“[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 serves as the blueprint of faith, and the New Testament provides us with God's faith and the power to perform miracles through faith and the name of Jesus. Regardless of the severity of cancer, healing can be achieved through faith in God's word. When Jesus raised the dead, he did not discriminate based on the level of death. He simply called forth life. Let's explore how he did it.
The first time Jesus brought someone back from the dead was the daughter of Jairus, an official in Jerusalem. Although she had passed away, she was only recently deceased. The second time was the son of a widow in Nain who had been dead for just one day. Lastly, Jesus raised Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha in Bethany, who had been dead for three days. He raised them all. No matter how insurmountable your problem may seem, Jesus is the resurrection and the light. Ella Cruz
World's events are happening so fast. 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 or not. If you are, you believe this because it is predicted 2000 years ago in the Bible. But if you are not a Christian, you read the news and notice that the satanic world government is their agenda. Their Global Governance 2025 is terribly close. Their Green New Deal 12-year timeline matches the agenda 2030. We have a short time to prepare ourselves.
Born-again Christians are happy and calm. Why? Why do we joyfully dedicate ourselves to the nation, knowing that we will be chased and prosecuted? Because we are dedicated to the Kingdom. "Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done."
1. We firmly believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God.
2. We hold the Bible as the divinely inspired Word of God.
3. We believe that God loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross for our sins. Through His precious blood, all our sins are washed away and forgiven.
4. We believe that the price for our salvation, health, prosperity, happiness, and eternal life has been paid by the blood of Jesus. These gifts are freely available to us through the grace of God. By His stripes, we were healed 2000 years ago.
5. We acknowledge that by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we open our hearts to the Holy Spirit. We are baptized by the Holy Spirit, who dwells within us and communicates with us through dreams, visions, speeches, videos, books, and other means. This communication begins immediately after our salvation.
6. We firmly believe that Jesus Christ remains the same yesterday, today, and forever. As born-again believers, we receive the same DNA as Jesus Christ, with the same miraculous abilities through faith. Just as the apostles performed signs and wonders like Jesus, we too can accomplish these miracles through faith, and the Lord will work through us.
7. We condemn the Vatican's religion and many false prophets who have deceived Christians for centuries, hiding the true message of the Bible and the Good News from people to maintain their power. We welcome all denominations and strive for unity in the body of Christ.
8. We believe that a born-again Christian never truly dies. When a believer's life on earth ends, they are promoted to heaven, and death holds no power over them. In heaven, we experience immense joy, love, peace, and the glory of God. Those who have had near-death experiences or have seen Jesus in a vision or dream know the indescribable relief and joy of being in His presence.
To answer the question of why we are happy, we say that we could happily die at any moment. In fact, we long to go home and be with our Lord. However, we know that each one of us has a mission and purpose revealed to us by the Holy Spirit after our born-again experience. For the sake of fulfilling that mission, we remain joyful and relaxed in the spirit, knowing that we are called to 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! Jesus will reveal Himself to you, and your life will undergo a significant transformation. Your marriage, health (especially addiction), finances, and all areas of your life will experience an extraordinary change.
And never look back.
In Jesus Almighty name.