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When to Obey God over Government

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton
The Truth Network Radio
August 14, 2020 8:00 pm

When to Obey God over Government

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton

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August 14, 2020 8:00 pm

GUEST: PHIL JOHNSON, Elder, Grace Community Church

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:23-25 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)]

For nearly six months, churches around the country have either been closed or partially open due to government shutdown orders to stop the spread of COVID-19. Meanwhile, other businesses deemed “essential” have been open such as retail and liquors stores and even abortion clinics...

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When to obey God over government's topic will discuss today right here on the Christian will be a radio program with the mission is to sharpen the biblical worldview.

Christians share the good news that all people reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ, I'm David been the host our website the Christian worldview.thank you for joining us today on the program. As we discussed when to obey God over government now for nearly 6 months churches around the country have either been closed entirely or partially closed due to government shutdown orders to stop the spread of covert, 19, meanwhile other businesses deemed quote essential have been open, such as retail stores, even liquor stores and abortion clinics even open in California Gov. Gavin Newsom has mandated strict parameters on indoor church services with regard to physical distance and a distancing and even singing, which would cause a large church like Grace Community Church in Los Angeles with over 5000 members and attenders each week to only be able to serve a fraction of their congregants.

Now John MacArthur is the well-known pastor of Grace Community Church is been there for 50 years. He and their 50 elders made national news recently with their decision to hold indoor worship services.

Despite the California governmental orders until this weekend on the Christian worldview Phil Johnson who is an elder at Grace Community Church and the host of the grace to you radio broadcasts joins us to explain how to apply the biblical command to obey governing authority from Romans 13, first Peter two with another biblical command for Christians in Hebrews 10 do not forsake the assembling together of ourselves of believers. Basically when to obey God over government get to the first segment of that interview Phil, thank you for taking the time to come on the Christian worldview today. Let's go back several months back to early March when the shepherd's conference was taking place at Grace Community Church and on Sunday, March 8. I was therefore the Sunday service. By the time I came home that day back to Minnesota and then next week.

The next Sunday everything is been closed down including Grace church.

So take us just behind the scenes briefly of what is been going on with the elders in the discussions taking place over the last I guess is nearly 6 months now since the covert shutdown right after the shepherd's conference yeah and my experience in March just before the shepherd comfortably was they had the National religious broadcasters convention in Nashville and I was at that at a course that draws thousands of people from all over the world and as I recall, there was already quite a bit of discussion about the dangers of the coronavirus it was spreading in places and you knows whatyou you a little bit concerned about when you're in a massive crowd like that with people from hundreds of countries around the world. I flew from here to Nashville was there for that convention flew back that we had the shepherd's conference again. Thousands of guys from you know dozens of countries around the world. We were thinking about it.

We work cautious about it. You may remember that during the shepherd's conference. There was an cleanser everywhere. People were wearing masks yet, but a lot of pastors were cautious about handshakes and hugs and that kind of thing but it didn't really put a dent in the shepherd's conference. It seemed like everything went on as usual. The week after shepherd's conference. I had a speaking engagement on the East Coast, flew there and back. So again like for flights across the country. When the virus was at its peak and all that was in my mind as soon as I am back in the East Coast shortly after shepherd's conference. Then everything went into lockdown and a course at first it was here in rim of the slogan 15 days to flatten the curved and the idea was if we can flatten the curved meeting.

Slow down the rate of infection so that we don't see hospital and emergency rooms overwhelmed then will be able to deal with this virus and the idea was just flatten the curb will the curb was flattened, but the quarantine never ended and that went on for weeks and everybody at Grace church is missing the services missing our fellowship but things just didn't seem right. So by mid June or so we were were beginning to just sort of let people come back without making a big announcement about it without to announcing that wearout were not going to enforce all the social distancing rules or whatever, people just began to filter back to Grace Church so that by mid July.

