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Russell Moore on “The World & Everything In It” podcast

EICHER: So, on the one hand, most Christians and most church leaders view these distancing measures as very reasonable. And the vast majority are abiding by them. 

On the other hand, some of these orders have been pretty aggressive. WORLD reported on a different Texas casewhere city officials in McKinney implied that even two church members wouldn’t be allowed to meet together. 

So between something like that and the comments by Mayor de Blasio, there’s debate over the precedent all of this sets. It’s one thing to stand up for your legal rights, and then voluntarily not to exercise them versus simply accepting the idea that in the land of the free, whatever the government says goes.

How would you suggest Christians approach these competing interests?

MOORE: Well, I think that Mayor de Blasio’s comments were not well thought through and aren’t helpful to what’s happening here right now, simply because—and he doesn’t have the authority to shut down churches and synagogues and he’s not going to do that. And it actually creates a sense of fear around something that, for the most part, people are being really cooperative in working together, both in terms of civil authorities and in terms of churches. Almost every church that I know of has actually been ahead of the curve when it comes to the governing authorities and making sure that they’re not meeting, making sure that they’re going the extra mile in keeping this from spreading. And most mayors, governors, local officials have also been extremely cooperative with churches and other religious leaders. So I think those comments weren’t helpful.

But, generally speaking, I think that we have good cooperation going on in the country. The government has a legitimate Romans 13 role in making sure that it’s protecting public health and is operating, for the most part, within those boundaries. And the church has a responsibility to love neighbor and to make sure that we’re not a cause of furthering the spread of a dangerous and deadly disease. And, for the most part, I think the church is doing that. And so there’s a great deal to be thankful for in this. So, I think we have to be careful on both sides that we stay within our bounds and that we create an atmosphere of trust with one another.

Full interview here.

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