Christian Pastors are threatened for holding church services while Bibles and American flags are burned in our streets; athletes who stand for the National Anthem at sporting events are now considered courageous while kneeling in protest is practically expected. Pro-life protesters are arrested outside an abortion clinic for writing “Black Pre-born Lives Matter” in chalk on a public sidewalk, but vandals and rioters are free to spray paint buildings and public property in cities across the country.
Double standards abound and our religious freedoms are in jeopardy. In case you haven’t noticed, America is at a tipping point. Moral decay, cultural decline, political division and protests, the Democrat media using the ‘Rona’ to stoke fear and panic, and threats to our very way of life.
There’s never been a time that we’ve needed God more – and many churches are still closed; others not operating at full capacity. Why? According to government and the secular culture, church is not a priority.
If the church is not essential, what hope is there for people struggling with depression and anxiety or suffering as suicide rates skyrocket and call-ins to help lines are up 600 percent? Drugs and alcohol prove to be horrible comforts. In the last several months, at a time more people have been faced with major life changes and their own mortality, many have been feeling hopeless, looking for answers, and even open to prayer or spiritual things.
But churches have been severely handicapped by government.
Some pastors are pushing back, particularly in California against Governor Gavin Newsom’s draconian orders. Thanks to Jack Hibbs, Shane Idleman, and others who are either gathering normally or are finding ways around the restrictions. Grace Community Church assembled last weekend with a full house in obedience to the Word of God, after which Pastor John MacArthur received a letter from Los Angeles county officials threatening fines and even possible arrest. We’re talking about fines of $1,000 a day if the church does not comply with Emporer Newsom’s order.
He responded by saying, “it has never been the prerogative of civil government to order, modify, forbid, or mandate worship,” so they plan on continuing to meet every Sunday. MacArthur appeared on Fox News and host Shannon Bream asked him about the seriousness of COVID-19. Part of his reply was in a state with 80 million people, close to 9,000 have died related to the virus, which is a 99.98% survival rate!
This is something I’ve also struggled with; the fact the Constitution doesn’t give government power to regulate church services. MacArthur added:
“We feel like we are the most essential reality in the world,” Look, Jesus is Lord … He is the head of our church. Governor Newsom is not the head of the church. [Los Angeles] Mayor [Eric] Garcetti is not the head of the church.”
God is faithful, and we need more church leaders to contend for the faith, equip the saints, and preach the truth without wavering. The Bible says we are to gather together and encourage one another. How do we do that by watching an on-line sermon? The writer of Hebrews states:
“and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25
…People need hope and places of refuge – especially now. The body of Christ must be free to minister and its members need to be ministered to! The church needs to be the church, and that includes being free of government control and restrictions.