(Source from Rebel News)
In Alberta, religious services are limited to 15 per cent of a building’s fire code capacity. The restrictions on attendance are meant to mitigate COVID case counts, even though the numbers have plummeted and hospitalizations are down to less than half of what they were a month ago.
When GraceLife refused to turn away congregants to meet the arbitrary 15 per cent rule, and when the church did not force congregants to wear masks, it was put under weekly surveillance by local police and Alberta Health Services inspectors.
Pastor James received a $1,200 fine for violating a public health order, and eventually, when he continued to defy the 15 per cent capacity restriction, an executive order from the chief medical officer of health to close the church was issued.
That piece of paper meant nothing to a congregation and a pastor that are compelled by their faith to gather together to worship every week, and so they’ve continued.
On February 7 2011, Pastor James was arrested in his office for holding services. He was released and the following Sunday, February 14, he again held services while local RCMP waited outside.
However, the police did not arrest Pastor James again last Sunday. Instead they asked him to come and turn himself in on the following business day.
He turned himself in on February 18.
Finally, a brave Christian minster who has the courage to stand up and tell the government that they have overstepped their God ordained boundary in controlling worship services. I know that some Christians have been citing Romans 13 as biblical proof that we have to obey government regulations.
However, it is clear to me that when God’s commandments are being violated by government authority, Christians are no longer under obligation to obey human authority. What is God’s commandment regarding worship? To gather physically with other believers and worship the Lord together. No, Zoom meeting cannot replace physical worship.
And what should we do if government forbids us to gather together? According to Acts 5:29:
"But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men."
During this pandemic, Christians have failed to show the world that we are children of God. I personally know that many Christians are afraid to attend church because of covid. However, they have no problem going to Walmart or Costco. By obeying government and stopping in-person gathering, we are following the world.
(James 4:4) You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
So Christians would ask “What if we catch the virus and are tested positive?” Again, that is the very reason we need to gather in person:
(James 5:15) Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
I am pretty sure your elders will not be able to lay hands and pour oil on you during Zoom meeting.
If we read history, during REAL pandemics, the Church remained open and was the social hub for the sick and despair. Not only were the churches being opened, people were being cared for physically and spiritually. God’s healing power was manifested when Christians acted differently than the world.
Sadly, most Christians today are too afraid to get sick or die and they forget that death is nothing to be afraid of. It is actually better to die and be with the Lord in glory.
Of course, I don’t mean I want to be sick and drag my family down. I would definitely practise good hygiene like washing hands but NOT wearing masks as much as possible. I would definitely boost up my immune system by taking vitamins C & D and NOT taking vaccines.
Anyway, please pray for Pastor James Coates and watch his last sermon before he went to jail. It is one of the best sermons I have heard regarding authority of government and church: