Thousands of Christians show up for beach services, worship indoors in defiance of California ban

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SAN DIEGO, CA– On Sunday, more than 5,000 Christians showed up on a beach in San Diego to sing and worship despite Governor Gavin Newsom’s coronavirus lockdown guidelines.

According to Fox News, the “Let Us Worship” event was put on by worship leader Sean Feucht and his nonprofit called, Hold the Line. Feucht has been calling on Christians to rise up in defiance against what he calls, “double standard” coronavirus restrictions.

Since Newsom announced he was banning singing in churches at the beginning of July as well as putting further restrictions on indoor venues, Feucht has been traveling to cities across California leading these “Let Us Worship” protests with other local pastors and leaders. 

After this past weekend’s events, Feucht said:

“It’s just the most raw, organic, gritty gospel. It’s been very eclectic, very diverse in terms of people praying and singing. People got healed, saved, and delivered.”

On Saturday, hundreds of people showed up to the Fresno City Hall where they worshipped, prayed, and held baptisms in the City Hall fountain. Vanessa Kelly, a resident of Reedley and a mother of three had all positive things to say about the worship event:

“I believe in Jesus Christ and the freedom to worship and that’s why we’re here. We love Jesus and we want to worship and nothing’s going to stop us from doing that.”

According to the Fresno Bee, some people sat on the law or grass berms while others were scattered near Mariposa Mall. There were signs that read, “Let us worship,” “Blessed are the peacemakers,” and “Love you Jesus.”

Feucht said:

“We’re thankful that we’re allowed to do this in America.”

According to Jose Lattu, a pastor at Bethel Christian Center, the mission and the message of these worship events are simple. He said in a statement:

“Bring praises to God and come together as a city in a time where the church is trying to be silenced and we’re just trying to come out here and to say we are worshipers. We honor and respect our governor, but at the same time we honor our God and serve a mighty God.”

Feucht said that he has protested through worship at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and other locations. He said:

“The venues have been really cool. Every night has been different, but amazing.”

Feucht continues to hold worship services across California with other pastors and churches outside, but other faith leaders are instead choosing to hold services inside in greater defiance of Newsom.

Just this past Sunday, pastor and author John MacArthur held packed services at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley. MacArthur, who has led his congregation for the last 50 years feels passionately about continuing to hold worship services. He said:

“We understand that the world does not understand the importance of church. The world does not understand that it is not only essential, but it is the only hope for eternal life for doomer sinners.”

Up next for Feucht and his organization, Hold the Line, is Portland. He plans to head there for August 8th in an attempt to change the narrative after weeks and weeks of civil unrest and protests. He said:

“Where the world has only seen destruction and violence, we want to change the narrative and show that the church is rising up to change the storyline in our cities.”

He explained:

“We’re not just going to watch our cities be burned and pillaged. We’re coming to bring hope and peace to the violence.”

Prior to last weekends worship event, Feucht spoke with “Fox & Friends” where co-host Pete Hegseth asked why churches have been deemed non-essential and things like singing have been banned, yet protests and riots are allowed to go on in cities from coast to coast. Feucht said:

“It is a double standard and I would say at best it’s hypocrisy and at worst, it’s bigotry. You know there’s a target on churches.”

He continued:

“We are seeing across America thousands of people gather and protest in the streets and our cities are burning and yet we’re not allowed to gather and worship and sing. It’s pretty outrageous.”

Initially, Feucht started Hold the Line to get Christian leaders move involved in politics and now he is calling on believers to join the tens of thousands who’ve signed his “Let Us Worship” petition. He said:

“I think it’s time. We have to rise up. We need bold and courageous pastors that are not only going to stand on our Constitutional rights to worship, but are going to stand up against the insanity of these laws that are targeting the church.”

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Here is another article from Law Enforcement Today on Feucht and his worship events:

SACRAMENTO, CA – There are a few places in the world that uses the US Constitution as its basis for governance. Those places are called the United States. One of the things mentioned in the 1st Amendment of the Constitution is the freedom afforded to Americans to practice their religion with no government interference. 

