The EV-19 panic of 2020 has forced many Christian people to stay away from their regular worship of God at church on Sunday and on Wednesday evenings.
They are told by officials that they cannot gather at their places of worship. Without comment and with quiet obedience, they have agreed to stay home and to abandon their long custom. Gone are sermons in person, the sacraments, prayer with voices raised together, singing united, and being together in network, community and church family.
“Our recent executive orders related to the coronavirus strictly prohibit large gatherings of any kind, and this, unfortunately, includes worship services,” says Mayor Andy Berke. “This is another deeply sad decision.”
The God taught in most churches in Chattanooga and Hamilton County is one who is weak, who does not impose himself on his children, who does not know how many children he has, who does not claim nations, who does not insist on nations’ bowing the knee to him, who does not care about courts, justice, public righteousness, limits on authority, punishment, economic systems, tariffs, universities, philosophy, economics, medicine, welfare, agriculture, capitalization or industry.
And so, is it possible to consider that elimination of nearly 100 percent of these bodies at work on their essential day is no loss to Christian civilization to the kingdom of God as manifest among His people on the earth in this country?
If you read Deuteronomy 28 or Leviticus 26 for pictures of God’s sanctions and blessings, it is clear that the CV-19 panic — and the underlying strain of flu — is a judgment.
Today ministers in empty sanctuaries utter prayers and create services for viewing two days later. Members and visitors with Internet connections bow their heads in unison at home to listen and pray along with him. The online services are a simulacrum of a uniting of the people of God on their traditional (and for many, obligatory) day. They satisfy many, and are tolerated as a necessity under conditions said to be a pandemic.
On Good Friday my wife, Jeannette, and I tuned in to a recorded service of our church, and I became so emotional about what was being said about my fallen state and my rescue in the Lord Jesus that I had to leave her for another room — I went to my office and took solace in working on a post for the website.
“I know many of you will miss being with your church family this weekend and I hate asking you to forgo in-person worship and a lot of other beloved Easter traditions this year,” Mayor Berke says. “Your health and safety matters more to me than anything else right now, though, and I know that this sentiment is shared by every minister, priest, and faith leader in our community.”
Is it possible that God — who is offended at the killing of 60 million babies since June 1973 and the shifting of the economic base of the United States to fiat money and to rejection of God’s laws on welfare and justice — is putting Americans under judgements of their own choosing, their own preference?
By my opinion as a lifelong newspaper and radio journalist, I would say that, yes, God’s people in this country are under a judgment in every area in which they have dismissed his authority. The Bible teaches that God operates covenantally, and we Americans are in a covenant as Americans with God — and He is judging us together, the wheat and the tares.
God’s claims don’t matter
The country is under judgment in every area in which is people have said, God’s claims don’t matter.
This church has closed shop at the words of its master, the state, and its participants are happy to hear sermons online, which is something they could have done prior to CV 19’s arrival and which they might continue to do later with no ill to the churchly status quo.
The preachers who are now preaching online have up until now said nothing about God’s claim on the body and whether vaccines are good, said nothing about paper money and whether gold and silver are lawful mediums of exchange as opposed to debt money.
They have said nothing about whether public school is godless or godly, have said nothing about whether national debt is a blessing or a curse, have said nothing about wars of aggression, have said nothing about the claims of executive government upon the people and where exactly government comes from.
They have said nothing about the misuse of police such as that outlined on this website, have said nothing about whether city council can ban the use of private homes as Chattanooga city council has, have said nothing in defense of private property, have said nothing about whether welfare should be based on the individual and goodwill and the willingness to work, have said nothing about whether national government is better than local, have said nothing about whether agriculture should respect the land or stripmine it, have said little about queer theory’s claims in law or about the doctrine of interposition.
They have said nothing about the evil of abortion, the killing of the unborn child, have said nothing about how governments are ideally organized and whether they should have executive branches and legislative branches, have said nothing about the ideas of progress and whether or not God ordains progress, and said nothing about the claims of the Lord Jesus Christ not just upon individuals but upon nations.
No support for racial reconciliation
They have given no support to efforts to stop cash bail in Hamilton County, to end traffic stops against minorities, to oppose neglect of the mens rea requirement in Tennessee law that reflects a biblical ethos, have not objected to Silverdale or the department of corrections and their carceral purposes. They have said nothing about the need to abolish police in the interest of righteousness and justice. They stood by for 20 years while a few Christians fought Chattanooga Women’s Clinic, which was finally put out of business in U.S. bankruptcy court.
They have said nothing in Chattanooga about my racial reconciliation and racial reparations project of T-TAN, Tennessee transportation Administrative Notice, aiming to end Jim Crow racism and police lawlessness in the name of God and of Christian and constitutionally guaranteed liberty.
Not even black ministers care about this boots-on-the-ground project that I claim has shifted the legal landscape in four local jurisdictions enough to halt traffic stops of blacks and the poor. Their theology dictates inaction, though their skin color affinity might otherwise propel them to action.
Given that these pulpits have said nothing about what God clearly cares about throughout the Word, they have not equipped their members. They have not equipped these Christians to know how to be useful and active and self-governing.
So maybe there’s no loss in their being shut down.
They are irrelevant, have little to offer, are salt that has lost its savor to be trampled underfoot of man. They have no solutions to national crises and national judgment.