WuFlu puts Jesus in intensive care
By Michael R. Shannon
The most remarkable impact the Flu Manchu has on America is the sight of pastors waiting, like dogs anticipating a treat, until Caesar gives them permission to start rendering unto God.
You couldn’t have convinced me in March that Baptist preachers would cancel Easter Services. Easter is the central pivot of Christianity. Without the Resurrection, Christianity is pointless. As Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 15:14, “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.” The birth of Christ (Christmas) is only important because of Easter.
And Christian shepherds surrendered without so much as a whimper.
The 1st Amendment clearly states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” It’s as plain as day. Equally plain, “prohibiting the free exercise” is exactly what happened.
Call it a tale of two prohibitions.
When alcohol Prohibition began in 1920 a nationwide movement quickly started to manufacture and consume forbidden booze in spite of legal consequences for both buyer and seller.
In 2020 when the China Flu Church Prohibition began, pastors meekly submitted, along with their parishioners, in fear of the unconstitutional legal consequences.
Preachers were lambs when facing the secular authorities, but lions when facing criticism for doing nothing. Believers can’t possibly expect senior pastors to risk arrest or a negative news story just to hold worship services!
The situation is equivalent to the occasional media complaints from harried medical workers as they fight the Kung Flu. Sure, it’s tough, but isn’t this what they signed up for? The chance to make a difference in a real health emergency?
Or was their commitment only broken wrists and sprained ankles?
Christ died on the cross. Today His worship is prohibited and pastors in general haven’t even been willing to risk getting a visit from the Flustapo, much less make a personal sacrifice. Defender of the Faith evidently doesn’t include risking the wrath of the bureaucracy.
JustTheNews has covered Christian leaders who aren’t ready to rely on God for protection just yet, but might be willing to file a lawsuit. In Maine Calvary Chapel has gone to federal court. They hope to reopen for Mother’s Day — a Hallmark Holiday not found in the Bible — but missed Easter entirely.
Two Kansas churches got a judge’s permission to gather together. In California, Church United relied on a law firm to host a petition. Michigan churches are suing power-mad Gov. Greta — excuse me — Gretchen Whitmer. And Breitbart found 260 Massachusetts pastors ready to get tough. They sent a letter to the governor begging him to “recognize churches as ‘essential.’”
Why you can almost hear the skin being twisted as they wring their hands.
It’s simultaneously laughable and pathetic. This is what Christians get when they hire pastors based on compassion and not fire. The lawsuits may make the deacons who are also lawyers happy but it undermines the status of the church.
Lawsuits are defensive, deferential and submissive. Even when the church wins the suit — after months of empty pews — the victory still allows government to set the conditions for worship.
Christ is either King or He’s just another activist with an opinion.
Worship does set an example. Not worshiping shows the world church is secondary to secular control. Continuing to worship shows Christ is still in control of the believer’s world.
Some pastors know this.
In Chicago, Metro Praise International knows the stakes and has been demonstrating “passive resistance” to the state. The pastor doesn’t plan to sue, he plans to preach. GraceBuilt Church in Waynesboro, VA is finally defying Gov. Blackface Northam.
And Louisiana pastor Tony Spell preached last week with an ankle monitor on as he defied a judge’s order to stay home and stay silent.
That is what should’ve been done all along. Worship first then, if necessary, the courts to get the pastor and the parishioners out of jail.
Hold services with social distancing, sanitizer in the baptismal and individual Communion packets. Urge seniors and the vulnerable to stay home. Hold plenty of services each Sunday so everyone who wants to attend can social distance their way inside. For those that can’t, the staff can visit them personally and pray through the storm door during the week.
The important point is to demonstrate you believe Christ is important enough to worship regardless of Caesar.
Sure, some churches will flaunt the WuFlu rules — we’ll call them snake–handlers — but those congregations were probably dangerous before the epidemic.
Anything is better than what Believers have now. The Great Pandemic Panic is the biggest victory for the secular, Christianity–hostile left in decades. A victory facilitated by docile, fearful, spiritually–lacking pastors who sat passively while the powers and principalities that rule this earth convinced Christians that God and worship were non–essential.
Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He is a dynamic and entertaining keynote speaker. He can be reached at mandate.mmpr (at) gmail.com. He is also the author of Conservative Christian's Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!).