Every Sunday there were hundreds of people in the auditorium and then the governor you know said it's okay we can reopen little in California started to open just slightly and it seemed it was barely open church was barely beginning to resume and the governor crackdown again and said not what with the whole state back under lockdown indefinitely, so there's no endpoint there's no measurable goal. There's no there's just no way to see light at the end of the quarantine tunnel and then they announced that the Rose Parade January 1 is canceled this year so the looking that far ahead, and intending to keep the quarantine in place until then, and our elders got together and said we just cannot consent to that our people need fellowship are our our church needs to live its life and death. So where at the point where we are today. Where were just having normal Sunday services is not really normal because because of the circumstance and got a big tent in the parking lot so people want to socially distance if they want to wear masks or whatever.

Everybody is free to do that, according to whatever your conscience allows but the worship center has been packed, standing room only for several weeks now.

John MacArthur's preaching.

We have the music yeah everything is as normal and I think the state officials are particularly happy about that. The arm will get into that today in the program. Phil Johnson with us today in the Christian worldview. He is an elder at Grace Community Church in Los Angeles were John MacArthur pastors is also the Executive Director and host of the grace to you radio broadcast. Just recently, the last essay about two weeks the elders of Grace Community Church came out with a statement on the fact that they're going to be reopening and officially reopening I should say in the title of that statement was Christ, not Caesar is head of the church. I just want to read the first paragraph of that. It says Christ is Lord of all, he is the one true head of the church. He is also King of Kings sovereign over every authority Grace Community Church is always stood in movably on those biblical principles as his people. We are subject to his will and commands as revealed in Scripture.

Therefore, we cannot and will not acquiesce to a government impose a moratorium on our weekly congregational worship or other regular corporate gatherings compliance will be disobedience to our Lord's clear commands and then fill you follow this up over the summer with various blog posts on your blog team where you said the elders of Grace Church decide to follow the recommended procedures set forth in the original government order. Not because we believe the state has a right to tell churches when whether and how to worship, to be clear, we believe the original orders were just as much as an illegitimate intrusion of state authority into ecclesiastical matters of believe it is now.

However, because we could not possibly have known the true severity of the virus. As you are just explaining because we care about people as our Lord did we believe guarding public health against serious contingencies is a rightful function of Christians as well as civil government. The question is it. It seemed to me that few months after the lockdown that pastor MacArthur mentioned something that we want to comply with government and so forth. What went into that the major change to all of us and saying no no further. Now this is the end. This is this is unreasonable. This is against what we are convicted by Scripture to do government is exceeded there. Even their constitutional authority. What went into that decision because it went from being able people can come back on their own to now it's where were having church. Yeah.

And I think it was not one thing, but a series of things we have 50 elders so they didn't all come to this conclusion at all at once it it various ones of us began to ask questions and rethink the issues over different things. And for me it was when the governor reinstituted the quarantine and basically said it. If this is indefinite.

We will decide when the state gets to open up we will decide when churches get to meet again and I had said from the beginning when when we started the quarantine. Look, I'm okay with 15 days to flatten the curve. You do the math on that and at most we might miss three Sundays and then it was extended because they felt the curb wasn't flattened enough and then he dragged out to three months and I began to think you know at some point if this just becomes a never ending quarantine, we come face-to-face with Hebrews 1025. Don't forsake the assembling of yourselves together that the command then and I have to weigh the weight of that command against the command in Romans 13, which is be subject to the powers that be.

Which one applies in the circumstances, and I think for me it was when the governor basically said this is indefinite will let you know someday that you might be able to meet again and and also it threatens to become a just a perpetual thing where they're going to require. If you go to church or gathering any kind of gathering like that, especially if you're singing you have to wear masks and the thought of the people of God meeting together all the mass up just noticed thought to me, especially when you have what really seems to amount to a tyrant making arbitrary and whimsical rules about this, for which there is no clear science, and it it's a disputed issue and so it's not Romans 13 but Romans 14 that applies to disputed issues, debatable things when you do there while you eat every Burke person has to obey his own conscience so that ultimately what we decided to do it Grace Church without forcing on anyone any new rules if they want to wear a mask and socially distance. There are plenty of opportunities for them to do that and still participate in our worship services with places all over the campus where they can sit and have fellowship with other people and and see and hear the sermon and still maintain social distance, but the fact is, the vast majority of our people just want to be in the service with their fellow believers and sing and praise the Lord and be taught from God's word the way we always have it.

