Will the COVID-19 virus infect, sicken, and kill the body of Christ?
Will masked congregations scattered in auditoriums missing three quarters of their capacities become the “new normal”?
These are vital questions, not just for churches, but for whole societies.
The health of a nation and its culture is proportionate to the health of the church within the nation. The prophet Ezekiel sees shockingly that what is happening inside the House of God influences what is happening outside the House of God. (Ezekiel 8)
Russell Kirk, the 20th century political theorist, wrote: “Fundamentally, our society’s affliction is the decay of religious belief. If a culture is to survive and flourish, it must not be severed from the religious vision out of which it arose. The high necessity of religious men and women, then, is to labor for the restoration of religious teachings as a credible body of doctrine.”
Pastor Steve Riggle is one of those leaders “laboring hard” for church restoration midst the COVID pandemic. Riggle’s experiences as a church planter, pastor, and global leader qualify him uniquely to make such an assessment. He arrived in Houston some forty years ago after a successful church planting ministry in his native California—especially in the challenging San Francisco Bay area.
Riggle moved to south Houston and planted a church that grew to 17,000. Then he relocated to the Woodlands community north of Houston and planted again. He is still serving Grace Church Woodlands as senior pastor.
On top of that, Riggle is president of Grace International, a global community of some 3,800 churches and 400,000 members in 107 countries.
Riggle believes there will be four types of post-pandemic churches:
- Those that have bought into the contemporary socio-cultural narrative, incorporating “wokeness” (or joining “the Cult of Woke,” as Federalist writer John Daniel Davidson puts it) in their language and practice.
- Churches oblivious to the changes happening all around them, especially unaware of the spiritual dynamics
- Churches that understand the times, but are intimidated, fearing man more than God
- The “remnant church” whose founding is recorded in Matthew 16 when Simon Peter acknowledges Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God,” and Jesus responds that “upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Christian Post, Wallace B. Henley