Did Satan Win?

Apr 6, 2020

In the 6 days leading up to the first Resurrection Sunday, it looked as though Satan had won.

His disciples were confused about Jesus' mission. Government leaders condemned our Lord. The Apostles denied even their association with Him. Jesus was severely beaten; he died. And His followers were scattered, defeated, in hiding and quite likely blaming each other … but they didn't know that Easter was coming.

The condition of these first-century believers is being echoed in many lives as we lead up to another Easter. People, even believers, are facing fear, confusion, isolation and loss.

But the Resurrection changes everything.

While many well-intentioned people have different opinions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting government restrictions, we should all agree, however, that the church should be "essential" — so essential that the community groans when its doors are shut.

Would the community outside of your own members miss your church if it was gone? Is your church essential?

In the case of the Florida pastor Liberty Counsel is defending, people in the community were distressed when they heard the news that The River Church would not be open. Among other things, this church feeds 900 people each week.

As a result of the pastor's wrongful arrest last Monday, and our legal representation, every church in Florida has been recognized by Executive Order to be "essential." The blanket closure of churches has ended in Florida.

Many churches provide more than a message on Sunday. Some things cannot be done online. As a pastor, my heart is broken by the many hurting people who are locked up in their homes with no jobs and no hope.

I have wept many times seeing people who are experiencing depression, abuse, and helplessness. These are the forgotten people who are affected by these lockdowns. Now more than ever, these people need the church to be their lighthouse and place of refuge.

Whether a church should be open or not is not an either/or answer. Some churches can, and do, take extraordinary efforts to protect the health of people they serve. Pastors across America are facing a very important decision right now: Will the doors of their church be locked on Easter Sunday for the first time in American history?

We have a skyrocketing number of people asking for help on time-sensitive legal questions. Our staff is working late into the night and we still can't keep up. Would you come alongside Liberty Counsel with your best donation to help us meet this growing need?

Unfortunately, the freedom for churches in Florida is not available in many other states. And as quickly as the churches were deemed "essential," a government official could reverse the decision.

You can demand that state and legislative leaders remember and protect our religious freedom with your urgent fax to our leaders who are considering additional actions now.

In the case of the Florida pastor we are defending, the church went far beyond what any business does to protect the people who attended, including social distancing. The pastor and the church staff even met with the Sheriff the Thursday before the Sunday service and he approved the meeting. Then last Monday, the same Sheriff changed his mind and created a circus to shame the pastor.

Liberty Counsel is also active in Washington, D.C. When the finances of churches and nonprofits were not being considered, we pressed for them to be included in the CARES Act. This week, my wife Anita will be conducting a national webinar to help pastors and others across America.

Liberty Counsel is on the front lines to protect the freedoms that concerned our Founding Fathers, and to remind everyone that churches should be so essential that the community groans in its absence.

While some state and local government leaders often think that churches are not essential, I believe that a crisis reveals exactly why the church is essential!

Thank you for being a part of this ministry!

In Christ,

Mat Staver
Founder and Chairman
Liberty Counsel

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