Lessons from Lockdown: Riots to Revival

Listen to the message here:

Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. — Romans 13:1 (NLT)

Christians are Rioting?

These are difficult times. We are all struggling in our own way. Some more than others. As this is written, we are slowly emerging from a time of almost total lockdown to try to suppress the spread of the deadly Coronavirus in the worldwide pandemic.

Some are emerging less slowly than others, so it seems. It was reported in the Christian website churchleaders.com recently that some Christian leaders are defying authority and holding mass worship meetings with thousands of people attending. This is at a time when gatherings are restricted in numbers to only 50, whether indoor or outdoor, but it was reported that around 7,000 people attended the latest meeting.

The organiser of the ‘Riots to Revival’ event, as it has been called, was quoted to say that, “the church is rising up” and that the event was “a combination of church service and protest against what he considers excessive lockdowns of church buildings.”

Yes, Christians have felt the strain of the situation. Normal services have been suspended. Christians have not been able to gather together to worship for months, and for many, that’s hard. We have all struggled from not being able to see family members for months on end – and our church family is just that: family. We miss each other, as much as we miss worshipping God together.

And we have also seen, during this situation, that many who do not consider themselves to be Christian – or even have any faith in God, or follow any other religion – are asking questions, some for the first time. And we want to be there for those people, to answer their questions, to help them, to counsel them, to advise them, and to help them. And we can’t! Because our doors are closed – at least for normal services.

Instead, we are focused on helping people in other ways. We’re organising food banks or FoodShare, distributing aid, delivering medicines, or doing anything that our local community needs, helping those who are most vulnerable and in need, who are shielding from this terrible virus. 

And if we are not focused, we are frustrated. We are frustrated that we cannot do what we normally do, what we want to do, and what we feel that we should do. And if we are not careful, we choose to do what we shouldn’t do – things that push the boundaries of what is acceptable to do as Christians. We are not meant to riot – even if we riot for revival. Of course, we want a revival – an increase in popularity, or a reawakening of the Christian faith. We are, after all, called to share the love of God throughout the land so that others will come to know God, love God and worship God.

But we, ourselves, must know God, love God and worship God. And to worship God is to follow His will and His way, His commandments. We would ask you to consider carefully your walk and your way – is it His way? Should we really defy authority and take part in mass gatherings? Or should we listen to what the Bible says: “submit to governing authorities?

May we pray: Help us today, Lord. Help us submit to Your will and Your ways. Forgive us when we get it wrong, and guide us to Your right way of doing things. We ask this in the precious name of our Saviour, Christ Jesus; Amen.

We would love to know what you think – please get in touch. We know that not everyone will agree with our opinions, and support the gatherings organised. What do you think? May God Bless You.

Have you had your copy of ‘DARE to Hope!’ yet? You can download it here.