MacArthur sues state over worship restrictions

"In the complaint, MacArthur and Grace Community Church accuse state government officials of interfering with their religious freedom and selectively restricting gatherings amid the pandemic." - C.Post

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I don't know what the facts of the case are, but have to wonder how they're going to prove that rules that apply to indoor gatherings were inconsistently applied to protesters gathering outdoors.

Still, it's better than just defying the law.

But per this thing called the New Testament they should be complying with the restrictions while they persue the case.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Larry's picture

Moderator

But per this thing called the New Testament they should be complying with the restrictions while they persue the case.

So your position is that they should disobey their consciences about what God requires until some government agency approves it? And if they lose, should they continue to disobey their consciences? Where's the line for you?

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

When it's conscience vs. Scripture, absolutely, they should "disobey their conscience"! No contest whatsoever.

There is no biblical command to worship indoors. No biblical command to worship in groups larger than 250. There is a biblical command to obey the powers that be. This is not a matter of conscience.

It's at least as clear as the NT teaching that women should not be pastors. More clear than the NT teaching that speaking in toungues should not be a thing today.

Way more clear than pretrib rapture.

I could go on.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

TylerR's picture

Editor

The case will go nowhere. They have no case. Their Christian nationalist attorneys are more publicists than litigators. This whole affair is a joke. JMac has embarrassed himself beyond belief.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Larry's picture

Moderator

I think you have misdefined the problem. This is not "conscience vs. Scripture." It is conscience about what Scripture requires. At the very least, your position seems to require disobedience in violation of Romans 14 by requiring people to do something they cannot do in faith, namely, don't assemble as a church. One of my concerns from the beginning was that by canceling church I was binding people's consciences. I did that but with great caution. There was a better biblical case to be made for meeting with great allowance for people not to come as their conscience dictated. But by canceling, I was binding the conscience of those who believed they were sinning by not assembling.

More importantly,. your position allows something other than Scripture to define what a church is and who has authority in the church. That is, to me, a significant error regardless of what a church should do regardless of the health situation. I have been clear that I think churches should have stopped meeting for a time and should be very cautious and careful in returning. But you have gone beyond that. You have allowed the government to determine what a church is by forbidding it "to church" (to verb a noun), or by limiting it to X number of people or by requiring X number of assemblies. You have allowed the government to determine the elements of worship by forbidding singing, offering, and communion. I am troubled by that. It is, as you say, at least as clear as women preachers, tongues, and pre-trib rapture. 

I don't know exactly where the line should be drawn. I believe, as you surely do, that the biblical command to obey powers that be is limited. That's why I asked you, "Where's the line for you?" At what point would you say the church should obey God rather than man?

I would say we are to obey the powers that be until and unless they require disobedience to God. In this particular case, the powers that be are requiring disobedience at least to  some degree by refusing to allow a church to gather. They have either outright refused or redefined a church. They have ordered that only part of a church can gather and the rest of the church must be excluded from that gathering. They have ordered that a church cannot obey the biblical to teach and admonish one another in songs, hymns, and spiritual songs. The government has no biblical right to redefine the church or its worship.

Think about it: Should a government be able to require five elders in a church? Or no more than ten elders? Should the government be able to mandate one song or three songs? Or no songs? Should the government forbid communion?

Where would you draw the line and how?

So you say you could go on. I wish you would.

 

Larry's picture

Moderator

The case will go nowhere. They have no case. Their Christian nationalist attorneys are more publicists than litigators. This whole affair is a joke. JMac has embarrassed himself beyond belief.

All bluster aside, where do you draw the line and say, "No more"?

TylerR's picture

Editor

This is a nuisance suit. My comments are not bluster.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Robert Byers's picture

TylerR wrote:

This is a nuisance suit. My comments are not bluster.

