MONDAY MINUTES With Pastor Chris McCool (September 6, 2021)

*Due to Labor Day Holiday, and being busy with family gatherings, I am a day late with “MONDAY MINUTES”. Sorry about that!

A few weeks ago, Elder James Conley, pastor of Union Primitive Baptist Church in Ruth, Mississippi, posted the following on Facebook. I thought it was very timely, and a very needful message for God’s people in the troublesome times in which we live. I republish it here with his permission:

“I hesitate to say anything about the hot topic we have upon us lately. But I feel that the devil is on the loose, and we don’t even know it. It is time for God’s people to fight back against the devil’s attacks.

I see people dividing over the issues we face, and that screams to me of the devil’s handiwork. After over a year and a half, the coronavirus problem is still here. Despite the many precautions we have taken with masks and physical distancing, man’s wisdom has not successfully led us to the end of this virus.

The current topic is the vaccine. Some are for getting the vaccine, while some have reservations about getting it. However, I’m not concerned with discussing the finer details of these issues. My primary concern is the divisions that are taking place right now over these issues.

Could it be that we (God’s people) have lost our way? Why don’t we turn to the One who can end this virus? Have we forgotten the power of the voice who told the winds and waves to be still, and they obeyed? I wonder if that’s why we are still facing this problem because we have not turned to Him yet? When will we follow the teaching in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and then enjoy the promises that it contains? There is our real answer.

Instead of focusing on each other’s vaccination status, let’s pray for each other more. These days if someone gets critically ill, I hear people ask, “Were they vaccinated?” Shouldn’t we be more focused on praying for them, rather than figuring out their vaccination status? Some people have real reservations about the permanent side effects that others have experienced from getting the vaccine, and we should respect their individual choice in this matter.

On the other hand, please don’t look down on those who have taken the vaccine because they also have made the choice that they felt best for their situation. Rather, let’s turn to the Lord and pray for one another. After all, Romans 14:4 teaches us not to judge one another in this way because we stand or fall to our own Master, not each other. In fact, the entire chapter of Romans 14 is pertinent to the present situation. People will always think and act differently, so we should acknowledge that fact and do the best we can in our individual life.

Lately, I have witnessed Romans 14:13 in action and have seen brethren put a stumbling block in each other’s way over these issues. Actions like this cause sin in thought, words, and deeds. The vaccine issue has not united God’s people; it has put a wedge between them. Watching and experiencing this has caused me to take a step back and recognize that Satan is here, and we need to recognize his threat. If we don’t, we will not defeat him, but he will cause us to bite and devour one another and consume one another (Galatians 5:15).

Instead of doing that, let’s draw near to God and experience the promise that He will draw near to us (James 4:8). When we think and talk about resisting, let’s do that in resisting the devil and experience the promise that he will flee from us (James 4:7). Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

I encourage us all to do some soul searching and examine ourselves whether our hearts and minds are where they need to be (2 Corinthians 13:5). Sometimes it seems that my heart is only concerned with our present situation and not nearly enough in God’s word (Colossians 3:16). Rather than examining one another, let’s do some self-examination and dedicate our hearts towards charity, peace of God, thankfulness for all our blessings, and the words of Christ dwelling in us richly (Colossians 3:14-16).

I want the peace of God right now, what about you?”

Elder James Conley