For the New Testament saint, worship is both a private obligation and a public privilege. We have the blessed opportunity to worship alone or together; and both are commanded in Scripture. Although we call our buildings “houses of worship,” we believe corporate worship is not limited to a particular building but rather to a particular gathering. When we gather together for worship, prayer, praise, giving and preaching, we believe the Lord Jesus Christ is present among us. He is the Head of the church and only He, through His Word, can mandate our worship procedures.
Throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, we have been deeply grateful that our Governor has respected our First Amendment rights and has exempted our church from every executive order. However, for the sake of both our health and testimony, we have complied with almost all of them.
This week an order from the Ohio Department of Health was issued which mandates that every attendee in church wear masks. We do not oppose face coverings; we cheerfully welcome anyone into our services who are masked and encourage each person to abide by their own conscience. We will provide masks at each entrance for those who wish to wear one but did not bring their own. Furthermore, we exhort those who do not feel safe enough to attend our services in person to attend them online. We have made our biblical position very clear and have repeatedly encouraged each Christian to treat one another charitably.
We maintain the biblical position that our services are available to all and it is inappropriate for us to refuse to minister to an individual’s spiritual needs based on a government mandate. As respectfully as possible, we stand in opposition to a state requirement which would be the sole factor of determining who is permitted and who is not permitted to attend our church services.
As always, please be considerate and respectful of others as you feel led to attend, whether masked, unmasked or online.
“Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Ephesians 3:21