Since this is not the first time we been exposed to viruses right I've been exposed to viruses all my life and it's true that the church is a place and always has been, where viruses, colds, the flu gets spread, but that's never stopped us from coming to church and praising the Lord before overseeing. Is it just that avast overreaction to what seemed like a great threat at the beginning. Remember at the beginning you had images of the young bodies stacked in the street like cordwood just from the projections of how many people were going to die in this thing. The truth is it it has not lived up to those dire predictions, and it's bad it if you're an elderly person, particularly, and you get this virus is a virus that particular people over 80 difficult for people to survive and it can leave lasting effects, but are we going to start shutting down church every time there's a threat of a disease or the flu. That's that's a great concern of ours.

I don't want to see it become a pattern that every flu season. We shut down church for four months or however long Phil Johnson is our guest today here in the Christian worldview talking about into obey God over government, lots of things for you to read in a preview for today on the Christian coming back right after this.

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Did you know you can also listen according to your own schedule. 1 Simple Way to hear past programs You also find short takes their which are bite-size highlights of each program beyond her website. You can search for the Christian worldview in the podcast app on your smart phone and subscribe for free program is also sermon iTunes Google podcast and stitcher if you need help navigating online podcast from just give us a call toll-free, one AAA 646-2233 or follow the links on the homepage of Christian because when believers have a sharper biblical world and nonbelievers come to saving faith lives and families are change for the glory of God. Thank you for listening back on the Christian worldview radio program. Just a reminder that our annual golf event. There will be no dinner portion of the event this year, but our golf event is going to be taking place on Monday, September 21 here in the Twin Cities can find out more about that. Would love to have you come here golf or maybe you know some golfers who enjoy being a part of this through a fundraiser for the Christian review time of fellowship as well go to the Christian to find out more. Our topic today is when to obey God over government Phil Johnson Elder at Grace Community Church in Los Angeles were John MacArthur, Pastor Dave in the news nationally on the on the decision to reopen.

So as get back to the second segment of that interview. One of the pushback's that I've heard him receive weather and in the new stations are just from other Christians writing about the reopening in grace, but this has made national news that Grace is reopened against the mandates the orders of California Gov. Gavin Newsom and still don't know how that's gonna quantities shakeout another, been threats of fines and an arrest and so forth will get into that in a little bit.

How do you respond to the ad. The notion of of Christians out there who will say what's the point of this if you're risking people's health. We can do church online nowadays people can just watch church from home and the question is is is watching church from your home with your family still Churchville know that in fact again back to Hebrews 1025 talks about the gathering of yourselves together for the purpose of mutual encouragement and and praise and worship your congregational worship has been essential to the people of God all the way back into the Old Testament and to give that up and have everybody meet separately, are not meet but stay separately in their in their homes and watch a sermon online. That's not a substitute for the church. It might've worked as a temporary substitute during a normal quarantine, but when the government is talk about keeping the shirt the church shut down for the better part of the year. It seems to me that the natural thing for a Christian who really loves the Lord and understands the necessity of our fellowship and in the role that the church is designed to have. I don't see how any Christian can sit by passively and say well it's okay we can live with this. The other pushback we get. David is from people who say will find me, but just obey all of the restrictions that have put in place writing blog post right now that should be on my blog pretty soon answering pretty extensively why that's a problem for us why you can't do that we get this massive tent in the middle of our parking lot and people look at that and say what you could just meet out there. The trip is if you set up the chairs so that everything is properly socially distanced so nobody is closer than 6 feet from anyone else or anyone outside their family.

