Resolutions Representing Many Christians…

John Wesley

Regarding COVID 19 Restrictions:

Whereas we have demonstrated obedience to the Scriptures (Romans 13:1-7; 1st Peter 2:13-20) and shown respect and deference to the governor of Illinois and the executive orders regarding the “Stay At Home Order” issued in response to the COVID 19 crisis,

Whereas we have honored the request to stay at home to help “flatten the curve” that was issued in the middle of March and extended through April and May, we now recognize that the “flatten the curve” goal has morphed into “until a vaccine is developed” and “until it [Corona virus] is eradicated.”  And as we realize this original request has changed from 4-6 weeks to 12-18 months,

Whereas we do love our neighbor and we have no desire to contribute to the spread of this or any pandemic, we also have observed that the projections of the danger of COVID 19 have not materialized, our medical system is not overwhelmed, and our community has been exposed – yet without a major outbreak; we are therefore no longer convinced that our opening up for services – with voluntary attendance and reasonable social distancing – constitutes a credible danger to our community,

Whereas we have been permitted to utilize essential businesses and we have observed that there are multitudes of individuals congregating at local stores, we know that we are able to assemble in our church building and still practice the same degree of social distancing and protective measures that are being practiced at these local stores as essential businesses,

Whereas the numbers permitted for assembly in churches (ten in stage 3 and fifty in stage 4 of the reopening plans) are arbitrary for churches, inconsistent with what is permitted for other essential businesses, and unreasonably restrictive for most churches,

Whereas the very meaning of the word “church” comes from the Biblical Greek word “ekklesia” which means “an assembly,” we recognize that our very nature is to assemble and we cannot indefinitely endure without physically congregating,

Whereas the activities of the church instructed in the Bible cannot be accomplished digitally and that corporate assembly is required in order to practice as the Bible teaches; these instructions are, but are not limited to: preaching and teaching the Scriptures (1st Corinthians 14:26); congregational singing (Colossians 3:18), corporate praying (1stCorinthians 14:15-17), partaking of the Lord’s Table – also called Communion (1st Corinthians 11:23-33); assembling together to encourage one another (Hebrews 10:24-25),

Whereas the Constitution of the State of Illinois guarantees the free exercise of religion and that voluntary assembly with social distancing does not constitute any more of a threat to the safety of the State than going to the grocery store,

Whereas the Constitution of the United States guarantees the free exercise of religion and as the writers of that constitution were fully aware of plagues and yet did not make a provision to suspend the freedom of religion during a pandemic,

Be it Resolved that we strongly encourage the governor to remove the restrictions that have been placed on churches for assembly,

Be it further Resolved that we will take all reasonable measures to ensure the health and safety of church attendees,

Be it further Resolved that we will make every effort to honor the requests or suggestions of the government where reasonable and possible,

Be it further Resolved that should the governor refuse to permit us to reassemble in the very near future, he will leave us no choice but to consider his orders intolerable and force us to make the decision to assemble in opposition to orders which we believe contain unnecessary, unreasonable, and unfair restrictions and expectations on churches,

Be it further Resolved that should any legal action be taken against us that we will follow the example of the Apostle Paul and use our citizenship to vigorously defend ourselves to the full provision of the law (Acts 16:37-38; 22:24-29; 25:11; 28:19),

Be it further Resolved that we will lobby our state and federal legislators to ensure that laws are in place to make sure that this kind of infringement does not happen again,

Be it finally Resolved that God is our ultimate authority and regardless of the outcome of any litigation or legislation, we are bound to obey our consciences as they are calibrated to the Word of God.  The authority of human government is delegated by God, and when government unjustly makes demands that are in conflict with the free exercise of our faith, we will always live in obedience to the Scriptures.

Pastor Levi Deatrick, BBS, MBS, PhD.

May 18, 2020

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