The Gospel Coalition’s Ted Talk wannabe series, TGC Talk, sought to address the inadequacies of virtual church. The irony comes from the fact that The Gospel Coalition promoted virtual church for an entire year as a response to the kind requests of Caesar to cease gathering. Since then, there have been churches who defied the state trying to usurp ecclesiastical authority, in Canada among other places. The Gospel Coalition has been silent or rather critical of faithful pastors in these instances. Last week, Jonathan Leeman spoke in a TGC Talk about why virtual church is not a real church.
He begins with his thesis and then moves into a bizarre comparison between the church and political protests. The ultimate irony is that Jonathan Leeman, an elder at a state church that currently imposes a mask mandate on those older than 5, is trying to encourage real and authentic gathering as opposed to virtual one. Jonathan Leeman’s church was one, like many in Maryland, that did not faithfully continue to gather amidst tyrannical measures, because too few pastors understood the times, we are living in.
Every point that Leeman makes about the inadequacies of virtual church points to the fact that virtual gatherings are a counterfeit for what Scripture intends. Yet in lacking self-awareness, all of this was true in March 2020. And his church forsook the assembly of the saints anyway.
Evangelical Dark Web has maintained the position that shutting down gatherings was sinful, a sin that started off as gullibility and morphed into willful defiance as the obvious two weeks to flatten the curve lie went on for well over a year. Moreover, imposing a mask mandate on your congregation is an abuse and violation of ecclesiastical authority. As the state is in violation of Natural Law and the Constitution in their implementation, the Romans 13 obligation is null and void. Church leaders do not have the authority to impose a dress code on their congregation as a prerequisite for partaking in church ordinances or hearing the gospel. This is an abuse of authority and legalism.
Christians are called to live freely in the midst of flus, colds, and government persecution.