Golden State Christians have been ordered by California's governor to stop singing in church. This is a direct assault on the First Amendment, as I warned folks about in my new book, "Culture Jihad: How to Stop the Left From Killing a Nation." Click here to read.
"Californians are still free to attend their house of worship. But they’re forbidden from singing or chanting," read the lead paragraph in a story published by the Sacramento Bee.
The new guidance for places of worship was issued on July 1.
"Discontinue singing (in rehearsals, services, etc.), chanting, and other practices and performances where there is increased likelihood for transmission from contaminated exhaled droplets. Consider practicing these activities through alternative methods (such as internet streaming) that ensure individual congregation members perform these activities separately in their own homes," the 14-page order reads.
The previous guidelines only encouraged churches to "strongly consider" ending corporate worship, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Welcome to California.
We encourage you to shout with thousands during protests but have banned you from singing in church to God.
— Sean Feucht (@seanfeucht) July 3, 2020
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The governor's office did not indicate how he intends to enforce the law. Can you imagine the optics of National Guard troops storming into California church houses and arresting choir members for singing, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God"?
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?
Dr. Chappell also expressed concerns that the government leaders making decisions that impact churches have no relationship with any evangelical leaders.
"We would love to share the life-changing gospel of Christ with them. Only Jesus changes angry hearts," he said.