Physical gathering, online meeting and false dichotomies

Jan 11, 2021 by

by Stephen Kneale, Building Jerusalem:

The discussion about whether meeting online is an adequate substitute for physical gathering rages on. Some insist that not meeting is a clear violation of God’s command to gather together. Others argue that meeting online represents a ‘temporarily deficient ecclesiology’ that is adequate. Are these the only two positions we might be able to take?

I’ve argued before that, in my view, we cannot do online communion (see here). I do not think there is a great case that meeting online is adequate in general. In my view, online meeting is not adequate (see here). It is very much deficient and inadequate. Aside from the biblical case for that position, those of us arguing that online is adequate will have to contend with how we convince anyone to ever return to church when they can adequately download it from home. If we have made the case that communion can be done privately too, there really is no real reason to turn up at all – everything can be downloaded! Biblically speaking, physical gathering is vital.

If that is the case (and I think it is), what do we do as the government ask us to suspend our meetings? (NB: the aren’t currently asking us to do that). Are we being forced into a situation of obeying Christ or Caesar? Isn’t that the natural consequence of a belief that physical gathering is vital?

Well, not necessarily.

Read here

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