The church I attend in the afternoon has 250-350 people and is overflowing into the fellowship hall. We've never stopped meeting all year long. No social distancing, few masks if any. Hand sanitizer available, the sick are cautioned to stay home. No problems all year. Then there's MacArthur's church. 7000 people and just 3 cases. Stop the oppression.
The egregious thing here isn't the church meeting, but the oppression of a church by a Democrat government. In Arizona the government doesn't interfere with the church. They make recommendations but honor the constitutional freedom guaranteed to the church. I attend two churches, one small one about 300. Both meet inside and urge the vulnerable to remain home and offer sanitizer to those attending. Distancing and masks are optional but 99% are fine without them. While reasonable precautions are taken, there are no outbreaks, no fear. I believe the same is true for Grace Community Church (MacArthur) in California. Separation of Church and State is supposed to work both ways.
The government is distinct from the church both in Scripture and the Constitution, and while it can warn of danger, it has no right to impose rules over it. It's fine to cry 'Wolf', and so we follow proper precautions. But when while doing so we continue to discover no wolf in our particular neighborhood, there comes a point where we take responsibility and say 'thanks but no thanks' But Doug Wilson says it better: https://dougwils.com/books-and-culture/s7-engaging-the-culture/romans-13-and-the-covid-19-virus.html
Our church, as well as many others across the country, have begun taking the initiative to address our civil magistrates on the gospel and the Scripture's condemnation of abortion. You can search YouTube for +"city council" +abortion to view instances. This is one responsible effort to be salt and light to our communities.
What a blatant, disgusting affront to God. An ostentatious man-centered ritual bringing attention away from Christ's work while utterly ignoring how Jesus instructed us to remember His death in Luke 22. Sad.
It's fine to proclaim democracy and freedom - I occasionally preach against abortion outside Planned Parenthood - but in doing so, it is done subordinate to and in the context of the gospel, the person and work of Christ, of faith and repentance. The persecution Jesus is speaking about is that which is "on my account" (Matt. 5)
Heartbeat bills sound good, but there is often a serious flaw: *who* is detecting the heartbeat and *how* is the heartbeat to be detected? A helpful article here: https://www.faithwire.com/2019/02/18/why-pro-life-christians-should-be-against-heartbeat-bills/
â€œAccording to Scripture, God has created the â€˜universe.â€™ God has created time and space. God has created all the â€˜factsâ€™ of science. God has created the human mind. In this human mind God has laid the laws of thought according to which it is to operate. In the facts of science God has laid the laws of being according to which they function. In other words, the impress of Godâ€™s plan is upon His whole creation." -- Cornelius Van Til
Your ultimate reference point for judging truth will determine your worldview regarding science and ethics. The Bible presents the objective, rational worldview of the omniscient, omnipotent Creator that can adequately explain experience. Anything else is ultimately predicating "Chance", and is subjective relying on the experience and judgment of fallen men who are desperately fleeing from God and actively suppressing the truth (Romans 1:21). Cornelius Van Til said all facts are interpreted facts.
Another recent contributor to the decline of abortions is EndAbortionNow.com. While much of the pro-life movement puts the gospel in a subordinate position, they promote the gospel as the primary instrument against abortion, going to the abortion mills and preaching the gospel without threats or intimidation while offering medical, adoptive and financial resources as an alternative to mothers in crisis. Many babies have been saved in the U.S. and it's spreading into Canada, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand as well!
I don't regularly drink coffee, but while acknowledging the biochemistry involved, and how it affects the systems of individuals differently, we should avoid blaming it for sinful reactions to the way it (or anything else) makes us feel. That's a 'heart' problem of a different kind.