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Apparently the Church is NOT Essential in Our Society

Tonight, despite the threat of arresting the organizers, the revival at Huntington Beach continues at a beach to be named later. The government tried to shut it down last week and an estimated 1800 met out on the beach anyway. Most of us probably agree that we should do everything we can to stop…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Tonight, despite the threat of arresting the organizers, the revival at Huntington Beach continues at a beach to be named later. The government tried to shut it down last week and an estimated 1800 met out on the beach anyway.

Most of us probably agree that we should do everything we can to stop the virus from spreading. And we probably also agree that we should have a conversation about how that is best done. As a church, let’s have the conversation.

One issue I raised in my last post is, “At what point when a given government attempts to shut down a church does it resist?”

The early church grew as the authorities attempted to shut it down. The church in China similarly has grown in the face of persecution.

Another question the American Church needs to ask is, “Given the fact that many churches have been ordered to close their doors, does anybody miss them?” What difference does your church make in your community? Shouldn’t we be an essential service provider?

In our town of Gainesville, GA, churches representing multiple racial background got together to pray. We met in a parking lot. We repented, prayed for healing and prayed for revival. What if God was ready to use us to answer those prayers?

Uche Izuora shared this perspective:

Recently, the Church got a dirty slap in the face from the world. The world was in chaos and confusion and needed to redefine its essential service providers for humanity. Sadly, the Church did not make the list! The Church was excluded, globally, shut down, and made to seem useless. But did we get the message?

What are we missing and what or who is missing us? If this pandemic continues for another one or two years (and it could), when do we defy the government? Then or now? Shouldn’t our “voice” be heard in the demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit? If we defy the orders and miracles breakout and grace our gatherings, wouldn’t that be good proof?

What would need to change for you and your church to become essential in your community?

Comments (18)

  • I also saw that video of the pastor in Tennessee. I’ve heard him say that from the beginning his church has gathered and they do not wear a mask. I agree with some of the things he saying also. Thank you Sandy for sharing your comments.

  • What does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul? What risk is worth taking so that the breath of God could revive our souls or perhaps even save our soul from hell?

  • As I was wrestling with sleep last night I Came Upon a video of a pastor who is vehemently against churches shutting down. His church in Tennessee has never stopped since the beginning of this. He proceeded to tell the story of how he goes to Dunkin Donuts on a daily basis no matter where he is town city or state and how he was refused because he didn’t have a mask on. The manager came up to him and said it was just mandated today. He confronted the manager and said you have signs on the front of your door so I know you’re not telling the truth because this was before today and I’ve been coming in here every day for days. The manager gave him a hard time and as he walked out with his coffee he used his foot to get out the door. Both hands were full. He was accused of attempting to kick the glass. I don’t know anything about this pastor. I’m merely making a statement here. After watching this and seeing how frustrated this pastor was and post this video from his car, I have lots of thoughts and feelings about our churches. One, we are the church. Whoever said we are a building? Jesus never said that. He referred to the church as a body with many parts that cannot function properly without one another. I think about a song by Casting Crowns saying if we are the body why aren’t our eyes seeing? Why aren’t our ears hearing? My heart is definitely grieved over this topic. Yet Jesus said these days would come and we should not be surprised. Even in James he said do not be surprised about the fiery trial that comes upon you. He told us to Rejoice. This man in his car was clearly not rejoicing. None of us are perfect or have arrived. When we are pressed on every side I guess stuff comes out that may not look so good. Lots of people posted on his live Facebook feed that he did from his car obscenities that you would not even want me to say. They mocked him and said how could he be a pastor and say such things. It wasn’t really Pleasant to watch or to read the comments. Yet I have to agree with a lot of what he said. We have to comply to a certain degree but are we supposed to wear a mask walking down the street? Our cities are saying we have to. Are we not allowed to meet anywhere? Are we to do a headcount and send the rest home? He is the vine Jesus, and we are the branches. How do the branches survive if they’re not attached to the Vine? Have you ever seen an eye or an arm walking around by itself? I think staying silent and doing nothing does not represent our God. He is not a passive God. He does not sit on the bench waiting to go up to bat. And nor should we. This is a very serious topic we must discuss, pray about, meet and talk about, and hopefully be proactive. The church was never meant to be split into little pieces all hiding behind doors afraid of the government. Doesn’t the Bible say the righteous are bold as a lion but the wicked run when no one is pursuing them???????

  • I love the passion and your engagement, Sandy. These are the kinds of questions and examples that we need to share. Thank you.

  • Seth, I sent this to quite a few people. Hoping it will stir up those spiritual proactive moves within our hearts.

  • To be very frank, a lot of people in the church haven’t considered it essential either. Got to look in the doors first.

  • Thanks Cesar. I had some reservations. He wasn’t requiring or making mandatory to wear masks. I like that. I thought he was pretty passionate about his beliefs and convictions. I had no problem with that. A lot of people seem to be very offended by him. Definitely a good topic for discussion. All six feet apart wearing masks right?

  • Excellent point you just made. I agree with you John. We’re living in a somewhat passive stage. Me included. I certainly have not went out and spoke up a whole lot about this.

