The pastor of one of the largest churches in California stood in the pulpit Sunday and told his congregation they would not comply with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order banning churches from singing.
“We believe that the Word of God determines how we worship, not Sacramento,” said Dr. Paul Chappell, pastor of Lancaster Baptist Church and president of West Coast Baptist College.
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“Discontinue singing (in rehearsals, services, etc.), chanting, and other practices and performances where there is increased likelihood for transmission from contaminated exhaled droplets. Consider practicing these activities through alternative methods (such as internet streaming) that ensure individual congregation members perform these activities separately in their own homes,” the 14-page order reads.
Dr. Chappell said they had complied with government rules and recommendations since the early days of the pandemic. The congregation is seated six to eight feet apart and all worshippers wear face masks.
But the latest edict from the state’s Democrat governor was a step too far.
“This week we received notice from Sacramento that we should not sing in church,” the pastor told the congregation. “They first told us when we should worship and we have very kindly complied. Now, we are being told how to worship.”
Then pastor explained the church’s decision to disobey government leaders by reading from the Holy Bible.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord,” reads Colossians 3:16.
And with that the congregation rose to its feet and began singing, “Blessed Be the Name of the Lord.” Watch below.
“Make a joyful noise to the Lord this morning,” the pastor said.