Building Up The Temple – The President’s View
In my experience, children like to sing, “Building Up the Temple.” But when asked, they don’t have a clue about what they’re singing. Sometimes, I take a few moments to explain the concept of the church as a building, the need for working together, and building each other up in the Lord.
COVID-19 has revealed our need to focus on building up the temple. We don’t all have the same response to the virus. Some are fearful because their age or health history puts them in the “high risk” category. Others, whose risk is low, think the whole thing is overblown and they’re ready to get on with life. Our responses to these differences will either build the temple or tear it down.
In Second Corinthians 2:11, Paul reminds us that we’re not ignorant of Satan’s tactics. He wants to use this pandemic (and other issues) to drive a wedge between us as members of the Body. Both James and Peter reminds us to “be steadfast in our resistance” against him. So, what does that look like in the current environment?
First, I will resist the temptation to promote my “superior knowledge” and criticize my brother’s opinion. I will not assign to my sister the worst possible motives for her actions. I will discuss the issue without feeling personally threatened, or making others feel that way. I will resist the temptation to condemn others for making choices different than mine.
Mask wearing is just one “flash point” in this issue, so I’ll use it as an illustration. In Pennsylvania, our governor has mandated mask wearing in public places. I hate wearing a mask! Initially, I was very negative toward those who meekly followed the governor’s orders. Eventually, I realized I was looking at the situation selfishly. And the Holy Spirit began to convict me!
I noticed that both groups were sometimes disrespectful to each other. Some non-wearers looked down on those “sheeple” who followed the mandate. Likewise, the mask wearers scorned those who didn’t wear one as “hating granny.” I made the choice to wear one if a store or business asked me to. I especially wore one when we had family members with symptoms.
When our congregation resumed our regular assembly, not everyone was comfortable with attending. We were okay with that. We wanted each person/family to feel as comfortable as possible. If they wanted to wear a mask, fine. If not, fine again. We decided we wouldn’t judge or criticize the decisions of others.
There’s room for discussion about the seriousness of the disease, the government’s response, etc. But there’s no room for tearing down a brother or sister because we don’t agree with their opinions or choices. “Building Up the Temple” is more than a song for children. It’s a command from Scripture. Let’s check our obedience!
In the hope of the Gospel,
J. Mark Horst, President
HERALDS OF HOPE, INC.