I Illegally Went to Church on Sunday: 7 Things Every Christian Should Know

Craig Huey Uncategorized 5 Comments

It was illegal, but my wife and I went to church anyway.

Would we be arrested?

Would we be fined?

Would we be intimidated?

These were a few of the concerns as we went to Calvary Chapel Chino Hills Church service.

We also went to a live service in Tennessee about 4 weeks ago. 

But, in some states, including California, this church service would not be legal.

Sadly, the service was illegal, as declared by the governor of California imposing limits on church reopening.

Here are 7 things you should know:

  1.  Pastor Jack Hibbs…plus over 1,500 other churches in California…illegally opened their doors to all who would come and worship.   

None of the churches or attendees experienced harassment or interference by police or bureaucrats.

  • The church was packed out.  The pastor had “social distancing” in the church, and had sanitization stations, along with sanitizing the church between services. 

Masks were optional…and, less than 5% [of those attending] wore masks.

The people had choices:  online, in the car, on the patio, in the grass, and large classrooms, along with the main sanctuary.

It was an awesome time of worship, time in the Word, and a powerful call of repentance and accepting Christ as your personal savior…and hundred’s came to salvation.

  • Pastor Jack stood firm for the gospel and truth – not backing down in the fear of man.

Pastor Jack provided leadership and example for pastors nationwide to do what is right and just- for the church to be a church.

Jack wants no credit, but I ask for prayer as his biggest critics were pastors afraid to stand firm but wanting to bow to the easy road of allowing the government to interfere with God’s Word.

  •  The state says the church is not essential. 

The politicians and bureaucrats view the church as irrelevant at best, or, a political obstacle at worst.

Businesses by government coercion were declared essential or non-essential. 

But the church is not ordained by government.  It transcends government and regulation/control by man.  That is why the first amendment to the constitution was put in place by the founding fathers to protect people of faith from government interference.

Christ opened the door for the church over 2000 years ago, and it is not closing until Christ comes back.

  • Many in the service were from other churches…over half of them because their churches were closed.

Pastor Jack pointed out that some come to church as a habit, not a love for Jesus.  That habit has been broken and they will not return.

  • Pastor Jack was not disobedient of Romans 13.

He was putting Christ and obedience to God above obeying man – Acts 5:29

For a full discussion of this see my article, Should Christians and Pastors Obey or Disobey Unfair Laws (Romans 13  and Shutting Down Churches).

  • The people who came rejoiced.  There were tears of joy at God’s word and the worship.

There were people praying for one another – so badly needed now.  There were people talking. And, loving. And, sharing. 

It was awesome.

The large banner hanging in the church read, Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere – Psalm 84:10

I am glad to have come to this historic service. 

If your church has not opened yet, it is time.

What do you think?  Email me [email protected]

Comments 5

  1. Calvary Chapel Lake Arrowhead opened it’s doors on May 31. It was exciting to be back in fellowship, but with social distancing. We will always put God first.

  2. Dear Craig,
    The church in Lomita, ‘Doors of Hope’ also have had opened services
    with Social Distancing. We call in and make reservations to ensure
    plenty of room as church is smaller, however, have been able to
    accommodate all.
    Certainly agree with all of your wonderful comments.
    Thank you so very much.

  3. Dear Craig,
    The church in Lomita, ‘Doors of Hope’, also have had opened services
    with Social Distancing. We call in and make reservations. Great to be back.

  4. Since this article was published on June 10 eighteen weeks have come and gone. Calvary Chapel Chino Hills has seen massive crowds. The outdoor space on the east lawn which was originally intended for those who did not yet feel comfortable with the idea of attending church indoors has since been mostly dismantled; not because it was not needed but rather to make way for a much larger alternative space now desperately needed more as an overflow space to the main sanctuary.

    Pastor Jack (as well as a handful of guest speakers) has led three services each Sunday and another each Wednesday evening for eighteen weeks since reopening on May 31 defying Governor Newsom’s orders. Community members now unfamiliar with christians actually attending church routinely comment on community blogs surprised by the unimaginable large number of cars pouring in out out of the church parking lots; a delicate dance safely and efficiently choreographed by large teams of volunteer parking attendants. They are also shocked by the throngs of pedestrians walking to and from the church campus utilizing parking available at neighboring retail and industrial facilities.

    This is not some clandestine operation where one needs to secretively slip from shadow to shadow through a poorly lit alley ultimately arriving to the sanctuaries back door where only knowing the secret door knock allows entry and an a rare opportunity to worship our Lord Jesus Christ. No, it’s actually anything but that. Besides the thousands that attend each week, each service is streamed live, viewed around the world by additional untold thousands. The videos remain available on a number of platforms and can be easily accessed anywhere from the church website to YouTube. Each multi-camera broadcast routinely includes several wide shots of the auditorium as if to not leave any doubt to viewers that the pastor’s message is being received by an auditorium full of appreciative church goers who now largely go without a mask. If this is a secret it’s this worst kept secret in the history of secrets.

    My wife and I have attended most every Sunday morning and many of the Wednesday services; one of which was so well attended the large sanctuary had easily run out of seats 25 minutes prior to the 7pm start time. That was the Wednesday when Charlie Kirk came to speak again; the third time in less than a year. Back in May and June the baby steps towards opening the church were tentative at first leaving a couple seats between families and somewhat more mask wearing. But as the weeks went by without any sign of a viral outbreak people became to get more comfortable and attendance continued to rise. In fact, by the first couple weeks in September confidence that we weren’t going to kill each other or take a nasty virus home only to wipe out our elderly relatives got so high that I and many others caught ourselves reaching out to shake several hands greeting not only those with familiar faces but many strangers visiting from still shuttered churches. Pastor Jack swiftly denounced the handshaking in his annual plea for us to favor fist pumps over handshakes to avoid spreading the seasonal flu. We really have got back to normal; when was the last time you even heard anybody even admit to the existence of a seasonal flu?

    Now I understand reading this may shock many who still dutifully obey shutdown orders and to those who may believe their face masks will be with them for months… maybe years to come. I admit; it’s largely unexplainable given the never ending rhetoric we hear everyday from multiple fronts. It’s a reality that is polar opposite from that I see at my work on a community college campus where the few students who are allowed on campus are expected to use recently delivered porta-potties instead of regular restrooms because “some study” has shown that flushing a toilet could result in airborne particles that presumably have it out for everybody’s grandparents therefore making porta-potties, despite their well-earned reputation, to be the safer, more sanity option. Saaaay what? Compare that line of thinking with the very large restrooms at the church that get used scores, if not hundreds of times prior to and after each service with no ill effect whatsoever.

    Many who have come to know this is happening at Calvary Chapel Chino Hills have asked me “how is this possible“ or maybe more intriguingly; “ how is it not being shutdown by authorities”. Either is an excellent question but the second is a question that I continue to wrestle with in my own mind. Is it possible authorities just wish us to all spread the virus to each other, die, and go away? I would like to think not. Or is it possible that authorities don’t want to make a scene in shutting down a large church that has successfully been reopened, even singing, now for eighteen weeks because it would only serve to expose that fact to millions of others who were unaware it has been happening? Who is keeping the secrets here? Who is not letting Americans, even the rest of the world, be aware of this reality? What purpose does it serve to continue to make most people believe that shutdowns, even church shutdowns, are necessary? When will this madness end? What else will it take before other church leaders become sufficiently suspicious that they have been fooled into shutting out their congregates?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *