Help me out here, brothers.
Today, the RCMP and Alberta Health Services began erecting two fences around GraceLife Church. You remember GraceLife Church’s pastor, James Coates, spent five weeks in prison after the leadership of his church refused to enforce social distancing and capacity guidelines (currently 15% of fire code in Alberta) during their worship services. He was freed about a week ago and was back in the pulpit this Sunday with capacity crowds in attendance. And today the law showed up…
These brothers chose civil disobedience and the sword of the state has responded. Could they have complied? Yes, easily. Multiple services with reduced capacity. Should they have complied? Given this response by the Canadian government, my heart says no. Yet, they’ve reaped what they’ve sown. They were commanded to social distance and reduce capacity, not change the content of their preaching and teaching. Many act as if the government’s direction to take medical precautions is for the government to encroach on Christian doctrine. Yet, as partially with the Moscow situation, the actions taken by the government are a response to folks disregarding their call for medical precautions and not because of Christian doctrine at all. To this point, it has taken an amazing amount of spin to maintain that this is Christian persecution. All it would take to prove this situation in Alberta is not persecution is to find a restaurant they shut down because of violations.
Now that they find themselves in this situation, how should they respond? How do you think they will respond? Should they “let the government know they are not scared”? Break down the fences and enter the building this Sunday? Meet in the big, open fields next to the building? Meet in some secret location (remember the conventicles)? Patiently work through legal mechanisms to fight this action? Repent and comply?