Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. - Romans 13: 1-4 (ESV)
The purpose driven mind believes in the cult of personality pastor. This person is vitally important for the success of the growth model. In most cases, the pastor becomes the church. Just look at the recent fall of Ravi Zacharias and you will see a church that did not dare question their cult of personality preacher. He wrote over thirty books! He preaches all around the world! Think nothing of the fact that he brings a female massage therapist with him on all international trips but not his wife. Pay no mind to the two Bangkok apartments he owns. Contrast that with the life and ministry of Paul who was not gifted in speech and once a congregation turned their eyes toward him he quickly redirected them back to Christ by exclaiming - was Paul crucified for you? Shane Idleman is a pastor from California who firmly believes in the purpose driven pastoral role as well as NAR dominionism. It is a shame because before he got twisted into politics, it seemed that he had a decent grasp on the Gospel. No more however as he spends his days now writing articles like one linked above defending churches that defied authority to reopen in the middle of a lethal pandemic. In doing so he not only shames himself but all of Christendom. Let us reason once more beloved.
"In a recent interview, Andy Stanley, pastor of Atlanta's North Point Community Church, said he is "embarrassed" by churches that engaged in "spitting matches" with state and local governments over COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, lamenting that far too many churches "abandoned the mission for the sake of the model." No, we haven't abandoned the mission because the mission is to be salt and light, to bring truth to a lost and perishing world and to stand boldly for the Word of God. We need to abandon fear and stop believing falsehoods leveled by those with an agenda to silence the pulpits and stop the spread of the gospel. What makes me think it is an agenda? I don't have time to go into all the inconsistencies, but let me present just a handful: Why did numbers drop substantially after the inauguration on Jan. 20 and the language about the virus change? Why are cases of the flu and pneumonia nearly extinct? Why are Walmart and Costco packed every day of the year, while small businesses are being strangled? Why can people gather to protest the police, but more than 10 at a Thanksgiving dinner is a "super-spreader"?" - Shane Idleman
This is what is so embarrassing for the "church" today. Faced with state ordered lockdowns and a growth model that cannot survive without in-person flock fleecing, pastors were faced with a choice of potentially losing their fiefdoms or violating Romans 13. They were faced with endangering the very lives of their sheep or being forced to find real jobs. Many, like Shane Idleman, made the selfish, ruthless and wrong choice. Make no mistake about it beloved, people are dead because of those choices. Then when faced with just criticism, they regurgitate Facebook memes as fact, as Shane does here. Why are the regular flu numbers nonexistent? Because we are wearing masks and socially distancing! This isn't rocket science. People wearing masks at an outdoor event such as a protest are demonstrably safer than gathering with a small group to hug and eat and not wear masks. These are not inconsistencies. They are easily answered by logic. The same go for the Costco example. When people go to Costco, they wear masks and stay socially distanced. The vast majority of small businesses Shane references are socially related. Restaurants and bars require not wearing masks and are thus far more dangerous. A store such as Costco was also deemed necessary so people could get food. It is not that experts downplayed the risk but rather that the risk was worth making sure you still had food to eat. I am not getting into silly conspiracy theories regarding Inauguration Day. The numbers are changing because there is actual leadership now regarding this pandemic. As I said though this is just embarrassing because anyone with a discerning brain in the world could see through these political talking points and see that Shane is speaking nothing but rubbish. Andy Stanley is still a rank heretic but he got this one right. Stanley also spoke directly to the fact that some churches are engaged in spitting matches with their local governments. This is also very true.
"What about masks? One day they tell us to wear two masks, but the next, they tell us not to wear them at all (as in this video, which has since been removed to hide the evidence). Why are law-abiding citizens being harassed and arrested, while those breaking the law, destroying property and attacking innocent people are declared to be part of a "summer of love"? This is why so many Americans are beyond angry, and I believe it may be a righteous anger. We have been subjected to skewed numbers, fake pictures and elevated statistics with the undeniable goal of instilling fear. And what about all the COVID-positive illegal immigrants crossing the border?" - Shane Idleman
Why must those claiming the mantle of Christian leadership be the stupid ones? The video was removed because it LIED. Just like Shane is LYING right here. The fact that as the virus progressed the scientists changed their recommendations is not an indication of some tinfoil hat conspiracy theory. When the state says you cannot open your church and you do anyway, you are no longer law-abiding citizens Shane. Just stop with the absurd Fox News talking points! COVID positive illegal immigrants? Did Sean Hannity write this article for you? You are supposed to be a pastor for heaven's sake!