By Lori York, DVM
WHY DID OUR CHURCHES CLOSE DURING THE PANDEMIC?
I remember that horrible sick feeling I had when our Governor gave that order to shut everything down. Oh No. Shut down EVERYTHING? Oh no, not the ESSENTIAL places, like WalMart and the the hardware stores. Thank goodness, we could still buy groceries and make repairs! BUT, wait for it, liquor stores and marijuana stores are also essential. AND the CHURCHES aren’t?
Of course, we were all scared. In the beginning we didn’t know anything about COVID. I didn’t know anyone who had contracted COVID yet. But what are Christians supposed to do when they are afraid? Trust God and Pray.
“Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9
It’s good to be sensible. But then the crazy and ridiculous rules started:
1. Wear a mask, any kind of mask, at all times, even when alone and outside. ( There are now MANY studies that show that masks are useless against a virus, a column coming soon)
2. Stay 6 feet apart from everyone. (They have now admitted that they just made this up)
3. Wipe down everything that you touch. (Although there was no proof that the virus remained on hard surfaces)
4. Wash your hands. (OK, this one made sense, but, boy, did my skin on my hands get dry)
Then people started dying of COVID. DESPITE THE LOCKDOWNS. And the people were dying ALL ALONE, unable to be with family. DISGRACEFUL.
When businesses and churches were ALLOWED to reopen, there were so many rules it was like someone was making them up just to aggravate us. My favorite was “Wear a mask when you walk through a restaurant, but you can take it off when you sit down” WHAT??? Does the virus only live at a height of 4 to 7 feet?
Where were the Christians in all this madness? Where was our Faith? Who did we believe in, our Almighty God of the Bible , or our government? “Follow Romans 13” they said. I didn’t understand it. Neither did several churches in California that stayed open despite attacks and government threats. And they flourished. Calvary Chapel of Chino Hills was one of them and I just heard an interview with their Pastor Jack Hibbs with Kirk Cameron on TBN. And Pastor Hibbs made the best argument for not closing the church doors. Here are some excerpts from that interview:
Pastor Hibbs:, “Other pastors said that it was better to obey the government rather than God….But this was an issue that transcended what is called “good. But Romans 13 says the powers that have been installed by God as authorities are there for GOOD. When a government such as ours in California says we are not going to address the church… the churches are nothing, go and sit in the corner and we will call you later….I was reading my Bible and it jumped off the page. Jesus said in Revelation to the church in Philadelphia "Behold I have set before you an open door that no man can shut”. And then I knew what I had to do. No man has the authority to shut the doors of the church that Jesus bought with His Blood. He owns and operates it.” Some political leaders in that community actually thanked Calvary Chapel for staying open. It stabilized the community during this difficult time,
Pastor Hibbs also said: “This is the hour of the Church and from this moment on,… every challenge will come for an opportunity for the church to be THE CHURCH. We cannot let the WORLD, even if it means well, to violate the Scriptures…we are a transcendent organism created by God that’s called the Church and we are to help our Community. We are here to pray for the sick. We are here to teach the Word of God.”
He noted that the church did not close during the bubonic plague or the cholera epidemic, they rose to the occasion.
You can watch the full interview on You Tube. Kirk Cameron and Jack Hibbs “Having a Biblical Worldview”
Our government LIED to us, and it is still LYING. Our present government is EVIL. Where is the church in this country that is just watching this EVIL take over?
I then read another statement that really called out the church and told the TRUTH. It was a letter recently written by Archbishop Vigano. Archbishop Vigano was the Vatican Ambassador to the United States from 2011-2016, and he became a rather rogue Catholic with strong conservative views, exposing financial corruption and abuse of power in the Vatican. His letters make very powerful statements.
In his most recent letter dated February 16, 2023 he stated:
“…For too long citizens and faithful have passively suffered the decisions of their political and religious leaders in the face of the evidence of their betrayal. Respect for authority is based on the recognition of a “theological” fact, that is, of the Lordship of Jesus Christ over individuals, nations, and the Church. If those in authority in the State and Church act against the citizens and the faithful, their power is usurped and their authority null and void. Let us not forget that rulers are not the owners of the State and the masters of the citizens, just as the Pope and the Bishops are not the owners of the Church and the masters of the faithful. If they do not want to be like fathers to us; if they do not want our good and indeed do everything to corrupt us in body and spirit, it is time to drive them out of their positions and call them to account for their betrayal, their crimes, and their scandalous lies.”
The link to the full letter can be found on The Gateway Pundit “Archbishop Vigano responds to Tucker Carlson” Feb. 18, 2023.
Dear Father God, give our church leaders and pastors the courage to stand boldly for Your Truth, and against the EVIL that is now so evident in this world. Open the hearts and minds of Christians to realize that “loving your neighbor” may mean “telling them the truth”. Now is not the time for just “turning the other cheek”, but it is the time for “turning over tables” Amen.