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Featured Has California Told Christians, including John MacArthur, to Sin

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Steven Yeadon, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. Steven Yeadon

    Steven Yeadon Well-Known Member
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    I just read it and provided the link for this discussion. Thank you for suggesting I read it. I'll be honest, I disagree with him, but it is against his conscience to stay closed. Thus, he should have the right to assemble based on his own conscience, even though a lot of the Brethren strongly disagree with him.
     
  2. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    I used to believe that fable!

    Just thinking - Lets say you have something you need to drop off to the pastor.
    You arrive at the correct address - but the pastor is not there. Therefore, "you cannot
    leave the package as you are not at the church.
    Sounds silly - doesnt it!

    Or your friend Smitty is at your house with you, your wife and 10 kids. So Smitty says, can you show me where your church is? And you answer "You are looking at our church right now - all 12 of us! (and Down South several churches are composed of one or two families) Of course you know what he means - so are you going to give him a theological class on the word church?

    What Mr. Webster says about "church"

    My final word - much ado about nothing.

    If you feel the need - you may have the last word
    as I am now out of this specific discussion
     
  3. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Our Associations supports a missionary in the Caribbean. I believe the name of the church is Seaside Church. Every Sunday - they set up the chairs on the beach and have church service. Not sure what they do when it snows.
     
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  4. Katarina Von Bora

    Katarina Von Bora Active Member

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    I attend Apologia Church in AZ. We gather every Sunday. We do not have a church building. We rent. There is a definite hierarchy. We are being fed solid food. We don't just talk, we act. I have been standing in front of abortion mills for more than 2 years (except the summer heat)



    God speed
     
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  5. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    What points do you disagree with? I do not see where he has made any error in application of Scripture.
    We must keep in mind that The Early Church met in defiance of govt authority. The underground Church today meets in defiance of govt authority.
    There is nothing pandemic about this "pandemic "
     
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  6. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    Thank you for your action to stop genocide
     
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  7. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    Yeah, I bet snow is s big problem for them.
     
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  8. Steven Yeadon

    Steven Yeadon Well-Known Member
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    I know political theology a bit from my seminary days as a moderate Baptist.

    I'll set the stage a little, Reformed hold to the belief that human civilization is built up of autonomous "spheres" of community that should not be messed with by other "spheres" due to their sovereignty in the divine order. This is what MacArthur is using as his justification because the "sphere of the church" cannot be told what to do by any other sphere.

    Now this system breaks down in practice historically. OK, church discipline of a father in his family who beats his wife, is that the church's business to administer church discipline while also calling the cops on the father? I kid you not, I have heard arguments against such due to the "sovereignty of the family unit." That was on a message board IIRC.

    Now, I need to be very careful, I am not saying you always have people doing the wrong thing with this Reformed political theology. What I am saying is that real life is more complicated than the basic gloss of the Reformed system of differing spheres of community inside civilization.

    As contrast, is the Lutheran system. The system of two kingdoms and two governments. It is very Augustinian. You have the kingdom of the world in nation states and the kingdom of God in the church. These kingdoms have two governments, one ruled by clergy, the other by politicians and military leaders. The government is to help the church and the church is to help the government, but the distinction of clergy and politicians is never to be violated. Still politicians and clergy work in tandem to create a Christian civilization with the two governments assisting one another. That is my memory for now, I could find a really good book on Luther's theology of the two kingdoms quickly if need be.

    That explained, I do not view MacArthur's views as the only Christian way of interpreting the family, church, and the government. Scripture itself does not explain political theology in any great detail. I am a man of simplicity on this subject, and I hold to Romans 13 with the exception of disobedience to the state telling me to sin directly. So, hence, why I started this thread.

    Now, maybe I shouldn't say many Brethren disagree with MacArthur, but in practice they do. I also do not see MacArthur as having a compelling argument to disobey the government when he could do outdoor services and small groups on zoom. That is because, to me, the meat of MacArthur's argument is at the end of his theological work I linked.

    That the state is being foolish to require so many abide by their rules to save so few. That was never going to do anything but anger me to no end, because I have an elderly mother who recently made it through Coronavirus alive, thank and praise God! My church prayed on it for weeks! If MacArthur is, well, nasty enough to think people like my mom can be a statistic I have nothing to do with the man's stance. That is except that his conscience would be violated, due to the nature of his theology, so I would allow him to meet, personally.
     
    #28 Steven Yeadon, Sep 17, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
  9. Calminian

    Calminian Well-Known Member
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    I think MacArthur believes it has now crossed that threshold. Especially when you see the poisonous race theory indoctrination that's happening simultaneously, and the pass it's getting. The Church is being hindered why an opposing false religion is being empowered.
     