You could at most fit for hundred of 450 people in there that's that's not even 1/10 of our congregation so we can't do that, it changes the way we do church and when the governor say no, you shouldn't even sing and everybody should be mass HT is changing the way we worship these changing the worship service in a way that it really isn't. Caesar's role to dictate. It isn't the governor of California is right to restrict us from our worship or tell us how we ought to worship that is built into the very first sentence of the Bill of Rights again. Phil Johnson with us today on the Christian worldview and elder at Grace Community Church. Also, the executive director and host of grace to you want to read one more thing from your recent blog post Phil you said, speaking for myself alone. I'll acknowledge that yes my thinking on the question of the coven 19 quarantine in Romans 13 has changed somewhat, or 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. I know that you and and John MacArthur have always taken the position of respect for Romans 13 that you have been very I think conservative on that that particular position.

So tell us how your understanding or interpretation of Romans 13 Hannah has changed throughout this process. It may be part two of that question is I don't remember exactly what would Pastor MacArthur said many years ago, but when asked about the Revolutionary war was that, then you know the wrong thing to do at the time to rebel against that the British government so forth and pastors were divided at that issue in that particular time. Maybe you could cut a compare and contrast that particular time and how that relates. If it is even comparable to to what's taking place now in the church yet good analogy actually and bulimic at first. It's not that my interpretation of Romans 13 has changed and I still take it very conservative view towards that. I don't think Christians should be known for boycotts and protests 10 public demonstrations and things like that and I think what Paul is saying in Romans 13 what Peter says in first Peter two is basically look that we need to strive to be good citizens and not to be known as people who are defiant of authority, and in general that's the case, what's changed in my thinking here is how and whether Romans 13 outweighs Hebrews 1025 in a situation like we face right now.

So the other statement actually goes into great detail about what I would say are the refinements in my understanding and will of all of this by saying this.

Essentially, there are different realms of authority that have been established by God. You have the family of the government and you have the church and Caesar is head of the government.

When I say Caesar's sump. Sometimes people that will earn minutes either forever.

I'm talking about the United States with the Constitution but it doesn't end there. The Constitution establishes various realms of authority inside the government so that lawmakers and all the way down to policeman, who enforce the law are in that chain of command that Scripture commands us to be obedient to him, but their realm of authority is legitimate governmental issues. The church is a whole different realm and Christ is the head of the church. He's actually Lord over even the government.

So Christ's authority actually surpasses any civic rulers authority and you see that play out in Scripture and acts chapter 4, where the apostle say what week we ultimately would have to obey God rather than men when the commandments of men contradict the commandments of God, we have to obey God because he is Lord over even the secular realm, so how does that apply in these circumstances. That's where my thinking has changed and when I see the governor making rules like you shouldn't sing in church don't saying you can't saying you can't stand next to each other.

You have to socially distanced, meaning you can't even greet one another with a holy kiss or even a holy handshake because you gotta be 6 feet apart. Now all of a sudden the government's commands impinge on how and where and even whether we should worship and become a contradiction to some the clear commands we have in Scripture and in that case we have to obey God rather than men so that what's changed in my thinking is the question of whether whether Romans 13 is what applies in this these circumstances or ask for which we have to obey God rather than man little have Revolutionary war analogy.

Or maybe it's not comparable what you think about that then it comparable in this sense both of those are complex questions and I get that.

I think the question of the church's responsibility in in the quarantine is complex enough that week that even in our in the elder statement that really this decision on how far to go with the quarantine and and how we worship at all that those are decisions that belong to the realm of the church and not the realm of the secular government were not saying every church needs to do exactly as we have done what were saying is the elders of the church are responsible to make those decisions, not the governor of the state.

