Governments Closing Churches
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Two definitions set the foundation for understanding Government Terrorism.
Terrorism Defined. A popular dictionary defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.” Oxford Dictionary.
First Amendment. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. United States Constitution, Amendment One.
Governments across the United States of America have been mandating the closure of churches. They do so for political aims. In the name of public health and safety, governments mandate the closure of churches and contravene the fundamental constitutional rights of people, including (1) the establishment and free exercise of religion; and (2) to assemble together freely as they have done for thousands of years in the churches of their choice, despite government oppression. By mandating the closure of churches, the political aims of the governments become clear: they seek to silence the proclamation of the Lord Jesus Christ as the only Savior of all people and the gathering of His flock for prayer, fellowship, and study of God’s word. By closing churches, the government obstructs the work of God, the inevitable result of the forced closure of churches. Many governments mandate the closure of churches and businesses while schools remain open, showing their political bias and aims. They select churches for disparate treatment. The government has coined a new term, “lock-down,” to describe the most heavy-handed tactic which cannot pass constitutional muster under any strict-scrutiny constitutional analysis of the closure of churches. Governments have been trying to “lock-down” Christians since the birth of the church in the New Testament. The governments threatened violent arrests and intimidate the saints with criminal penalties for violating “lock-down” mandates regarding the churches.
The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America guarantees basic freedoms from government intrusion, including the freedom from (1) government mandates regarding the establishment of religion and the free exercise thereof; and (2) mandates against the right to assemble in churches in obedience to the commands of God. While governments hold a position of authority granted to them by God for the proper administration of physical law and order, they abuse that authority when they seek to override the commands of God. When God created the church in the New Testament, He vested sole spiritual authority over the church in the local church leadership which looks to the Bible to find and implement God’s will. When governments usurp the power of the local church leadership regarding matters of faith and spiritual practice, they oppose the will of God.
When governments place political aims above the will of God as expressed in the Bible, and governments use violence and intimidation to enforce those political aims, governments act unlawfully because the First Amendment to the Constitution (an expression of federal law second only in rank to treaties) guarantees freedom from exactly that kind of wicked interference. In short, those governments engage in terrorism.
When governments close churches under threat of arrest for gathering in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, as He commanded them to do, governments usurp the authority of God vested in the local leadership of the church. In short, those governments engage in terrorism.
Local church leadership must decide all matters related to the spiritual activity of the local church, including matters of public health and safety as they impinge upon the spiritual activities of the church. When governments appointed by God seek to exercise their authority against churches, they stand in conflict with the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ for His people to gather in His Name and not forsake the assembling of themselves together. In short, those governments engage in terrorism.
When the saints of God support the closure of churches by the government purportedly acting on concerns for public health and safety, but actually pushing political aims using unlawful means, the saints disobey God and the clear teachings of the New Testament. In short, those saints support government terrorism.
While God commands submission to every government established by God, that submission ends the moment the government opposes the will of God as provided in the Bible. Private interpretations of the Bible can never supplant the clear teaching of the Bible. The government will never be the best interpreter of the Bible. God established New Testament offices in the church, expressed in each local assembly, to make all decisions regarding faith and practice in spiritual matters.
Jesus preached peace and obedience to government officials. He also gave His life when the government put Him to death by crucifixion. Jesus purchased our salvation by grace through faith. He urged everyone to turn to Him as the only Risen Savior by receiving His free gift of salvation by faith alone.
When religious authorities with government backing commanded the apostles to stop preaching Christ, they responded with these words: “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” When governments engage in terrorism by imposing mandates to close churches and so seek to stifle saints speaking about Jesus and what they have seen and heard, then the wrath of God abides upon those governments. We are not called to violence, but to faith in Jesus Christ and His love for all the world. May all Americans rise up using peaceful and lawful means to change every government that sponsors terrorism against the local churches and the family of God.
When it comes to church services, local assemblies must make decisions regarding masks, vaccines, and all public health matters, not human governments. Local assemblies must make those public health decisions, taking into account sound science, but not the whims of the government. Our federal government has lied to people repeatedly through its various mouthpieces regarding best health practices to protect people from the latest virus. The reputations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health lie in tatters because of their role in promoting government propaganda, not science. Governments have sought to silence credible scientists who oppose the governments’ stilted views of pandemic science and the best health practices during the pandemic. God never intended for any human government to make spiritual decisions regarding the faith and spiritual practice of the saints. God makes His wisdom available to the local assemblies to sift through the science and make decisions about church services.
May the saints pray as God directed: “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” Amen.