Minn. allows all churches to reopen after Catholics, Lutherans threaten to defy orders
Days after Minnesotaâ€™s Catholic and Lutheran churches publicly declared they would defy Gov. Tim Walzâ€™s order restricting in-person services to not more than 10 people, the state has announced it is lifting that limitation to let larger groups gather for worship beginning Wednesday.
At a press briefing Saturday, Gov. Walz announced that churches will be able to hold services starting Wednesday if they follow social distancing guidelines and limit the gatherings to not more than 25 percent of a buildingâ€™s capacity, MinnPost reported.
The governor has recognized that churches can reopen safely and carefully in the same way as malls and other business operations, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which along with Sidley Austin LLP had written to Waltz about his pervious order violating the First Amendment, said in a statement Saturday....
Chrisgp from England wrote: --- As far as churches are concerned, even when they do begin services, at least for the foreseeable future, severe limits on numbers, spacing out, no greetings, no communion, no baptisms, possibly no singing, masks strongly encouraged, no Sunday school, no fellowship meals or social activities, etc. is very likely to be the conditions. I just wish we had some of the proactive pastors you had in some of the USA
Unfortunately, power is not readily given up, Chrisgp. Once tasted, the very fallenness of men with power insures that particular lust will be held closely. It may well be that at some point the people will decide when they will live again. If that happens, the powers will wilt. They are beginning to see that looking to centralized political planning solutions based on self-defined experts' ever-changing expertise, seldom works well, if at all.
The latest here in England only, (Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are still continuing with the stricter lockdown, with no sign yet of it being eased), is that we have for a week or so been allowed to do unlimited exercise, and day excursions to outside places,(public transport use is discouraged though), and that outside markets, (food stalls have been allowed since the lockdown began, this refers to non-food stalls), and car dealerships open up on June 1st; all other non-retail shops, indoor markets and stores open up on June 15th, (subject to strict spacing rules, and no hands on or trying out permitted), but strictly no sit down cafes and restaurants, (takeaways are allowed), hotels, (except for medical staff or other approved residents), cinemas, theatres, gyms and pubs, and unfortunately no in person church services. No date has yet been given for their resumption. As far as churches are concerned, even when they do begin services, at least for the foreseeable future, severe limits on numbers, spacing out, no greetings, no communion, no baptisms, possibly no singing, masks strongly encouraged, no Sunday school, no fellowship meals or social activities, etc. is very likely to be the conditions. I just wish we had some of the proactive pastors you had in some of the USA
The restrictions that are placed on church goers in Texas are still restrictive. 20% capacity, family only permitted to sit together as a group, visitors must be 6â€™ apart, no shaking hands, no talking or visiting , no offerings, no bulletin and you must exit the church building quickly ( like a fire drill). After receiving these restrictions, our family decided we would wait till phase 56#, the church wide celebration given when Dr. Fauci retires or when politicians who say â€œ Texas is opening â€œ, really means it had happened. Liquor stores and tattoo parlors arenâ€™t as restrictive. You show up with money and buy or visit all you want.
Westminster Confession of Faith 23/1. God, the Supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained civil magistrates to be under him, over the people, for his own glory and the public good, and to this end hath armed them with the power of the sword, for the defense and encouragement of them that are good, and for the punishment of evil-doers.a
a. Rom 13:1-4; 1 Pet 2:13-14.
2. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate when called thereunto;a in the managing whereof, as they ought especially to maintain piety, justice, and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each commonwealth,b so, for that end, they may lawfully, now under the New Testament, wage war upon just and necessary occasion.c
a. Prov 8:15-16; Rom 13:1-2, 4. â€¢ b. 2 Sam 23:3; Psa 2:10-12; 82:3-4; 1 Tim 2:2; 1 Pet 2:13. â€¢ c. Mat 8:9-10; Luke 3:14; Acts 10:1-2; Rom 13:4; Rev 17:14, 16.
3. The civil magistrate may not assume to himself the administration of the Word and sacraments; or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven:a yet he hath authority, and it is his duty, to take order, that unity and peace be preserved in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire; ...."
If we remove the murkiness that has been dumped on the people for the last few months, (in the name of safety) the phrase "Minnesota allows all churches...." means all churches approved by the State. If you need State permission to funtion, what else could it mean? Our governor has decided that he will "allow" churches to open, but no more than 10 may be in attendance. There were some 20 in the room when the announcement was made, but hey, it's about the "science", not the math.
Recently I realized church is essential to me. Sadly, I have a history of complaining about it, ignoring it, judging it and dismissing it. God forgive me. I pray I look beyond my church's perceived faults to eat the bread, drink the wine and worship on my knees...praising God for the Church and giving my heart for it.