Friday, May 1, 2020
With most every believer in America ready to get back to meeting together for worship services, a Christian attorney says it’s about time, and he’s declaring this Sunday “ReOpen Church Sunday.”
The novelty of Facebook Live and parking lot or prerecorded church services is wearing off, and pastors and congregations alike seem to be straining at the bit to get back to normal. Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel tells OneNewsNow he has been hearing it from everyone he talks with.
“Every pastor that I’ve talked to, I’ve been met with enthusiastic greetings and just a lot of desire for them to move forward with some kind of reopening of in-person services,” Staver shares.
That, in addition to the legal landscape and health considerations, is part of the reason why he is declaring this Sunday ReOpen Church Sunday.
“We’re recommending a combination of some in-person services, along with, obviously, social distancing and the sanitization that needs to take place, combined with, perhaps, parking lot services if a church can do that, and also combine with that the online services,” he explains.
Up to this point, he is disappointed that most churches did not push back even a little bit when advised to close their doors.
“Government never really had the constitutional authority anyway to dictate how and when we can worship,” the attorney points out. “They’ve never had the authority to say you can only have ten people or five people or no people in a sanctuary.”
He thinks the Church did a poor job on this particular situation. In fact, he feels “most churches failed miserably in this test and voluntarily just simply abdicated liberties.”
At least one pastor in Ohio plans to hold church services on Sunday, even without the official go-ahead from Governor Mike DeWine (R).
OneNewsNow recently reported that 100 clergy members from various congregations in north central Ohio sent a letter to DeWine urging him to reopen The Buckeye State. But DeWine has extended the deadline for reopening much of the state until May 12.
Even so, Pastor John Bouquet of Bethel Baptist Church in Savannah, Ohio is ready to hold full services on Sunday.
“There’s not been a lot of comment from the governor on churches,” he reports. “There’s been suggestions that you don’t meet and … that you meet in these size groups; I think there’s a genuine fear and respect from the governor, and there’s no examples in the state of Ohio that I know of that somebody has been told, ‘You cannot worship; we will shut you down.’ I know for a fact there are churches that have worshipped the entire time this quarantine has been happening.”
So Bouquet says Bethel Baptist Church will resume cooperate worship on Sunday.
“If we’re going to wait for the governor to give all of us a green light of when we can go back to worship and we can go back to doing A, B, C, and D, it seems like we’re going to be waiting a long time,” he submits.
Bethel Baptist intends to start back slowly, without Sunday school or nursery, but if this weekend goes well, the church leaders will consider other things along the way.
“Our goal is to get back to having church in what we call normalized fashion,” Pastor Bouquet says, adding that they plan to get there incrementally.