This is not what God had Planned
It seems today, that some pastors are still holding church services, in the church, not online using Facebook live, YouTube live, zoom or any other means of conducting meetings online. They are physically, in their building holding church. A Louisiana Pastor was charged with defying the governor was charged and later arrested, for holding services. Now as a Pastor I get it, we want to continue to “feed the flock “and try to find some way to give them hope in what seems like a hopeless situation. However, as Pastor, I also know it’s my responsibility to keep them safe. There are several references in scripture that equate a pastor to a shepherd. A Shepard does not put his flock in danger or in harm. Jesus, the ultimate shepherd, and the role model that we pastors are supposed to emulate protected, care for, nurtured and taught his flock. As Pastors we are supposed to teach. SO TEACH. Don't manipulate, twist, change, just teach.
Today’s bible lesson
Romans 13:1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Hebrews 13:17 - Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that [is] unprofitable for you.
1 Peter 2:13-15 - Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
Titus 3:1 - Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
Please note that nowhere in ANY OF THE SCRIPTURES are we told that we have to agree with, like, or dislike, we are simply to obey.
Now some say that these versus apply ONLY if the laws do not interfere with what God says. Well if the Bible was inspired by God, if Paul in his letter to Titus, was inspired by God, and we to follow the instructions set forth by the Holy Scripture, then who is wrong, Paul, Peter, God ?
Speaking of Romans 13:1 and obeying the ordinances these Pastors are NOT only putting their flock at risk they are putting their entire church or ministry at risk, and not just for the COVID 19 virus.
As an accountant and one who holds a Doctorate in Church Admin, I also help churches and ministries understand the complex tax laws and requirements that pertain to them, so I thought it would be prudent to share the following
IRS Publication 1828 states the following Tax-Exempt Status Churches and religious organizations, like many other charitable organizations, qualify for exemption from federal income tax under IRC Section 501(c)(3) and are generally eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. To qualify for tax-exempt status, the organization must meet the following requirements (covered in greater detail throughout this publication):
the organization must be organized and operated exclusively for religious, educational, scientific or other charitable purposes.
net earnings may not inure to the benefit of any private individual or shareholder.
no substantial part of its activity may be attempting to influence legislation;
the organization may not intervene in political campaigns; and
the organization’s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.
It goes on to state Jeopardizing Tax-Exempt Status
All IRC Section 501(c)(3) organizations, including churches and religious organizations, must abide by certain rules:
their net earnings may not inure to any private shareholder or individual.
they must not provide a substantial benefit to private interests.
they must not devote a substantial part of their activities to attempting to influence legislation.
they must not participate in, or intervene in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office; and
the organization’s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy
So, I will close with this, to all of you Pastors out there that are still have services, and defying the Stay at Home orders, and putting “ your flock at risk, please as one pastor to another, put your ego, wallet and ambitions aside, and do the right thing, Obey the Bible that you are teaching from.