Does God Need This?

I have watched with growing dismay the posts on social media that praise the actions of Californian worship leader Sean Feucht. CBS News stated that he is a pastor associated with Bethel Church in Redding, California. 

This person is travelling across America holding huge worship gatherings in defiance of local orders against such events. 

On a website where he is featured, it states that the authorities' wish to keep the general public safe, is a violation of religious freedom.  

Check out the vision statement at: https://www.letusworship.us 

Yes, there are restrictions and restraints on our freedom; which may in the future prove to have been an over-reaction by government. However, a quick reading of today's news headlines, shows real persecution as far more than not being allowed to meet to sing a few songs during this difficult season. 

Recently Sean held a prayer service and protest against coronavirus prevention measures on the California State Capitol grounds. He is claiming more than 12,000 people attended. 

I have seen the footage of these events and notice that no-one seems to be taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus. There is no 'social distancing' or wearing of masks.  

If you take away the singing and praying, is this simply a crowd of people behaving irresponsibly, with scant regard for this very serious pandemic?  

Are these gatherings any different to the groups of people we have seen worldwide, who hold drink and drug fuelled illegal raves and parties? 

My understanding of Christian worship is that it is far more than a group of people singing songs. 

Worship must be expressed in the way we live our lives on a daily basis. In Matthew 22 v 39, Jesus says that we need to 'Love our neighbours as we love ourselves'.  

In these unprecedented days, should 'loving our neighbour' mean that we do everything we can to limit the spread of this virus?  

How many of these people who gathered to express their 'freedom to worship', when returning to their homes and communities, risk infecting elderly or infirm neighbours, friends and families?  

Some people are saying that this is 'Revival' or a new 'Jesus Movement'. I am not so sure. 

Would Jesus choose to be associated with what appears to be blatant acts of irresponsibility, selfishness towards others and total disregard for those in government who are seeking to keep the general population safe? 

Surely we who are Christians need to be an example of loving care within our communities.

Is that not a true act ofworship?

17 comments

  • Stephen Pare
    Stephen Pare Bridgend. S. Wales
    1 Peter 2:13-14 (NLT2) 13 For the Lord’s sake, respect all human authority—whether the king as head of state, 14 or the officials he has appointed. (For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right. ) Brackets mine

    1 Peter 2:13-14 (NLT2)
    13 For the Lord’s sake, respect all human authority—whether the king as head of state,
    14 or the officials he has appointed. (For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right. ) Brackets mine

  • Brian Bland
    Brian Bland Lancashire
    Agree, we need to be responsible and not risk infecting ourselves or others i.e. obeying the authorities and loving our fellow men. The bible exhorts is not to neglect gathering together or forsake fellowship with one another. I would commend operating within the guidelines of wearing masks, social distancing and limited numbers in gathering but I would see my fellow church members as my family and would not neglect meeting directly with any of them, especially the housebound or needy.

    Agree, we need to be responsible and not risk infecting ourselves or others i.e. obeying the authorities and loving our fellow men. The bible exhorts is not to neglect gathering together or forsake fellowship with one another. I would commend operating within the guidelines of wearing masks, social distancing and limited numbers in gathering but I would see my fellow church members as my family and would not neglect meeting directly with any of them, especially the housebound or needy.

  • Gareth Rose
    Gareth Rose Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
    Worship is far more than raising hands in unionism and vocal accord! Is comes from a responsible loving heart that respects the well being of their neighbors and to allow the Holy Spirlt with His wisdom, maturity and power to be a witness to the world that brings a demonstration of the truth of Gods word that would labour in good rather than what is seen with these gatherings!

    Worship is far more than raising hands in unionism and vocal accord! Is comes from a responsible loving heart that respects the well being of their neighbors and to allow the Holy Spirlt with His wisdom, maturity and power to be a witness to the world that brings a demonstration of the truth of Gods word that would labour in good rather than what is seen with these gatherings!

  • Jon Spurrett
    Jon Spurrett Blackburn
    I completely agree if we don’t all take the proper precautions and support fully any local restrictions we are being selfish and only valuing our PERSONAL wants

    I completely agree if we don’t all take the proper precautions and support fully any local restrictions we are being selfish and only valuing our PERSONAL wants

  • Howard
    Howard Spain
    I totally agree noel. Surly we should be good citizens even if it does turn out to be over cautious. I wish christians could be as motivated to spread the gospel of repentance in the face of opposition as opposed to singing”’worship songs’.