God did not promise us religious liberty, but America has offered it, and I for one am grateful.  I don't understand why you're so willing to throw that blessing away and so contemptuous of those who strive to retain it.   If you don't see the organized and concerted attack on religious liberty that is unfolding, I don't know how to help you.  I can only quote Samuel Adams: " We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” 

TylerR's picture

Editor

Have a lovely day. I wrote an article outlining my concerns with the bad argument put forth by JMac. I said, repeatedly, there may be an argument to be made, but JMac just hadn't made it.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Larry's picture

Moderator

Words like "go nowhere," "no case," "joke," "embarrassed himself beyond belief," and "nuisance" certainly sound like bluster, particularly in the absence of an argument in support of it. And calling a respected conservative law firm with Supreme Court victories "more publicist than litigators" adds to the appearnace of bluster.

But all that aside, I am interested in the substance of the issue: Where's the line for you? At what point would you do something?

TylerR's picture

Editor

It appears LA County's order was simply stayed pending the formal hearing.

'Merica.

JMac's attorney/publicist deliberately chose to spin this pro forma stay as a victory on a show with a Christian nationalist interviewer, knowing this misleading framing would be crack cocaine to his base. She was right.

Unfortunate.

My concern is not that I don't want JMac's church to meet. It's that his initial statement was bad, he is using Christian Nationalist figures (Mataxes) and rote GOP fanboys (Tucker) to promote his cause, he encourages local churches to sign his bad argument, he hired attorneys who double as publicists, and his attorneys trumpted pesudo "victories" in a manipulative manner to the Christian Nationalist base. In short, I don't like being manipulated. This entire matter disgusts me.

What JMac does reaches across the entire world; into all our lives. That means he has a great responsibility to act appropriately. Last night, after I met with a couple whose son has gone insane and attacked them, the wife looked at me solemnly and intoned, "You see what's happening in California with John MacArthur? The Democrats are trying to ruin everything and take over the Church. The Scripture told us that persecution would come ..."

What's it like to live your life through the prism of American politics? To view over 50% of your fellow citizens as de facto "enemies" of the GOP out to destroy the Church? To casually impugn every public health official at the city, county, State and Federal level as evil? To actually file a lawsuit against some of those civil servants, who are NOT politicians, and attack their character and integrity in such a cruel way? And then, to actually believe you're being persecuted for righteousness' sake?

It makes me so sad.

As I mentioned in another thread, I feel more and more alienated and homeless (even in Church) from my fellow Christians because I am not a fan of either political party and don't view life through a prism of American politics. I fear there aren't many of us around. It makes you feel hopeless.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Jay's picture

What JMac does reaches across the entire world; into all our lives. That means he has a great responsibility to act appropriately. Last night, after I met with a couple whose son has gone insane and attacked them, the wife looked at me solemnly and intoned, "You see what's happening in California with John MacArthur? The Democrats are trying to ruin everything and take over the Church. The Scripture told us that persecution would come ..."

Had a very similar conversation with family this week, who are all aboard the "California progressives are out to illegalize Christianity and we neeed to defend our rights" train.  I explained some more of what was going on and settled their concerns but they got that spin from FOX. 

Part of this issue is that many (perhaps including myself) have put way too much support into John MacArthur as a leader, and I can't help but think a portion of this is all of the fame/popularity going to GCC's head.  As i have said elsewhere, I'm tired of the constant badgering on all sorts of non-Scriptural issues or on "the Way Things Must Be Done By Christians Or Else".

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

The government has no biblical right to redefine the church or its worship.

Think about it: Should a government be able to require five elders in a church? Or no more than ten elders? Should the government be able to mandate one song or three songs? Or no songs? Should the government forbid communion?

Where would you draw the line and how?

I don't think there's any mystery to it.

The conscience passages refer to matters about which Scripture has not clearly spoken. By your reasoning, churches that want to have women pastors because their conscience, tells them Gal 3.28 requires that, must have women pastors in order to be obedient to God.

I know some people who think abstaining from alcohol is sin for similar reasons, "conscience" driven by 1 Tim 6.17, and passages associating wine with God's gifts, gladness, etc.

Speaking in tongues... same reasoning.

Snake handling?

How far do you want to go?

I remember hearing the same reasoning in reference to not paying taxes some years go. Taxes were funding abortion and other unethical things, so Christians must not pay taxes. Never mind the clarity of Rom. 13.16.

