Church Prohibition

The most remarkable impact the “Chinese Wuhan Flu”  had on America is the sight of pastors waiting, like dogs anticipating a treat, until Caesar gives them permission to start rendering unto God.

You couldn’t have convinced me in March that Pastors would cancel Easter Services. Easter is the central pivot of Christianity. Without the Resurrection, Christianity is pointless.

As Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 15:14, “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” The birth of Christ is only important because of Easter.

And Christian “shepherds” surrendered without so much as a whimper.

The 1st Amendment clearly states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” It’s as plain as day. Equally plain, “prohibiting the free exercise” is exactly what happened.

Call it a tale of two “prohibitions.”

When “Alcohol Prohibition” began in 1920 a nationwide movement quickly started to manufacture and consume forbidden booze in spite of legal consequences for both buyer and seller.

When “Church Prohibition” began in 2020, pastors meekly submitted, along with their parishioners, in fear of the unconstitutional legal consequences.

Preachers were “lambs” when facing the secular authorities, but “lions” when facing criticism for doing nothing. Believers can’t possibly expect pastors to risk “arrest or a negative news story” just to hold worship services!

The situation is equivalent to the occasional media complaints from harried medical workers as they fight the “Chinese Wuhan Flu”. Sure, it’s tough, but isn’t this what they signed up for? The chance to make a difference in a real health emergency? Or was their commitment only broken wrists and sprained ankles?

Christ died on the cross. Today His worship is “prohibited” and pastors in general haven’t even been willing to risk getting a visit from the “Flustapo”, much less make a “personal sacrifice.” Defender of the Faith evidently doesn’t include risking the “wrath of the bureaucracy.”

“JustTheNews” has covered Christian leaders who aren’t ready to rely on God for “protection” just yet, but might be willing to file a lawsuit. In Maine Calvary Chapel has gone to federal court. They hope to reopen for Mother’s Day, a Hallmark Holiday not found in the Bible, but missed Easter entirely.

Two Kansas churches got a judge’s permission to gather together. In California, Church United relied on a law firm to host a petition. Michigan churches are suing power mad Gov. Greta — excuse me — Gretchen Whitmer. And Breitbart found 260 Massachusetts pastors ready to get tough. They sent a letter to the governor begging him to “recognize churches as essential.”

Why you can almost hear the skin being twisted as they wring their hands.

It’s simultaneously “laughable and pathetic.” This is what Christians get when they hire pastors based on compassion and not fire. The lawsuits may make the deacons who are also lawyers happy but it undermines the status of the church.

Lawsuits are defensive, deferential and submissive. Even when the church wins the case, after months of empty pews, the victory still allows government to set the conditions for worship.

Christ is either “King” or He’s just another “activist” with an opinion.

Worship does set an example. Not worshiping shows the world church is secondary to “secular” control. Continuing to worship shows Christ is still in “control” of the believer’s world.

Some pastors know this.

In Chicago, “Metro Praise International” knows the stakes and has been demonstrating “passive resistance” to the state. The pastor doesn’t plan to sue, he plans to preach. Grace Built Church in Waynesboro, VA is finally defying Gov. Blackface Northam.

And Louisiana pastor Tony Spell preached last week with an ankle monitor on as he defied a judge’s order to stay home and stay silent.

That is what should’ve been done all along. Worship first then, if necessary, the courts to get the pastor and the parishioners out of jail.

Hold services with social distancing, sanitizer in the baptismal and individual Communion packets. Urge seniors and the vulnerable to stay home. Hold plenty of services each Sunday so everyone who wants to attend can social distance their way inside. For those that can’t, the staff can visit them personally and pray through the storm door during the week.

The important point is to demonstrate you believe Christ is important enough to worship regardless of Caesar.

Sure, some churches will flaunt the “Chinese Wuhan Flu” rules, we’ll call them snake handlers, but those congregations were probably dangerous before the epidemic.

Anything is better than what Believers have now. The “Great Pandemic Panic” is the biggest victory for the secular, Christianity “hostile left” in decades.

A victory facilitated by “docile, fearful, spiritually” lacking pastors who sat passively while the “powers and principalities” that rule this earth convinced Christians that “God and worship were non essential.” 

When Jesus Christ founded the New Testament Church, He promised that it would never die, but He also said it would never enjoy a large following.Christ called His Church a “little flock.” And He told us why it would be small in John 15:20: “Remember what I told you: A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.”

Throughout its 2,000-year history, God’s Church has withstood intense persecution, much of it coming from a great counterfeit church. The true Church that Christ founded experienced an early spurt of growth from 120 disciples to about 5,000 (Acts 4:4). But very soon after that, it was struck by intense persecution, just as Christ said it would be.

In Acts 8:1 it says “On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.”  The brethren were all scattered abroad. This effort to completely stamp out the true Church ultimately failed. In fact, the persecution itself is what helped the Church to spread abroad. But it never became a large, dominant organization.

The book of Revelation discusses the history of God’s true Church. Right alongside the true Church though, from its beginning, is a counterfeit organization that has been warring against it.

From its beginning, God’s Church has been in a war for its life. Though backed by God’s power, it has been a small, persecuted band of spiritual warriors struggling to fulfill God’s will in a world ruled by the devil.

The historical record reveals a drama of stunning courage and faith. It also reveals a tragedy of shameful compromise and cowardice.

God preserved it so we could take instruction, correction and inspiration from the lessons His saints wrote with their tears, sweat and blood. It powerfully proves how divine protection and power are required to do God’s Work as we prepare for the return of the Church’s Founder to this Earth.

“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord, because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.” Jeremiah 30:17

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