So that's been our argument and realizing that different different churches different geographical regions. Different circumstances may require different response than we've taken, but here in California, where where the rules are extremely direct Conan and that the governors behavior has been. I think it's fair to say tyrannical. We've taken the route we've taken without trying to impose that on the conscience of other elders and other churches there Revolutionary war was similarly complex. I think a lot depended on whether you supported the revolution are not in those days where you live, Massachusetts, for example, with a colony that had been established by a charter from the king that gave them a certain amount about autonomy and guaranteed that autonomy and so when a generation or two later, the king began to tax them and send representatives of his army. There they saw that, I think, rightfully so, as a foreign invasion and a lot of Christians during the revolution justified their involvement in the revolution. That way is a totally different era that there is there is some relation to the questions because it was a Romans 13 issue back then as well for for Christians or consider have a feeling we're going to have to make a lot more of these at with the direction our country's coming as to when we obey God over obeying man Phil Johnson with us today here on the Christian worldview Gavin Orland who is another pastor in California I he wrote it seems to me that the current situation is more complicated then John MacArthur's perspective allows to my mind, there are at least four biblical values that should inform our decision-making in this situation any less the importance of worship love for neighbor obedience to government maintaining a good witness and he says what concerns me about defying the state order right now is that it seems to prioritize one importance of worship at the expense of numbers to three and four love for neighbor obedience to government and maintaining a good witness this particular charge is been brought up often enough Christians really want to love our neighbor. The best way to love our neighbor is to not gather together to get each other. Six only interact with them to get them sick.

How do you respond to that particular criticism coming mainly from my think the Christian community to say let's not get together because want to love our neighbor better. That will be answered by Phil Johnson rare for this second break of the day here on the Christian worldview radio program that's important when you're hearing it all the time that a lover neighbor. So therefore, let's not go back to church more coming up on the Christian worldview right after this he liked all love playing in the Christian worldview golf event at historic Woodfield country club in my Senate Minnesota on Monday, September 21 golf registration includes lunch range and 18 holes with current and one of the best courses in the state.

Bring your own foursome or we can fit you into a group pull sponsorships are also available. Shotgun start is 12:30 PM. There won't be an evening dinner event this year due to indoor group restrictions golfers will enjoy the rare opportunity to plant would immaculate condition challenging green and beautiful setting, all in support Christian worldview. Your ministry we hope to see you on Monday, September 21. Registration deadline is Tuesday, September 8 to register, visit the Christian worldview that that's the Christian worldview that will be sure to take advantage of two free resources that will keep you informed and sharpen your worldview.

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It contains a preview of the upcoming radio along with need to read articles, teacher resources, special events, and audio of the previous program. The second is the Christian worldview annual print letter which is delivered to your mailbox. In November it contains a year-end letter from host, David. We had a listing of our store, including DVDs, books, children's materials and you can sign up for the weekly email and annual print letter by visiting the Christian worldview.calling one AAA 646-2233. Your email and mailing address will never be shipped and you can unsubscribe at any time: one AAA 646-2233 or visit the Christian world.think biblically and live accordingly. That is the aim of the Christian world is we discuss these topics which we Christians encounter all the time in our society. Next, really important in this particular one went to obey God over government. We do want to think biblically and then apply it out if accordingly, so Phil Johnson is our guest today here in the Christian worldview is that elder and Grace Community Church for Pastor John MacArthur is a senior pastor of the last 50 years. If 50 elders are actually been to the church several times course the shepherd's conference is held there. Each spring were men from all over the world up to think for 5000 men come to that ticketed so there this year right before close down so was sort of interesting and unique time when everything was changing in the country and so were were discussing the fact that all over the country there's been these mandates by governmental authorities to to shut down churches and then partially openings phase reopening is what you can do you say this far Park live 25% capacity can't sing the canopy think people sing in front yet were masked and eventually grace Community Church and his elders aside and you know, no further here. This is unreasonable that that that the government does not have direct authority over how our church services to be conducted, and so forth. And they were happy to and comply at the beginning because the virus extent of it wasn't really known but now there's an indefinite shut down. As Phil Johnson mentioned a cat cancer in the think is that the Rose Bowl parade or whatever that Takes Pl. in California early January. So they lately looked at the two commands of Scripture from your Hebrews 10 to don't forsake not the assembling of yourself together versus the commands in Romans 13, to honor and obey governmental authorities and decisions need to be made and they came down on the decision of obeying God over government in this particular instance that we have some article, some columns on the Christian right now that we really encourage you to read regarding this. There there is that statement there from the grace Community Church Elders that is very very good and specific that I would highly encourage you to read the title is Christ, not Caesar is head of the church and also Phil Johnson, our guest today has a zone blog and that we have that link there as well to correct questions about the grace Community Church elders statement that we have a counterpoint column as well. By the nine marks ministry you can you can read that as well. But those would be really sharpen your biblical worldview on this particular issue as you think about this because I can see more of its going to be coming in our increasingly secular America. This is the way things are going to go okay let's get back to Phil Johnson as he was going to answer a question about loving neighbor.

