The Most Dangerous Hour in America: Why Pastors are Telling the Government ‘Come and Get Me,’ and How You Can Join Them

By Nancy Flory Published on May 15, 2020

“The Home Depots are full, the Lowes are full. People are moving around but the church is closed. So, I think my question to all those people is, when did that one hour become the most dangerous hour in America?”

Brian Gibson is pastor of His Church, which has locations in Kentucky and Texas. He has organized a movement called Peaceably Gather. Pastors around the U.S. are encouraged to reopen their churches this Sunday, May 17, in defiance of orders to stay shuttered.

PeaceablyGather.com is a website for churches to sign up to participate and get more information about the movement. Any pastor who is concerned and wants legal counsel can receive that counsel free of charge from First Liberty Institute, the country’s largest nonprofit law firm, which specializes in religious freedom cases. 

Good Neighbors

Gibson’s church, like many others, took all of their services online during the COVID-19 outbreak. They wanted to be good neighbors, caring and compassionate. They were told and believed that COVID-19 could cause the deaths of 5% of U.S. citizens. Then they heard 4%. Then it was 1%. When he discovered that the numbers weren’t where they were predicted to be, Gibson — like a lot of people — thanked God that it wasn’t as widespread, but knew he had to do something. 

His Church decided to give kids eggs for Easter in the name of Jesus. Volunteers packed candy in the eggs and advertised the event. On the day they were to hand them out, they got a call from the Health Department. “They say, ‘Listen, you can’t do this event or we’ll shut you down.'” His Church people looked across the road and saw teenagers at a fast food restaurant handing out french fries in the drive through. They saw the liquor store serving its patrons. They saw the coffee shop pushing out breves and lattes. “But the church isn’t responsible enough to give a kid some candy in the name of Jesus. It really grieved me. And I knew there had to be some kind of call to action.”

A Call to Action

His call to action came in the form of a drive-through communion service. “We’re going to be wise, we’re going to be safe, we’re going to socially distance. We’ll stay in the cars, but we’re going to let people take communion, even though they’ve told us that we can’t hand anything out to anybody.” He realized that the governmental overreach stemmed directly from Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s office. He decided to do something about it. 

“Our real call was ‘Don’t let the government tell you when you can worship. You have First Amendment rights. Do it smart. Do it safe. Do it sane. Be caring and compassionate, but be constitutional.'”

A Declaration of Independence for Churches

The call is out to pastors to reopen their churches this Sunday, May 17, in a Declaration of Independence-style roll call. Over 100 churches have signed up as of Friday. “We’re calling pastors and all sorts of religious leaders. … It isn’t just a Christian issue. It’s a religious rights issue. So, we’re calling rabbis, we’re calling Muslim leaders, we’re calling any religious leader. If you care about your right to peaceably assemble, your freedom of speech and your religious rights as an American, now’s the time to do something.” Gibson added,

We all know that Jesus is revealed in the Bible is a lamb. He’s also revealed as a lion. And wisdom shows us when to be meek, when to be mild, when to turn the other cheek, when to be quiet. And then wisdom shows us when to be the lamb, but also when to be the lion. When to stand up, when to be bold, when to speak out, when to roar.

I want everybody to know that this is a time that God’s looking for some lions to roar. I believe if we miss this opportunity, the fabric of America will be changed forever. And your children and your grandchildren will not grow up in the same America with the same Liberties you’ve had. I would say them to go to peaceablygather.com and to sign up because every day the church is closed, liberty dies.

No Pandemic Exception to the Constitution

“There is no pandemic exception to the Constitution,” Jeremy Dys, Special Counsel at First Liberty Institute told The Stream in a statement. “Most churches and places of worship understood the need for a temporary suspension of their in-person gatherings. They responded immediately to government recommendations to close when the pandemic started. Many were able to move online and some have done drive-in services. But now they’re wondering how long ‘temporary’ will be? If Walmart and Home Depot can be open with hundreds of patrons safely shopping, certainly churches, following responsible health and safety guidelines, can begin to meet again in person.”

Dys added that it seems like we’re living the Left’s vision of what’s been called “the freedom to worship.” “Stay in your home, watch your church on TV, but don’t take it into the public square, your work, or to school. We simply cannot let that become the ‘new norm.’

“For those who think they have been discriminated against by the government’s lockdown on gatherings, we’re here to help.”

A Call for Prayer

Be in prayer for all of the religious leaders who have decided to defy unconstitutional edicts to reopen their churches. Gibson asked for prayer for those in authority, too. “Pray like the Scripture tells us for everyone in authority in the land — we’re to pray for our governing leaders.” Pray that the blinders would fall off their eyes and their hearts would be changed. Pray that a spirit of revival will hit church leaders and the nation. “We pray for the people that have been touched by COVID. We believe that Jesus is in the healing business. Let’s pray for those who’ve been afflicted, those that have lost loved ones, those that are physically ill right now.”

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He also asks for prayer for the economy and those who are hurting financially. “I know that a lot of America’s fallen into addiction. I know domestic abuse is up, I know that suicides are up and it’s that connection to the church. … And that connection is so vital.” He added, “The church is the hope of the world.”

Watch Pastor Gibson’s call to action:

 

Nancy Flory is an associate editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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