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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Foolishly Tempting God

     Down in Louisiana they have one of the highest per-capita death rates caused by the coronvirus in the country. This lead Gov. John Edwards to ban gatherings of more than 50 people earlier last month and on March 22 issue a stay-at-home order. 
     On May 18, in defiance of the governor's orders, Pastor Tony Spell stood in the pulpit of his Louisiana church and delivered a message all while quoting Bible verses out of context. Spell also stated he believes the Covid-19 scare is politically motivated. 
     Spell is not alone as other pastors are foolishly testing God by defying government orders and good, common sense by continuing to hold services in defiance of authorities. Apparently they are ignorant of their own Bibles. 
     In Luke Chapter 4 Jesus was tempted by the Devil to jump off the Temple wall and was reminded that the Bible says God would command his angels to protect him. Jesus responded by saying, “The Scriptures also say, You must not test the Lord your God.” 
     I am told that the wall was 162 feet high and so Jesus understood that while he was in the flesh as a man such a jump would not be survivable. Deliberately doing such a foolish thing would be tempting God. Therefore he wouldn’t do it. 
     We live in a time when people’s opinion of those in political leadership is very low, but that’s nothing new. The Apostle Paul lived under the very evil and oppressive Roman government, but he had something to say about civil authorities in Romans 13 in order that Christians might better understand how God would have them relate to those in power. 
     Paul wrote, “All of you must obey those who rule over you." Paul added that it was God who, for His own reasons, allowed these men to come into power so opposing them is opposing God.
     What people like Spell do not get is that, as another wiser and more biblically sound pastor posted “...our obedience to (this request)...was certainly a wise choice in keeping our flocks safe. Especially keeping our seniors members in a more healthy environment...” 
     He also added, and this is important, that “nobody has asked us not to worship God, nor to worship another God. Nor have they demanded us to stop preaching in Jesus' name or praying to our Lord.” 
     This pastor (and others like him) has chosen to be in compliance with government orders and many of them have been preaching using social media. Those pastors are acting responsibly by helping to protect the people under their care while doing their part to help stop the spread of this virus in their communities...something that's beyond the grasp of pastors like Spell.

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