As governors continue to deem churches "nonessential," President Trump announced the opposite this past Friday. In a press conference, he said he considers churches to be "essential" even during the pandemic and urged governors to allow churches to reopen this weekend. He even went so far as to say that if governors don't let churches reopen, he would override them.
This is encouraging news in light of the many states that have forced churches to close their doors and stripped Christians of their constitutional rights. To those states, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez says enough is enough. Rodriguez—president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference—says he is tired of the church sitting back passively while the government takes more and more of our freedoms.
On my podcast today, he tells me that what we're witnessing is a clear wake-up call.
"We just saw the first initial depiction of what socialism and communism actually looks like—unbridled government authority," he says. "When Big Brother, when government, is unhinged, uncensored, when government is over the people—we just experienced that. For a government official in America to tell me what I can and cannot buy at Home Depot ... it's outrageous."
Rodriguez says, ultimately, his main issue isn't with the secular, authoritarian worldview many of these governors espouse. Instead, it's with a passive church that won't stand up to the governmental bullies.
"My problem is with a lukewarm church," he says. "My problem is with a church that does not rise up with a prophetic voice and push back on this totalitarian, authoritarian worldview for the sake of my children and my children's children. What will we look like? Hopefully there will be a viable, measurable segment of the church that will rise up prophetically and kick out of office every elected official that overreached and stepped over their authority and somehow believe they have the right to tell me that my God-given rights were no longer applicable in the world of COVID-19."
I completely agree with Rodriguez—Christians need to head to the polls when election time rolls around and vote the people out of office who tried to shut down churches. That kind of behavior is reprehensible for an elected official. But how can we let our government know we won't stand for it unless we vote those officials out?
That's why Rodriguez says the 2020 election is "the most important election of our lifetime." He says this is no exaggeration, and it's no conspiracy theory. If we don't make the right choices in this upcoming election, it could have devastating consequences on future generations in the U.S.
"I will not be passive," Rodriguez says. "We need Dietrich Bonhoeffers right now to rise up in the name of Jesus! We need prophetic voices in the name of Jesus to rise up and come against this idea that our rights can be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency, a pandemic or a national crisis."
Rodriguez's plea with the nation is one we desperately need to heed today, so I encourage you to listen to it today on my podcast. Make sure you take the time to hear his message and share it with your loved ones.
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