Hundreds of church leaders have signed an open letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and State Premiers calling for a re-opening of churches across Australia.
The letter, which has been titled The Moses Statement, was authored by four Presbyterian ministers, Robin Tso, John Forbes, David Kerridge, and David Lachman, along with Reformed Baptist elder Thomas Eglinton.
According to the statement, current state rules and regulations are becoming increasingly difficult for Christians to follow, as they are forcing church leaders into a position of choosing between obedience to either God or government (Acts 5:29).
“We have a deep respect for lawful, civil authority,” the authors write, “which arises out of our respect for the absolute authority, the only true and living God, who created everything and upholds it by his power.”
However, the letter explains, God has also placed limits on human authority, whether that authority is in the family, business, church, or civil government.
“God, who has all authority and gives limited authority to people, calls all people to worship. Worshipping God is the most important activity and privilege of human existence.”
In times of crisis, public worship is of vital importance, according to the statement, because not only is God alone in control of everything, including disease and death, he may also “bless or frustrate our efforts to combat sickness and disease.”
“In a health crisis with no clear end in sight, the alarming increase in suicide, alcoholism, and depression, the pressing need to hold public worship should be even more evident,” the letter states.
Echoing Moses before Pharoah, the authors call on the Prime Minister and State Premiers, to let God’s people worship Him.
The letter ends with eight declarations:
- We declare that there is no other head of the Church, but the Lord Jesus Christ who reigns supreme as King over all authorities and rulers (Isa. 9:6-7; Matt. 28:18; Col. 1:15-18; Eph. 1:20-23).
- We declare that while we are called to submit to the government, we cannot obey the government if it requires us to disobey God (Acts 5:29; Rom. 13:3-4; 1 Pet. 2:13-17; Ex. 1:15-20; Mk. 12:17).
- We declare that the worship of God is the most important activity and privilege of human existence (Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 20:1-11; 1 Pet. 2:4-10; Rev. 7:9-12).
- We declare that the public gathered worship of God is essential to the church to the church (Eph. 3:20-21; 1 Pet. 2:4-10; Rev. 7:9-12).
- We declare that loving the Lord our God means loving and valuing His worship (Ex. 25-31; Num. 3:4; 1 Cor. 11:27).
- We declare that loving our neighbour involves the provision of care for their souls (Mk. 8:36; Rom. 10:1).
- We declare that in times of crisis, we must, all the more urgently, call upon th ename of God in public worship (Joel 1:14; 2:12-13; Lk. 13:4-5; Heb. 12:7).
- We declare that since the Lord has commanded us and given us the right to worship, it is wrong for any government or official to obstruct gatherings for public worship, especially at a time like this.
Co-author, Thomas Eglinton told Caldron Pool in times of crisis, public worship is crucial.
“One of the most important things about the statement for me is that corporate public worship is even more needed during a crisis. It is essential to the emotional, mental, and spiritual health of our communities.
“At a time when many are fearful and worried, the public preaching of the Gospel is desperately needed,” he said.
You can read and sign The Moses Statement here.