But Rom. 13:1-5 is just as clear.

So, to answer your question, where do we draw the line on what a church should let the government tell them to do? Exactly where JMac has said to draw it for decades: at the point of contradiction. Should the state tell the church how many deacons to have? It should not. But has God told us how many to have? He has not. Obey the state. 

We have words for that kind of interference, and it's been going on for millennia. It's oppression; it's persecution; it's contrary to widely valued concepts of human rights. It's suffering. When it happens, we are called to obediently endure, while using the legal means at our disposal to change it. 

So the choices are not:

  • Comply or resist

The choices are:

  • Comply and resist
    or
  • Defy and resist

Romans 13, and the rest of the NT teaches the former. 

So you say you could go on. I wish you would.

Well, I did. 

I've been planning for weeks to write up something systematic on the topic. But I don't know yet when I'll get to it.

It's not like this hasn't come up before. This is an old topic that most (including JMac) took a position on long ago. Suddenly we have these very public departures from that teaching at a time when churches need to be encouraged to handle these things biblically.

It all begins by setting aside the politics and the culture war at looking at the situation through Christian lenses... zoomed out a couple of millennia.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Larry's picture

Moderator

Aaron,

You say that rightly that the conscience passages refer to matters about which Scripture has not clearly spoken. I don't think I would word it this way but I get the point you are making. I think this raises at least two issues.

First, it seems to me that Scripture has spoken and spoken clearly. The church is to assemble (not part of the church or part at a time). On the other hand the government has commanded the church not to assemble, or to assemble as part of the church (e.g. 25% of the capacity or 100 people). At this point, it seems to me that the church has to decide whether to obey God or man, right? Assemble as God says or don't assemble as man says? Should the government be able to forbid what God has commanded? Is assembling a matter of conscience about which God has not clearly spoken?

As another example, the church has been commanded to sing. If a church does not teach and admonish one another is psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs while singing and making melody in their hearts to the Lord, they have disobeyed, have they not? (For the sake of argument, we could grant that a church does not have to sing every time it gathers; but it cannot abandon singing without engaging in disobedience, right?).

So when a government tells a church it cannot meet or cannot sing, is this not a command to disobey God?

Second, can a believer in good conscience differ with you on where to draw the line about resisting or defying? You seem to object to MacArthur's dogmatism but I wonder if your dogmatism is much different? Can you grant any room of conscience for a sincere believer to differ about where to draw the line?

I know some people who think abstaining from alcohol is sin for similar reasons, "conscience" driven by 1 Tim 6.17, and passages associating wine with God's gifts, gladness, etc.

Speaking in tongues... same reasoning

Snake handling?

How far do you want to go?

I would like to go at least far enough to establish a similar scenario. I have never heard anyone say abstaining from these things is sin. I have heard people say that forbidding them is sin, but abstaining? Does anyone really say that we must drink wine to be obedient? Or speak in tongues? Or handle snakes?

So, to answer your question, where do we draw the line on what a church should let the government tell them to do? Exactly where JMac has said to draw it for decades: at the point of contradiction.

How is this not that point of contradiction? I am trying to understand that here.

God says meet; government says don't meet. Which should we obey?

So the choices are not:

Comply or resist

The choices are:

Comply and resist
or

Defy and resist

Romans 13, and the rest of the NT teaches the former. 

Does the NT teach the former or is there more nuance than that? When Peter and John said, "We must obey God rather than man," were they not defying and resisting? When believers around the world have met in defiance of government, were they not defying and resisting? I think you would answer "yes" to both. 

Which leads to a question about how this is different. And that is what I am searching for clarity on. How is this different than Acts 5 or any other point in church history?

Again, I am not sure where to draw the line. I am not convinced MacArthur drew it in the right place. But I am trying to hear from all sides on this to clarify my own thinking. 

It all begins by setting aside the politics and the culture war at looking at the situation through Christian lenses... zoomed out a couple of millennia.

On this, I completely agree. I often wonder if Trump wasn't president if this would be nearly the issue it is. People's attitude toward Trump (both pro and con) certainly seems to have colored the issue and that is sad. I wish churches would just stay out of politics. 

