• Chris Steele

Victory for Religious Freedom in the High Court—God’s Providence?

Chris' Corner -- Sunday, February 21, 2021


Some may tune out this subject as we have discussed it so many times over the past year. But some news has developed in the last week, which is deserving of our visit to the topic once again.

For church going people in most states, it’s hard to believe places of public worship could be shutdown completely due to government regulations as they are in California. For those of us in Florida, we were fortunate from the beginning not to be challenged on that front. Although our governor suggested in-home worship at the beginning, he never tried to shut down churches, infringing on our constitutional right and biblical responsibility to gather for public worship.

I bring this up, because after 323 days, the U.S. Supreme Court, at 1 a.m. Saturday, February 6th, in a 5-4 decision, ruled California can no longer enforce a ban on indoor worship. The justices commented, it was unconstitutional to allow giant department stores and other large venues, to remain open without the same restrictions, while making it criminal for even one person to enter a church building.

For nearly a year, it has been a crime in California for any person (including elders, ministers or staff) to be found inside a place of worship. The sentence was a year in prison and fines from a $1,000 and up.

The blatant hypocrisy is clearly seen when churches are ruled as “non-essential” and singing “dangerous,” and yet an exemption from any restrictions was given to the Hollywood music and entertainment industry! This should convince everyone of whom these privileged people are. They are actors doing their job, pretending to be authorities, while they preach to us on social and political matters. It should not surprise us to know all the liberal justices dissented on the decision.

Comments made by one of the judges in the ruling, was a slap on the hand to the lower courts. These judges need to reexamine the California restrictions on indoor religious services. These “needless” cases should have never come before the high court.

Praise be to God for the high court’s precedence in these matters of religious freedom!

How often we grow impatient and burdened with worry in these trying times. We must keep our eyes on the One who is in charge. He said, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10).

“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, They shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; Indeed, you will look carefully for his place, But it shall be no more. But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (Psalm 37:7–11).

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