Due to the worsening COVID-19 situation, the authorities have wisely announced new and necessary measures to contain the spread of the plague. The Board of Elders have thus decided with much heaviness of spirit, that all church activities be suspended with effect from 27 March 2020 till further notice.  

In honour of our Lord and for the benefit of the saints, live streaming of the English Worship Service will be conducted every Lord’s Day at 2p.m. For the Chinese-speaking brethren, a private service of not more than 10 people will continue at room C02 in Jackson Square, Blk A, first floor. The meeting will also be live streamed to another small group, who will gather at Elder John’s residence. In order to keep to the regulations and to ensure responsible and safe distancing, members who are fluent in English are encouraged to stay home and participate in the live streaming of the English Service.  

What then are my thoughts on the live streaming of worship services (and possibly) fellowship group meetings? Is it a bane or a boon?  

First, we need to understand that these live streaming services should only be regarded as a short-term necessary measure to protect one another from the plague. It is the Lord’s command that Christians should not forsake the assembling of the saints in order that we exhort and provoke one another unto love and good works (Heb. 10:25). We should thus look to resume gathering in person as soon as situation permits.

One major concern is how Christians will respond to the soon- to- be common-place live streaming of services for the coming month (or perhaps months). Will Christians develop a spirit of “consumerism” with regards to worship services? If we are not careful in guarding our hearts, participating in live streaming worship services may soon be no different from consuming videos and shows from a streaming platform.   

It is also easy to become distracted during the live streaming of a worship service. Notifications that arrive on our screens may cause our attention to be shifted. Or we may be tempted to answer emails. Care must be taken to maintain focus during live streaming services. Remember, it is still a worship service. The only difference is that we are worshipping with the rest of our brethren from diverse locations. Therefore, let us not come flippantly before the Lord, but let us strive to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness (Ps. 29:2).  

Second, live streaming and web conferencing of meetings do not do full justice to the concept of Christian “fellowship”. The word for “fellowship”, is the Greek koinonia which describes partnership and close relationship which we have in a covenantal bond with God and His people. It is really a foretaste of heaven on earth. We see in the Scriptures how saints gather because of unity in Christ to participate in doctrine, prayer and partaking of the sacraments (Acts 2:42). There is cooperation in the labour for Christ and the defence of the faith (1 Cor. 3:9; Phil. 1:27; 2:1-4; Heb. 10:24-25). There is also mutual sharing of physical and spiritual gifts for the promotion of the welfare of the saints, and the advancement of the kingdom of God (Acts 2:44-45; Phi. 4:15; Heb. 13:16). Can conferencing over a screen achieve this fully? Surely not!  

Alas, when Christians get used to communicating with one another over the screen, will they lose their desire to meet one another in the flesh? Should the Lord be merciful to lift this present pestilence, will Christians begin to say, “I can serve the Lord in the comfort of my screen. There is no need to meet with others. I am safe behind my computer and phone”? Time will tell. 

Third, with live streaming services, there is great difficulty in administering the sacraments, and especially the Lord’s Supper. The pastor is desirous to administer the sacraments, but can he do so under the present situation? One thing is for sure, we cannot enjoy partaking the Lord’s Supper as frequently as we had been doing for the near future. Perhaps when the plague is lifted, our first service can be a thanksgiving service with a grateful remembrance of Christ’s death with a faithful partaking of the bread and cup.   

Fourth, it is the pastor’s opinion that this COVID-19 plague will hasten the worldwide adoption of modern telecommunication technologies, which in turn will strengthen the one-world system of the Antichrist. Read Revelation 13. Has not the spirit of this new world order arrived? Be discerning, watchful and sober!  

So while there is some excitement among the Christian community over live streaming technologies, we should not be overexuberant in our appreciation of it. Should the Lord lift the plague, we should look forward to rapidly restoring normalcy in our activities. And that would mean meeting one another in the flesh for our worship services, prayer meetings, and fellowship group meetings. Till the time comes, may Christ keep you in His love and care.


The civil government is a divine ordinance (Buswell). The authorities are put in place by God to ensure the safety and well-being of society. Therefore, it is our duty to honour the authorities where it does not contradict God’s law.  

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.  Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” (Rom. 13:1-7)  

Moreover, the Bible also tells us that Christians should love our neighbour as ourselves (Matt. 22:39). We must do our best to ensure the good of those we meet from day to day.  

In the light of these biblical teachings, we must do our part to adhere to the measures implemented by the government to contain COVID-19 for the sake of the Lord, and also for the good of society. Tabernacle Bible Presbyterian shall therefore support the advisories and guidelines that were disseminated by the MOH, MOM and MCCY.  

1 Timothy 2:1-2 also commands that prayers and supplications should be made for kings and for all in authority. Therefore, it is also our privilege and duty to pray for the government of the land that they may have wisdom to deal with the current crisis.  

May the people of the land learn to fear the one living and true God. In all things, may Christ be glorified.   

Yours affectionately
Pastor Clement Chew