Randy

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Archives for the ‘Religious Freedom’ Category

I admire these loving California pastors who’ve reopened

Monday, August 10, 2020, 8:55 am | Randy Thomasson
…and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His nameAnd daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. Acts 5:40-42

VIDEO: Steve Deace brings together the data (as of August 4) to expose lockdown lies

I want to publicly commend the California pastors who have reopened for in-person congregational meetings. In addition to acknowledging virus science and history, which informs them that the COVID-19 scare and unprecedented lockdown have been grossly overblown for evil purposes, these pastors have not forgotten or “justified away” their Biblical commands to preach, assemble, and fellowship. And they haven’t forgotten or disregarded their First Amendment guarantee of “free exercise…of religion.”

Every pastor who has reopened despite warnings or threats is showing his loyalty to King Jesus. This is not a comprehensive list, but prominent pastors taking this Biblical stand include:

Rob McCoy of Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Newbury Park (Ventura County)
Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel in Chino Hills (San Bernardino County)
Tim Thompson of 412 Church in Murrieta (Riverside County)
John MacArthur of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley (Los Angeles County)
Greg Farrington of Destiny Christian Church in Rocklin (Placer County)
Jon Duncan of Cross Culture Christian Center in Lodi (San Joaquin County)
Jim Franklin of Cornerstone Church in Fresno

What’s more, there are 3,000 other California pastors who previously committed to reopen earlier this year, in defiance of Gavin Newsom.

Who are these pastors? Their resistance to tyranny shows they’re men who are loyal to the New Testament, who know the guarantee of the First Amendment, and who recognize the threat of dying from COVID-19 is less than the seasonal flu. So it’s Christian for them to reopen — and stay open — for church fellowship and corporate worship of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ. They are your role models for obeying God despite pain or loss.

No threat of a politician or judge will stop them. Neither will they submit to the unscientific, unconstitutional bullying of a public health officer. For the Word of God and the written U.S. Constitution are above these tyrants. Making this all the easier is few police are motivated to hassle pastors beyond mere warnings, if even that.

This current test of pastors is so important. For if a pastor avoids conflict and doesn’t study facts, isn’t this tantamount to avoiding pain (loving pleasure) and being a people-pleaser? Quite frankly, unless Biblical pastors get some hair on their chests now, in the face of verbal opposition and this mild oppression, how easy will it be for them — and their congregations — to, in the future, cave to even more government persecution, more infringement of constitutional liberties, and eventually, avoiding martyrdom by doing the will of the Antichrist?

Now is a time for testing — and training — of those who are true worshipers, who worship God in spirit and truth.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.” Jesus Christ in John 10:11-13

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith — the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:6-9 

“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, ‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”‘ 
Revelation (of Jesus Christ) 2:8-11

Try to open your church school now — the State says you can

Friday, August 7, 2020, 9:45 am | Randy Thomasson

For the sake of survival and for training children in academics, moral character, and the Word of God, Bible-based schools must try to reopen now.

Like in 1860, right before the Civil War, when there were official “slave” states versus “free” states, California, controlled by Democrat politicians, has made slaves out of its people, in contrast to numerous Republican states that are free from lockdowns and mask mandates.

On August 3, your California “slavemaster,” Gavin Newsom, controlled and spoke through his California Department of Public Health to issue this public statement:

Waiver Process for Elementary Schools to Resume In-Person Instruction  
On July 17, 2020 Governor Gavin Newsom announced that schools in counties that have been on the County Data Monitoring list within the prior 14 days, are only allowed to conduct distance learning and that there would be a waiver process that could allow some elementary schools in those counties to conduct in-person learning if they could meet stringent health requirements. State health officials noted recent scientific data showing that young children were far less likely to shed and transmit the virus.

Today, the California Department of Public Health is releasing that waiver process. A district superintendent, private school principal or head of school, or executive director of a charter school may apply for a waiver from the local health officer to open an elementary school for in-person instruction in a county on the monitoring list. This waiver is applicable only for grades TK-6, even if the grade configuration at the school includes additional grades. The application for a waiver must include an attestation that the applicant consulted with parent, labor, and community organizations at each school site for which an application is being submitted. 

This means religious schools may ask their county health officer for permission to reopen for in-person classroom instruction. Here’s the sample letter explaining how to make this happen (note that private schools only need to consult with school staff, not with “labor and community organizations.”) Here’s the full announcement with how-to links.

Even if you have to reopen in a slavish, limited, and politically-correct way, please reopen anyway. Your Bible-based school needs to survive and thrive, and so do the hearts, minds, and souls of the children you want to love and train.

Reopening, even under these oppressive regulations, would also help reopen California as whole. Church schools can lead the way to break the logjam of the Democrats’ destructive lockdown. Schools that stay closed will develop bad reputations when other schools successfully reopen to the joy of families. And if church schools discount their tuitions, they can attract more students. California Christian-format schools must try to reopen!

However, not all California counties will currently “permit” private schools to reopen. Note this from the Orange County Register: “But the waivers can only be considered in counties where coronavirus rates meet a certain threshold. And that means Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside county schools cannot apply under the current guidelines.”

Lastly, here’s documentation of the science that children aren’t threatened by, and don’t spread, COVID-19:

School Children Don’t Spread Coronavirus, French Study Shows
Schools have low coronavirus infection rate, German study finds
Children rarely transmit COVID-19, doctors write in new commentary
Children are not COVID-19 super spreaders: time to go back to school

I am afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the heart of the youth.
Protestant reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546)

5 questions for California pastors

Saturday, July 25, 2020, 12:05 pm | Randy Thomasson

Why are pastors closing up their congregation’s meeting place?

Every pastor in California or anywhere else where a Democrat governor’s administration has “ordered” a cancellation of congregational meetings needs to ask and answer these five questions:

Q: Is there a New Testament mandate for meeting and singing?
A: Yes, there is. Hebrews 10:24-25, Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16, James 5:13

Q: Are you guaranteed free exercise of religion in the U.S. Constitution?
A: Yes, you are. “Congress shall make no law … prohibiting the free exercise … of religion”

Q: Is pastoral ministry to congregation members needed more than ever?
A: Yes, indeed. California pastor: “We’ve been essential for 2,000 years”, California pastor: “We are a hospital for all kinds of different people. The church is essential”, Rick Warren: Meeting people’s four deepest needs

Q: Is there a written law passed by the California State Legislature and signed by California’s governor?
A: No, there isn’t. See Peggy Hall’s analysis

Q: Are police likely to barge in on a Sunday morning to warn or cite you?
A: No, they’re not. Most California sheriffs and police chiefs didn’t bother churches earlier this year, and since then, several have announced they would not enforce the lockdown or masks or both.

Ultimately, the question is will pastors fear God or man. The recommended “considerations” (not a duly-approved statute) from the unelected state employees of the California Department of Public Health are easy to resist, since not many cops want to barge into a Sunday morning church service.

And what if they did? Is there no Biblical example of suffering for Jesus Christ and being loyal to Him — no matter what?

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.
Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
2 Timothy 4:2

Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works,
or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.
Revelation 2:4