USA - Pastor Defies Government Order

Arno Froese

On [a] Sunday, Pastor Tony Spell said, his Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge drew about 1,000 people to its services, in part by busing people in from across five parishes. 

Tuesday evening, the pastor plans to hold services again, despite the governor’s stay-at-home orders, a petition seeking his arrest and a flood of criticism from fellow Christians. 

“If they close every door in this city, then I will close my doors,” Spell told CNN. “But you can’t say the retailers are essential but the church is not. That is a persecution of the faith.” 

Spell has told CNN he believes the pandemic is “politically motivated.”

As the novel coronavirus spreads across the world, nearly every faith group has closed its holy sites and houses of worship. But there remain a defiant few pastors and religious leaders who refuse to close their doors, accusing the government of overreach and imposing on their religious freedom. 

Earlier in March, Lousiana Governor John Bel Edwards issued an emergency order barring gatherings of larger than 50 people to stop the spread of Covid-19. 

“The White House has strongly recommended that all Americans, including pastors, follow CDC guidelines by limiting groups to 10 people and practicing social distancing. President Trump encourages Americans of all religious backgrounds to do their part to stay healthy and stop the spread.”, 24 March 2020

Arno's commentary

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation” (Romans 13:1-2). “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme” (1 Peter 2:13). Incidentally, worship is not limited to gathering at any facility, but true worship of a true believer means 24 hours, seven days a week.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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