WHY IT’S A TRAP TO AGREE TO BE SIMPLY AN ESSENTIAL SERVICE

Imagine with me: It is five years from now.  Your church is still seating people six feet apart. The State is still doing spot inspections of your sanctuary and bathrooms, and they can shut down services any time they wish to.

This is why we cannot let ourselves be classified as an ‘essential service.’ I believe that to do that would be to make a deal with the devil. No, I am not nitpicking. The church made this same horrible mistake 65 years ago when the Johnson Amendment made Christian organizations 501c3 corporations.

Pastor A.J. Nunes, one of our team leaders, brought this threat to my attention.

Walmart and Costco are examples of ‘essential services.’ They operate under the direct regulation of the Health Department and any other agency of State and Local government that wants a shot at them.

We must fight for religious freedom—not to be an ‘essential service’, as if we are a retail business. We want State governments to respect the church more than they respect box stores—a lot more.

How do we differ from stores under the Constitution? That is the question! The First Amendment places churches in a higher category of protection than stores. Religion is singled out as a protected entity.

Our goal is to ban Blue States from violating our rights by using the virus as an excuse for writing laws that gratuitously hinder our free exercise of religion. 

If Blue States can get us to agree with them that we are no better than retail businesses, they’ll do an end-run around the First Amendment.

Lyndon Johnson pulled a dirty trick like that on the church 65 years ago. A host of pastors opposed his reelection to Congress. His opportunity to shut them up came when fellow Congressmen begged for his vote that would allow them to pass a bill. He agreed to vote their way if they added his amendment that made it illegal for pastors to talk about politics.

It’s like when Nancy Pelosi refused to vote for the small business relief bill unless it included money for the arts. During a pandemic, she’s thinking about art!

Today, the National Council of Nonprofits uses the following insidious language to say why Christians want to get rid of this violation of free speech. “Although couched as attempts to promote religious freedom and free speech, the legislative proposals would have the effect of politicizing and thereby erasing the public’s high trust in charities, houses of worship, and foundations to benefit politicians and paid political consultants. In addition to legislative action, politicians encourage charitable organizations to endorse candidates, essentially encouraging them to violate the law.”

First, they say our quest is not really for freedom of speech: “Couched in attempts to promote freedom speech.” They are saying our fight to speak freely is not about freedom of speech? How sick is that? Next, they say we’ll lose money by losing high trust. Finally, they make a veiled threat, saying that we are breaking the law by exercising our constitutional right.

The Johnson Amendment is the poster child of the Democratic Party. It has never applied to anyone except conservative churches. Liberal and black churches have always been free to endorse candidates.

During Obama’s reelection campaign, Michelle Obama stood in the pulpit of a black Baptist church and told them, “It is your duty to Christ to vote for Barack Obama.” But the National Council of Nonprofits did nothing about that.

Trump overruled this vile law by executive order. It’s shocking how many pastors still don’t believe they are free to say anything political that they wish.

We lost that battle 65 years ago because of fear. We need to shake fear now and enforce the truth. We are a Constitutionally Protected Body. That is what we are fighting for!

California, we give you notice that we don’t want to trade our rights for a lower grade of freedom than is already promised to churches by the Constitution. We want you to take your hands off of us, because the law of the land guarantees it. We are not looking to Sacramento for permission to exist.

If any Blue State attempts to use this trick in order to illegally regulate us, either during or after the pandemic, we must be prepared and fully resolved to fight with all of our might—for the sake of lost souls, our nation, our congregations, and our families.

We will obey rational laws regarding health and safety. We will meet when God wants us to meet. We will fill our churches when God wants them filled. And we will sing and preach what God wants to hear. Those who spilled their blood during the American Revolution did so in order that a timeless document might be written—the greatest document of freedom the world has ever seen, outside of the Bible. Our Constitution guarantees us the right to say what Peter said to those who wanted to limit the church during his lifetime, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19b-20).

 

I WARNED YOU

If this doesn’t cause the Church of Jesus Christ to arise, nothing will. Several weeks ago, I issued a warning that has now become painfully real. I predicted that the Democrats on the Left would use the pandemic to permanently control the church.

On May 1, I had written: “Long after the virus is no longer a viable threat, every State under Democrat rule will keep churches closed as long as possible. And even after they allow us to open, there will be permanent irrational limitations placed on us.”