This particular charge is been brought up often enough Christians really want to love our neighbor. The best way to love our neighbor is to not gather together to get each other. Six only interact with them. We get them sick.

How do you respond to that particular criticism coming mainly from my think the Christian community to say let's not get together because want to love our neighbor better. The short answer is this very shortsighted definition of what it means to love your neighbor to say it will. You can only show your neighbor love by suspending your public worship services, I think, neglects what has been one of the most damaging and hurtful effects of this long quarantine and that is there a lot of people who have been sick or died not from the virus, but from other causes who died in seclusion in nursing homes and hospitals because their families weren't even permitted to visit them while they were dying. And when they died.

You couldn't have a funeral because you couldn't have a public gathering and there are there are thousands of stories like that across the country for people who have been hurt more by the quarantine, then they may have by the virus and what about love for them as well. What about love for people whose fears have been stoked by the media and the government and the answer to those fears is the preaching of the gospel and that's the churches job and and yet the church is being kept from being the church by draconian governmental decrees love for my neighbor take all of those things into account the fact is, we been meeting at Grace Church now for more than eight weeks there hasn't been a single outbreak of the virus. You were there. The shepherd's conference. There was one man who was at the shepherd's conference who died from COBIT 19 was an elderly man who apparently as they traced it contracted the virus before it came to the conference I had it while he was here that caught it from others in his family and then died shortly after.

Sadly, but he was he was here and all over the conference.

I hugged him and greeted him and now I don't think there's any known case of anyone who caught the virus from him. So we know there were people at the conference who were exposed to the virus, but no outbreak of serious sickness or death as a result and then we met eight weeks at Grace Church and is just none of the dire consequences that we keep hearing our our possible, is it possible that eventually there will be people at Grace Church to get the virus and get the yeah but that that's been possible with every virus that ever come along and the coming 19 thing especially if you're if you're younger than that I am I'm 67 anybody younger than I am really doesn't faces serious risk of death from this virus.

There are people younger who have died from it, but it isn't like the sort of the Spanish flu epidemic was 100 years ago isn't even in that realm. When you asked what is the church's responsibility and in the midst of this, it's the church that should be ministering to people who are living in fear and and troubled about the future and troubled about eternity and yet the church is forbidden to meet together that is that is not a command I can I can submit to and monitoring craft and truly loving my neighbor said before, anyone who thinks that the second great commandment love your neighbor as yourself is completely fulfilled because you're wearing a mask and socially distancing. I'd I don't think you really understand the implications of that that commandment Phil Johnson with this today in the Christian Realty last question for you sail bringing it up to the present and grace Community Church's interaction with the governing authorities and in California we we know that the county or the state is has written threatening letters with threat of fines or arrest if there is persist in defiance of the government order. Are you free to say whether the county or state is doing anything. The usually government doesn't make orders that they're not prepared to enforce.

Is there something like that going on and if that takes place is Grace Church prepared to push back to sue the county or the state if they take action against the church based on the states or the county's infringement upon the First Amendment freedom of religion yet. Actually, the church did file a lawsuit against the governor and in all that late this week, so that will be in the news. You can read about it is our attempt to serve get out in front of this before they intervene in yellow frog marched John MacArthur away in handcuffs or something like that.

I don't really think any of that's going to happen yesterday talked about cutting off the water and power in general to businesses or organizations that violate the terms of the of the quarantine, but as far as I know the government hadn't actually done that. There's a smaller church not far from here in Ventura county where they live actually issued restraining orders and made threats that they're going to arrest the pastor and all that but the church met last Sunday and it was pretty much uneventful. There were some demonstrators there with signs scolding the church for having their church services, but and there were representatives of the Sheriff's Department there to maintain order, but they said they had no intention of fighting anyone or arresting anyone for worshiping.

