As we prepare for the next stage in our peaceful civil disobedience, and as a potential meeting with the Mayor has been cancelled by her office, I would like to communicate the course of action and its guidelines.

The situation is more tense now due to our unwavering stand for our rights and the government doubling down on its intent to stop us, and I need to make clear the principles that are at the core of who we are and what we do.

First, this is not a reckless attitude in the face of the real danger of contamination with Covid-19. We continue to employ and strictly apply all measures in accordance with the guidelines provided by the specialists and local and federal agencies.

Secondly, if the authorities decide to enforce their rules, no matter what the circumstances, we will remain calm and peaceful, respectful and courteous and we will submit to force without any physical opposition!

As Senior Pastor I continue to assume any and all responsibility, any and all consequences!

We ask the Lord to bless our enemies, some who hate us for who we are no matter what we do or do not do, and some because they don’t understand what we do and why we do it!

Our determination to stand for our constitutional rights is not an act of rebellion for the sake of rebellion, we are not looking for trouble and we definitely want to be safe and keep our people safe from getting sick and die from this virus.

But when the only path to safety is as perilous and even worse than the disease itself, victimizing the soul which is more important and precious than this temporal life, we stand up against such path and break away from it!

The government assumes casualties when it goes to war and it assumes that in a pandemic there is going to be loss of life! There is no place that can be totally 100% free of the danger of contamination, not even the White House or the Governor’s office!

Churches cannot and should not be held to a higher demand and standard!

But we can minimize the danger, we understand that!

We understand the concept of mitigation and we understand the rational behind all these restrictions!

What we cannot understand nor accept is how ignorant and indifferent these people are, along with many ordinary citizens and even some Christians, to the spiritual realities, needs and priorities of life!

The greatest question for this generation is where do we find the balance between survival and freedom, this life and the eternal one, obedience to man and to God!

We believe that right now we are at the threshold of this debate!

As per my conversations with some of our elected officials, which I am not going to name out of respect and appreciation for the opportunity to engage, I find it hard to comprehend that some were ignorant to the fact that as churches we… we’re given permission to assemble in public services and the only point of contention is the bureaucratic and arbitrary concept 10-50 (people that can attend) which everybody is yet to know its origin or explain its rational other than a passionate repeat of “because it saves lives” cliche!

When asked why is it applied discriminately against churches, the same officials are lecturing me on the alternatives provided by the internet and even quoting Scriptures (don’t be too optimistic, it’s… talking points not convictions) about “2 or 3 gathered in His name”! Well, the problem is we are more than 2 or 3, it would take 1 year to bring everybody at church once if we had 3 separate services per Sunday and that would be only after 4 to 6 months when we get to 50. Now that we’re at 10 and all pastors know that you need more people to just provide a public service, there is no real attendance to speak of!

And as far as the online services are concerned, Church is not a video game! Church is real!

One of these politicians gave me the ultimate argument on how about a sick parishioner who is bed ridden cannot attend church anyway!

At first it stunned me! Not because I didn’t know how to answer but because I had to apply some theology to this folly exception and the problem is, these people don’t regard us as… specialists!

Listen pastors and churches, they are trained! And when a politician is trained and equipped with talking points (even quoting Scriptures), poorly but still, you better understand that they have a plan, they anticipated opposition and they are ready to meet it!

Why do I think they are poorly trained and equipped? Because the Mayor is yet to respond to my questions, the Governor can try if he wants to and the media is more than welcome to start asking the same!

The 10-50 concept is applied to a scheme that has no real demarcations and can be extended at will based on scientific (there goes another truckload of lemons) assumptions, statistics and graphics that constantly change the timeline into a never ending tunnel!

I see no consensus between specialists and professionals and the irony is… they didn’t find it not even within themselves!

You see the foremost scientist in chief Dr. Fauci saying one thing in January, another thing in March and something completely opposite now!

Dr. Birx has had it with CDC, not worthy of her trust anymore!

And all this time, based on assumptions, predictions and speculations, food supermarkets, hardware stores, liquor stores, tobacco and vaping stores and abortion clinics (there goes their obsession with saving lives) are open!

But churches? Yes, same churches that even the Governor admitted (not at first) are providing unique essential services? Services that no store, no manufacturing plant and no government agency can provide no matter how many Scriptures the quote!

Churches? Not so fast! They can do without them! As a matter of fact they can do much, much better without them…

My questions to the Mayor were not inspired and crafted with legal advice! They came from my heart and from the realities only common sense can observe!

And the realities around us are not exactly the perceptions these politicians want to create!

We are not endangering lives anymore than other services that are considered vital!

And the media? I would have to admit, as far as pertaining to our case they have been fair and interested. I wish though that they and not I would have started asking these questions long time ago!

Maybe they will now!

About Cristian Ionescu

Pastor Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church Chicago, USA

2 răspunsuri sa “NOW WHAT”

  1. Right on!
    Christ Jesus is our identity, our life, our all.
    He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Author and Creator, the One Who gives life and has the power to take it away. The One Who will rise up in the end and raise us up to life everlasting!
    We bow down to His Supreme Authority.
    I will be there whether they like it or not. I refuse to submit to mass manipulation that so easily convinced an educated and well-developed Germany to commit the most demonic and unimaginable massacre there ever was – the Holocaust. This is how they started it and marginalized the Jewish people to the point where everyone accepted all of the government’s decisions and were afraid to speak up.
    My great grandparents hid a Jewish family, that now resides in Skokie, with the risk of their life being taken away! I am a descendant of people who did not bow down to laws that went against God. They loved Jesus and they loved mankind!
    We have clearly been discriminated against, belittled and labeled as irrational, irresponsible and uneducated people after exhaustively proving ourselves by taking all measures and precaution to get even the slightest approval and respect. Instead of acknowledging our efforts they deemed the public naive and uneducated by saying they know the virus spreads among the elderly population and therefore they will not let us reopen – yet we have said time and time again that our elderly and immuno-suppressed members will not be partaking in the in-person church services.
    The public is not as stupid as they think! We do our homework and we verify what we are told and clearly they proved themselves as liars and now should back down and let us reopen the churches because we care about people’s welfare in a time when anxiety, depression, fear, loneliness, poverty, financial stress, and family problems are so rampant.
    We are real humans and have real issues that God has the power to solve and has done so in His house of worship time and time again, through miracles as the pastors lay hands on the sick and prayed for them. The church isn’t a show to make people feel happy for a moment and leave them in their misery. The church is a hospital where we have been healed and restored to life in body and soul by Jesus Christ!
    God has the last word and He will intervene for the people if corruption tries to subjugate them. We will press on.

  2. We are 100% behind you Cristian! Stay strong in the Lord and in the Truth of the Word!

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