Christian apologist: No time for churches to keep doors shut

Thursday, July 16, 2020
 | 
Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

pastor in the pulpitAmerican churches seem split on whether to hold in-person worship services – some in violation of state and local restrictions – or keep holding services online, but a Christian apologist is urging churches to not forsake assembling.

North Pointe Church, located in Atlanta, has informed members it would remain closed to in-person services for the foreseeable future.

“Based on the uptick in COVID-19 cases, the results of our attendee's surveys, and the experiences of churches that have already reopened,” Pastor Andy Stanley stated in a video, “we've decided to suspend in-person adult worship services for the remainder of the year.”

A federal judge in New Mexico, meanwhile, has ruled against a New Mexico church that filed suit to keep its doors open. Judge James Browning ruled it is not a violation of religious freedom to ban church services during a public health crisis.

The suit was brought by Legacy Church, located in Albuquerque.

Browning ruled that the state’s lockdown orders are "neutral with respect to religion and generally applicable."

Staver

If the ruling is appealed, it will join a growing list of legal challenges to church restrictions around the country.

Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel is behind several of the lawsuits and appeals, and tells OneNewsNow that rulings are pending in four courts.

“The courts of appeal are split. The lower courts are split,” he advises. “And so really, at the end of the day, we need to get this resolved nationwide.”

Pastor and apologist Alex McFarland says North Pointe and other churches that are keeping their buildings closed need to rethink the decision.

McFarland

“Merely to roll over and play dead, as it were, and to say that we're not going to meet again, that's not New Testament Christianity,” he insists. “If you're not meeting for corporate worship, you're not practicing New Testament Christianity.”

Many churches in the West are witnessing a decline in attendance, he says, so now is no time for churches to permanently adapt to online services and to conclude that is the new way to “do church” in the 21st century.

 "I am saying," McFarland adds, "it is time for churches everywhere to meet." 

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWS BRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

FEATURED PODCAST

VOTE IN OUR POLL

The biggest highlight from the final presidential debate was…(Pick up to two)

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Maine supreme court declines to extend mail-in vote deadline
US Navy: 2 onboard training plane killed in Alabama crash
Fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh goes on despite US mediation
Trump, Biden scrap on oil, virus with just over a week to go
Trump campaign sues in Nevada to stop Vegas-area vote count
Some hospitals in crisis as US nears high for COVID-19 cases

LATEST FROM THE WEB

San Bernardino, Calif., police shooting sparks night of unrest
Trump 'coyote' remark confuses Twitter, including Georgia state Democrat
Putin: Russia-China military alliance can't be ruled out
Trump calls Biden's 'transition from' oil comments 'perhaps most shocking admission ever made'
Oops: Photograph of Joe Biden and Hunter's business partner found on Burisma's website

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
MacArthur is right to resist

corporate worshipOne attorney says Pastor John MacArthur declaring his church in California will meet for services, regardless of what Governor Gavin Newsom (D) says, is constitutionally and theologically sound.