Yes, there is a bigger law and pastors are held to a higher account. We should pray for Mike McClure because he will stand before Christ one day and answer for what he wrought. Any sickness or death will not be dismissible by complaining about the government. Obeying the bible is NOT a debatable thing. Getting into spitting matches with the government is not what the bible instructs for proper behavior in front of and towards the lost. You see, Mike McClure does not get to decide what he is worried about in a vacuum. If the government says to do "X" then you do "X", especially if it is in the interest of saving the lives of the very people God has put in your charge. I do not care to hear your opinion about matters you have no experience in. Mike McClure is not an epidemiologist. He is not a virologist. He could have simply followed the mandate and still held services but not only was he defiant, but he taught his sheep to be defiant as well. All of which, he will answer for. Now fast-forward to today and the above linked story. It seems the government of San Jose does not forgive as broadly as Christ does. We will only look at what is truly relevant here as Charisma News is trafficking in the more salacious elements such as whether the church was spied on as retaliation - Jesus does not care! The story seems to be injected just to distract from the indefensible position the church took, which is now going to cost them 1.2 million dollars.
"Calvary claimed the government's orders violated their religious freedoms, the judge disagreed and said the mask mandate was "neutral and generally applicable" to other similar institutions in the county. It should appear clear to all"regardless of religious affiliation"that wearing a mask while worshipping one's god and communing with other congregants is a simple, unobtrusive, giving way to protect others while still exercising your right to religious freedom," Pennypacker wrote." - Charisma News
We saw this throughout the pandemic. Churches were not "targeted", rather any public gathering such as church services were deemed unsafe. Stating that you couldn't hold your purpose driven mega-services has nothing to do with your religious freedoms. Now, it is unfortunate that Rick Warren convinced so may pastors to think that faith was ONLY about that hour and a half on Sundays because it never should have been. How hard was the ask from the government really? To protect themselves, to wear a mask if they wanted to congregate in large groups. It seems that the rebellion WAS the point. The act of thumbing their nose to the government was the point. Week after week of telling the officials to take a hike. Of violating ordinance after ordinance. Violating court orders after court orders. Well tough guy, the bill now comes due.
"With mask mandates being a highly contentious subject in the United States, and the world, the judge's opinion rings shockingly partisan and personally influenced for such a ruling." - Charisma News
Huh? This quite the laughable statement from Charisma. So, because there are a bunch of unscientific folks like Mike McClure, who contend against reason that wearing masks is helpful, that precludes a judge from ruling that he is wrong? That is the height of absurdity. The only reason why this is eve debated is because of people like Mike McClure, who listened to Facebook posts and conspiracy theories before bothering to check the science. The mere existence of dissent does not make stating fact partisan.
'Pennypacker continued in her ruling writing, "Unfortunately, Defendants repeatedly refused to model, much less, enforce this gesture. Instead, they repeatedly flouted their refusal to comply with the Public Health Orders and urged others to do so 'who cares what the cost,' including death."' - Charisma News
Did you get that? The church had the opportunity to model civic behavior and save lives but not only chose to ignore that but encouraged others to do the same! They did not merely disagree, but they flouted their disagreement! They made a public spectacle of disobeying laws designed to protect people from a plague that has killed millions of people. Do we honestly think for one minute, Jesus is going to want to hear about government overreach or uneducated opinions based on disinformation? As a biblical olive branch, this church should pay their fines and apologize for putting so many people in danger.
"Attorney Mariah Gondeiro, who is representing Calvary Chapel and is with Advocates for Faith and Freedom, argues the constitutionality of the mask mandates as they were not applied equally in the state and county. "This is not just our 1st Amendment rights, it's really our biblical mandate not to forsake assembling with the saints," Pastor Che' Ahn, senior pastor of Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, said during his church's battle with the California legal system in 2021." - Charisma News