Coronavirus, Freedom Of Religion, And The Right To Freely Assemble

Discussion in 'Faith & Religion' started by Ken Anderson, Mar 21, 2020.

  1. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    Ken, just because there are Christians, like Babs, her husband, myself and my wife, who want to obey, and are, what the local authorities say, definitely doesn't mean we've become atheists. We have no problem at all watching a Sunday Service on our computer (streaming). That "freedom of assembly" is most definitely out of the question. A Pastor in Florida was arrested for doing just that. No matter what he's heard, and been told, he states that he still wants to touch and hug his congregation members. Totally, absolutely wrong and dangerous.

    Ken, what's going on is very, very serious. Men, women, children and even babies are dying from this virus.
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I am pleased that the Early Church did not do as the government told them because we wouldn't have any record of what Jesus came to teach us.

    “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” -- Hebrews 10:24-25

    Now, I am looking at verse 26, and it does not say, “unless the government says you can’t.” No, instead it reads, “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of truth, no sacrifice for sins is left.”

    “When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus.” -- 1 Corinthians 5:4

    No, once again. Verse 5 says nothing about it all being null and void if the Romans object.

    “You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition.” -- 1 Thessalonians 2:1-2

    Even in the face of government suppression, the Early Church continued its mission. Of the original Twelve Apostles, all but John were executed for defying Roman dictates, and John was exiled for his obedience to God rather than to the Roman authorities.

    “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” -- Matthew 18:20

    Yes, there seems to be support for small home churches.

    “Then Peter and the [other] apostles answered and said, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men.” -- Acts 5:29

    “Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, ‘Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.’” -- Acts 4:19-20

    “Peter and the other apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than human beings.” -- Acts 5:29

    Yes, in this case, the governmental body that was disobeyed was the Sanhedrin, but the Sanhedrin was not merely a religious body. It served as a court of law for Jews under the Roman government.

    As we are entering the Last Days, if indeed we are, the Apostle John tells us that we must resist the dictates of the government, which will serve the Antichrist.

    So, there's no room for God when things are serious?

    First of all, you're both misunderstanding what I am saying. I am not saying that it doesn't make sense to isolate, or even that there are no other ways for Christians to come together. What I am saying is that the Church is of God, not of Caesar. If we accept that the Church itself is subservient to the government, then we are open to the type of religious freedom that existed during the Soviet Union and which exists today in China and in many of the Muslim countries. Christian churches were allowed to exist in the Soviet Union and they are allowed in China and in the Muslim countries, but only under the firm control of these governments. There is no difference. If you don't think that this was serious to the Soviet Union, to China, and to the Muslim countries, then you would have to question why they killed millions of Christians who defied their mandates.

    You may believe that you can meet the obligations of your faith by reading the Bible in your home or by watching someone preach on television. I'm not saying you're wrong. In fact, I much prefer a congregation of 5-10 people over a mega-church of thousands, but that should be for Christians to decide, not politicians. Other Christians might decide that the health of their soul is more important than the health of their body, particularly when the risk is not a given. The question is of whether we truly do have freedom of religion or not.

    I am afraid that you are sadly mistaken if you believe that this will be a one-time thing, and everything will be going back to normal in a couple of weeks. Not at all. Once our government is ensured that the American people are with them when they take control of the Church, they will not relinquish this control. This is not the first infectious disease to come our way, nor will it be the last, and if they can command the churches not to meet in order to meet this challenge, there will be other challenges.

    The very first article to the US Bill of Rights guarantees the freedom of religion and the right to peacefully assemble.
     
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  3. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    No, because if the Government asked them to go against what God has told them...they have to obey God first as it also says in the Bible.

    And yes Christianity is illegal in some countries now..and will be even more so in the future. And a lot of people will die before they will stop being Christians...that is the choice that many have made...and will continue to make. If these Ministers feel God is telling them to keep their churches open and their flock feels God is calling them to go there then that is one thing, but if the Ministers are leading their flock astray because they want to show the Government they can't tell them what to do...then that is human reasoning and not Godly wisdom.
     