    I totally agree noel. Surly we should be good citizens even if it does turn out to be over cautious. I wish christians could be as motivated to spread the gospel of repentance in the face of opposition as opposed to singing”’worship songs’.

  • Toney Pozek
    Toney Pozek Clayton Georgia USA
    Noel thank you for writing this. I have been greatly saddened by many in our Christian community with their selfishness of not following basic rules for combating this virus. My thoughts are this is the wrong battle they are fighting. This is not persecution of the church.

    Noel thank you for writing this. I have been greatly saddened by many in our Christian community with their selfishness of not following basic rules for combating this virus. My thoughts are this is the wrong battle they are fighting. This is not persecution of the church.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Blackmore, Essex
    Well said Noel! There is far too much using God as an excuse for poor behaviour, not enough of using Jesus as an example.

    Well said Noel! There is far too much using God as an excuse for poor behaviour, not enough of using Jesus as an example.

  • Jody
    Jody Somerset
    I think the disciples obeyed all commands apart from when they told to be silent about their faith, and then they worshiped in prison. It is easy to see who the wheat is and who the chaff are when reading these things...

    I think the disciples obeyed all commands apart from when they told to be silent about their faith, and then they worshiped in prison. It is easy to see who the wheat is and who the chaff are when reading these things...

  • Franco
    Franco South Africa
    I believe something else is at work. Some are not convinced that COVID is A pandemic, but its more about political things. Cinemas may open but churches not. Im still on the fence. South Africa as with all other countries are experiencing this differently. They stop worship events on the street, but defund police and allow protests and riots to continue. Somethings smells.

    I believe something else is at work. Some are not convinced that COVID is A pandemic, but its more about political things.
    Cinemas may open but churches not.
    Im still on the fence. South Africa as with all other countries are experiencing this differently.
    They stop worship events on the street, but defund police and allow protests and riots to continue.

    Somethings smells.

  • Mark
    Mark Denmark
    Hi Noel. I agree with you. Thank you also for speaking out as salt and light. Sometimes we are called to speak up on behalf of Jesus, even if it is unpopular with some members of our spiritual family.

    Hi Noel. I agree with you. Thank you also for speaking out as salt and light. Sometimes we are called to speak up on behalf of Jesus, even if it is unpopular with some members of our spiritual family.

  • Ian Hannah
    Ian Hannah UK
    You’re spot on Noel. Irrespective of whether people believe in Covid or not - the reality is that there are many people suffering through illness and losing jobs etc, directly connected to this present situation. Perhaps instead of bemoaning their lack of opportunity to sing they should learn from the church of the past - where during pandemics / plagues Christians laid down their rights & even lives to serve the community. How self indulgent the church has become. And sadly for some people to refer to themselves as being persecuted For their faith means they have never really experienced persecution.

    You’re spot on Noel. Irrespective of whether people believe in Covid or not - the reality is that there are many people suffering through illness and losing jobs etc, directly connected to this present situation.
    Perhaps instead of bemoaning their lack of opportunity to sing they should learn from the church of the past - where during pandemics / plagues Christians laid down their rights & even lives to serve the community.
    How self indulgent the church has become. And sadly for some people to refer to themselves as being persecuted For their faith means they have never really experienced persecution.

  • Phil Madeira
    Phil Madeira Nashville TN US
    Thank you so much for posting this! I appreciate your perspective on these matters, and I am aghast when I realize what the evangelical movement in America has become. It is just a new word for fundamentalist. I so appreciate my Christian friends in other countries who are not clamoring to make sure they have the right to own a gun, or clamoring for the right to not wear a mask. It is truly insane over here, and you would be shocked if you knew who among your associates in Christian music support this insane thinking. It is just a new word for fundamentalist. I so appreciate my Christian friends in other countries who are not clamoring to make sure they have the right to own a gun, or clamoring for the right to not wear a mask. It is truly insane over here, and you would be shocked if you knew who among your associates in Christian music support this insane thinking. Pray for America. It’s bloody crazy over here.

    Thank you so much for posting this! I appreciate your perspective on these matters, and I am aghast when I realize what the evangelical movement in America has become.

