No, Pastors Shouldn't Open Their Church Doors Right Now—Here's Why
As several megachurch pastors across the U.S. refuse to close their church doors during the coronavirus pandemic, Pastor Shane Idleman says now is not the time for pastors to be defiant.
Idleman, who pastors Westside Christian Church in Lancaster, California, says pastors shouldn't be holding in-person church services right now. And while some pastors have argued that to do so is their First Amendment right, Idleman disagrees.
"This is a public health emergency," Idleman says from the pulpit. "As a society, we are called to take certain steps to try to curb the infection rate and minimize death, minimize people getting sick. I think, as a church, that's loving your neighbor. You can take those steps—the six feet and the masks and the staying at home—we should be setting an example of that.
"So I don't think this is a First Amendment right now, because here's No. 2: Hopefully, this is short-term. I know the president said 30 days. It could go a little longer here in California and in other states. But this is a short-term decision churches are making to comply with the government and help get this [coronavirus] under control."
Another reason churches should not refuse to close their doors is that "it damages our witness," Idleman says. "It demonstrates a spirit of rebellion, and we're sending the wrong message across the landscape."
Watch Idleman's message on this topic by watching the video in this article.