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Is Church Essential, Like a Grocery Store?

Dear Editor:

With state governors and local leaders calling for churches to shut down because they are “non-essential” like grocery stores and other necessary businesses, I ask where’s all the Libertarians and ACLU today in defending evangelical Christians and their religious rights?
I’m talking about all those liberty-minded Americans who whenever they feel their rights have been breached by Christians, they cry out, “Separation of church and state.”

But the bitter irony is that “wall of separation” that Thomas Jefferson wrote in letters to the Danbury Baptists when in 1802, “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State,” today has become the Left’s battle cry against Christians.

Well, ever since then, this phrase became so famous that many have come to believe it is in the Constitution, though it is not. Jefferson’s letter has been used by the Supreme Court, including Justice Hugo Black as “almost an authoritative declaration” as to the Founders’ intent for the Establishment Clause — for the government not to infringe on churches.
And that is exactly what we have at this time by certain state and local leaders calling “Church” a “non-essential,” — gods of their own making it more than seems.

In Matthew 10:28, Jesus said do not fear those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul, but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell. As we go through this time of severe crisis in our nation, we think about our own families; and there is nothing more satisfying or peaceful than having your family in your home at peace and loving one another. And as we think back of departed loved ones, and those who are missing, it is still beautiful to remember them in our hearts and minds, and yes, it’s not quite the same, but I believe God the Father feels the same way when He sees His children in church—coming home.

And that to a Christian is Essential.

That’s what we are missing. Yes, grocery stores are essential and I thank God for the people who work there and pray for them, but Jesus in His own words also talked about church as essential as food in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst,” and then in Matthew 4:4 He said, “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

Christ is the bread of life and yes, His church is essential.

The church isn’t about how many likes, views or how big the offerings are. It’s about being together with Family, neighbors, strangers, and friends in our Father’s house knowing the only real safety is being saved. That’s peace!

John Amato

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