After numbers of months of a presumed pandemic, we are by now familiar with the many news headlines – churches closed by government decree, being deemed non-essential. Then, with some pluck and fight on the part of some Christians, drive-in services gained a little toleration. Later, government approval was granted for churches to meet, but only at a percentage of capacity, and, in some places, they are not to sing! And, very recently, the state of California again outlawed church gatherings.
Should Christians be compliant? Should they quietly submit and wait for further instructions from the government? Here the church communities are divided, with the majority obedient to the mandates. Some obey out of fear, believing the constant media narrative of a terrible pandemic. Others sincerely believe that a Christian must obey the civil powers that be, citing Romans 13:1.
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
We do believe in obeying the laws of the land and teach our people to have respect for those in authority, whether police officers, presidents, or kings. They are also instructed to pray for them. More importantly, we exalt God and His laws as supreme above all. Should the two conflict, we will obviously obey God rather than man, just as the apostle Peter did when the Jewish authorities commanded him to cease teaching about Jesus.
Clashing with rulers and governments is nothing new to God’s church. Read the book of Acts and consider the bold defiance of the early apostles. Did not Jesus Himself warn us that we would be brought before governors and kings, magistrates and powers (Matthew 10:18; Luke 12:11)? Many a martyrdom in church history, including that of apostles Paul and Peter, came at the hands of government powers. Had the early Christians been compliant to the governments of their day, they would not have ended up in prisons or suffered martyrdom. Their “defiance” has helped both to preserve Christianity in the earth and to bring honour to God’s name.
Why did the three Hebrew children end up in a burning furnace? They disobeyed the law. Why did Daniel end up in a lions’ den? He disobeyed the law. Many well-meaning people today would have counselled Daniel to just pray secretly until the thirty-day restriction was complete, but his response was immediate defiance. He understood the spiritual warfare.
Today, well-meaning people feel that Christians in California ought to be content to merely listen to a message livestreamed until further notice from the government. But “digital church” was not what God had in mind when He said, “forsake not the assembling of yourselves together.” Let us not reduce worship to the cyber world, not even for 30 days! Any who understand true worship know that we must be together, for “every joint supplieth,” and God wants His visible church to indeed be visible. The world is hurting and fearful. They need God and His united people more than ever.
One will not resist a thing if they see no danger in it, so I understand the reticence of some. It is fear-induced. The media spews out their coronavirus narrative 24/7. People trust what they are hearing. The fact is, there is a multitude of health professionals who don’t, and they have the science as to why, but when they speak out, Big Tech either censors or slanders them. That should get one’s attention right there.
Now let me be clear, we do believe there is a virus and feel sincere compassion for any affected. But a pandemic? A host of professionals say no. And, as in any flu season, we are adults and have the sense to stay home if we are sick, and trust others to do the same. We don’t need the government to quarantine the healthy. This is unprecedented, as is the mask-mandating. These measures also defy our legal human rights. Many are unaware of this.
For years now, Christians have been slowly losing their rights. Governments have been passing laws in direct opposition to the Word of God–abortion, same-sex “marriage,” loss of parental rights, gender confusion, wicked public school agendas, and so on. An aggressive war between good and evil is most certainly raging.
Satan desires to silence the church and shut her down. What a plausible strategy–a pandemic causing fear about health. Stay home “for the well-being of the community.” Something is just not right in all of this, especially when more people are suffering and dying from the varied effects of governmental restrictions than are from the virus itself. Dear readers, I encourage you to do some digging and search into all of this on your own.
We are living in serious and perilous times, more than most professing Christians are comprehending. Let it be also known that while we are in this “emergency,” laws are quickly being changed, shifting more power to rulers without legislative approval–all to protect us from coronavirus, of course.
Are you ready to say good-bye to more of your rights? Are you relinquishing them now? Does God want us to forsake the assembling of ourselves together at this time as the manner of some is? The church of the living God says, “NO!” And so much the more because we do see the day approaching! If Christians will not stand up for their rights, they will lose them.
This groaning world needs the church to be the church as never before in this critical hour. God’s true church has always been militant. Much of so-called Christianity today is an effeminate fraud and an easy push-over for Satan. Christians, stand! Preachers, preach! Let us rise up as an army and together fight against the wiles of the devil in this end-of -time battle.