News of Interest to Bible Believers
Tulsa Oklahoma (OK)
This ministry is no longer operating.
Grosse Pointe Woods Michigan (MI)
Canton Texas (TX)
Rockaway New Jersey (NJ)
Water and Aspirin...PLEASE READ
An enlightening July 20th blog on global warming by Melanie Phillips, a British journalist, reveals inadvertently what creationists are up against in the battle
This month has been very busy. The photos I have included are of the first Dinosaur Dig in Glendive, Montana during the second week of July. We had 21 people
by Phil JohnsonNote (31 Aug 2021):I wrote this post last year to answer some evangelical critics who insisted that our church could easily follow all government-mandated shutdown protocols without sacrificing our freedoms or compromising our worship. Almost as soon as I posted it, the attorneys handling the church's court case asked us to refrain from discussing the case online—to make sure the legal argument they were making did not get clouded by a social-media debate. So I removed the post. Now that the legal case has been settled, here is that information. Internal links will take you to documentation that proves what an impossible burden the government-mandated restrictions imposed on the church.(This is kind of long. Pack a lunch.) For the past eight weeks or longer, Sunday morning worship services at Grace Community Church have been open to anyone who wants to attend. John MacArthur and the elders made that fact as public as possible in a statement they issued on July 24, saying they would continue to have normal worship services despite a July 13 edict from the California Governor ordering churches to close again after a brief respite from the original quarantine.
by Phil Johnsonot this question today in more than one Tweet (regarding the Grace Church elders' statement "Christ, Not Caesar, Is Head of the Church"), so I'll answer it here:Thanks for the question. I'll answer candidly. Speaking for myself alone, I'll acknowledge that yes, my thinking on the question of the COVID-19 quarantine and Romans 13 has changed somewhator at least been refined, illuminated, qualified, and enriched. I've been forced by circumstances to rethink and amplify my answers carefully because of the government's relentless attempts to keep churches closed despite the fact that months have passed without the apocalyptic quotas of death and disease that were originally predicted. My original concern about the virus was clearly overblown. At the time, I needed to be cautious, because we could not possibly know how serious the threat really was. My concern now is for people whose need for fellowship and pastoral care is going unmet. I do have firsthand knowledge of how critical this emergency is.In the weeks since March several things happened that affect my perspective. For one thing, the California Governor's edicts have become increasingly onerous.He has told churches they should not have congregational singing.He wants to limit church attendance to 100 (even in a massive 3,000-seat auditorium).He says churches are "nonessential" while insisting that marijuana dispensaries, liquor stores, and casinos are vital businesses that must be kept open.Although he briefly showed signs of backing off the policy of church closures, he then immediately doubled down to try to force the mandatory re-closure of all places of worship "indefinitely" (even though there's no evidence churches have been hotspots for passing the virus).Meanwhile, government officials have not only permitted but actively encouraged mass demonstrations (including riots) for political causes.With all of that going on, I was forced to rethink my position on Romans 13. The elders of our church also realized the need for us to answer in greater detail the question of who has the authority to govern the doctrine, worship, and polity of the church. The elders' statement that was affirmed on July 23 and made public the following day is the result. It's a clarification and qualification of everything we have previously said about the duty imposed on us by Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2. Without denying that duty, we're endeavoring to explain biblically why those passages don't call for blind, automatic acquiescence to government overreach into church business.It is of course still the case that in a real and impending health crisis, the elders and pastors of a church may wisely decide to follow the recommendations of health officials with regard to protecting against dangerous contagions. That's precisely what we did at the start of the quarantine. Circumstances have changed, however, and we have adapted (and explained) our response accordingly.An observant person who has been following me might have noticed subtle shifts in my position since the quarantine began. I knew from the start that things might change if politicians began to use the health crisis in an opportunistic way. When explaining our position on Romans 13 several weeks ago, I wrote this: How long until the government-ordered quarantine is undeniably excessive, or we conclude that it's targeted persecution against our worship and therefore an illegal attempt to make us disobey Hebrews 10:25? That time may come, and when it does, we may have to implement the principle of Acts 5:29. The question of whether we have already passed that point is another subjective issue
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