I think that's such a bad look for the government to literally send an armed officers to shut down a church that it's hard for me to imagine that happening. So right now I see it is just threats but to make sure.

Yes, we are filing a lawsuit to keep the government from making those kinds of threats directly against Grace Church were to continue worshiping. I think Grace Church is in very very good legal and biblical standing for what what decision you all is made and we applaud you for it. We are encouraged by it and that we wish all of God's best, and grace to you Phil and grace Community Church.

We just thank you for coming on the Christian Realty today. Thank you David so he could talk to you okay now.

Still Johnson everyone elder at Grace Church Community Church in Los Angeles. By the way his website where he blogs this team. Pyro is in pyromaniac team of this interview was was done on Thursday, just two days ago and since then there's actually been an update to that particular lawsuit.

That lawsuit having been known really. I didn't even know was taking place.

When I asked him that question or just apparently had just been filed and already there has been some sort of agreement there's been some sort of decision. Janet Ellis is the attorney for Grace Community Church and by the way, she's also present trumps attorney have just reading hundred twitter page. Her main tweet on her pinned tweet with a public one feature tweet on her page says I'm going on record now, this is Janelle's the one who is representing present trappers also representing grace Community Church.

In this particular case if they try to cancel Christianity if they try to force me to apologize or recant my faith.

I will not bend.

I will not waiver.

I will not break on Christ the solid rock I stand, and I'm proud to be an American that that's the attorney for Grace Community Church. That's also present trumps attorney as well. Obviously, third, different cases and so forth that she represents them in different ways that that's pretty strong statement right there on her Twitter page. Anyway, she tweeted yesterday that saying there's a historical wind today for John MacArthur and grace Community Church. The judge allows indoor services with singing and no attendance Church agrees to adhere to mask and social distancing until full hearing that the tweet that is the update.

Not sure what that means masking and social distancing. But that's all the update we have for now. More after this. In the Christian will the Christian worldview radio program airs live Saturday mornings at 8 AM central time. Did you know you can also listen according to your own schedule.

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You can always go to our website the Christian to hear the reply. You can also sign up for our free weekly email that the short takes the highlights of the program every week you get all the information going on within the ministry. You can go to our resource door on the line and you can also support the ministry of the Christian review. We very much appreciate your support and encouragement. Alright, so in the last segment today just some summary thoughts on this issue of when to obey God over government of the state. The government Caesar exec always has and always will try to restrict or eliminate Christianity because it offends them, it convicts them and they don't want around them.

So let's not be shocked at this is nothing new. Shadrach me shack in a Bendigo back in Scripture.

Nebuchadnezzar is trying to make them back down to an idol and that that story is so powerful we must obey God rather than you. Even if we die we will not bow down to your idol. I read that sometime in Daniel. Daniel himself, he was told not to prcis together trying to eliminate of it offends and it convicts them.

So let's get rid of this Daniel they they had an injunction against praying to any other God but Nebuchadnezzar for 30 days. I think I wasn't Daniel of course chose not to pray. Throwing the lines down, God miraculously saved in the fast for many other examples, an old Old Testament fast-forward in the New Testament Peter and Paul and the apostles you don't preach in this name of Christ, we must obey God rather than man was was their response. Even today in China, North Korea, Islamic countries and now even within the US with the restrictions on churches gathering there's always there's always Street preachers are always the canaries in the coal mine with the with Christian liberty in a society can see you there. Always push back against them.

People don't like that of the public proclamation of the word of God on the sidewalk and so there's always regulations and so watch what happens with them. That's always an important indicator for society is supposed on-site and social media are are restricted when people say things about their Christian faith. Educating your children the trip government tries to get involved in restrict that boring your business you if you choose not to fear Christian owner of a business who makes wedding cakes you've seen things like that take place are photographer.

