THE OUTBREAK AND THE CHURCH PART 3.
In my view, the church should follow and support the restrictions that have been put in place by governments in order to protect life. The church can defy directives by the government that go contrary to the word of God. Social distancing and quarantine are not new.
When Miriam, Moses’ elder sister became leprous (Numbers 12:10-14), she was kept outside the camp for 7 days (social distancing and quarantine) to prevent the disease from spreading to others within the community. God put this measure in place so that the nation of Israel could be protected from contagious diseases. Israel could not move until after the healing of Miriam because she was still part of that society.
In my context we are told to avoid handshakes and maintain social distance to avoid infection. In my context it is common to greet each other through handshakes, and it should be noted that many diseases such as Pneumonia and Cholera are passed on through handshakes. There is a common tradition in my local church context of shaking of hands after the service, where the preacher stands at the exit and shakes the hands of all those who attended the service. Supposing that he has the virus and goes ahead to shake the hands of say 500 people, what would happen?
The measures that God instructed the Israelites to observe were there not meant as a punishment but for the promotion of hygiene within the community. Therefore, I believe that the measures by government in the wake of the Corona virus pandemic are there to help preserve life and reduce the incidences of infection. Prevention is better that cure.
Richard Musoyo, Zambia