When we resumed meeting outdoors, I told our church I didn't want any social media--pictures, comments, celebrations, etc. In fact, we asked a couple of people to remove some comments. The reason was because I di not want it to be viewed as a political statement. This was about us doing what God had commanded us to do. 

Would you say we did the wrong thing by meeting?

TylerR's picture

Editor

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Kevin Miller's picture

Larry wrote:

First, it seems to me that Scripture has spoken and spoken clearly. The church is to assemble (not part of the church or part at a time). On the other hand the government has commanded the church not to assemble, or to assemble as part of the church (e.g. 25% of the capacity or 100 people).

So when 3000 people were added to the church in Jerusalem in Acts 2:41, did they have to start looking for a space to all meet together so they could be obeying the command to assemble?

Quote:
As another example, the church has been commanded to sing. If a church does not teach and admonish one another is psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs while singing and making melody in their hearts to the Lord, they have disobeyed, have they not? (For the sake of argument, we could grant that a church does not have to sing every time it gathers; but it cannot abandon singing without engaging in disobedience, right?).
In a country where churches are illegal, the Christians would obey God by meeting together secretly, but would they also have to be singing out loud in order to be obedient to God? Wouldn't the phrase "in their hearts" mean that the teaching and admonishing with songs can be done without everyone singing out loud?

Larry's picture

Moderator

So when 3000 people were added to the church in Jerusalem in Acts 2:41, did they have to start looking for a space to all meet together so they could be obeying the command to assemble?

The early church typically met in homes. The early days of the church are a time of transition and so most make a distinction between prescriptive and descriptive. In addition, the NT generally refers to a church of a city rather than individual local assemblies which may have numbered more than one in a city. We simply don't know for sure. 

In a country where churches are illegal, the Christians would obey God by meeting together secretly, but would they also have to be singing out loud in order to be obedient to God?

I believe they do, though quietly so as not to call attention to themselves.

Wouldn't the phrase "in their hearts" mean that the teaching and admonishing with songs can be done without everyone singing out loud?

No, "with your heart" or "from your heart" most likely indicates the sincerity of thankfulness, and that is "to the Lord."  And I don't know how your idea would work. How do you teach and admonish someone in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs without saying anything? 

I think at some point we have reach a point of desperation of sorts. I think churches can certainly approach this in different ways in good conscience. But I think we need to start with what the Scripture says, 

Kevin Miller's picture

Larry wrote:

So when 3000 people were added to the church in Jerusalem in Acts 2:41, did they have to start looking for a space to all meet together so they could be obeying the command to assemble?

The early church typically met in homes. The early days of the church are a time of transition and so most make a distinction between prescriptive and descriptive. In addition, the NT generally refers to a church of a city rather than individual local assemblies which may have numbered more than one in a city. We simply don't know for sure. 

In a country where churches are illegal, the Christians would obey God by meeting together secretly, but would they also have to be singing out loud in order to be obedient to God?

I believe they do, though quietly so as not to call attention to themselves.

Wouldn't the phrase "in their hearts" mean that the teaching and admonishing with songs can be done without everyone singing out loud?

No, "with your heart" or "from your heart" most likely indicates the sincerity of thankfulness, and that is "to the Lord."  And I don't know how your idea would work. How do you teach and admonish someone in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs without saying anything? 

I think at some point we have reach a point of desperation of sorts. I think churches can certainly approach this in different ways in good conscience. But I think we need to start with what the Scripture says, 

I don't think it's "a point of desperation" to realize that "what the Scripture says" is not specific enough in regards to the command to assemble to say that the entire church body has to be meeting in the same place at the same time to be assembling. As you say, the early church met in homes, which would be descriptive rather than prescriptive, so why would it be prescriptive that assembling together today has to be all in one place?

I didn't say the teaching with songs could be done "without saying anything." I said it could be done "without everyone singing out loud." As long as one person is singing it, or even reciting it, a song can be teaching and admonishing.

Larry's picture

Moderator

First, for clarification, the point of desperation comment was not about this particular conversation between you and me but about the broader conversation of the last five or six months.

