It seems to me a concentrated effort to close down churches. It seems that if there is a COVID 19 case at one of the secular establishments, there is a passing reference in the media, (here some pubs closed down again having just reopened on July 4th, because someone had a positive test for COVID 19), but if a church which is meeting has a couple of COVID 19 cases, all panic and alarm is let loose in the press.
Here in Britain, most churches obeyed all the rules about online only, and in the cases of some of the Catholic, Anglican and Free Churches like the Methodists, did not even allow online services from the churches, but from private addresses only, like the pastorâ€™s house or vicarage, or in the case of some churches with a pastor living in the premises, from some side chapel.
Now online services are possible, the restrictions are so onerous and difficult, with pastors adding even stricter restrictions like compulsory mask wearing, and of course the complete ban on live singing, etc., that many churches have not opened up. One very large church I know where the elderly pastor recently retired, and had elders and visiting pastors before the lockdown, still has not reopened, and was not even doing online services, but just devotionals and old recorded sermons on its we
I have just listened with great sadness to a wonderful old recording on You Tube with congregation and organ, of the beautiful hymn, Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken, from Westminster Chapel in central London, in June 1955, featuring the baritone voice of the famous pastor there, Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones.
What would he make of his old church today, where until the Covid 19 lockdown, they had gone over to the modern worship band, and 7/11 choruses, and according to their website are still only doing online services, despite the permission for churches to resume live public worship albeit under very strict conditions, including no singing.
What would he, (remember he was a medical doctor before he became a pastor), make of the fact that another famous reformed evangelical congregation in London, have to sit in the church, wearing masks, mandated by the church elders, (recommended but not required by the government),listening to recorded hymns, and yet they still are forbidden to sing. Droplets in masks surely are trapped by the masks. The whole thing is completely out of all proportion , and particularly when loud, noisy, non â€śsocial distancingâ€ť, protests are permitted beforehand. It sounds very suspicious to me!! Thankfully in Britain, the government is now dealing with prot
At present, sadly, this discussion about good solid devotional and doctrinal hymns versus the repetitive vacuous doctrinally empty 7/11 rock style choruses popular in most professed evangelical churches today, is rather academic since any singing in churches is illegal in many places at present, even if they are wearing masks!!
I watched two lovely services yesterday, which had a present congregation, which were totally live, for the spoken parts and had recorded hymns with congregation and organ, from pre-COVID 19 lockdown services. The cameraman in this church never films the congregation anyway, but only the pastor. This is just as well, as the fully masked congregation, (mandated by the church, not the government, though they recommend it), are still not allowed to sing, (that is a government order), and are given a paper hymn sheet, which they read silently, while the recorded hymns are being sung, and then take hone with them afterwards!!!
Unfortunately, compulsory mask wearing by everyone in every public place, is now an almost permanent feature of the new orthodoxy.
I am aware that Chinese, Koreans and Japanese have often long worn masks outside, not so much because of disease, but pollution in their cities. Now it is to be imported globally.
I actually have an over active sinus condition (non infective),and wearing a mask is unpleasant and uncomfortable. Now the orthodox doctors are saying that there are virtually no grounds for medical exemption. Any other medical voices that go against this are quickly silenced.
At present, in England mask wearing is compulsory on public transport, and recommended elsewhere, in Scotland on public transport and shops, in Wales and N Ireland, merely recommended, (though no doubt compulsory very soon). Many regathered churches now also make it mandatory, though here it is not a condition of their meeting.
I am not sure that continuous breathing in of your own recycled CO2 can be all that healthy. I actually see it as a sign of subjugation and conformity, not as a necessary health issue.
I can remember as a boy, when apart from nurses, administrators, communications, and other background operations, generally women did not serve in the military.
There were three nursing corps or regiments, one each for Army, Royal Navy / Marines, and Royal Air Force, and then one general corps or regiment for each service, and they all had their own separate uniforms and barracks, and they never went in front line service.
Now all that has gone, and the new political correctness has stated that some can serve anywhere and everywhere!!
Now, of course, it is but only women, but LGBTQ and even the Transgender. All this is a recipe for disaster, and the various Communist and Islamic armies that might oppose us, are very happy at this state of affairs. We do not have conscription in Britain, but if we did, presumably women would be conscripted as well.
Thank you brother or sister B McCausland, (sorry I am not sure which), that is indeed a lovely hymn, and very appropriate for these days.
This morning I read Psalm 137 about the Babylonians mocking the exiled and captive Israelites to sing a song of Zion, the city that they (the Babylonians), had sacked and destroyed.
I really feel that the global authorities are really mocking the church. The pubs and bars here (which have all reopened here in England, albeit with restrictions, and the stores, too), are flourishing and busy, except in Leicester, the unfortunate city with a local lockdown still in force.
