So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. — Revelation 3:16
Andy Stanley — a prominent and outspoken heretic and false teacher — recently announced that amid the coronavirus pandemic, he was closing the doors of his church for at least the remainder of this year.
“For some of you, this makes perfect sense, and in fact you may even be relieved. For others of you, this seems like an unnecessary precaution — perhaps a lack of faith on my part. You might even interpret this decision through a political filter”
Even if we did re-open, we certainly would not be able to create a quality adult or children worship experience, with social distancing protocols in place.
While many have been up in arms over Stanley’s conviction to shutter people from his church, in reality, Christians should be quite thankful that he’s done so as many will be forced to find a real church. You can listen to his entire announcement below:
Later, Christianity Today published an interview with Stanley who then expounded on his reasoning for closing the doors — and it was nuts. For Stanley, he doesn’t want to open the doors for corporate worship because, well, not enough people will come and they won’t invite their friends — as though that’s the reason for worship.
…focusing our time and resources on trying to open on Sunday morning is definitely not our plan because again, so few people are going to come and they’re not going to invite their friends and neighbors to this not so great environment.
Of course, anyone with a modicum of biblical knowledge already knows historically, the Church has faced much worse than any mild disease such as COVID-19 — and yet, she pressed on. But, for Stanley, the bottom line is that keeping the doors open to his Kingdom simply isn’t cost-efficient. Why run the heat and air-conditioning for a stadium that’s only 1/3 full, at best? Those few people who actually show up could just be the actual remnant at that Church who truly desire corporate worship — despite the fact they’ve been deceived into being at a false church.
Nevertheless, those few people who are compelled to be at church, and are forced out of Stanley’s church, is clearly a blessing in disguise. In fact, for theologically sound Christians, it’s not even a disguise. We should praise and thank God that he is separating the sheep from the goats and shuttering the doors of the luke-warm churches.