Friday, April 10, 2020

TYRANNY: Mississippi police raid DRIVE-IN church services, issue $500 fines

As America grapples with how to handle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, government officials and jurisdictions have shut down practically everything in society, questionably suspending unalienable natural rights and self-evident truths recognized by America's founding documents.

The founding fathers would be rolling in their graves at the atrocious assaults on liberty going on today, chief of which is the all-out attack on religious freedom.

In a show of absolute government tyranny, the police in Greenville, Mississippi, raided two different Baptist churches that were holding drive-in service transmitted via FM radio in their church parking lot, issuing $500 citations to those in attendance at one church.

This makes my blood boil.

On April 7th, Greenville mayor Errick Simmons and the Greenville City Council issued an unconstitutional order targeting the specific shutdown of churches in regards to the use of their buildings and parking lots for in-person or drive-in services.

The tyrannical order stated "Churches are strongly encouraged to hold services via Facebook Live, Zoom, Free Conference Call, and any and all other social media, streaming, and telephonic platforms," which is an unconstitutional requirement above and beyond the free exercise clause of the United States Constitution as it specifically relates to religious liberties. Aside from that huge issue, it is an imposition on churches to practice their religion in ways that may be beyond their technical abilities. Government has absolutely no right or business in telling any church how they can hold their services.

This is absolute tyranny. Our forefathers left an entire continent and started a new nation in large part because of this.

This over and covert assault on religious liberty and churches in particular is going on all across the country under the thin guise of combatting a virus.

Relevant articles to read:

For liberty to be preserved, tyranny must be defied. While Christians are called to live peaceably with all men (Rom. 12:18), to be subject unto the higher powers (Rom. 13:1), the authories to which we are under are supposed to uphold the highest authority in the land, the U.S. Constitution. When they violate that authority, which recognizes natural, God-given rights that are superior to the written law, we are not bound to defer to those violations.

We are also told in Scripture that We ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29), and to Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's (Mark 12:17). Worship is an act that we owe to God alone, and the very word 'church' (ekklesia) means a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place; an assembly... in the Christian sense, a. an assembly of Christians gathered for worship (Thayer's Greek Lexicon). 

Biblically speaking, the gathered assembly of believers is necessary for the Christian life, from practicing the ordinances (Baptism and the Lord's Supper) and the "one another's" of Christian fellowship. While there may be times when corporate worship is providentially hindered (for example, illness, disaster, etcetera), believers should make every effort to maintain corporate fellowship and worship.

Government order is no excuse for refusing to maintain Christian life, of which the ekklesia is the greatest corporate manifestation. Cancel your service for the pandemic and to preserve the health of your congregation, but never cancel simply because the government told you to, and never leave the church building vacant on regularly scheduled service times:

Here's something my pastor said last Sunday on why churches should always have someone present at regularly scheduled service times: on several occassions, he has encounted suicidal individuals searching for help. God forbid that nobody be there to help them in their hour of need:

On a sad side note, according to LifeWay Research, 3% of Protestant pastors say they will have an in-person gathering no matter what during this time. The record will show that it was not outright persecution that shut the Church down in America.


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