Second, I think the issue is related to what it means to assemble. if one group of people meets at one place and one group of people meets at a different place is that one assembly or two assemblies? Isn't it obviously to assemblies? isn't that why there is a church at Philippi and the church at Ephesus and a church at Corinth? They were not the same assembly because they did not assemble together? I will gladly grant that we don't know exactly what the early church look like. but I don't think that changes the fundamental meaning of assembly.

Third, to the issue of singing you raise several issues. I believe the verbs are plural which means that the command cannot be fulfilled by one person singing to everybody else. It is to put it in southern speak y'all sing to each other. while special music can certainly play a part in the building up of the congregation that does not seem to be sufficient for the command nor does it seem to be the way that the church has historically understood that command. It also cannot be done by reciting something because reciting by definition isn't a Psalm, a hymn, or a spiritual song.

Back to the point of desperation comment, I would not call these arguments desperation but they certainly seem to be stretching the issues in order to accommodate. Early on Mark Dever called this a time of God's strange Providence and said we should accept it. He said we should not go making fundamental core changes in what we are doing or who we are as a church. My concern from the beginning has not been whether churches should have stopped meeting or stopped singing as a group. We did both of those things. I think it was the right thing to do. My concern from the beginning was whether or not the government has legitimate authority over the worship of the church to demand these things. I am not convinced that it does and none of the arguments that I have seen convince me of that.

Kevin Miller's picture

Larry wrote:

Second, I think the issue is related to what it means to assemble. if one group of people meets at one place and one group of people meets at a different place is that one assembly or two assemblies? Isn't it obviously to assemblies? isn't that why there is a church at Philippi and the church at Ephesus and a church at Corinth? They were not the same assembly because they did not assemble together? I will gladly grant that we don't know exactly what the early church look like. but I don't think that changes the fundamental meaning of assembly.

The reason I asked you about the church in Jerusalem was because I was wondering about your definition of "assemble" for that particular church. I re-read your answer to me regarding that, and I'm wondering if you were saying that the church in Jerusalem was technically in disobedience by meeting in homes, but that happened  during the "time of transition" in the early church, so we aren't to consider it to be allowable later. Is that right? Or is it allowable as long as you consider it "two assemblies" or "three assemblies"? I'm trying to figure out from Scripture what would be wrong with having multiple assembles taking place by a group of people that had been all meeting together previously. Does that really change the fundamental meaning of assembly? I don't see how it does, since each group is still assembling.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I'm not against discussing these secondary points, but just want to note that it's mostly not relevant to the central questions:

  • Has God commanded believers to assemble in groups larger than 250?
  • Has He commanded any church to have a membership larger than 250?
  • Has He commanded indoor worship?
  • Has He commanded worship without masks?
  • Has He commanded obedience to the powers that be?

The answer to only one of these is "yes."

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

TylerR's picture

Editor

From the order overturning the false "victory" JMac's attorneys trumpeted forth like crack to the Christian Nationalists:

At this very preliminary stage in this litigation, the County has demonstrated a likelihood that it will prevail on the merits of enforcing its July 18, 2020 Health Order. The County's Health Order is presumed to be constitutional unless its "unconstitutionality clearly, positively and unmistakably appears."

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Larry's picture

Moderator

I re-read your answer to me regarding that, and I'm wondering if you were saying that the church in Jerusalem was technically in disobedience by meeting in homes, but that happened  during the "time of transition" in the early church, so we aren't to consider it to be allowable later. Is that right? Or is it allowable as long as you consider it "two assemblies" or "three assemblies"?

No, that's not right. And if they meet in two or three homes, it's not so much that we "consider it two assemblies or three assemblies." It actually is two or three assemblies. 

I don't think the church was in disobedience at all. I think the "church at Jerusalem" could well be a number of churches referred to collectively. I think it could have been a time of transition in which the need for meetings was developing and being adjusted to. 

Neither of those is particularly helpful, so far as I can see. The question is, What is a church? By definition a church is an assembly of people (with various qualifiers I won't add here).  

