In these times of pandemic and gathering restrictions, I have seen many different takes on gathering for the Lord’s table and virtual worship.
It is good to see autonomy alive and well within the Lord’s church.
My question is the acceptance of virtual worship and the taking of the Lord’s table via Livestream. It has not been accepted prior to this pandemic and now some churches are justifying it by saying that gathering this way is expedient for the times. I personally cannot find any scripture to support this and my conscience is askew as I want to do the right thing as we know half-right is never acceptable to God. My concern also is that this will become the new normal, and I am convinced that this is detrimental to the future of the church and its work. If this is the right thing to be doing then why are we all, the Lord’s body internationally, not doing this and only some are convinced that this is whole worship to God?
I hope that this finds you well.
Thank you for your help.
The following articles deal with the conflict between governmental orders for safety and God's requirements for worship:
- Is It Wrong for Churches to Cancel Services?
- The Church Is Still the Church
- What if the church is told not to meet?
- A Present Distress
Regarding the taking of the Lord's Supper, brother Eubanks does a good job detailing the issues in a rather long article, The Setting for the Lord's Supper.
I can't answer for the choices of other congregations. Here at La Vista, we decided that we could manage the request of the government by temporarily dividing the congregation into smaller groups and remain connected by broadcasting the Bible studies and services. As soon as the restrictions were eased, we've gone right back to our normal meeting times. We restarted the children's Bible classes as soon as the restrictions were lifted.
We didn't have to face a mandate of not meeting, but to the elders here, that would not have been an option anyway. We would find a way to meet whether it was government-sanctioned or not. But this would be for the congregation as a whole. Individually, we understand that a few members would struggle with the choices. For them, we would provide encouragement. It is a hard decision that each Christian has to make individually.