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

Apparently, the news of this Constitution and its ardent requirement that the government shall not restrict the free practice of religions in this country have not yet made their way to Sacramento. Perhaps the memo is still on it’s way via Pony Express.

But, in the midst “Round 2” of the COVID-19 pandemic, California Gavin Newsom is making a law respecting an establishment of religion and the free exercise of it.  

That’s right. Newsom’s state Department of Public Health says, in light of COVID-19 concerns:

“Places of worship must therefore discontinue singing and chanting activities.”

Per the new guidelines:

“Activities such as singing and chanting negate the risk reduction achieved through six feet of physical distancing.”

A handful of examples of what God’s Word has to say about singing:

Psalm 30:11-12 (NIV) reads:

“You turned my wailing into dancing;
    you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may SING your praises and not be silent.
    Lord my God, I will praise you forever.”

Psalm 33:1-3 (NIV):

“SING joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
    it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Praise the Lord with the harp;
    make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
SING to him a new song;
    play skillfully, and shout for joy.”

Colossians 3:16 (NASB):

“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, SINGING with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Psalm 96:1-4 (NASB):

“SING to the Lord a new song;
  SING to the Lord, all the earth.
SING to the Lord, bless His name;
  Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.
Tell of His glory among the nations,
  His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.
For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised;
  He is to be feared above all gods.”

Psalm 149 commands us: 

“Praise the Lord.

SING to the Lord a new song,
    his praise in the assembly of his faithful people.”

In fact, the entire collection of Psalms, which is the longest book in the Bible, is nothing but prayers and songs. 

Singing and worshiping is what the church refers to as praise. 

The word “sing” appears in scripture at least 121 times, depending on the version, making it the most repeated commandment in the Bible. 

Now that we have illustrated just how important singing is as an act of worship, let us show you just how California’s leaders have thumbed their nose at this practice, which is Consitutionally protected. 

The Sacramento Bee reports

“Californians are still free to attend their house of worship. But they’re forbidden (emphasis added) from singing or chanting.

“Updated COVID-19 guidelines issued Wednesday by the state Department of Public Health require churches and other houses of worship to discontinue singing and chanting activities.

“In previously allowing religious organizations to reopen in late May, the state merely said these institutions should ‘strongly consider discontinuing singing, group recitation, and other practices and performances.’”

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OK. So, the obvious question to ask here is this: if masks protect the wearer and/or those around them, how is that singing can cause the virus to penetrate said masks more so than speaking?  

But, the more important questions: How exactly does the Governor of California have the authority to forbid singing in churches across his state. 

The quick answer: he doesn’t. 

As Todd Starnes points out, this is absolutely an attack on the 1st Amendment. 

“Dr. Paul Chappell, the pastor of Lancaster Baptist Church, a mega-church north of Los Angeles, told The Todd Starnes Show that his congregation plans on singing even louder.

“‘First the state told us when to worship. Now they are telling us how to worship,’ he said. ‘We have been patient, and safe (even wearing masks). Our church will sing to the Lord Sunday.The heavens declare His glory and so will we.’

“It really is the only proper pastoral response to such an unconstitutional edict.

“‘We have watched our elected leaders pray and sing with demonstrators in the streets. We invite them to join us Sunday to see we actually practice social distancing and we will obey the scripture to sing and admonish one another in the Lord,’ the pastor said.

“It’s an interesting point.

“If Black Lives Matter protesters can chant, ‘Pigs in a blanket, Fry ’em like bacon,’ why can’t Christians chant, the Lord’s Prayer?”

And, in a tweet that wins the day: 

Because what Governor Newsom probably is unaware of is that God’s Word is true. 

And in His Word Luke 19:37-40), we are told: 

“When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’

“Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’

“‘I tell you,’ he replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.'”

See Governor. Jesus Himself says that you can attempt to silence His followers. And if you manage to be successful in your attempt, even nature itself will sing His praises. 

So, go ahead and wage you war on the faithful. But God will be praised.

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