There are many things I have seen during this pandemic that I thought I would never see.
Being told to stay home, families brutally being torn apart, football seasons being called off.
There are things that I have seen that have been just down right evil.
Politicians using people’s lives as political football, dividing Australians to increase their political capital.
People being exploited in their deepest needs and help not being given to them (unless their story happens to appear on Sunrise then politicians can’t help them fast enough!).
Then there has been the behaviour of certain individuals that has disappointed me.
One of the main features of the life of Jesus is that he gave his life up.
Whether it’s telling his disciples “Whoever wishes to be my disciple must give up their lives and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24) or simply giving his life for the sins of the world the point is Jesus did not give two hoots about his own rights.
Now I have no issues with Christians campaigning for the rights of others however when the main talk is all about ‘me’ and ‘my rights’ especially coming from the followers of Jesus then somewhere we have missed the point.
If you were to look at one of the main things that have upset the evangelical community in this country you will find it’s mainly self-related such as, not being able to sing or having to wear a mask, or having to take a jab or not being allowed to have church services.
But there is one thing I have not heard the Church say during this whole pandemic
The Church is known to be silent on serious issues and I would say they have been silent on the most critical issue of them all.
That is “our rights to reach out to our neighbours have been taken away.”
Think about it we have seen “let us worship” protest movements in the United States that become because California had banned singing in churches.
We have seen Churches all over the world openly defy health orders on things like capacity numbers in Churches or because the state had mandated masks to be worn in churches.
Why? I don’t think it was because masks were causing them to sin.
Yes we have seen characters in the Bible break the law of the land because to do so would cause them to sin.
But things like wearing masks or not having congregational singing do not cause us to sin instead keep in mind the lives of others.
In other words putting others before ourselves.
That has what has disappointed me the most and has been the most sobering thing I have seen during this whole pandemic.
It has not been the sin of godless politicians but the reminder that during this time the Church has not been known to stick up for the right to reach out to our neighbours.
Now I can’t talk about the church without mention myself why? Because I am the Church.
When the church misses the mark I do too because we are one body.
I am hoping here that I can change the language during this pandemic, lets be known as those who campaign for the lives of others for the care of our neighbours, to reach out and share the good news.
Ben Kruzins is the Campus Pastor of The Hub Baptist Church in Ocean Shores on the North Coast of New South Wales. He is also a Journalism graduate who has written articles in The Canberra Times and The Sydney Morning Herald.