Elders Response to Adjusted Level 3

Dear Heritage Baptist Church,

In light of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent announcement that the country is moving to an adjusted level 3 due to the second wave of infections, we wanted to inform you of our church’s response. The new restrictions involve a ban to all religious gatherings for the next two weeks. As it stands, we agree in principle to suspend gathering at the church for that period. A few factors informed our decision.

According to current information available, it seems that virus infections are rising sharply not only in our country in general but in Johannesburg in particular. Hospital administrators are reporting full ICUs and are concerned about the situation in Gauteng. Given that there is also a new strain of the virus, we do see a reason to tread over the next few weeks with care. Our New Covenant Commitments – that we agree to when we become members and are taken from Scripture—state our commitment this way:  

We agree to avoid whatever tends to destroy us or our neighbours and to engage vigorously in all lawful endeavours to preserve our own lives and the lives of others, especially by walking together in brotherly love, caring for one another, bearing one another’s burdens, watching over each other, faithfully admonishing one another, promptly repenting when we have sinned against one another and not abusing our Christian liberties to our own harm or that of our brethren.

As we expressed in a previous letter, the State does not have jurisdiction to dictate how the church is to worship. We are commanded by Scripture in Hebrews 10:25 to “not neglect the gathering of the saints.” In this case, however, we feel our government is doing what it can to preserve life in a lawful fashion. If it were clear that the government was preventing us from meeting due to persecution or resistance to the gospel, that would be an entirely different matter. In this instance however, our government, through the light of nature, and the law of God written on man’s heart, is temporarily preventing worship due to a very real threat on life. While we may notice a few inconsistencies in how the government applies its rules across society, we will not allow the government’s failing cause us to not be diligent to do all that we can to preserve life amongst God’s people.

We will be re-evaluating this situation after the two weeks, and we will adjust accordingly.

What should you expect on the 3rd and 10th of January?

The service will be live streamed from the church from 9:15am. We encourage you to tune in and greet the saints before the service begins at 9:30. Streaming details will be sent ahead of time on our social media platforms and particularly our WhatsApp group. If you do not have access to any of these platforms, please reach out to me.

If you have any questions regarding the church’s approach, please speak to any of the elders. It is our prayer that our Lord will preserve the lives of all in our congregation, and that He will spare you all the grief of losing a loved one during this new wave.


The grace of our Lord be with you,

Mpumelelo Kunene (on behalf of the elders)