A saying I've heard often is that "you always default to the level of your training."
While this was often used in the context of firearms proficiency, it applies in this day and age as well.
The church, by in large, has been sitting idly by twiddling it's thumbs with ice cream socials, cook offs, and other "busy" activities while the world outside has been barreling head first towards the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 2 Timothy 2:4
Now that the world has essentially shut down in hopes of stopping the spread of Covid-19, many churches have been caught up in the mix of closures, deciding to err on the side of caution concerning the officials' warning to not gather in groups larger than 10 now.
So instead of gathering in person, those that once would shake their heads woefully at someone departing from their church and mutter something about "not forsaking the gathering of the brethren," (Hebrews 10:25) are now hiding within a new set of four walls and gathering instead, in online chat rooms on YouTube.
They're taking to social media to spread memes that, when not taking Scripture horribly out of context, talk about 'it never being about a building.'
Perhaps I am overly cynical and calloused, but I have to keep refraining from asking those that share this message, "how is that working out for you? What are you doing to show the world around you that it's not a building?" (James 2:14-26)
If the above statement is true, that in crisis we default to the level of our training, just what kind of training does the modern American church have to default to?
It gathers on Sundays, (and if you're really serious, Wednesdays as well,) where hollow greetings are exchanged, bad coffee is sipped, and people sit and listen for a period of time before exchanging more hollow pleasantries as they leave and go about their day and week as though they did their civic duty for God and community.
If we can't even truly care about those that we see within the church building on a weekly basis, how is the church ever going to truly care about random people struggling to come to terms with what is the new "normal," if even for "just 30 days?"
Deep down, we know that the person telling us they're "blessed," or "doing good," is truly hurting and struggling with something, but do we put any effort into investing time or energy into that person? Do we find a time to speak to them privately and invite them to coffee, or even just send them a text to check on them during the week? Or next week, when we know that we failed to be God's hands and feet, do we just start to avoid even making eye contact with them?
And now we're posting memes to try and spur one another on (Hebrews 10:24) but it's coming across as hollow.
Each time I see it, it begins to feel more and more like a band-aid being applied to try and cover a gaping wound. The church knows what it is to be. It presumably hears about it each weekend.
But now it's really "go time."
Can you go out into the community and look a stranger in the eye let alone ask them how they're holding out? Can you truly listen to their answer and respond in a way to make it clear to them that they matter and they are heard? What about asking a total stranger that you likely will never see face to face again if you may pray for them?
If we can't accomplish these simple things within the four walls of our own church, what makes us think that we'll now go out into the community and do it?
It's time to repent of complacency and apathetic faith. Don't let another day go by.