“Then the captain went with the officers and brought them without violence, for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”
But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
The coronavirus came to the United States, first reported in Washington State. In a matter of weeks, it spread throughout the US. Governors have taken action after president Trump issued a travel ban from China and Europe.
China lied about the spread of the virus and then were forced to tell the truth after it was discovered that transmission is primarily from humans to humans. Coughing, sneezing, hand shakes, hugs. Common practices when greeting each other is now seen as anathema.
High risk transfer of this disease was determined to be arenas, bars, subway cars, railroad cars, airplanes, buses, work spaces, shopping malls, and churches. Stay at home orders were issued. Gloves, masks, wiping down counter tops, door knobs, and other things touched by humans, were not made into law by the state or local legislation. They’re recommended guidelines and directives.
Instead, they were guidelines and directives, turned into pretend laws.
Police can quickly come in and fine or arrest people but they can’t quickly arrest criminals committing crime. For an example, in NYC, shootings are on the rise. All other categories of crime in NYC remain low. No surprise when most of the town is on home arrest.
Since, April, levels of infections have slowed, and deaths are lower. It’s anticipated that 100,000 deaths will be reached in June, but 47% of these deaths were nursing home deaths.
In California, Washington State, New York, and New Jersey, nursing home deaths is the top number.
Nursing Home Deaths
Not shopping malls, subways, rail cars, airplanes, Walmart, Home Depot, gyms, and churches. The data is clear but what’s happening is that governors are taking advantage of the coronavirus. It was a chance to shut down true houses of worship.
We must remember. When you came out of the world, satan wants to get you back. But if he can’t get you back, he will harass you with persecution and with prosecution.
The devil, satan will try to force you to forfeit your relationship with the Lord by putting pressure on you. Jail. Fines. Civil and criminal.
There’s many believers that were affected by coronavirus. Yes, pastors have opened their churches and held services. Sadly, some of these pastors contracted COVID-19 through contact with parishioners and many believers went home to be with the Lord.
We must understand that everything is a risk.
When we wake up on Monday, it’s confirmed information that Monday, many people get heart attacks and die. When we get into our cars or other transportation vehicles, we assume the risk of car accidents, yet, 80% of people that died of coronavirus are age 65 and above.
Should a pastor open up the house of worship to people while following CDC guidelines, and other guidelines from state governors?
There should be no reason not to.
The world outnumbers the houses of worship and don’t attend church anyway. If the Lord were to override the will of humans and force people to go to church, there wouldn’t be enough houses of worship to house them.
Most people don’t attend church. Let’s be clear about that, because most people HATE GOD!
They love the devil and their evil sinful ways unless they repent and be born again.
The disciples were warned not to minister to people using the name of the Lord Jesus for fear that they people would revolt, bring trouble on the Sanhedrin, and possibly abandon Judaism. Jesus was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father and the evidence of His resurrection was His ministry continuing in the disciples.
The disciples preached the gospel of Jesus and performed miracles as eyewitnesses, establishing the undeniable truth that Jesus is alive. The Sanhedrin decided to take action to stop the apostles of the Lamb.
They’ve arrested them. Detained them. Incarceration.
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.”
“Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
Now we all know that there’s a difference between persecution and guidelines and directives, recommended to keep people safe from disasters or diseases.
Already, the Southern Hemisphere is experiencing a spike in the coronavirus. While it’s warm in the north, it’s cold in the south.
So what is a pastor to do?
No one has a problem going to Walmart, social distanced, masked, hand sanitizers, washing hands frequently, gloves, and other guidelines and directives. Also, local and state legislators are the ones that make laws, not governors. We understand that there’s laws in the books where when an emergency is in existence, reasonable directives and guidelines may fall under those laws, BUT the US Constitution is never suspended when a crisis hits.
Houses of worship can do the same. Believers are not babies. Grown adults make decisions everyday. Also, if a person comes down with symptoms, they should use enough sense to get checked before returning to service.
What will you do when you open a house of worship during a pandemic where governors restrict religious services?
Should you decide to do so, follow all the guidelines and directives as best as possible. Prepare for police to enforce the governor’s guidelines and directives. Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Don’t make a scene. Use as many recording devices as possible. Should law enforcement exceed authority or attempt to make you or others comply with unreasonable guidelines and directives, respectfully remind officers of the 1A. And when incarcerated, you may have a religious discrimination case that violates the 1A.
It’s up to you whether you want to advertise your opening in advance or not. Jesus said “Don’t let the LEFT hand know what the RIGHT hand is doing.” Did you get that? Left versus Right?
Should believers in the Lord revolt?
Ungodly authority always look to suppress the true houses of worship because ungodly authority works for satan. If there was no hatred for God and His people, true houses of worship would not be suppressed, oppressed, and persecuted.
We must remember, sinners are in constant rebellion against God’s authority. True believers are satan’s enemy. True believers are a constant threat to demonic authority.
Also, the Lord told us, through Paul, that we’re to pray for all those that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty. We don’t agree or obey unreasonable evil laws. However, reasonable laws, guidelines, and directives that doesn’t discriminate against exercising your CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO WORSHIP FREELY, shouldn’t be a problem to implement and observe.
We understand safety. If government put out reasonable directives and guidelines, it shouldn’t be a problem for houses of worship to implement and abide by them. But to outright close houses of worship while allowing other places to remain open, is outright hypocrisy, and UNCONSTITUTIONAL in America.
Finally, if you’re a believer and you don’t feel safe going to a house of worship when a house of worship implements and abide by state guidelines and directives, it’s your choice to stay home.
Whether you open a house of worship or close a house of worship, either you come to church or stay home, either way, the Lord will hold you accountable.
Back in the day, on the back of bulletins would be the “Sick And Shut In” list. Members of houses of worship that couldn’t attend because they had ailments or are elderly, we’ve visited them, prayed for them, ministered communion to them, and assisted in anyway possible.
Please keep this in mind as well and not be judgmental.
We must remember, the Lord is still among us all.
Even during a pandemic, God never stopped being God because coronavirus is among us.