    It is just a new word for fundamentalist. I so appreciate my Christian friends in other countries who are not clamoring to make sure they have the right to own a gun, or clamoring for the right to not wear a mask. It is truly insane over here, and you would be shocked if you knew who among your associates in Christian music support this insane thinking.

    It is just a new word for fundamentalist. I so appreciate my Christian friends in other countries who are not clamoring to make sure they have the right to own a gun, or clamoring for the right to not wear a mask. It is truly insane over here, and you would be shocked if you knew who among your associates in Christian music support this insane thinking.

    Pray for America. It’s bloody crazy over here.

  • Joe DeSantis
    Joe DeSantis Boston Ma.
    Well said Noel, totally agree

    Well said Noel, totally agree

  • John Hillman
    John Hillman Newport, Wales, UK.
    Spot on Noel. Sadly I see the enemy at work in these ‘protest worship events’, especially as the the Church and Christians will get blamed and blasted as hypocrites for their lack of care and concern for our fellow man during the restrictions. Even the website address made me stop and think as it actually says “letusworship us (sic), I know it’s the U.S. not us, but it did make me think that the domain and these thoughtless events reflect the issue of ‘self’ rather than unity, love and care for our brothers, sisters and neighbours. These temporary restrictions are not persecution, the church is not being cowed, it is not being silenced, it is only silenced if we allow it to be silenced, true love is seen in the fullness of the Christian walk, service, love, prayer, meditation, song and life - this being true worship. True persecution of the Church and Christians is coming in due course, but the Church of Yeshua (Jesus) only grows and deepens during such times as our friends in China know only too well. Re the UK, the limit of only being able to meet with 6 does not need to be an obstacle - it could be an amazing opportunity. Just imagine dozens of small disciple-making life groups meeting in this season, more leaders raised, more people being trained, more people being equipped, more people being released, more people stepping up to make disciples. It’s a win win for the Kingdom and the Gospel. Shalom my friend.

    Spot on Noel. Sadly I see the enemy at work in these ‘protest worship events’, especially as the the Church and Christians will get blamed and blasted as hypocrites for their lack of care and concern for our fellow man during the restrictions. Even the website address made me stop and think as it actually says “letusworship us (sic), I know it’s the U.S. not us, but it did make me think that the domain and these thoughtless events reflect the issue of ‘self’ rather than unity, love and care for our brothers, sisters and neighbours.

    These temporary restrictions are not persecution, the church is not being cowed, it is not being silenced, it is only silenced if we allow it to be silenced, true love is seen in the fullness of the Christian walk, service, love, prayer, meditation, song and life - this being true worship. True persecution of the Church and Christians is coming in due course, but the Church of Yeshua (Jesus) only grows and deepens during such times as our friends in China know only too well.

    Re the UK, the limit of only being able to meet with 6 does not need to be an obstacle - it could be an amazing opportunity. Just imagine dozens of small disciple-making life groups meeting in this season, more leaders raised, more people being trained, more people being equipped, more people being released, more people stepping up to make disciples. It’s a win win for the Kingdom and the Gospel.

    Shalom my friend.

  • Leilani
    Leilani Kansas City
    I thought I was the only one who thought that this really an irresponsible disrespectful play especially when I’ve had friends in the ICU for Covid19. I love his music but don’t understand why he is doing this.

    I thought I was the only one who thought that this really an irresponsible disrespectful play especially when I’ve had friends in the ICU for Covid19. I love his music but don’t understand why he is doing this.

  • Graham Stewart
    Graham Stewart Redditch UK
    You are not wrong Noel. I'm shocked by this behaviour and dismayed that he is only one of a number of "Christian leaders" who speak against mask wearing. Worship isn't just singing, it is life lived and for me, deliberately risking becoming a covid carrier in my neighbourhood is the exact opposite of loving my neighbour. It's good to hear that I'm not alone in this. I hope that you are both well.

    You are not wrong Noel. I'm shocked by this behaviour and dismayed that he is only one of a number of "Christian leaders" who speak against mask wearing. Worship isn't just singing, it is life lived and for me, deliberately risking becoming a covid carrier in my neighbourhood is the exact opposite of loving my neighbour.
    It's good to hear that I'm not alone in this.
    I hope that you are both well.

  • Lelonnie Hibberd
    Lelonnie Hibberd Kansas City USA
    I heartily agree Noel. Thank you for posting!

    I heartily agree Noel. Thank you for posting!

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