Elder Update 7/23/2020
Dear Doxa Church Family,
With all the complexity and uncertainty happening today concerning COVID and, in particular, government regulation pertaining to church gatherings, you may be wondering why DOXA has chosen the direction we have.
While the environment we find ourselves in is confusing, God’s Word gives us clarity on how we are to conduct ourselves. We pray over each decision we make, and we intend to promote the best possible spiritual and physical well-being of those under our care. We strive at all times to be obedient to God’s Word while at the same time being submissive to our government authorities.
While it is at times difficult to discern the intentions of the governing authorities, at this time, we choose to assume that the directives for indoor public gatherings are intended to protect the health and safety of the population in general. We have not been told that meeting as a church family is prohibited, only that we should not meet indoors where the potential for the spread of COVID increases. It is important to note that this mandate is not limited to churches but includes any venue where indoor gatherings occur (movie theaters, restaurants, fitness centers, etc.). Further, government guidance encourages places of worship, in particular, to take advantage of the technology available for virtual gatherings (such as we have been doing with livestream and YouTube) or to consider outdoor gatherings as long as we adhere to the guidelines set forth by health agencies.
We find that Romans 13:1-7, 1 Peter 2:12-23, and Titus 3:1-3 are three passages that are particularly instructive for us at this time. Romans reminds us that all authority is from God, including earthly authority. As such, whoever resists authority resists God. 1 Peter 2:11-23 was written around the time Christians were under severe persecution by the Roman governor. Yet, despite the severe persecution taking place, Peter told the faithful to submit to authority, whether good or unjust. Titus 3:1-3 instructs us not only to submit to authority but also to speak evil of no one and avoid quarreling, showing perfect courtesy toward all people, whether believers or not.
In light of all this, we have determined that at this time we have no reason to believe that obeying the government directives conflicts with God’s Word. While it may not be ideal, until and unless we see that the authorities ask us to disobey God’s Word or the directives set forth specifically persecutes and/or discriminates against the church, we will continue to adhere to their directives.
By way of ongoing actions on our part, we are developing plans for outdoor gatherings, which will be announced very soon as that seems to be the avenue provided for us this in this season. In the meantime, we encourage you to pursue and actively participate in the many avenues DOXA offers to ensure the spiritual care and feeding of your souls, including attendance at small group via Zoom or outdoor gatherings, virtual church services, and the like. We look forward to the day when the current health threats subside, and we will be able to meet again in person.
In His service,
The Doxa Elders
Mark Retzlaff, Kerry Bal, Tony Pistone, Daron Anderson, Scott Hollingshead