigating potential false witnesses to prevent injustice. These are some examples of the positive obligations created by the moral law of God. Exodus 21:28-30, Deuteronomy 22:8, Deuteronomy 19:15-21 such murder and robbery, and to fail to do so is to fall foul of these commandments and the greater command: to love our neighbor.
B. A citizen’s responsibility, if the threat exists citizen’s cannot neglect their duty, claiming it’s the state or their leaders role. God holds a people accountable for failing to address great moral evils occurring in their nation: “the high places were not removed…”. We cannot say, “But our leaders set them up — not us!” Since God does not hold people accountable for things it is not in their power to resist, we can assume we do have legitimate power to resist such evil, and must take care to exercise it.
5. A need to obey God, not men:
A. For the Bride’s purity, we must separate ourselves from the evil currently being perpetuated upon the world — and particularly the most vulnerable. The Bride must reserve her kiss for the hand the petty kings of this earth must kiss or face destruction. The Church of Christ cannot remain undefiled for her celestial lover and accept the lordship of Caesar in her conduct.
B. For loving one another, God has made clear what love to man looks like in his Son, and it is tactile. The state would intrude unjustly upon every interpersonal relationship, unjustly segregating man from man as has frequently occurred in the last hundred years to the great harm of both those segregated and those who allowed it to occur by their passivity.
C. For loving society, to be salt and light must include standing up for the life of the oppressed and against the dangerous abuse of power — history has shown that the threat posed by a State against its populous is very real. If we are silent now, will the salt lose its taste? — risking collaboration with evil and a failure to follow the same love of Christ that led him to lay down his life, and his disciples to come before synagogues on trial for theirs.