Hi fellow pastors, leaders and churches of the BCBA,
As Covid19 continues to spread in Canada, and the BC provincial government imposes regulations that they believe will help slow the spread of the virus, there has been an increasing frustration and resentment over the Chief Medical Officer and Minister of Health’s mandate to keep places of worship closed to public gatherings. This frustration stems from a perceived inequality that many other venues have authorization to operate, as long as Covid protocols are in place. The resentment has grown in some churches to the point that there is discussion about resorting to civil disobedience and opening their buildings to host in-person worship services on Sunday mornings. Several pastors have had conversations with the Executive Minister and have asked if the BCBA has a position on whether churches should defy health orders and open their buildings for public worship services. Several churches have also received emails requesting them to be courageous and defy the orders from the Minister of Health. As the Executive Minister, I have had many earnest conversations with church leaders over this past month. The bottom line for most of our leaders is the heartfelt recognition that there is a deep longing to be able to hug, sing, eat, and worship again in person, but there is no desire to do that, if there is the possibility of hurting even one person by spreading the virus to them. The Executive Council for the BCBA had an extended Zoom call meeting to discuss this issue on March 1, 2021. They have unanimously concluded that resorting to civil disobedience by disobeying the direct mandate of the province and beginning public worship services on Sundays, will only further alienate the church from our communities. It will do little, if anything, to bring an understanding and witness of the good news of Christ’s love and sacrifice for them.
We have done so well up to this point. With the warmer weather and vaccines being administered over the next few months, I am confident that church buildings will be opened for public worship in the not-too-distant future. Let us not grow weary in our prayer and care for each other and our communities.
If you would like to discuss this further, please contact me and I will be pleased to share the information gathered by the Executive Council that culminated in this decision.
I have attached a document from Trinity Church giving a Biblical framework for decisions made about civil disobedience. It also applies to the many decisions we will have to make as followers of Jesus Christ.
In Christian Love,
Dr. Robert Krahn on behalf of the BCBA Executive Council