And these were my exact words on March 15: “Few things are more dangerous right now than the state drifting from justifiable health guidelines into police brutality. Only a fool doesn’t know about the growing outright hostility toward Christians in the Blue states. Their mouths are watering at the prospect of shutting down churches. They are looking for any excuse, and we must rebuke all demonic power and ask God to cause the fire of revival to fall on churches everywhere. The disruption of churches in America is from Satan. Pure and simple.”

Kansas City, MO, Mayor Quinton Lucas (D) issued the threat I warned you about:  “As Kansas City begins reopening, the local government is requiring every church who wishes to provide services to turn in, when asked, a detailed list of every person who enters their building for services, including name, phone number, and address, so city officials can use it for surveillance and tracking purposes. Failure to comply could result in up to 6 months in jail and the church being completely shut down.”

Do you honestly believe their surveillance will end after the pandemic? Do you think the data they collect will be deleted as soon as the virus is gone? Red China has nothing on Missouri.

Any pastor, who won’t risk jail rather than comply with this order, is, in my opinion, a traitor to the Constitution, his people, and his Bible. There, I said it.

The situation gets darker. Sacramento, California is the seat of this revolution to undo the rights of churches by using the virus as an excuse. They make Mayor Quinton look like a moderate when it comes to planning and executing a police state.

California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) admits the pandemic was the opportunity to pull the pin out of the grenade. When he was asked if he saw the virus as a political opportunity to advance progressive policies he said: “There is opportunity for reimagining a [more] progressive era as it [relates] to capitalism,” Gov. Newsom said. “So yes, absolutely we see this as an opportunity to reshape the way we do business and how we govern.”

Thus, California formed the Western States Alliance. Their prima facie purpose is to coordinate the reopening of California, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington. We know that this newly formed politburo will exert power long after the reopening. They will work together to force socialism and atheism on America. The U.S. Constitution is in their crosshairs.

This is California’s opportunity to accelerate their plan to weaken the local church and ultimately erase Christian influence from America.

Remember Assembly Bill 2943? Back in 2018, California tried to pass a bill that would have left a loophole open to make the Bible a “fraudulent document that could be banned,” because the Bible is opposed to “sexual orientation change.”

Now they are wounding the church by using nebulous guidelines for reopening. Get this: They keep changing the rules to keep pastors off balance and delay their public gatherings until it weakens all churches, and closes some church doors for good.

Gavin Newsom said that first he will go after capitalism and then he is saying, “wait’ll I get my hands on the church.”

The next step is to sneak in new rules for how the church will operate. Social distancing may continue indefinitely, putting an onerous burden on churches. It will be a political siege designed to force churches to cave, and decide it is not worth it to buck the system.

So what does all this mean? And what action does it demand?

First, we must admit they have declared an evil war on us. We must quit being cowards, and face the truth. They are doing evil. They want to drive the church underground. Doubt that fact, and you are part of the problem. Say it is someone else’s responsibility, and you are helping evil destroy America.

You know they are breaking Federal Law and the Constitution. Every believer must wake up and do their indisputable duty: to oppose this evil. The price of apathy at this point is incalculable. The curse you are putting on your children and grandchildren is a nameless horror.

What specific action should we take? Our action must first be to enter into Spiritual Warfare, but it cannot end there. Our battle plan is drawn from 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, “The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]. Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ…”

By the power of fervent intercession and unction in preaching, we must destroy the sophisticated argument that says the church should be oppressed by government, long after the pandemic is gone.

Then, when there is no reasonable danger of infection, pastors must reopen their churches, and if necessary, practice civil disobedience to laws that would keep their church shutdown for any reason that is demonstrably a matter of persecution and not a health issue. If enough churches do this, it will go to the Supreme Court, and the states will lose power.

Furthermore, preachers must tear up every talking point that California, and the Western Alliance demands you to preach in your pulpit. We must make it a matter of life and death to remain faithful to the Word of God.

Beyond that, we must operate our churches under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. If God wants your church packed out, then forget what the state wants.

Now, listen to me as you have never listened. Jesus said, “On this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” Matthew 16:18.

Do you believe that verse? The ‘gates’ referred to are not just physical gates, but plans and strategies.

