In my first years as the Bible course teacher in a public high school, I enjoyed an amiable relationship with the school principal. Then, without explanation, things changed. This previously jovial fellow began to return my greetings with growl or a scowl.
“What have I done to displease him?” I wondered. Then, when I heard that he was hospitalized, I made a pastoral visit to his bedside. That’s when I learned that he had just had surgery to remove a bad batch of hemorrhoids. Now I knew the real reason for his recent frowns.
That experience taught me to not jump to conclusions before I have enough facts to know what’s really going on. I had let my own preconceptions and insecurities dupe me into making a diagnosis that turned out to be totally wrong.
I’m afraid that some of my colleagues made that same mistake in their hot-button, gut-level responses to the COVID-19 restrictions recommended for churches.
I have no way to know what percentage of pastors and church officials perceived the virus safety rules as attacks on organized religion, but I heard that outcry not only locally but all across the land. In some instances, they may have been right. Some government officials do endorse the Freedom