  • I think this is part of the conversation over what is an acceptable risk to take during this pandemic. Risk is tied directly to social gatherings which is the absolute riskiest behavior for this specific threat, and the risk involves people who are not part of the decision making process. That is why we all have to work together as an entire country to decide our mitigation strategy. I do think it’s a shame that the revival meetings were cancelled, but hopefully the lesson learned is to enforce the wearing of masks, not to pit ourselves against the local authorities. The church is not necessarily dependent on mass gatherings. There are many places in the world this is not prudent and yet the Gospel continues to spread and bear fruit.

  • The church is NOT a drywall box with 200+ people inside. The early church met in small gatherings inside homes. Don’t conflate following science to minimize large gatherings for the health and welfare of everyone we’re supposed to live and care for with “censoring” church. The REAL church adapts and finds other means. The REAL church goes out into the street and heals people, feeds people, and prays for people. Meeting in defiance, not wearing masks, or complaining church is being “censored” is political theater clothed in false religious indignation.

  • Why does the restriction of large gatherings equal the church being stifled? Churches continue to have services online, small groups can continue to meet, members can continue to give tithes and offerings, and the church can still help their community. Yes fellowship is a beautiful thing but that can still be done safely within guidelines. The church can still help out the people in need even if they aren’t meeting in a building on Sunday. At times it feels more like people want to be seen going to church so they can look like good christians and do nothing when no body is looking.

    Yes I can’t wait for the day I can be back in my church building and see familiar faces but until that time we can still praise and pray and do all the things we did before. The o my limitation is doing it in groups of less than 10.

  • This is just false. Indoor church gatherings have been limited, but churches have not been shut down. No one is persecuting Christians. Churches are getting creative by having virtual gatherings, parking lot services in cars or spread out with masks, and following mandates that they know will be life saving. You make it seem like church is nothing more than a corporate gathering. The church is still being the church by taking care of each other and their communities in the 1000 ways that the body of Christ loves their neighbors.
    You are doing nothing but feeding into Saturate’s leaders’ idea that they are somehow the victims in this, when in fact they could easily continue spreading the gospel while also loving their neighbors and protecting their communities (by wearing masks themselves, requiring and providing masks for participants, doing this in smaller groups, and not encouraging people to fly across the country for their events).

  • Seth I think I hear the point that you are trying to make. I hope that in all of the tension and frustration people seek out Gods voice and look for how they can impact the world that is right in front of them

  • What Uche said was beautiful. I do wonder, though, if we are limiting God’s power by claiming the church is being persecuted in America. There are places where church is still happening the “normal” way; but other places they are slowly easing back into it. If it were indeed a persecution issue, church wouldn’t be streamed online; podcasts, prayer zooms, etc. would have been shut down. Our generations haven’t faced a pandemic like this, but is the church going about it wrong? Shouldn’t we be using this time emulate the heart of Jesus? Loving our neighbors, providing meals for frontline workers, standing outside hospitals (in the appropriate way for that area) and praying for healing over those there, reaching out to our communities and seeing how the church can help those who are losing their jobs, homes, etc. If we truly think that this is about persecuting the church….maybe we should spend more time in places like Iraq, China, Malaysia (where we had to secretly hold church in the jungle or else we could be arrested), etc. The voice of God is not silenced, the voices of his people are not silenced, and his miracles are always available. As believers, we carry the church with us in our everyday lives. It’s in the way we treat others, our prayers, our worship, and our love. It never was meant to be just in a building or a once a week gathering.

  • Broth Seth,
    it looks like the entire world has been blinded! The lord warns us abot the “Anti-Christ” His actions would be blood shed! I did not see any one comment about those who have already died in the name of the virus! We’re having aery limited time or else the situation will sweep the world by surprise! The world to organize all leaders against Laws of God, has been their great mission! They established false Bibles, false doctrines, false churches and they legalized them. Here in Africa, even Traditional shrines have been licensed! There is a lot of dinning on a round table with faith based groups to agree on fellowship standard, despite the fact that the conditions are not based on the foundation of the Bible. Yes, churches have been locked down, but soon financials will be, property will be until certain conditions are met although they will defy God’s holly principles!

    Because this is spiritual and was prophesied, it must be fulfilled! The will persecute both Young and old, Rich and poor, slave and master, etc.

    What should we do next, revise the scripture fully well by our selves or we ight have been decieved by our said churches or pastors, we might have fallen shot of God’s Glory, and God is waiting we can make a turnout! The Bible is saying, “fallen, fallen is Babylon the great which made all nations drunk of its wine! Rev. 18:1-4, Then Revelaton 18 :4-7 God is calling out “Get out of her y people, do not be partakers of her sins!
    These instructions have always been a problem to many preachers, some saying ” they are laws of the Jews, Judasm, and some saying they do not concern our days! God is calling out! Examine what your church as been doing per the scriptures, then if you find anything wrong, correct it right away and do not sin any more! Churches of today taught people to eat up forbidden things, snakes, Pork, etc and they formed a slf righteousness! Isiah wrned that this kind of peopl God wiould destry them by fire See Isiah 66:15-18

    God is calling you and I, not to get back any church group unless you are sure they are in line with the Doctrine of Jesus Christ 3John 1;9

    Am happy that what broth Seth is saying is just at the doorsteps!
    God bless you all!

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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