Jesus will never allow the plans that hell has to destroy the Church He is building. If we want the power of this promise, we must be the Church He is building—we must build His Church, right through the gates of Sacramento, if necessary.

 

He will ignore the people, the constitution, and his own words.

HE

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will outline a plan on Thursday to relax U.S. immigration policy for as many as 5 million people, bypassing Congress and angering Republicans.

U.S. Representative Paul Ryan, the leading Republican voice on fiscal policy and a potential 2016 presidential candidate, called the plan a “partisan bomb” while a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner branded the president “Emperor Obama” for acting unilaterally.

The White House said Obama will deliver a televised speech at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday (0100 GMT Friday) laying out the plan followed by a trip to Las Vegas on Friday. Nevada is home to the highest proportion of undocumented immigrants.

Frustrated by years of congressional inaction on what most in Washington agree is a broken immigration system, Obama said he is now prepared to use his executive authority.

Obama’s directives are expected to remove the threat of deportation for as many as 5 million of the estimated 11 million people living illegally in the United States.

He will ignore the people, the constitution, and his own words.

With the White House poised to grant executive amnesty any day now despite the American people’s staunch opposition, on Sunday President Obama was asked about the many, many statements he made in the past about his inability to unilaterally change or ignore immigration law. His response was astonishingly brazen: “Actually, my position hasn’t changed. When I was talking to the advocates, their interest was in me, through executive action, duplicating the legislation that was stalled in Congress.”

Illegals-are-illegal copy

President Obama is once again trying to mislead Americans, but he can’t run from what he’s said over and over (and over) again. Not only are Americans not stupid – they can read[.]

brazen

The list of 22 statements follows, stretching from 2008 to as recently as August 2014. The whole thing may be found here.

This is a flagrant untruth: “In fact, most of the questions that were posed to the president over the past several years were about the very thing that he is expected to announce within a matter of days,”reported The New York Times. “[T]he questions actually specifically addressed the sorts of actions that he is contemplating now,” The Washington Post’s Fact Checker agreed, awarding President Obama the rare “Upside-Down Pinocchio,” which signifies “a major-league flip-flop.” Even FactCheck.org piled on.

22 times

President Obama is once again trying to mislead Americans, but he can’t run from what he’s said over and over (and over) again. Not only are Americans not stupid – they can read:

