by: Pastor Brooks
Dear Liberty Baptist Tabernacle Family,
President Trump held a press conference on Monday where he gave his “Coronavirus Guidelines for America”. Within these guidelines it was recommended to avoid social gatherings of ten or more people to help slow the spread of the coronavirus over the next 15 days. I would like to emphasize that these are guidelines and not directives, and the very first thing mentioned in the President’s guidelines was to “listen to and follow the directions of your state and local authorities”.
As of the time of this writing I had not seen or heard any official word from our local and state authorities concerning gathering limitations, so I contacted Congressman Dusty Johnson’s office today and sought for a clear answer as to what the expectation is concerning church’s congregating amid coronavirus measures and concerns. I was informed it is still permissible to conduct church services and be within the law.
Therefore, our plan is to continue with our church services and ministries as scheduled, but with some precautions. If you have any flu-like symptoms – stay home! (Especially if you are experiencing a fever, coughing, or shortness of breath.) If you have preexisting health conditions which make you more susceptible to this virus, then there’s no shame in staying home for the time being, and in fact, it is recommended you do so. This is not a time to be prideful and prove your spirituality. When in doubt, stay home.
For those who will continue to attend, please practice commonsense measures to help combat the spread of viruses. Wash your hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, avoid touching your face as much as possible, maintain greater distances, and don’t shake hands. We will continue to clean all surfaces in our facility but will clean "high-touch" surfaces with greater frequency.
I want to be clear that our continuing to conduct church services is not an act of defiance, but it is simply a means to keep ministering and try to be a help during a time when more people are likely to be seeking for direction. God’s house is to be a house of prayer, and so long as we can lawfully do so, we will have our doors open. Should our state and local authorities issue a directive to no longer assemble, then we will respectfully submit to such an order.
If you cannot attend, or if we eventually have to cancel services in the future, I want to encourage you to please remain faithful in your giving. We have missionaries around the world who are still depending on us to do our part, we still have operating costs, and we still have ministry expenses. You can give securely online through our website, or you can mail a check to the church.
One might see this as bad timing to move forward with launching a second Sunday morning service, but we could also recognize it as perfect timing from our Lord because it enables us to have two smaller gatherings for the time being during coronavirus concerns. God knows the end from the beginning!
2 Timothy 1:7 tells us, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” We’ll continue to trust God through all of life’s circumstances. These times do not have to be setbacks, but they can enhance our opportunities to bring more glory to God and improve our prayer life… God is still on the throne!
Grateful to be your Pastor,