My thoughts on the actions of the bishop to open churches in spite of the Governor Walz’s orders:
I myself questioned the arbitrary number of ten congregants at a church service at a time. It didn’t take into consideration the size of the space. Even ten is a risk without precautions like masking and distancing. But consider this:
- Spacing people in pews may be good but what about the coming and going? Controlling ten people is a lot different than a hundred plus. Will all attendees cooperate? This being a rebellious act is likely, in my opinion, is likely to invite rebellious congregants.
- This puts pastors in a terrible position of having to enforce the rules. I can envision the divisiveness we see now between citizens and political leaders and citizens to citizens occurring within congregations. The history of Christianity is already steeped in divisiveness. We don’t need more.We need Oneness more than ever.
- I have been amazed at the creativity of businesses as they open, finding ways to follow the guidelines while increasing their customer potential. Tables outside of restaurants spaced wisely is an example. In one Minnesota town, the city blocked off a section of street so tables could be spread and several restaurants could take advantage of the outdoor service. The bishops aren’t showing any imagination here.
- Modeling disobedience to government only fuels more and it is worse if done by religious leaders. We already see in the actions of the president how his own disregard for scientific guidelines fuels civic disobedience around the country. It is worse with religious leaders. For better or worse, people tend to think when their religious leaders approve of an action, God approves. Religious leaders should save civil disobedience for issues of injustice, like Gandhi and ML King modeled.