Dear Church Family,
As you know Governor Edwards issued an order this week requiring the wearing of masks in public. In clear terms we are required to wear a mask while gathering for worship indoors. While I despise masks, and there is conflicting opinions on their effectiveness, for me the issue comes down to several considerations.
- Hebrews 10:25 carries the day for us, namely, “do not forsake the assembly of yourselves.” We have the opportunity to meet! That is a tremendous blessing especially when we compare our circumstances with the pressures our persecuted Brothers and Sisters face around the world, and throughout history. We must gather together with great joy to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ!
- Romans 13:1 is a call for God’s people to “be subject to governing authorities...” In this case, we have a Governor who has required wearing masks as he seeks to navigate a spike in COVID19 cases and the concern about maxing out hospital space. While wearing masks is inconvenient, and for many of us uncomfortable, I do not believe that this request requires our resistance, and we should comply with this request. We will be watching this situation very carefully on a week-by-week basis. Trust me, week-by-week. Legal challenges have been filed to the Governor’s order, and we will follow those closely.
- Philippians 2:1-5- Which is a call to unity, humility, and seeking the mind of Christ in all things. I think under these present circumstances, the best way to show forth these virtues is for us to wear masks in compliance with the Governor’s request and in deference to fellow Brothers and Sisters who may have concerns.
However, while we will make clear the Governor’s requirements to wear a mask, and will have masks available for those who do not have one, we will not be “policing” this request in our gathering. The Elders, Pastoral staff, and Deacons will not be enforcing the wearing of masks in our worship gathering. We are making this known so that each member of our FBCG family will be able to determine whether they should attend, or not. Our gatherings at this point in the pandemic have been based upon each person’s comfort level with being in a large gathering. Even with the mask requirement under the Governor’s order, we urge everyone to think through carefully whether you need to attend at this time because there will still be:
- Some who are medically exempt from wearing a mask;
- Children under 8 years of age who will be present and are not required to wear a mask; and
- Those speaking and leading in worship who will not be wearing a mask while on the platform.
It has been our position through these challenging days that each individual/family evaluate the situation for themselves, and make a prayerful decision about attending. We are grateful for the Livestream option, www.fbcg.net/video, that allows access around a common message, and we understand that under the present circumstances that may be best for you. We support the entire FBCG family and may our love for one another abound to the glory of our Savior who binds our hearts together.
If we could be of help to you during this time, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Love and prayers for you all...