As pastors such as John MacArthur and Jack Hibbs defy government orders and open their churches, the response from Christians on social media has been mixed.
While many champion the pastors brave enough to take on authorities and open their churches, despite threats of arrest, others have used social media to speak out, stating they are disobeying the laws of the land, which goes against Bible teaching.
To back track a little, John MacArthur, of Grace Community Church, recently posted a video informing his congregation that his church intends to defy California Governor Gavin Newsom’s orders. He faces arrest in doing so.
“The elder statement that we put on our website is still our doctrinal position,” he said this week. “Nothing has changed. We will obey God rather than men. We will be faithful to God, not men.
“Whatever happens he will allow to happen, but we do not bow to Caesar. Caesar is not our king. The lord Jesus Christ is our King.
“That means we will continue to gather as a church. That is not going to stop. I don’t know what type of constraints will be put upon us, but we will continue to be here.”
The government threats are real. Florida pastor Rodney Howard Browne was arrested in late March for defying state orders and running a live service.
In speaking to my boss just today, he mentioned he was talking to a pastor friend of his who said that you’re a hero if you smuggle Bibles into places like China – meanwhile, breaking the law – while you’re criticized if you stand behind the First Amendment Rights and open your church.
I immediately thought that there was an article on this for us all to ponder. How do we Christians celebrate those breaking the law, including Chinese Christians meeting in secret and bible smugglers, who are jailed if caught, while holding judgment against Pastor MacArthur and co? Are they too not heroes of the faith, fighting a western world style of persecution, especially when the First Amendment, in their eyes, validates their decision?
One thing is for sure: no matter who is right and who is wrong in this scenario, people seem to be so quick to pass judgment, especially on social media.