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  10. Guvnuh

    Guvnuh Member

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    The building is not the church. It is our place of meeting but too often people put the building before the congregation.
    There is a business side to the church but too often the business side becomes the focus and main engine of the local church.

    When the building and business become more important than the Gospel, the local church becomes secularized and one more non profit club on the block. Membership numbers, bricks and dollars will supercede evangelism, discipleship and worship.

    Yep, a return to the basics is needed. Preach, teach, baptize and disciple.
    That said, I need to get busy at it.
     
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  11. Calminian

    Calminian Well-Known Member
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    Interesting thoughts, but irrelevant. There are no bans on buildings, but large assemblies. Grace Community is a particularly large congregation, with about 10K moving through their doors every week. I'm sure it's fewer now, even with the rebellion.

    The issue is the assembly, which we are commanded not to forsake. This has nothing to do with buildings. If they found a residence to meet at, they'd be shutdown even faster.
     
  12. Guvnuh

    Guvnuh Member

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    My thoughts were in response to the previous mention of the emphasis on buildings and business of the church.

    I don't believe GCC is deficient in preaching, teaching, or discipleship. Point being that is their focus. They simply have large facilities due to their growth and needs.

    I agree with the thought that progressive govt. leadership is "attacking" or "targeting" congregations to close the buildings. Secondly , I do believe they will attempt to close house churches and home study groups.(California)
    Let's face it. They hate the Gospel, they hate those of us who love the Gospel.
    It appears that California is wanting to lead the charge on this. I suspect other progressive states and counties will save their money and efforts and wait to see what happens.
     
  13. Calminian

    Calminian Well-Known Member
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    I'll listen to the particular church itself on that issue. They would know better than you.

    Of course they would. They would be giant assemblies. They'd get shut down even faster, as they would cause traffic/parking issues in neighborhoods.
     
  14. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    So, what you are saying is there is no scriptural basis for disagreement with Macarthur. Macarthur does mot subscribe to the "spheres" nearly as much as some reformed theologians.
     
  15. Steven Yeadon

    Steven Yeadon Well-Known Member
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    I'm saying, there are multiple systems of understanding civilization defensible with scripture. That said, given MacArthurs theology, his conscience demands civil disobedience. That is fine, and the state should honor his conscience. Although, I personally disagree with MacArthurs logic, especially given my mom and other loved ones.
     
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  16. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    My mom and dad are old also. Both are very high risk. My dad is in the highest risk category. We all are going to die sometime. Though I dont treat death casually, I dont live in fear of it. This "pandemic" does not justify the drastic over reach of govt.
    Our founders had seen and knew the History of pandemics well. They did not put a pandemic suspension provision in The COTUS.
    Trump, his lawyers, and members of The Justice Dept have told Macarthur he is ok to have service. Newsom is violating COTUS.
     
    #36 Reynolds, Sep 17, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
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  17. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    There is far more going on here. For everyone: check out this video where Pastor MacArthur reads the list of demands by the CA government. Many of these are definitely the government commanding the church to disobey God:
     
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  18. Wesley Briggman

    Wesley Briggman Well-Known Member
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    I believe the demands by the CA government for churches to meet differ between geographic locations. Based on that understanding, I have been searching for the list, from a state of California source, Pastor MacArthur cited. So far, to no avail. If anyone can supply a resource for that information, it would be appreciated.
     
  19. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    I think you are right that it depends on the county. I know a Baptist church in a different county which is being fined $5000 every time they meet, but MacArthur's list does not include that.

    However, here is a CA gov. website with some draconian demands for churches: Counties Statewide Can Reopen Places of Worship for Religious Services and Retail Stores
     
  20. Wesley Briggman

    Wesley Briggman Well-Known Member
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    Thanks John.

    I am not certain that the requirements set forth in this document apply to John MacArthur's church. The following excerpts are not as restrictive as Pastor MacArthur stated in the video.

    These quotes were found after a cursory scanning of the document. However, they serve my purpose of demonstrating my confusion of what he states without supplying supporting documentation.

    https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-places-of-worship.pdf

    Shorten services to limit the length of time congregants/visitors spend at facilities whenever possible. This could include limiting speeches, asking congregants/visitors to put on garments at home before arrival, etc.


    "Consider implementing a reservation system to limit the number of congregants/visitors attending facilities at a time. This can include the use of digital platforms or other types of tools."


    "Encourage congregants/visitors to physically distance themselves from others outside their household, avoid touching surfaces, and to leave the facility if they do not feel well."


    "Consider limiting touching for religious and/or cultural purposes, such as holding hands, to members of the same household."

    What is your take?
     
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