by: Johnny Golden
What is the chief purpose of the church? Some might say "saving souls," just as the Great Commission of Matthew 28:16 - 20 commands. Others might offer "helping others" (Missions), particularly so in light of these extremely difficult times and following Jesus's words of instruction to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothes to the naked (homeless), visitations to the prisoners and care for the sick ( Matthew 25:35 - 45).
In doing so, he says, 'Inasmuch as ye did it to one of the least of these, ye did it also to me'. The Church's purpose also include biblical instruction (bible study), fellowship, and most assuredly, worship. So, then if the maintenance of the soul is foremost, what is the role and purpose for the body, the soma, in the scheme of existential and eternal living?
Is it the role of the church to advise the community to wear mask or to wear the garments of salvation? Should the church align itself with the government or should it remain detached? Is it Caesar or Christ? This is neither the first nor the last time that Believers have found themselves in the crossroad or even the crosshairs of political and priestly warfare.
Simply put, "prophylactic" is defined as 'something intended to prevent disease'. So, then, why the controversy? Surely, Christians believe in good hygiene, yes? No?
You recall that it was on such an occasion as Jesus was visiting Jerusalem that the Pharisees witnessed the Lord's disciples eating but NOT washing their hands. Approaching Jesus, they asked, 'why do your disciples violate the traditions of the elders and not wash'? In classic and confounding style Jesus responded that 'it is not that which goes into a person that defiles them but that which comes out' (Matthew 15: 1 - 20).
But the question must be raised, yes?; "Isn't what comes out that which has gone in?" Or is it that we spend so much of our time majoring in minors, arguing the value of the temporal versus the eternal? But, of course, then, surely the question must arise, 'what can be trivial if Jesus sought to deal with it?'
In Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, the great Russian writer of the mid-19th century, insightfully writes , "trifles, trifles are what matter! What is it that people are most afraid of? Taking a new step, uttering a new word is what they fear most..."
So, is it faith or fear that ultimately guides us; want or wantoness (lack of care); prophetic or prophylactic; or are they, or are they not, simply mutually exclusive one from the other?
What say ye?