I'm trying to figure out from Scripture what would be wrong with having multiple assembles taking place by a group of people that had been all meeting together previously. Does that really change the fundamental meaning of assembly? I don't see how it does, since each group is still assembling.

There is nothing wrong with having multiple assemblies taking place by a group of people that had been all meeting together previously. I think we should call it a church plant. It doesn't change the fundamental meaning of assembly. But if the two groups never assemble together, are they actually an assembly? Or are they two assemblies?

I think there is allowance for this time of present distress, so to speak. Churches can adjust as they see fit to meet the needs. If they decide to meet in different groups for spacing or for size, that is fine for each congregation to decide. My primary concern remains that government does not have the authority to mandate that. I am not convinced that, at least in our system of government, the government has the authority pass a law regarding the free exercise of religion. 

In the larger picture, I am concerned that we not adjust our ecclesiology to meet a temporary need.

Larry's picture

Moderator

Aaron, I agree that these are secondary point and mostly not relevant. It would be helpful to the furtherance of the discussion if you would give us your view on where you would draw the line. At what point as the government gone too far? At what point would you do what MacArthur (filing suit) or others (just meeting anyway) have done? What would trigger that for you.

Your questions are actually a distraction from the main issues. Focusing on a number is the wrong thing (God doesn't limit the size of a church so why should we or government?). Focusing on indoor or outdoor, masks or no masks is the wrong thing. I think you would even agree that obedience to the powers that be is not absolute. You have admitted as much, IIRC. Which is why I wonder where your line is?

Again, to try to focus in, the question is, "Who gets to decide what a church is and what a church does?"

Historically, that question has had a clear and mainly agreed upon answer, particularly in the free church tradition. And it is being answered differently now by people who, just a few months ago, would have had another answer. 

Both theologically and civically (in the US at least), it has been widely agreed by both church and state that the church gets to decide what a church is and what a church does in worship. In recent days, some (both in church and state) have thought that authority should be given at least in part to the state. Again, I am unconvinced. Which I why I am asking for you and Tyler (the two main objectors here) to outline for us your view.

Larry's picture

Moderator

Regarding the court case, here is an interesting Twitter thread quoting from the judge's order: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1295394190713470976.html

The essence appears to be this:

"ALTHOUGH THE MOVING PAPER PURPORTS TO TREAT CHURCHES THE SAME AS OTHER BUSINESSES, THAT IS CONSTITUTIONALLY WRONG. THEY'RE ENTITLED TO HEIGHTENED PROTECTION, NOT TO BE TREATED LIKE A HAIR SALON. ... IN MY VIEW, THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS ISSUE. I DO NOT BELIEVE -- I AGREE WITH YOU THAT THE GOVERNOR AND THE COUNTY HAVE NOT TREATED CHURCHES DIFFERENTLY THAN ANY OTHER BUSINESS, AND THEY HAVE TO. THEY ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO."

It will be interesting to see it play out.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

am not convinced that, at least in our
system of government, the government has the authority pass a law regarding
the free exercise of religion. 

Is it 'regarding the free exercise of religion' or regarding large indoor gatherings, regardless of religion or absence thereof?

On drawing the line, I think I answered that. I can only explain more. It's impossible to list every possible scenario, which is why the NT doesn't attempt to do that. So you draw the line everywhere and only where the government orders something you can't obey without disobeying God.

But also sue, whenever government commands are unconstitutional.

A few of the things God has not commanded churches to do:

  • Meet in large numbers
  • Meet inside buildings
  • Pass an offering plate
  • Employ only full time pastors
  • Use hymnals
  • Print bulletins
  • Have nurseries for little ones
  • Have Sunday School
  • Have carpet
  • Shake hands
  • Have paved parking lots
  • Have parking lots at all
  • Have potlucks
  • Have picnics
  • Have youth groups

Well, it's a long list.

It would be unconstitutional for states or federal gov to ban any of these things... Most likely. But we could comply with all of that without disobeying God.

... and also sue. 

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Don Johnson's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

  • Shake hands

If only someone could ban the shaking of hands in the middle of the church services, I for one would think the corona crisis *might* have been worth it after all.

 

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

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