Dear Pastor in Victoria,
Recently I read some of your concerns about the vaccine mandates to churches, which were expressed to some of the finest Victorians in politics. Even though I didn’t like the tone of your writings very much, I think my concern runs much deeper than that, so I will try to only focus on what is really meaningful here.
Dear Pastor, allow me to start by asking you this: which world have you been living in the last two years? Even before that, have you really been living in Melbourne, Australia, which has been governed by one of the most godless state governments our land has ever seen?
The reason I ask is because the only way I could possibly make sense of these musings of yours is if you have been on a long vacation somewhere without any means of communication with the rest of the world.
Why else would you write to your state government representatives asking them to be coherent in the way how they exercise their pandemic powers? Why else would you write a letter asking, out of the blue, for the government to start honouring their commitments? Could you, perhaps, point to at least one goalpost that hasn’t changed since the infamous statement “it will only be two weeks to flatten the curve”?
In your sentences, dear pastor, you seem to acknowledge some important things such as how wrong and harmful it would be to divide the church and how churches are supposed to minister to all, including unvaccinated people.
But, dear pastor, those things are not new; nor in your state, neither in many other places of Australia. Where does the sudden indignation come from?
Dear pastor, do you remember an important declaration penned by some brave Queensland pastors advocating against segregation? The declaration many in your state decided to oppose on the basis of ‘tone’ and ‘dubious association’? That declaration has accurately painted the exact same scenario you and many other Australians, especially Victorians, are now being forced to live in.
Did you just not see this coming? Because if that’s the case, this situation is quite concerning since we are talking about one who is called to oversee and protect the flock of God placed under his care. One who is called to keep watch but cannot see obvious threats that will, as you said in your own words, harm the church and stop her from fulfilling its dutiful ministry to all? That can’t work, can it?
Dear pastor, the care of your flock was given to you, not to Daniel Andrews. Make no mistake, you are responsible, not him. Christ has already ruled on what the life of the church is supposed to be like. That’s settled. There is to be no change on those matters.
If Christ says segregation is wrong and harmful, there is no point in time in which it is ok. Not even for a second. Why, dear pastor? Why then did you decide to usurp the authority of Christ over your congregation? Why did you believe that the Lord of the flock would be ok with you running the show as per what you thought would be best, in complete opposition to his word?
Dear pastor, I have much more I would like to write in this letter, but I think I should limit myself to what I have already written so far. But, please, allow me to say just one more thing.
When some criticized the above-mentioned declaration against segregation, I read one of the bravest statements in this whole pandemic: “There may yet be a need to respectfully make our case and even courageously refuse to place a limit on who may gather together with the people of God”.
Allow me to conclude this letter by asking you this, even though you didn’t pen the words above: could that time for courageous refusal be now?
Is the situation now bad enough for you and others to start doing something and stop borrowing tomorrow’s courage to make edgy statements today?
Is the situation now bad enough for you and others to act or is it still ok to continue to discredit and mock hundreds of thousands of Australians who are defending their lives and country by associating them with conspiracy theorists and the like?
Is the situation now bad enough for you to act or is it still ok for you to, instead, continue to take your time to make sure you let everyone know how hard it’s been to be a pastor in the last little while?
Dear pastor, it is time to stop. It is time to stop and repent. No one out there – maybe there could be some, who knows – really believes your concerns are genuine anymore. At least not genuine enough to drive you to do something meaningful about it. Is your church hurting? Do something about it!
You are her undershepherd! I beg of you, the church in Melbourne is collapsing under the weight of pastors who care more about their looks and statuses than obeying the words of Christ. They need to stop sipping their hipster coffees and remember what they were called to do by the Lord.
The wolf is not just in the house, but the beast has gone to the kitchen, grabbed a beer and is now seated on the couch watching ‘Home and Away’ whilst having your sheep for dinner.
Please, I beg of you, dear pastor, make me write a subsequent apology letter that says, “I was wrong about this dear pastor”. Nothing would give me greater joy than that.
Ps. Giuliano Bordoni