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  4. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    First of all we can't change what the Bible says just because we feel like it. And it does say to obey our Government unless that would be making us disobey God. A building is not the Church...we who have asked Jesus to be Lord and Savior of our lives are the Church and we don't need to meet in a building to worship God, etc. And we don't have to be in large crowds to worship either. So there is no reason to disobey our Government in this instance. As Christians we are to love, and help each other while spreading God's love. We can do that during this pandemic by first of all praying for everyone, picking up groceries, etc, for our neighbors that have no way or sometimes money to get these things. There are many, many ways we can share our lives as Christian with the technology we have now days....without physically exposing innocent people to this virus or them exposing it to us.

    As a Christian who knows what the end times holds in store for us...we know we will face persecution...hell I've experienced it on this Forum a few times until people knew that who I say I am...I am. We aren't given license to do what we want just because we are Christians....we have to do what the Jesus and our Father wants us to do...and there's no way they want us putting innocent people in danger just because we think we have the right to do what we want to do. Wisdom and discernment is a good thing to have during times like this. And although I respect your opinion @Ken Anderson...I do not agree with it this time.
     
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  5. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I agree.

    No, but the Church is the body of believers and the Bible does tell us that we should come together as a Church, and it is this very coming together - not the building - that the government is disallowing.

    I personally think that it makes sense to meet in smaller groups or even online, but that excludes some people altogether and doesn't meet the needs of others, so I don't believe that, just because it meets my needs, that it's okay to mandate it of others, and it scares me that so many people are demanding that the churches close. When I say that, yes, I am talking about the church and not the buildings, as these unconstitutional laws prohibit people from peacefully assembling together as a body of believers, and it concerns me that even Christians are okay with giving the government that much control over the church.
     
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  6. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Maybe it's scaring you because you understand persecution like that is happening in places now and will probably happen here too one day....but to me what's important is that even if that does happen while we're still on this earth...it cannot stop us from being followers of Christ and beloved children of God.

    By the way the Minister that is defying our local Government is from Central, Louisiana and he is busing in people to his worship center, bragging about his right to do so and telling those that come to defy almost every safety measure put into place for this virus. That's not Godly wisdom and discernment...but rebellion!
     
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  7. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    Actually, I now understand both of your views, Babs and Ken. It can be, will and is, a hard call to make.
     
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  8. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    He may have someone to answer to but it shouldn't be the government. If we are to have freedom of religion then we need to allow the freedom even of religions we think are crazy because you know full well that there are people who believe any religion to be crazy. There are other churches who aren't so loud, but who are quietly defying what they believe to be an unconstitutional violation of the freedom to assemble as well as the freedom of religion.
     
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  9. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Well those crazy Christians can go ahead and do what they want...and pay the consequences. I just hope none of them end up dead because they didn't follow what most people would see as just plain common sense during a pandemic like we are facing now. I don't think it's very Christ like to put anybody else's life at risk either just because they are asked to put their constitutional rights aside for a little while for the good of all.
     
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  10. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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  11. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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  12. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    To me, this is basically the same as deciding whether to be vaccinated for the flu, or pneumonia, or whatever. Some people feel like they need that vaccination, and it is great that they can do this, and if it helps them have a better immune system, then good. The same thing with the staying at home, wearing masks, washing often with alcohol hand-sanitizer, and whatever else they deem necessary .
    However, the person who doesn’t want to do any of this, has a right to not have to do it. If everyone who is living in fear of the virus is hiding at home, they are safe from catching it from someone who is at church.
    It makes no sense to me with the guidelines that they have set out. We can’t go to church because we might pass along the virus, but it is perfectly fine if we are all at Walmart together........ how does THAT many ANY sense at all ? there are pictures of people being dragged off of city busses because they don’t have a mask, but all of the people on the bus are crowded together, and not 6 feet apart. So, you are safe if you wear a mask and sit on the bus, but unsafe of you don’t.
    But if you are at church, then it does not matter if everyone wears a mask or not, because just being at church makes it unsafe, according to the rules.

