This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, September 9, 2020:
Sean Feucht, head of the international Sean Feucht Ministries, planned to hold a prayer meeting at Seattle's Gas Works Park on Labor Day, but the city issued a statement on September 4 saying that the park would be shut down on Labor Day due to COVID-19. Temporary fencing was set up to keep people out, with the city claiming that any Labor Day gatherings at the park could lead to “crowding that could impact the public health of residents.”
When Feucht learned of the shutdown, he posted the following to his Facebook page:
This is the height of hypocrisy for the city of Seattle to turn a blind eye to riots, looting, and AntiFa, while refusing the let Christians gather in a public park to sing and worship.
First the government shuts down churches. Now it's shutting down parks to stop us from worshipping.
Time to stand up, church!
More than two thousand worshippers showed up outside the fences, in the street, on Labor Day to pray, sing, and worship God. Afterwards, Feucht posted this on Twitter:
America was founded on the freedom to worship. Politicians can write press releases. They can make up threats. They can shut down parks. They can put up fences.
But they can't stop the Church of Christ from worshipping the One True God!
We're here as citizens of America and citizens of the Kingdom of God, and we won't be silenced.
At the same time, Feucht's organization, which started out of his college dorm room and now spans six continents with presence in more than 250 cities, was holding a similar rally at the California state capitol in Sacramento. There, more than 12,000 believers celebrated in violation of Governor Gavin Newsom's edicts against large gatherings.
Feucht told America's Newsroom that this was the 21st city where his Let Us Worship rallies are being held, calling it a “rising up” against the state:
What we're experiencing across America is especially with the churches being closed and, you know, these godless politicians that are taking aim at the church, you know, people are rising up.
There's a backlash that's growing. We had 12,000 people that gathered with us at the capitol in Sacramento two nights ago and it's just continuing to build momentum.
Among those taking early positions against California's illegal and unconstitutional edicts is Pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley. When he first learned that the virus could wind up killing millions, he closed his church and went online instead.
And then he discovered it was a lie.
He told Gabe Lyons, host of Q Ideas:
Being a pastor means you're a truth teller. That means you're a truth teller when it comes to the Bible. That means you protect your people from deception that comes from the world. That's part of being a shepherd. You don't want to aid and abet the lie.
This is a lie and you can't necessarily say that everybody that's involved in it has an ulterior motive but the lie is dominating and you need to be a truth teller and you need to do your homework.
I would say to pastors, “Have church, open up, have church.” You don't have to fear someone's going to die. You don't have to fear you're going to get sick, because they're not going to be able to trace this back. I haven't seen anything like that anywhere….
Health mandates and governors' orders are not law. I don't think you have to fear [them]. You need to open the church because this, of all times, when people fear, is where they need to come.
MacArthur explained how he discovered that the COVID threat was a lie:
In the beginning, we heard millions are going to die. Well, anybody with any common sense is going to say, “We don't want to be responsible for millions of people dying.” So we did livestream and we went on doing that for four weeks until we were trying to figure out the realities.
And then just in kind of a personal transition people started coming to church. They knew we were doing livestream, they knew the auditorium was empty. They just started coming in and more every week, every week, every week, and they did that because every week it became more clear that millions were not going to die. And at that point, I finally said, “We need to be here.”
We heard the other day that there is one death per 100,000 people from COVID in California at this present time, so the narrative doesn't work. They can't sell us this lie anymore that makes you shut down the church. We've had about 7,000 people in church the last couple of weeks. We don't know of anybody sick. We've never had anybody in the hospital with COVID.
The church in America appears finally to be awakening, not only to the lie, but to its responsibility to follow the Holy Scriptures' demand. From Acts 2:46: “And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts.” From Hebrews 10:24-25: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”