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John MacArthur, Michael Brown and Andy Stanley - Guess Who Is Right?

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On the one hand, churches are being singled out for unfair treatment, as in Nevada, where casinos can meet at half-capacity but a congregation with a building that seats 2,000 is limited to 50 people in attendance. That's why even the Department of Justice has weighed in on discrimination against churches. On the other hand, Pastor Stanley shares some of the same reasoning I put forth in my COVID-19 book, When the World Stops: Words of Hope, Faith and Wisdom in the Midst of Crisis. As much as possible, we should submit to government authority, and as much as possible, we should demonstrate love for our neighbor. That's why I have urged pastors to pray, take counsel and come to decisions on their own. On the one hand, we cannot respond to a spirit of fear, paralyzing us from taking action. On the other hand, we cannot cultivate a spirit of rebellion that thrives on defiance to the law. In this case, living in different states and making decisions for different reasons, I commend both Pastor MacArthur and Pastor Stanley for acting on their convictions out of love for God and their communities. May the name of Jesus be exalted; may the cause of the gospel be advanced; and may a hurting world be touched.

While I might agree that the Nevada orders seem contradictory that does not change scripture. Brown is looking for any excuse to be disobedient. Yet strangely enough he is all over the map trying to take every side. He presents himself with an interesting choice. Cultivate fear or rebellion. Except here is the thing. Wearing a mask and staying six feet from people during a pandemic is not fear - it is wisdom. Brown set up a false choice because he realizes he cannot get around the other side of this equation. What John MacArthur and Brown advocate for is rebellion, period. They feel justified because they have determined the offense of governmental overreach but it is still rebellion. Still not sure, let me boil down Brown's thinking:

As much as possible, we should submit to government authority, and as much as possible, we should demonstrate love for our neighbor.

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That's why I have urged pastors to pray, take counsel and come to decisions on their own.

As much as possible? Is that what the bible says? Are there times we should not demonstrate love for our neighbor? Do the key verses qualify when we should obey and not obey? Then look what his eventual advice is to pastors. Just come to a decision on your own. No Dr. Brown; that is why we have the bible. So we do not add carnal or political caveats to God's instructions. You commend both pastors for acting on their convictions but only one of them acted on scriptures. I just can't believe between MacArthur and Brown, Andy Stanley would be the pastoral voice of reason. It might be a sign that the apocalypse is upon us but then again, a broken clock is right twice a day.

Reverend Anthony Wade - September 11, 2020

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