Closing the Churches

The exegetical case derives from the quarantine laws from Leviticus 13–14. Admittedly, these are priestly laws and were dealing in part with ceremonial aspects of uncleanness. They nevertheless also deal with public safety and the spread of contagion—clearly a moral and civil matter as well. An individual or even an entire house could be quarantined at their own expense for a period of time, or indefinitely. A house, if it failed cleaning and re-inspection, could be utterly demolished, along with everything in it. The state or temple were not required to reimburse. An individual could be stuck outside the camp, with no community, business, or intercourse with others, at his or her own expense, as well as whatever further social and familial costs that would incur. There was no provision for state-funded aid. The outstanding assumption of charity remains, though.

In such a scenario, the individual would be required to miss all the necessary mandated church services in Old Testament Israel. This is not the same as shuttering the services for everyone, but the same principle prevails at the core of it: in cases of infectious disease and the potentials of contagion, it is lawful for civil governments to enforce a quarantine that could even ban affected individuals from a church service.

The important point to grasp here is that such a procedure was not a violation of the separation of powers or of an individual’s religious rights or liberties.

Yes, the civil government can lawfully, biblically close church services, and probably should by Joel McDurmon

I have some doubts, as to the danger of the current coronavirus flair-up (Covid-19) to most of the the current population.

But, the core principle as outlined by Joel McDurmon is simply correct: the government really does have the right, under Biblical Law, to close churches as a measure to stop/hinder diseases.

(And, you have to admit, COVID-19 is especially dangerous to the aging parishioners of the mainstream churches. Also, it can just as easily kill the old folks in believing churches… and can be carried by healthy young believers, who visit old people.

Since this is true, a lawful case for closing the churches during the epidemic can be made.)

Fortunately, there are several other ways to get the word across, from the Internet to radio, to individual and small-group meetings.


Even so, I would advise Christians to avoid having tyrants over them, if they have a voice in the matter. These people are always looking to get more power, regardless of justification…

…and are not well-disposed to a religion that pounds the table on liberty, property, and a law above that of the State and the Leader.

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