On the morning of August 22, 2020, during devotions, the Holy Spirit reminded me of 1 Corinthians 5 and 6. Those chapters speak to Pastor John MacArthur and other church leaders taking governors and other government officials to court.
Chapter 5, in Paul’s first letter, is deep, but he wrote chapter 6 with an everyday problem in mind: believers going to court.
The Holy Spirit has now given me at least five different ways the New Testament shows Pastor John and other church leaders have displeased God. They erred by taking government officials to court over Covid-19 mandates that prohibited or limited in-person meetings.
Obey God Not Man
In 1 Corinthians 6:1, God says two important things:
1. courts are unrighteous
2. saints should go before other saints, not a court
Based on the second truth above, Pastor John should have consulted his congregation and/or speak to one or more Christians who know more about Covid-19 than he.
Solomon tells us that in the multitude of counselors there is safety (Prov. 11:14).
God, in verse 6, tells us that when a saint takes another saint to court, they go before unbelievers. Based on the preceding truth, we can conclude that God wants unbelievers to judge unbelievers, and saints judge saints. Do you agree? If you disagree explain.
The foregoing truths allow us to say that, in God’s eyes, the case MacArthur versus California (the people) amounts to saint vs. unbelievers. Agree or not? Explain fully if you disagree.
Since believer vs. believer going before unbelievers (court) displeases God (vv. 1-3), then believer vs unbeliever going before unbelievers (court) also displeases God.
If anyone, including Pastor John, disagrees with the last assertion provide your reason(s).
Peacemakers and Love Walkers
God doesn’t want the righteous to go before the unrighteous unless the unrighteous takes the righteous to court.
As disciples of Jesus, our job includes winning souls, exposing darkness, and suffering for Christ, if need be, as a wrongdoer for doing good (1 Pet. 2-3).
A Triplet of Questions
Would Jesus have taken the governor of California to court if He were here today? Yes or no! Provide one or more reasons for your answer.
Did Jesus take anyone to court for hindering Him from spreading the gospel of the Kingdom?
Did the apostles take any of the people who beat them or did everything possible to stop them from preaching the word of God to court?
Should there be any responses, please explain your answers.
We, including Pastor John, may run but we cannot hide from God and His word. The written word contains an up-to-date report on each of us—sinner and saint—based on our works (Matt. 7:16-20).
A Final Word
Jesus told the people: “But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, and saying:
‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we mourned to you, and you did not lament’ (Matt. 11:16-17).
Similarly, in this piece, I have dealt with Pastor John and other church leaders taking government officials to court to get a court order giving their churches the right to hold in-person services during this Covid-19 pandemic.
If no one contradicts or disagrees with anything written in this work, based on New Testament Scriptures, not opinions, then I would have played the flute and mourned, but no one who read this piece did anything in return. Should the preceding be the case, sadly, none of the implications that flow from it are good. Here are three of them:
1. No one is Holy Spirit led or taught. He only leads to truth (John 16:13).
2. No one can recognize truth, or embraces it unless spoken by certain people. That’s partiality, which is sin (James 2:8-9).
As we can see whether we speak up or remain silent, the word of God strips us naked. Something else holds true. We also tell others a lot about ourselves, especially if we are church leaders as is Pastor John, and God has never called novices into leadership (1 Timothy 3:6).
May all of us grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
If we do, we would walk more and more in truth. Then, if we erred, we would ask the saints to forgive us, and then go on living by faith and in freedom.