How Courageous Are You?

In our Current Events section of Update #1062, dated March 17, 2023, we published an article by the New York Post of March 11, 2023, under the following headline: “US Government as ‘Obstructionist’ as China?”

In the article, we quoted Kentucky Senator Rand Paul as follows: “I think it will be more difficult for them [the government and the health experts and scientists] the next time they try this [impose restrictions], because the evidence is pretty much in. None of the things they did to slow down the spread of the disease worked… In the end, everybody got COVID whether they stood on stickers six feet apart from each other or not.”

He continued: “People need to resist… When the government tells you, you can’t go to church, your government says, you can’t go to the gym, your government says, you can’t go to a restaurant or you can’t go to a hotel — we need to resist that.”

But how are we to resist?  Surely not by violent means, and Paul did not even suggest that. And further, WILL it be more difficult to convince people to follow the “restrictions” which will be imposed, no doubt, when the next real or imagined pandemic hits?

In the Current Events of this week’s Update, we are publishing an article by the Dossier which was released on or about March 14, 2023, under the headline, “Covid Hysteria… Courage vs. Cowards.”

In the article, the author writes:

“When I look back at the times of Covid hysteria, I think most about… what separates courageous people from cowards. These past three years served as a good reminder that true courage is an isolating experience. It is both difficult to possess and retain… Cowardice, unlike courage, is encouraged, rewarded, and it comes easily.

“In the face of a government declared ‘national emergency,’ so many decided to take the coward’s route in the form of compliance, submission, and even taking to targeting the regime-declared ‘enemies’ of society. To be a good citizen, all you had to do was sit down, shut up, wear your submission mask, shutter your family business, carry your movement pass with you, and be up to date on your experimental pharmaceuticals. In exchange, society rewarded the coward class with opportunity, public praise, and a Good Citizen stamp of approval.

“After all, it is an enormously difficult task to swim upstream. It is much easier just to blend in… Courageous people stick to their principles despite the vast majority of the population — and even those closest to them — declaring them a problem, or something much worse. Courage is unique because it is almost impossible to be courageous and popular at the same time…

“When the forces for tyranny rear their ugly heads for the next manufactured crisis in the not so distant future, courageous citizens will once more be called upon to thwart their ambitions.”

In this context, I want to focus in this Editorial on our duty as true Christians to attend the worship services of God’s Church, in person, whenever possible, including the weekly Sabbath and the annual Holy Days and Festivals. This also means for properly baptized Church members to attend in person, whenever possible, the annual Passover evening with the footwashing ceremony and the partaking of bread and wine as symbols for Christ’s broken body and His shed blood. It takes courage to do so, when the government tells you that you must stay home and that you must not assemble with others of like mind to celebrate and observe those most holy occasions. Make no mistake, the government will try again, and your courage will be tested.

This is what we wrote in our free booklet, Obeying God Rather Than Men, under the headline, “What the Mark of the Beast Means For Us Today”:

“True Christians understand that the Sabbath and the Holy Days must be kept, and that they must not instead accept the mark of the beast by worshipping on Sunday and pagan holidays, and by refusing to worship on God’s weekly and annual Sabbaths. 

“But how does this play out in practice when the government prohibits Christian churches to meet and assemble on the Sabbath? They might not even place this prohibition under a religious mantle, but they might give some other reasons, such as the outbreak of a pandemic that would require people to stay at home. The weekly Sabbath and the annual Holy Days are commanded biblical holy assemblies or holy convocations (compare Leviticus 23). We should ask ourselves whether refusing to follow God’s command, because the government says so, would be pleasing to God (compare Hebrews 10:25; the Living Bible states: ‘Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near’)…

“In this day and age, we have the means of broadcasting sermons live over the Internet to the homes of Church members, which we can resort to on a temporary basis, when physical person-to-person meetings and assemblies with the brethren are not possible. But what happens if a government would prohibit such services as well? How far would we go to follow governmental rules which would prohibit religious services in any manner and of any kind?

“Christians in the early Church were forced to meet in secret, in catacombs, in order to escape the fury of the Roman government. When they were caught, they were severely punished, but they were willing to obey God rather than men.”

They were courageous enough to follow and obey God, even if that meant punishment, incarceration, and worse. Would we be willing today to follow their example, resist governmental restrictions and obey God rather than men?

©2024 Church of the Eternal God