The purpose of this document is to inform our members and visitors of our church’s stance regarding COVID-19 safety measures, including masking, vaccination, and other guidance.
We believe and teach that our bodies are “fearfully and wonderfully made” by God (Psalm 139:14). God has Sovereign control over our bodies in all matters including life and death (Job 33:4, Heb 9:27), and sickness and health (Ps 135:6-13, Is 45:7). This virus has not caught God by surprise and His purposes will be served, for the good of His children and for His Glory.
We also believe and teach that believer’s bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirt who we have from God. We are not our own, we have been bought with a price, and we are to glorify God with our bodies (1 Cor 6:19-20). We believe and teach that we are to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Luke 20:25). Since our bodies belong to God, and He has entrusted us with the stewardship of them: It is our belief that our bodies do not belong to “Caesar” (The US Government, Health Authorities, Employers, or any other human authority) and therefore, are not subject to mandates from any human authority regarding the stewardship of our “temple”. Any decision to vaccinate, medicate, mask etc. is never a matter of compulsion by human authority, but rather is always a matter that must be considered prayerfully and through seeking wisdom from God (James 1:5, 2 Tim 3:16), and wise Christian counsel (Prov 19:20 and many others). God has given us modern medicine and scientific research to assist us in making these decisions and we do well to pay attention. Those means, however, do not have ultimate authority when it comes to our bodies.
We believe and teach that since the Bible is not explicit regarding modern medicine and health concerns; decisions regarding these issues are left to the personal, Holy Spirit informed conscience of each believer (Romans 14:5-12). After considering these decisions through careful and thoughtful prayer and study, seeking wisdom from God and wise Christian counsel; each believer must make their own conscientious decision regarding modern medical treatments, procedures, and protective measures.
To insist that any believer act in contradiction to his/her Holy Spirit informed conscience, wise Christian Counsel, and answer to prayer regarding this vaccine, masking, or distancing would be an affront to our Holy God and would be to cause him/her to sin (Rom 14:13-23, James 4:17).
Mask or not, vaccine or not, we trust that God will guide each one of us through His word and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit to make wise decisions. We also trust Him with whatever outcome He chooses to bring during this pandemic and believe that He will honor our desire to be obedient in continuing to faithfully meet for Worship (Heb 10:25).
We encourage those who are sick or experiencing symptoms to stay home and avail themselves of the multiple online resources for listening to the messages. This is not, however, to be considered an alternative to our responsibility to gather ourselves together. Also, it is imperative that our members reach out to each other or the leadership when ill so that we might lift one another up in prayer and
minister to any needs that might arise. The goal is, and always will be, to have as many of us gathering together as possible, routinely, faithfully, and with great joy and anticipation in the worship of our God.
The Elders of GBC