    If the rules even made sense , it would help; but they do not. Why even have rules if they are contradictory ? Let the people who need to shelter, do that, and that is the end of it.
     
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  13. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I think that a lot of elected officials are taking this opportunity to do what they've always wanted to do - ban church.
     
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  14. Hugh Manely

    Hugh Manely Member
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    I am still very new here, so I have to "tread softly", especially when it comes to religious topics. I don't want to "rock any boats", but since the topic of the last days was mentioned a couple of times, I thought I would give an opinion (since forums allow for this, I think). So I hope this will help to define me, since I really don't know any of you.

    These are very unusual times and it has made me think a lot about this topic, and yes, thanks for all of the opinions given, and also the videos, which I enjoyed and looked at carefully.
    My assessment comes from my Christian views that I have held for many years, mainly since I enthusiastically read Hal Lindsey's "The Late Great Planet Earth", which was a big influence on me.

    First, I'm not a bible scholar, my major was math. But I have read widely on the subject and have heard sermons, read books and done some research.
    So, here I go: (I'll try to keep it short)

    The bible explains how a global order will be brought to power by an anti-God, power hungry and charismatic leader who seems to be able to solve the challenges of a time of chaos, failing monetary system, warring despots who resort to nuclear saber rattling, and other threats worldwide.


    He will do this by using a single planetary government and a world-wide cashless-currency, which he will use to propose a method to solve the ills which have resulted in mass poverty, cells of terrorists, easily-acquired guns and weapons, causing widespread crime. To win wide acceptance by the nations of the world, he will use his great powers of speech and political know-how to gain the confidence of all.


    He will even devise a plan to solve the middle east destruction and stalemates, which will be a 7-year peace treaty with Israel to end the threats of a war with the northern countries, such as Iran and Russia. However, he is nothing like the world perceives him to be and his real motive is to declare himself to be God and bringing about a state of global chaos never before seen by mankind.


    After the world of despairing millions looks to him for guidance, and seek a better life without the pride and hubris of the past, humanity will welcome the proposed one-world empire promised by this charismatic tech guru who seems to glory in world attention. This is possible – just look at world history.


    He will come upon the scene in the not too distant future (and may be alive even now), and he will require everyone on earth to receive his method of identification in the form of a computer chip implanted into their palm or forehead. To receive this mark, however, one must agree or bow down to his leadership and to obey his commands. Anyone who does not agree to take his mark will not be allowed to buy, sell, or carry on life as usual, such as to sign any forms for banking, housing, food chains, car licenses, computer use, etc.


    He will make war with the saints (Christians) and persecute them to the point of their going underground to survive. His leadership will get more and more draconian, so that he eventually (after 3.5 yrs) declares himself to be God, and forces the masses to worship him. Times will be so bad that scripture says that if those days were not shortened, no one would persevere, but for the elect’s sake they will be shortened. Those who do survive will be taken up to heaven to be with God. Those who take the mark, however, will not be in heaven. So, DO NOT take the mark! Whoever does, will sell their soul to him.


    These are not my own ideas, they are found in the books of Daniel, Revelation, and other books of the bible. I did not give every detail, or state scripture, because that would need much more space.
     
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  15. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    Here is an interesting quote that I found. It is from the first leader of the World Health Organization, and says a lot about their agenda, even that long ago.
    Basically, the WHO was developed as a part of getting to one world government (NWO). Interesting that he was a Humanist, (like @Lon Tanner ) and probably an atheist as well.
    So , limiting our rights to assemble (and worship) has long been part of the agenda. I think that it was Governor Cuomo who said that this CV-19 pandemic was just a trial or a test run (can’t remember his exact words), but it definitely implied that there was more to come.

    E7FDE6BF-04C6-41AD-BAE9-0A40709CCEB2.jpeg
     
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