But churches like Met Tab, are open with a fully masked congregation, all spaced out, and yet still they cannot sing!!! This is iniquitous. Masks are not actually mandatory, it is the church authorities that have made them so, yet despite the face being completely covered, the congregation still cannot sing Godâ€™s praises, and must sit and listen to recorded hymns instead. Sorry, folks, something very wrong here!!
This is a very old tactic used by both Communists and Nazis. In Nazi Germany, the main Protestant Lutheran and Reformed Churches were grouped together in a kind of â€śProtestant German Churchâ€ť which had to display Nazi flags, sermons were taken from a sermon outline paper printed by the Nazis, and regular affirmations of support for the regime were regularly encouraged for pastors and church members. A Nazi â€śReichsbischoffâ€ť ( State Bishop - sorry about the dodgy German!) was in charge of all this. The Catholics were also similarly arranged.
The Soviet Union had a few Orthodox churches, and one or two Potestant churches in principle cities that could be shown to tourists, â€śshowâ€ť churches, and their state appointed leaders were active members of the Communistic World Council of Churches. They were a mouthpiece of Soviet state propaganda.
Even North Korea, where Christianity is completely illegal, does have three state â€śshowâ€ť churches, I believe, in Pyongyang, one Protestant, one Catholic, and one Korean speaking Russian-style Eastern Orthodox, which have occasional services as and when tourists or important foreign visitors show up.
I have just read the Met Tab requirements for live services. They will continue with the recorded hymns, and the congregation must wear masks, but are still not allowed to sing as the hymns are played, but remain seated. Everyone will have a paper hymn sheet, which they will merely read silently as the recorded hymns are played, and take away with them. Services will be kept down to about I hour maximum, and there is a whole host of rules, and spacing out, and of course, places must be booked in advance, with names and phone numbers given.
People under 14 and over 70, and â€śvulnerableâ€ť people with health conditions are not allowed to attend.
I wonder what C H Spurgeon would have done!! Communist China certainly must be cock a hoop. Not only suppressing their own church at home, but now the Christian Church banned or strictly controlled in all the world!! This makes a total mockery of Christian worship. Thankfully the cameramen do not film the congregation, only the pastor, so I can continue with the illusion of a â€śliveâ€ť unmasked congregation during the hymn singing!!
About one third of Hong Kong citizens, also hold a kind of very limited British passport, called British Overseas citizenship, which is a hangover from the days when the British ruled the colony up to 1997, when it was handed over by treaty to China. It gives them no right of residence in Britain, though I think they can visit Britain without a visa, however.
As China has broken her side of the â€śOne Nation, Two Systemsâ€ť agreement by finally imposing its full blown direct Communist rule on Hong Kong, our PM has now infuriated the Chinese Communists by offering all British Overseas citizens in Hong Kong, the right to British residence, and eventually full British citizenship, after using the residence for a number of years.
I would think that any who wishes to take advantage of this needs to leave now, as I suspect that Communist China will bring in their own security police, customs and immigration, also slapping an exit visa requirement on the Hong Kong citizens and basically forbidding most of them to leave. The churches also need to get ready for the persecution the Chinese Communist authorities have already inflicted on the mainland.
This was inevitable after a traitorous US Chief Supreme Court â€śconservativeâ€ť Justice sided with the liberals on the recent previous coronavirus restrictions ruling about churches gathering. Thankfully the other three â€śconservativesâ€ť did oppose in that issue.
However, that has emboldened the state authorities and Governor Newsome, to ban all singing in church outright,it looks as if that included outside services, whether masks are worn (which is compulsory everywhere in California), and social distancing is strictly observed, and despite many of the very large churches there only 25% or 109 people, whichever is lower is permitted. I am sure though not stated in this article, the ban also includes baptisms, communion, and any social activity.
I know some heading pastors are determined to hold services, but the riots were allowed without any limit, and the leftist dictators are now doing the same virtually asChina, using the Covid 19 crisis to crush Christianity which they hate.
Not all California I understand is the large cities of LA, SA, SD, Oakland, or the leftist enclaves if Hollywood and Silicon Valley. I understand there are many rural areas, which are naturally conservative.
Maybe this is the case. Where sadly are the solid Reformed and Evangelical pastors who seem to lack the spirit of the Puritans and Covenanters who worshipped, even when it was forbidden by the government of the day, even though it meant imprisonment and sometimes even execution.
