Historical Reference on Church Responses to Epidemics

Interesting historical note. In the early 20th century, Flint River took a break during the flu outbreaks. I also found a historical notes that they took brief hiatuses during small pox outbreaks, when the Flint River flooded, and even due to Union occupation during the Civil War.

Should things get dangerous out there (and we’re not there yet), churches in the past have taken a break for safety purposes. One might ask, “won’t God protect us?” We have to understand that when Satan tempted Jesus to jump from the pinnacle of the Temple, claiming that the angels would catch Him, Jesus replied with “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” We have faith. But we proceed with caution, daring not to tempt God. We’re not promised invincibility in this world.

Common sense goes a long way here. A good step is foregoing fellowship handshakes during the threat. Hopefully it doesn’t necessitate cancelling services. If so, the ministry can utilize resources like video to feed the sheep during breaks.

Keep the faith.

Originally published in March 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak.

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