At 5:30 pm today, without warning or consultation, the Allen County Health Commissioner has issued an order to shut down church gatherings of more than 10 people in Allen County. Consequently, Redeemer Lutheran Church will only have one service tomorrow, at 10:30 a.m. held by the Pastor and our musicians, which will be livestreamed.
We had made careful plans to gather tomorrow in accordance with the current CDC guidelines. This new decision was announced at such a late hour that there is no way to determine if the commissioner has this authority or not before tomorrow morning. In the past week there have been several states that have issued similar orders which were rescinded or changed within a day or two. We think it is likely that will happen here, also, but not before tomorrow morning.
We were caught completely off guard even though we have been going to extreme measures already for two weeks and making every effort to comply with the CDC. So now, for the moment, the chairman, Pastor Frese, and I feel that we must simply comply and cancel all services for tomorrow, except for the 10:30 livestream. This breaks our hearts. It’s highly disappointing. It does little to dispel the panic and the rumors that are flying, or slow down the hundreds of shoppers coughing on one another at Costco and Walmart.
We will see what can be done for next week. We will do so in good order and with the processes guaranteed us as American citizens. We will honor the government that God has placed over us, but we will not blindly obey either that which is immoral or unreasonable. If absolutely necessary to avoid sin, we will disobey. We must obey Him and not men if the two are at odds. If a law is merely unreasonable but does not violate God’s Law, we will comply, but we will fight for just law as is our right, even to the point of going to the Supreme Court if we must. We will continue to seek to serve our neighbors and one another in body and soul throughout whatever this world throws at us. As it stands now, the Commissioner’s order does not forbid us from livestreaming the service. God willing, it will be on at 10:30 am tomorrow. Stay tuned for more news.