Another large evangelical church in an East Midlands city, which I attended when I lived there not only closed down, but did not even do any downloads or live-streaming, and only has devotionals, and old sermons going up to the lockdown in March on its website. (Unfortunately, it is not even a member of SA, so itâ€™s sermons are not listed here). All work by this church totally ceased, though as as far as I am aware, it is still formulated. Unfortunately the dear elderly pastor of this church had previously retired, and it seems though it is quite a large church, and well attended, they just keeled over. Now, sadly, this city has just fallen victim to a â€śsecond spikeâ€ť of Covid 19, and a local lockdown has now been reimposed there.
When people started getting murdered, and raped, and the locals in the area realised that the tyranny of the mob is ruthless, the local mayor had absolutely no choice but to send the very brave police that she hates and despises, in to clear the area and restore order.
She is highly culpable, and one would like to think she realised, albeit rather hate in the day, that the â€śsummer of loveâ€ť she supported had turned out to be a nightmare for her citizens.
Sadly, it seems more and more we are in the days of Lot and of Noah, and lawlessness is indeed abounding.
It is a great shame when church closures happened in late March that church leaders had not been more vocal then.
This action by some African charismatic pastors and one or two Anglican evangelical ministers (including a retired bishop), has come rather too late. The silence over church closures has been deafening. I am not even sure if my own church is going to open up yet. The restrictions are fairly severe, although I understand as at the beginning, some church leaders are going further than even the government.
For example, technically there is no number restrictions, except that people must space out for â€śsocialâ€ť distancing, yet churches have imposed number restrictions.
Again, though recommended, unlike on public transport, where masks are mandatory, they are not mandatory in churches, but church leaders have pushed compulsory mask wearing in church.
What is forbidden apparently is singing. It appears that communion is severely restricted, and in some cases banned, and baptisms are out of the question. Singing, communion and baptism are core activities of a church, and yet these have been all been more or less outlawed.
Not since the 17th and early 18th centuries has a government in Britain told Christians how they may or may not worship, even during plague
To be fair two of the justices are actually solid constitutionalists, and committed to that. The third justice is a rather weak flawed individual, who went the right way this time, but gave a poor argument. As for the other two â€śconservativesâ€ť, they are turncoats, and that leaves the four dedicated activist liberals, who are committed to their viewpoint, no matter what.
Praise God for the black police officer who gave the brainwashed white BLM protester the real solution and answer to the whole problem of â€śracismâ€ť and conflict.
No doubt this young lady had been brainwashed in a leftist university or college, or by the established media, but this dear black servant of God set her straight. What a rebuke!! Effectively she called the accompanying white officer a liar, because he said he had a black wife and children, but this dear black officer indeed gave the real solution. It is sin, far worse than any Covid 19 virus that we need to repent of and be cleansed from, and come to the Lord Jesus Christ, and appropriate His Blood and His Sacrifice for us. He is indeed the only way, the truth and the life. I must pray for both the white lady protester, for her salvation and for this precious black police officer for his protection and his witness.
And most sinister of all, if I understand the law correctly, apparently names and phone numbers of all attendants should be recorded and the record kept for 4 weeks. Thankfully, though I believe recommended strongly, there is no requirement for mandatory mask wearing. All these restrictions are very disturbing, and apart from one or two approaches made by some MPs and â€ślay membersâ€ť, and a letter in May from a society (Protestant Truth Society), really the church leaders have been deafeningly silent on the whole issue, including the evangelicals!! This is very sad indeed and sets a dangerous precedent.
When shops and even pubs are full, (no doubt with illicit singing, when people have had too much), it is iniquitous, that we are told how we are to worship. Will this still be the case next year? I hope not.
I am very grateful indeed that apparently there are to be no number restrictions on church attendees, provided they can space out.
However, the state has now set a precedent whereby it can interfere with how we worship!! Apparently even choirs in an Anglican evensong cannot sing, though set back from the congregation. They may still fly Covid 19 drops everywhere. My church does not have choirs, or soloists, we have congregational singing only of beautiful old hymns with an organ or a computerised piano. What good is it if someone plays the organ, which is permitted, if we cannot sing?
What about our good friends up in the hills and islands of Scotland, (that is a separate jurisdiction, but similar rules will apply, when their services are permitted), or my old baptismal church, where only unaccompanied psalms are sung. They can no longer sing them. How long will this restriction endure?
What will happen to the online services at Met Tab, where they use recorded hymns. Will the now gathered congregants have to listen (communal hymn books and pew Bibles are also banned), without singing, whether the organ is live or recorded? What about the things not mentioned in this question in Parliament? Communion, baptisms, church fellowship, church meals, Sunday school, outreache
Donâ€™t forget, folks, the current BLM movements was actually founded by 3 lesbian ladies, and the LGBTQI+ aims and objectives are as equally at the heart of it as the â€śRacial Justiceâ€ť and policing abolition issues.