- Unity. An appeal to unity can only be taken in good-faith if will also be applied to things you disagree with as well. So I will assume that when someone appeals to unity, they would also do the same to those who might be vocal against Black Lives Matter protests, LGBTQ rights, or Vice President Biden. There are many, many Christians who have protested in support of BLM; are fighting for LGBTQ affirmation inclusion in the church; and are working to elect Biden for President. Any remarks against those Christians should be met with calls for unity, right?
- Unity redux. Unity is important—it’s because of that unity that we have in Christ that we are able to hold each other accountable. Accountable to what? To making sure that we are all best living out the most important commandment: Loving our neighbors as yourself. From my perspective as someone who lives in D.C., holding a rally for thousands of people with few COVID precautions utterly fails at meeting this commandment. To then call it a revival takes it a step further by bearing God’s name in vain.
- Faith Over Fear. When Satan told Jesus to throw himself off a cliff (quoting Scripture at Jesus, no less), Jesus responded by saying, “Do not put your God to a test.” The whole “faith over fear” argument is akin to saying, “If Jesus had had faith instead of fear, He should have thrown himself off that cliff!” Jesus slipped out of crowds that intended to kill Him. He would keep His travel plans a secret so as to avoid detection. He would move to different regions to avoid being killed. Will we also tell Jesus that he choose fear over faith?
Faith over fear? Yes. But what about wisdom over recklessness? Self-control and restraint over individualistic independence? We are called to be free, but we’re meant to use our freedom to serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13). If we want to show the world how to worship, then let’s take whatever resources we have to help those who need food, freedom from oppression, assistance during employment, etc.
- Evangelism. I understand the deep-seated desire to reach people with the Gospel. I deeply believe that following Jesus is the best possible way to live; therefore it is morally necessary for me to invite people into that way of life. But there are appropriate and inappropriate ways of sharing the Gospel. How we do things matters just as much (sometimes more) as what we do.
In a global pandemic that has sickened millions and killed hundreds of thousands in the U.S., a large worship rally is not the most wise or appropriate way to evangelize. Will God use it regardless of the lack of wisdom or appropriateness? Of course God will; God is that good! But we should not sin all the more because grace abounds.
If evangelism is the actual intent of these “worship protests,” then that’s wonderful. But intention is not all that matters. It is not merely the thought that counts. Good intentions do not excuse reckless action. Moreover those good intentions will backfire in D.C. because of all the “godless liberals” who are taking COVID seriously and will therefore think less of Christians and the Christ they represent because of this rally.