“[Government] shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” (First Amendment – U.S. Constitution)
Setting aside my profound disdain for this action… In the short-term there will likely be those who genuinely believe this is legally defensible as a result of a public health emergency. However, in the long-term two things will happen: (1) over time, and up to the possibility of SCOTUS intervention, the pastor will win any legal case against him; and (2) hopefully people will realize quickly the term “essential service” is arbitrary.
Inside the definition of two words “essential services” (which is different from area to area) is all that remains of your liberty. The first amendment of the constitution applies equally for all persons in all areas; the definition of “essential services” does not. That’s the legal issue that will see this pastor win, if he chooses to fight. Faith, the ability to worship, is easily argued as the preeminent ‘essential service’ to the individual and church.
FLORIDA – A Hillsborough County pastor was arrested Monday after he intentionally and repeatedly violated orders that no gatherings of 10 or more people he held in order to stop of the spread of COVID-19 by holding services at his megachurch, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister announced Monday afternoon.
The sheriff’s office received an anonymous tip on Friday that Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne, the pastor of the megachurch River at Tampa Bay Church in Riverview, refused to stop holding mass gatherings and instead was encouraging people to come to services.
[…] “His reckless disregard for human life put hundreds of people in his congregation at risk and thousands of residents who may interact with them in danger,” Chronister said.
The warrant charges the pastor with unlawful assembly and violation of public safety rules, both misdemeanors, according to Chronister.
Howard-Browne was booked into the local jail in Hernando County where he lives on Monday afternoon, and released 38 minutes later after posting bonds totaling $500. (more)
Let us be clear, the government can request, suggest and recommend that faith-based assemblies suspend their services; and in many cases those churches and religious groups may indeed choose to suspend their services. However, under no circumstance, including: war, famine or virus pandemics that could leave only a hand-full of people alive, can the government force the suspension; or punish those who refuse to comply.
Religious worship, including the assembly therein, is enshrined within the first amendment as it carries the first and ultimate essential service. There is absolutely no situation where that right can be removed.
It is often the case where people rush into reactions without thinking through the profound consequences. Why do you think ‘freedom of religion‘, and ‘the right to peaceably assemble‘ is the first amendment? The FIRST amendment. It is specifically the first amendment so that government cannot define arbitrary reasons, any reasons, to limit that constitutional right.
The ability/right to go to a grocery store crowded with people is not more essential than the ability/right to practice your faith. Accept the removal of the primary right of U.S. citizens and there is no longer a country for coronavirus to infect.
This is not a slippery slope; this is akin to voluntarily jumping directly into the abyss….
Author's note at the end of each post:
-"Your biggest problem is so small for such a big God"-Ella Cruz"
The Bible is the blueprint of Faith. The New Testament has given us God’s kind of faith and the authority to perform miracles through faith and the name of Jesus. No matter what level of cancer you are; you can be healed by your faith and the word of God. Jesus did not care in what stage of death were the three people whom he raised from the dead. He just called life on them. Let see how He did it.
"The first time he invaded the realm of death it was for the daughter of Jairus; an official in Jerusalem. She was “just” dead. The second time it was the son of a widow in Nain who was “one day” dead, and the third time it was Lazarus; brother of Mary and Martha in Bethany who was “very” dead after three days. HE raised them “all.” It doesn’t matter how big is your problem, and how hopeless you are because Jesus is the resurrection and the light."-Ella Cruz
World's events are happening so fast. Putting Global Governance 2015, Agenda 2030, Agenda 2050, Antarctica, Mars, CERN, G5, The United Nations, The European Union, the Club of Rome, and the false prophets of the Vatican all together, we see that the satanic global government is imminent and it shall come to pass. The mark of the beast will be obligatory. You are either a Christian and believe this because this is what was predicted 2000 years ago in the Bible, or you are not a Christian but you read all these articles and connect the dots to notice that the satanic world government is their agenda and with President Trump, we had 4 years and this was God's mercy on us. Their Global Governance 2025 is terribly close. Their Green New Deal's 12 years matches the agenda 2030. The immigration and devouring of America and Europe all go according to the blueprint of one world satanic government. We have a short time to prepare ourselves.
Why are we, born-again Christians happy and calm? Why do we joyfully dedicate ourselves to the nation, knowing that we will be chased and prosecuted for NOT taking the mark of the beast? Because we are dedicated to the Kingdom. "Your kingdom come, Your will be done."
1- We believe Jesus Christ is the son of the Living God.
2- We believe the Bible is the word of God.
3-We believe God had so much loved us that HE sent his only begotten son to die on the cross for our sins. Through his blood, all our sins are washed away and forgiven.
4- We believe the price of our salvation, health, prosperity, happiness, and eternal life is paid by the blood of Jesus. We have all these gifts in us when we are born again by GRACE. By his stripes, we are healed 2000 years ago.
5-We believe by accepting Jesus Christ as our savior, we open our hearts to the Holy Spirit. We are baptized by the Holy Spirit who will dwell in us and will reveal Himself through dreams, visions, speeches, videos, books to communicate with us, immediately after our Salvation.
6- We believe Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We believe born-again believers receive the same DNA as Jesus Christ with the same miraculous abilities through faith. Just as the Apostles performed the same signs and wonders as our Lord Jesus did. They did it through "faith," and The Lord will accomplish the same miracles through us after we accept him as our savior.
7-We condemn the religion and many fake prophets of the Vatican (not all of our Catholic brothers and sisters) who deceived Christians for centuries and hid the true message of the Bible and the Good News from people to keep themselves in power. We welcome all denominations.
8- We believe that a born-again Christian never dies and the moment his life on earth is terminated, he is promoted to heaven. There is no death for us. We just transit to our new dimension which is filled with immerse, joy, love, peace, and glory of God. All people who have met Jesus in a visit, vision, dream, or have died for a short time, left their body and came back, know how does this experience feel. It is a divine relief and joy.
Therefore, to answer the above question (why are we happy?), our answer is, we can happily die right now. In fact, we would love to die yesterday and go home but each one of us has a mission and purpose that the Holy Spirit has revealed to us after our born-again experience. For the sake of that mission, although we know our day of prosecution will come, we are joyful and relaxed in the spirit. Because we save people by preaching the Gospel and bringing them to Jesus.
To be born again, you just need to say:
I accept you as my personal savior,
Come to my heart,
Forgive my sins,
Wash me away,
Make me a new person,
And live inside of me.
In the Name of Jesus from Nazareth,
And that's it. You are saved. He will reveal himself to you. Your life will dramatically change. Your marriage, your health (especially addiction), your finances, and all areas of your life will experience this extraordinary change.
And never look back.
In Jesus Almighty name.