Gideons Adjusting to Coronavirus World | The Institute for Creation Research

Gideons Adjusting to Coronavirus World
Even the Gideons are adjusting to the coronavirus world.

For over a century, Gideon volunteers have been providing literally billions of Bibles to hotels, healthcare providers, military personnel, prisoners, judges, school-children (as they walk on sidewalks that are deemed public property), and to individuals of all walks of life. One Gideon in particular, Dr. Henry Morris, founded the Institute for Creation Research.1

During Dr. Morris’ years of involvement with Gideons, he handed out many copies of Personal Worker Testament—a pocket-sized version of the New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs.1 Although they faced their shares of challenges, they were not inhibited during those times by coronavirus-response limitations.

In today’s world, serving as a Gideon requires coronavirus-response adjustments, as does much else of what we do in our daily lives. To illustrate, consider these three FAQs from the Gideon website:

What events should be postponed?
 
Answer: ... all camp, state, national, and international activity, including gatherings, meetings, distributions, church presentations, and travel, is to be suspended. While suspending interpersonal activity, we encourage individual prayer, telephone or internet prayer gatherings, electronic meetings, and the continuation, even acceleration, of personal witnessing as we offer hope to those around us in these trying times.

Should we cancel our weekly prayer meeting?
 
Answer: With the suspension of interpersonal activity, all camp leaders are encouraged to try praying online or over the phone, choosing a format that works best for those in your camp…

Do you recommend any specific online meeting program to use for camp activities?
 
Answer: We recommend keeping it simple by choosing a technology your camp members are comfortable using.2

Notice that the Gideons are now exhibiting two practices that Christians need to implement during these trying times:

1. Responsibly adjusting to legitimate governmental “time-manner-and-place” restrictions on private activities.3
2. Continuing to resourcefully provide God’s Word to those who “have ears to hear” (which may involve telephone or other audio-facilitated telecommunication) and those who “have eyes to see” (which may involve using emails or other visual/video-facilitated telecommunications technology).4

For over 50 years, ICR has been resourcefully providing biblical truth to those who are receptive to it. May God bless us, as we each do our part to promote God and His truth, because it is God’s will and His Word that overcome whatever this world (and its viruses) throws at us.5

References
1. Barber, R. M. 2017. Henry M. Morris: Father of Modern Creationism. Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research, 87, 96, 123-131. This biography of ICR’s founder was written by one of his daughters, Rebecca Morris Barber, and is available in ICR’s store.
2. Frequently Asked Questions COVID-19, updated 3/25/2020. The Gideons International. Posted on theconnection.gideons.org in the Members’ section, accessed April 8, 2020.
3. Romans 13:1-7; Matthew 22:21; 2 Timothy 2:3, 3:1. Regarding “time-manner-and-place” restrictions on the right to peaceably assemble, see Clark v. Community for Creative Non-Violence, 468 U.S. 288, 104 S. Ct. 3065 (1984).
4. Acts 1:8; Mark 16:15-16; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; Jude 1:3-4.
5. John 16:33; Romans 8:37; 1 Corinthians 15:57; 1 John 5:4.

*Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.
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