UPDATE ON CLAYTON BAPTIST SERVICES AND GATHERINGS
2 Timothy 1:7 (quoted from 3 of our most faithful Bible translations)
“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” (NASB)
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (ESV)
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (KJV)
For many, the constant reports of the spread of the COVID-19 virus over the last several weeks have ushered in great fear. Blood-bought Christians should have an immunity to this type of fear based on our confident assurance of God's care and sovereignty even in a world that is marred by the effects of sin. But Christians are not ONLY tasked with being people who live without fear, but also we are called to be disciplined, self-controlled, and having a sound mind. Knowing how to have the wisdom to live with a spirit of power, love and sound mind all without fear is where we find ourselves in the midst of this health emergency. Prayerfully our pastors and elders have made the decision to cancel our services and activities tomorrow. This will likely be the decision for our church offices, walking track, and Wednesday night activities this week as well.
Governor Kemp made the call on March 14 to declare a state of emergency throughout the state of Georgia. In his address he also reiterated his request for churches and faith-based organizations to postpone their large gatherings for the time-being. The CBC elders believe it is wise to heed this request and the advice of many health workers and officials throughout our county, state, and nation who believe this is the best way to mitigate a surge in cases of coronavirus. Keeping the cases to a minimum is a way for us to care for and love our community and all the health workers who will be bearing the brunt of this health emergency. We also believe this is a way to care for and love our church members and guests who are the most venerable to contracting this illness.
We take the congregational worship of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ very seriously (Heb 10:23-25) and understand that some may misinterpret this temporary postponement of our church gatherings to mean that we have caved into fear and hysteria. This is categorically untrue. We believe postponing our on-campus gatherings and opting for an internet-based livestream of our study of the Word and songs of worship as a way to combat this virus and battle against this outbreak. We ask all our members to continue fighting through prayer for our community, state, country and world as we all use our God-given reason and understanding to suppress this outbreak.
Lastly, we want to address anyone who reads this who has not recognized their own sinfulness and deep need for the Savior. You may be gripped by fear in the face of the uncertainty of the future and the fragility of our finite lives. This is actually a very appropriate response. James 4:14 states, “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” Do not let this day pass without strongly considering the truth of the Gospel, the good news that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. If you have never examined what the Word of God says about our need for reconciliation with God, and His amazing grace in sending His Son, Jesus, to sacrifice Himself on the cross for our sins and then rising from the dead to show His ultimate power over death, please do so today! Below are a few ways for you to consider the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.