“Christ is risen! Truly, He is risen! Alleluia!”
Today, faithful Christians in America are being tried and tested more than they ever have been in recent years, even the past century, as we prepare to worship God at this most holy season that commemorates Passover, the Last Supper and the Resurrection on Easter Day. Many troubling earthly matters have made life difficult for millions of our countrymen and people across the globe, as difficult as any time many have seen in this lifetime, and as one may think on the influence, or lack thereof, of the Spirit of God in our daily lives, one must wonder that we are not more concerned and anxious in preparing ourselves and our families for the events and inherent government evils currently lurking at our doors; for although this world is temporary, not one jot or tittle of the Lord will go unfulfilled.
With that said, every single Christian man, woman and child and every hungry questioning and inquiring soul seeking comfort and solace should be in attendance in Church this Easter Sunday, despite any and all “orders” and “mandates” handed down, after a grim cavalcade of data sheets, bad and false information and “experts” seemingly enabled the reins of power to be snatched from the executive, during this so-called “crisis”.
We call ourselves “the Faithful” and Christianity “the Faith”. Isn’t now the best time to exhibit some of that faith we are always holding up for the non-believers to see?
Are we so afraid of this virus, that we will actually comply with government orders and allow our right to assemble to be suppressed and essentially removed, based on an arbitrary whim of a politician? Can we not at the very least gather and hold hands in front of the Church altar for the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who came to earth and shed His blood in sacrifice, so that we might all be redeemed of our sins and receive salvation? You can always wash Your hands before and after.
Everybody certainly is free to worship as they see fit; however, don’t say you are “faithful” if you are living in such fear of death that you cannot or will not even walk through the Church doors to worship the God you say you love, or you, the pastors and priests, cannot stand before your congregations and deliver your Easter sermon in person over fear of the virus or fear of what the government response may be.
Is it so easy to turn your back on Your faith?
Recall that Jesus first received and endured a public flogging before his crucifixion. The Roman centurions flogged Jesus repeatedly with whips made of leather, jagged pieces of bone and iron balls, heavily bruising and lacerating His flesh, as they tore into his underlying muscles and cut Him into a horrific mass of bleeding flesh, so terrible to see for anyone with any compassion and a trace of love for their fellow man and all humanity.
As Isaiah 52:14 in the King James Bible recorded for posterity: “As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men”. Basically this tells us Jesus was so disfigured that the people were astonished, because one could barely recognize a person was underneath all the visible brutality and blood.
Following His Resurrection, Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene, as we know from many accounts such as Mark 16:9-10: “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.” But, He also remained on earth for the next forty days speaking to His followers, and there are no less than ten infallible proofs of His Resurrection offered in Scripture; Scripture also records that He ascended into Heaven, from Mount Olivet near Jerusalem, flanked by two angels as his Apostles stood by and witnessed it all.
We Christians understand the fellowship necessary in the Church to keep it alive and flourishing, and we train and teach our children in our ways, until the day they are baptized and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, which brings me joy as I recall my own grandchildren’s baptisms, in the Church and, when the weather permitted, outside in Drake’s Creek, with the frogs and snakes and all. We are baptized, we die and we rise with Christ.
And yet, the authorities would have us turn our backs on the One True God and our faith, without so much as a nod towards our right to freely assemble and worship, as we see fit. As reported by OneNewsNow on April 3rd, Mayor Bill DeBlasio has threatened to close the Church down permanently if they refuse to abide and comply with his orders to close their doors: “[The police will] inform [church leaders] that they need to stop the services and disperse. If that does not happen, they will take additional action up to the point of fines and closing the building permanently.”
Attorney Brad Dacus, fellow at the Pacific Institute, declared: There is absolutely no authority for the mayor [DeBlasio] to engage in such a draconian, tyrannical practice, and to make such a threat in times like these shows a complete insensitivity to the rights of citizens in his town.”
On Monday, March 30th, in Florida, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister arrested Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne, after receiving an “anonymous tip” that he was still holding large church services at The River at Tampa Bay Church, in violation of a local “safer-at-home” order, that is obviously so illegitimate, illegal and UnConstitutional on more levels than one can mention here. He was arrested at his home and charged with “unlawful assembly” and violating public health emergency rules, misdemeanors carrying a 60 day jail sentence and a $500 fine.
Also recently, according to WAFB-TV [CBS News], Pastor Tony Spell of Life Tabernacle Church, near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was charged with six misdemeanors, after he repeatedly and rightfully defied Governor John Edwards orders prohibiting gatherings of ten or more people in one location. This past Sunday, March 29th, there were 1,265 people in attendance, and for each ten people, according to authorities, a separate charge can be placed that carries a 6 month jail sentence.
In a March 30th email and a separate statement to WAFB, Pastor Spell declared: “We have a constitutional right to congregate. We will continue. … The virus, we believe, is politically motivated [and I agree ~ JOS]. We hold our religious rights dear and we are going to assemble no matter what someone says.”
Thank God at least two state governors, Gregg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida, are exhibiting a bit of good common sense and pushing back against the harsh tacts of many so-called “leaders”. Both men have noted that “attending religious services conducted in churches … and houses of worship” are essential services and activity.
But how despicable it is to find that people are pointing their finger at others who are not causing them harm in the slightest, as these accusers hide behind a mask of anonymity, cowards that they are. A gathering of Christians doesn’t affect anyone who is standing on the outside, looking in and acting as a government informant on the Christians terrible “crime” against the state, unless the informant should accidentally hear the Word of God in the process. And how repugnant it is that one of our Fundamental God Given Rights is now frowned upon and penalized by the Leviathan as “unlawful assembly”.
The government, the Leviathan, and its new “Law” pleases those among us too innocent and dumb to know better, as it compares its small power to God’s Eternal Might and demands that Christians, and all Americans, accept the delusion of the State as our God, with instant and unquestioning obedience, while it also tries to justify lockdowns through this “pandemic”. And, it has been emboldened by those large numbers of clergy genuflecting to the State, and many within its ranks today proceed to use the “safer-at-home” orders to eviscerate the remainders of our shredded liberty.
I’ll be in Church Easter Sunday, or kneeling in prayer outside its locked doors, and I hope many of You will join me there. Do not follow the Leviathan into any betrayal of Jesus Christ. Stand as one Church for Our Lord and Savior and take joy in the salvation that has come through His sacrifice upon the Cross for us all, all who acknowledge Him as the One True God, who came to earth and defeated Satan and Death, in order to usher in a new age and a New Covenant with Man.
“That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:15-17 King James Bible
Let us praise God for the bold believers and our courageous Christian Brothers and Sisters and Church leaders rebelling against tyrants and defying our “Rulers”, and in addition, we must pray that the Faithful throughout America follow their lead, challenging this arrogance of elected government officials and unelected bureaucrats, just as Believers across history have done. And let us stand firm, strong and staunchly together with friends and family, in defiance of government diktats, and open the churches to millions across America on Easter Sunday, throwing off the government’s chains of deceit and fear, as we, the Church, gather for the most precious and wonderful of Christian celebrations, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior.
And don’t forget. He has promised to return.
“And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him; and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” ~ Revelation 6:1-2
In closing, I will leave You all with the one most important question You will ever answer in Your lifetime, as it was once put to all America in song, ‘When the Man Comes Around’ by Johnny Cash, who sang: “The hairs on your arm will stand up at the terror in each sip and in each sup. Will you partake of that last offered cup or disappear into the potter’s ground when the man comes around?”
“And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, it is not unlawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and brought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in.” ~ Matthew 25:5-7 King James Bible
“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” ~ Matthew 26:26-28 King James Bible
He is risen. He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!