John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, wrote “Worship, the Ultimate Priority” a number of years ago. His message is timeless, and remains in print. Little did I know that as I prepped to teach my class at church (in person!) that I would find a key purpose of the Left’s demand that churches cease in-person services explicitly laid out in a story told for decades. MacArthur recounts …
“A pastor went to see a man who didn’t attend church very faithfully. The man was sitting before a fire, watching the warm glow of the coals. It was a cold winter day, but the coals were red hot, and the fire was warm. The pastor pleaded with the man to be more faithful in meeting with the people of God, but the man didn’t seem to be getting the message.
So the pastor took the tongs beside the fireplace, pulled open the screen, and reached in and began to separate all the coals. When none of the coals was touching the others, he stood and watched in silence. In a matter of moments, they were all cold. “That’s what’s happening in your life,” he told the man. “As soon as you isolate yourself from God’s people, the fire goes out.”
-MacArthur, John. Worship (p. 144). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.
This is exactly what we are seeing. Many churches that have been filled with lukewarm Christians will never recover from the lockdowns. Their coals have gone out. Without the regular company of believers, those who have not fully committed themselves to God find themselves weakened and may never come back.
I don’t think many of the radical Left have read MacArthur’s book or heard that illustration from the pulpit, but the result is the same. Their rabid hatred makes them celebrate when those who believe differently are harmed. If divine authority is belittled, so much the better. Little do they understand that they are culpable in eternal harms. But the Father of Lies is happy to use his useful idiots to do his work.
Churches need to rapidly realize that the pandemic is over. If someone is ill, they should stay home. Otherwise, they should not forsake the assembling together (Hebrews 10:23-25). It is an essential part of keeping the flame of faith burning.
Ted Noel MD posts on social media as DoctorTed or @VidZette.
COVID-19 may take down an independent news outlet
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Colleagues have called me the worst fundraiser ever. My skills are squarely rooted on the journalistic side of running a news outlet. Paying the bills has never been my forte, but we’ve survived. We have ads on the site that help, but since the site’s inception this has been a labor of love that otherwise doesn’t bring in the level of revenue necessary to justify it.
When I left a nice, corporate career in 2017, I did so knowing I wouldn’t make nearly as much money. But what we do at NOQ Report to deliver the truth and fight the progressive mainstream media narrative that has plagued this nation is too important for me to sacrifice it for the sake of wealth. We know we’ll never make a ton of money this way, and we’re okay with that.
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When I left my cushy corporate job in 2017, I did so knowing that my family would have to make sacrifices. But I couldn’t continue to watch the nation slip into oblivion and was inspired by President Trump’s willingness to fight the good fight even at his own personal expense. What I didn’t realize then is that conservative media would be so heavily attacked, canceled, and defunded that the sacrifices would be extreme.
Many in this nation are struggling right now even though we weren’t struggling just a few years ago. I’m not alone. But I wake up every morning and operate the sites we’ve been able to build because there’s really no other choice. I refuse to be beholden to Big Tech like so many other conservative news outlets, which is why you won’t see Google ads here. With that said, it’s often challenging to pay the bills and it’s even harder to expand so we can get the America First message out to a wider audience.
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