  1. “I take the Constitution very seriously. The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with [the president] trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all. And that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m President of the United States of America.” (3/31/08)
  2. “We’ve got a government designed by the Founders so that there’d be checks and balances. You don’t want a president who’s too powerful or a Congress that’s too powerful or a court that’s too powerful. Everybody’s got their own role. Congress’s job is to pass legislation. The president can veto it or he can sign it. … I believe in the Constitution and I will obey the Constitution of the United States. We’re not going to use signing statements as a way of doingan end-run around Congress.” (5/19/08)
  3. “Comprehensive reform, that’s how we’re going to solve this problem. … Anybody who tells you it’s going to be easy or that I can wave a magic wand and make it happen hasn’t been paying attention to how this town works.” (5/5/10)
  4. “[T]here are those in the immigrants’ rights community who have argued passionately that we should simply provide those who are [here] illegally with legal status, or at least ignore the laws on the books and put an end to deportation until we have better laws. … I believe such an indiscriminate approach would be both unwise and unfair. It would suggest to those thinking about coming here illegally that there will be no repercussions for such a decision.And this could lead to a surge in more illegal immigration. And it would also ignore the millions of people around the world who are waiting in line to come here legally. Ultimately, our nation, like all nations, has the right and obligation to control its borders and set laws for residency and citizenship.  And no matter how decent they are, no matter their reasons, the 11 million who broke these laws should be held accountable.” (7/1/10)
  5. “I do have an obligation to make sure that I am following some of the rules. I can’t simply ignore laws that are out there. I’ve got to work to make sure that they are changed.” (10/14/10)
  6. I am president, I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself. We have a system of government that requires the Congress to work with the Executive Branch to make it happen. I’m committed to making it happen, but I’ve got to have some partners to do it. … The main thing we have to do to stop deportations is to change the laws. … [T]he most important thing that we can do is to change the law because the way the system works – again, I just want to repeat, I’m president, I’m not king. If Congress has laws on the books that says that people who are here who are not documented have to be deported, then I can exercise some flexibility in terms of where we deploy our resources, to focus on people who are really causing problems as a opposed to families who are just trying to work and support themselves. But there’s a limit to the discretion that I can show because I am obliged to execute the law. That’s what the Executive Branch means. I can’t just make the laws up by myself. So the most important thing that we can do is focus on changing the underlying laws.” (10/25/10)jmOneNationUnderSocialism 001
  7. “America is a nation of laws, which means I, as the President, am obligated to enforce the law. I don’t have a choice about that.That’s part of my job. But I can advocate for changes in the law so that we have a country that is both respectful of the law but also continues to be a great nation of immigrants. … With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed …. [W]e’ve got three branches of government. Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws. There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.” (3/28/11)
  8. “I can’t solve this problem by myself. … [W]e’re going to have to have bipartisan support in order to make it happen. … I can’t do it by myself. We’re going to have to change the laws in Congress, but I’m confident we can make it happen.” (4/20/11)
  9. “I know some here wish that I could just bypass Congress and change the law myself.  But that’s not how democracy works.  See, democracy is hard.  But it’s right. Changing our laws means doing the hard work of changing minds and changing votes, one by one.” (4/29/11)
  10. “Sometimes when I talk to immigration advocates, they wish I could just bypass Congress and change the law myself. But that’s not how a democracy works. What we really need to do is to keep up the fight to pass genuine, comprehensive reform. That is the ultimate solution to this problem. That’s what I’m committed to doing.” (5/10/11)
  11. “I swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books …. Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own. Believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. I promise you. Not just on immigration reform. But that’s not how our system works. That’s not how our democracy functions. That’s not how our Constitution is written.” (7/25/11)
  12. “So what we’ve tried to do is within the constraints of the laws on the books, we’ve tried to be as fair, humane, just as we can, recognizing, though, that the laws themselves need to be changed. … The most important thing for your viewers and listeners and readers to understand is that in order to change our laws, we’ve got to get it through the House of Representatives, which is currently controlled by Republicans, and we’ve got to get 60 votes in the Senate. … Administratively, we can’t ignore the law. … I just have to continue to say this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true.  We are doing everything we can administratively.  But the fact of the matter is there are laws on the books that I have to enforce.  And I think there’s been a great disservice done to the cause of getting the DREAM Act passed and getting comprehensive immigration passed by perpetrating the notion that somehow, by myself, I can go and do these things.  It’s just not true. … We live in a democracy.  You have to pass bills through the legislature, and then I can sign it.  And if all the attention is focused away from the legislative process, then that is going to lead to a constant dead-end. We have to recognize how the system works, and then apply pressure to those places where votes can be gotten and, ultimately, we can get this thing solved.” (9/28/11)illegal-immigrants-climbing-fence-630x286

In June 2012, President Obama unilaterally granted deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA), allowing “eligible individuals who do not present a risk to national security or public safety … to request temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorization.” He then argued that he had already done everything he could legally do on his own:

  1. “Now, what I’ve always said is, as the head of the executive branch,there’s a limit to what I can do. Part of the reason that deportations went up was Congress put a whole lot of money into it, and when you have a lot of resources and a lot more agents involved, then there are going to be higher numbers. What we’ve said is, let’s make sure that you’re not misdirecting those resources. But we’re still going to, ultimately, have to change the laws in order to avoid some of the heartbreaking stories that you see coming up occasionally. And that’s why this continues to be a top priority of mine. … And we will continue to make sure that how we enforce is done as fairly and justly as possible. But until we have a law in place that provides a pathway for legalization and/or citizenship for the folks in question, we’re going to continue to be bound by the law. … And so part of the challenge as President is constantly saying, ‘what authorities do I have?’” (9/20/12)
  2. “We are a nation of immigrants. … But we’re also a nation of laws. So what I’ve said is, we need to fix a broken immigration system. And I’ve done everything that I can on my own[.]” (10/16/12)
  3. I’m not a king. I am the head of the executive branch of government. I’m required to follow the law. And that’s what we’ve done. But what I’ve also said is, let’s make sure that we’re applying the law in a way that takes into account people’s humanity. That’s the reason that we moved forward on deferred action. Within the confines of the law we said, we have some discretion in terms of how we apply this law.” (1/30/13)
  4. I’m not a king. You know, my job as the head of the executive branch ultimately is to carry out the law.  And, you know, when it comes to enforcement of our immigration laws, we’ve got some discretion. We can prioritize what we do. But we can’t simply ignore the law. When it comes to the dreamers, we were able to identify that group and say, ‘These folks are generally not a risk. They’re not involved in crime. … And so let’s prioritize our enforcement resources.’ But to sort through all the possible cases of everybody who might have a sympathetic story to tell is very difficult to do. This is why we need comprehensive immigration reform. To make sure that once and for all, in a way that is, you know, ratified by Congress, we can say that there is a pathway to citizenship for people who are staying out of trouble, who are trying to do the right thing, who’ve put down roots here. … My job is to carry out the law. And so Congress gives us a whole bunch of resources. They give us an order that we’ve got to go out there and enforce the laws that are on the books.  … If this was an issue that I could do unilaterally I would have done it a long time ago. … The way our system works is Congress has to pass legislation. I then get an opportunity to sign it and implement it.” (1/30/13)fence
  5. “This is something I’ve struggled with throughout my presidency.The problem is that I’m the president of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed. And Congress right now has not changed what I consider to be a broken immigration system. And what that means is that we have certain obligations to enforce the laws that are in place even if we think that in many cases the results may be tragic.” (2/14/13)
  6. “I think that it is very important for us to recognize that the way to solve this problem has to be legislative. I can do some things and have done some things that make a difference in the lives of people by determining how our enforcement should focus. … And we’ve been able to provide help through deferred action for young people …. But this is a problem that needs to be fixed legislatively.” (7/16/13)
  7. My job in the executive branch is supposed to be to carry out the laws that are passed. Congress has said ‘here is the law’ when it comes to those who are undocumented, and they’ve allocated a whole bunch of money for enforcement. And, what I have been able to do is to make a legal argument that I think is absolutely right, which is that given the resources that we have, we can’t do everything that Congress has asked us to do. What we can do is then carve out the DREAM Act folks, saying young people who have basically grown up here are Americans that we should welcome. …But if we start broadening that, then essentially I would be ignoring the law in a way that I think would be very difficult to defend legally. So that’s not an option. … What I’ve said is there is a there’s a path to get this done, and that’s through Congress.” (9/17/13)
  8. [I]f, in fact, I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so. But we’re also a nation of laws. That’s part of our tradition. And so the easy way out is to try to yell and pretend like I can do something by violating our laws. And what I’m proposing is the harder path, which is to use our democratic processes to achieve the same goal that you want to achieve. … It is not simply a matter of us just saying we’re going to violate the law. That’s not our tradition. The great thing about this country is we have this wonderful process of democracy, and sometimes it is messy, and sometimes it is hard, but ultimately, justice and truth win out.” (11/25/13)
  9. “I am the Champion-in-Chief of comprehensive immigration reform. But what I’ve said in the past remains true, which is until Congress passes a new law, then I am constrained in terms of what I am able to do. What I’ve done is to use my prosecutorial discretion, because you can’t enforce the laws across the board for 11 or 12 million people, there aren’t the resources there.  What we’ve said is focus on folks who are engaged in criminal activity, focus on people who are engaged in gang activity. Do not focus on young people, who we’re calling DREAMers …. That already stretched my administrative capacity very far. But I was confident that that was the right thing to do. But at a certain point the reason that these deportations are taking place is, Congress said, ‘you have to enforce these laws.’ They fund the hiring of officials at the department that’s charged with enforcing.  And I cannot ignore those laws any more than I could ignore, you know, any of the other laws that are on the books. That’s why it’s so important for us to get comprehensive immigration reform done this year.” (3/6/14)President-Obama-signs-executive-order-cutting-spending_1_1
  10. “I think that I never have a green light [to push the limits of executive power].  I’m bound by the Constitution; I’m bound by separation of powers.  There are some things we can’t do. Congress has the power of the purse, for example. … Congress has to pass a budget and authorize spending. So I don’t have a green light. … My preference in all these instances is to work with Congress, because not only can Congress do more, but it’s going to be longer-lasting.” (8/6/14)

President Obama should listen to President Obama, drop his plan to “expand the authority of the executive branch into murky, uncharted territory,” and work with Congress rather than insisting on his stubborn, “my way or the highway” approach.