1 Comment

Thank you, Kathlyn, for another well written, insightful article. I really appreciate and agree with your perspective on this.

We have been talking a lot about holding fast to our confessions, particularly regarding the matter of sexuality as of late, however, many churches seem to have overlooked other important confessions we hold to, such as The Belgic Confession Article 28, which states that we should join the assembly and not withdraw from it “even if civil authorities and royal decrees forbid, and death and physical punishment result”. In the following article on The Marks of the True Church (#29) we see that a true church: purely preaches the gospel, faithfully administers the sacraments, and corrects faults through church discipline. Most (if not all) of these things are not possible in a “virtual church”. It is almost impossible to identify and correct faults, or hold one another accountable when you never see or regularly interact with one another and are completely isolated in your own homes. Communion and baptism are also impossible in a virtual environment (I would hope the reasons are obvious since we are meant to be “communing” with the body of Christ and publicly professing our union with Him, and this cannot be done in isolation). Some might argue you can still have pure preaching in a virtual church, but I would push back on that… There is something completely different about watching a sermon on YouTube, alone on your couch, versus being seated among your fellow believers, feeling the moving of the Holy Spirit as He convicts your own heart and those around you, and then following that up with a time to reflect and fellowship after service, stir one another up to love and good works, and send one another back out into the mission fields.

If you continue in the Belgic Confession to Article 32, it reminds us that as leaders in Gods church we must not deviate from what Christ, our only Master, has ordained, and because of this, “we reject all human innovations and all laws imposed on us, in our worship of God, which bind and force our consciences in any way.”

I am curious, Kathlyn, how your churches leadership chose to respond during the lockdowns? From what I read in your article it sounds like they were closed down for many months (possibly years?). If this was the case, has there been any change of heart or repentance shown from them regarding their unfaithfulness to hold fast to our confession, and to remain faithful in their duty as overseers in God’s Church?

My concern is that if we fail to recognize and repent of our sins in this area and recognize where our theology and trust in the Lord was lacking, when the next major attack on the church comes, are we going to stand firm, and hold fast, and wage war against the enemy? Or will we shrink back, dim our light, justify our cowardice and sin, and even join in the persecution of those who do choose to hold fast (as we witnessed many “churches” do over these last few years, which is actually a mark of the false church according to Article 29).

I am encouraged to see the work God is doing in refining His Church today, especially when I see articles like this from the younger generation. The Lord is at work, and we are living through a significant moment in church history. I am excited about the reformation taking place in this next generation! I really do believe it is happening, and it is glorious to witness and be a part of!

May God continue to bless you as you faithfully serve and grow in Him.

Expand full comment