March 22, 2020
by Pastor Don Willeman
Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to the Kingdom Perspective!
What should the church do in response to the coronavirus?
We should generously care and provide for our fellow believers and our neighbors!
We can assume that there will be many whose lives and livelihoods will be disrupted by recent events. People may be out of work and there will be increased strain on families and social services. This is precisely where the church should shine. The gospel makes us generous people—meeting the needs of both those inside and outside the church. We do this though the shared benevolence or mercy ministries of our local churches. Now is the time to up your game in giving to these ministries above and beyond your regular faithful support to the church’s gospel ministry.
In the 4th century the non-Christian Roman Emperor Julian tried to squelch the growing Christian movement. He ultimately failed and in a letter admits why? He laments that his own pagan religion was failing to attract the public while “the charity of the Christians to strangers…has done the most to advance their cause…. For it is disgraceful that…these… [Christians] support our poor in addition to their own” (Roman Emperor Julian, Letter to Arsacius, 360 AD).
We see once again that the gospel makes those infected by it unusually generous. Why? Because we are beneficiaries of the infinite and eternal generosity of God in Christ.
Something to think about from the Kingdom Perspective.
““The religion of the Greeks does not yet prosper…. Why do we not observe how the charity of Christians to strangers…has done the most to advance their cause? For it is disgraceful that…the impious Galileans [Julian’s name for Christians] support our poor in addition to their own, while everyone is able to see that our coreligionists lack aid from us!””
~ Roman Emperor Julian (332-363), Letter to Arsacius, 360 AD