There are some accusations floating about that those of us who struggle to keep our churches open are doing so out of a misidentified sense of courage or a thrill found in being defiant. In short, we are enjoying this too much.
This is slanderous. To ascribe thrill and enjoyment to men who faithfully work to be obedient is to bear a false witness against them. I know of no pastor who enjoys this or is somehow excited by it.
Each Lord’s day we start off with eager anticipation of what God will do, and the blessing of fellowship. And each Sunday we experience pain in the pit of our stomachs wondering what can go wrong, and how we came to this. Thrill? Yes, I suppose the same thrill that comes from meeting a bear on the trail.
We get it that we interpret Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2 et al differently. But at least tell the truth.
This poem summarizes well what we experience:
Thy sea, O God, so great,
My boat so small.
It cannot be that any happy fate
Will me befall
Save as Thy goodness opens paths for me
Through the consuming vastness of the sea.
Thy winds, O God, so strong,
So slight my sail.
How could I curb and bit them on the long
And saltry trail,
Unless Thy love were mightier than the wrath
Of all the tempests that beset my path?
Thy world, O God, so fierce,
And I so frail.
Yet, though its arrows threaten oft to pierce
My fragile mail,
Cities of refuge rise where dangers cease,
Sweet silences abound, and all is peace.
– Winfred Ernest Garrison