You don't want to service you don't want to use your your artistic skills to to service an event that you know from Scripture is inherently sinful and be a part of that you are going to be persecuted by government. You need to obey God rather than men. Now that being said, Christian should do everything to honor and obey civil authorities server per Romans 13 and first Peter two and machete pray for them.

We should not immediately flip the switch to go an immediate defiant mode.

All mafic we should try to suggest alternatives to mandates that violate Scripture and our conscience, but ultimately when God commands something clearly in Scripture to preach the gospel to assemble together and in fellowship in church when God commands something clearly what government is ordering to stop the answer is simple and clear but maybe hard. We must obey God rather than men, no matter the consequences will take this example of a assembling together as a church. Here's what Hebrews 10 says let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. Verse 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near you that the word for church. Check Lacey is actually assemble is not watching church online.

There is an assembling together of believers. That's what church is about for the preaching of the word for fellowship, for breaking of bread or communion in prayer the four fundamentals of the church, you can't do those things online. Now if you're not able to go to church if you're in a situation where you're ill or elderly or or there is like Phil Johnson mentioned there's a terrible outbreak of this nothing wrong with missing churches for a few weeks and watching online, but this is not a viable alternative to church after week after week, month after month going forward, and John MacArthur Road and that that statement that the elders put out has never been the prerogative of civil government to order modified for bid or mandate worship, when, how, and how often the church worships is not the subject is not subject to Caesar.

Caesar himself is subject to God.

Jesus affirm that principle when he told Pilate you would have no authority over me must have been given to you from above.

Because Christ is head of the church ecclesiastical matters pertaining to his kingdom, not Caesar's, and so we have this example and ask for, and then again the next five were the apostles were were told by the of the Sadducees.

The religious leaders of all people, the, the authorities in their realm. We gave you strict authority orders not to continue teaching is in his name. And yet when you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man Jesus blood upon us.

What was the response of Peter and the apostles, we must obey God rather than men. We will continue to preach the word, that is a command of God. So, to be sure it's not always so cut and dried Street preachers deal with this all the time. Do they obey the laws that don't allow amplification that that restrict passing out literature that to preach from eidetic designated quote safe space that a ways away, establish away from all the people they're trying to reach. It certainly takes a wise understanding of Scripture to know how to apply the of the balance between Romans 13 and we must obey God rather than rent Mennonite acts four and five.

It takes prayer and it takes a conviction of conscience. By the way Phil Johnson alluded to this a couple times a day. What might be wrong for one Christian may be right for another act with going back to churches is in the universal mandate that every church must meet tomorrow and be back there might be extenuating circumstances that the elders of these churches need to come to consensus of upon so we give grace to Christians coming down on different sides of an issue like wearing a master or not wearing a mask you know we give grace to those who want to or those who don't want to it. It puts the that the freedom the liberty back into the hands of the person and I think that's a a very good thing.

So grace churches is not mandating that all return to church but they are pursuing their calling to assemble together for those who want to return and there also offering outdoor spaces and you can wear a mask if you want so forth. But they are not bowing to the unreasonable and un-biblical commands by the state to not assemble to not saying to not gather inside for those who want to know those of been change a little bit since yesterday that they think that because John MacArthur and the elders have taken a stand and then they've that I think I believe strongly that they've done the right thing in this particular instance. So let's pray for them with pray for other pastors and churches around the country to be able to stand strong and stand with biblical conviction in this area where there's been a squeeze of big squeeze and Christian all and that all on the, the, the excuse that will begin to love our neighbor when that's usually said that usually means Christians you need to compromise and some insight to some degree. So watch out for that particular rationale that is true we are to love our neighbor to watch out that that's not being done at the expense of loving God, thank you for listening to the Christian worldview. Today we do live in a changing and challenging America well but there is one thing we can always trust in and count on. The Bible says Jesus Christ and his word. There the same yesterday today and forever and we will obey God rather than men.

We hope today's broadcast turned your heart toward God's word and his son to order a CD copy of today's program or sign up for our free weekly email or to find out how you can be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ go to our website the Christian worldview dawdle.

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