No real church would agree to its long term (more than a very few weeks, maximum; and time-limited) closure and cessation of core activities under any circumstances.
And if forced to cease, desist and close; any true church would dissent, protest and disobey to the limit of its courage and spiritual expediency.
Thus; insofar as any institution that identifies as 'a church' agrees to its own closure and cessation without explicit resistance; it is not a real church: it is a fake church.
Furthermore; any fake church that goes beyond minimal compliance to add further restrictions on its own activities, and/or who embraces, advocates, celebrates its own limitation in core activities - has gone beyond being a fake church; and has become an Anti-church.
Exactly this situation of Anti-church has, from early 2020, been reached by all the major Christian denominations.
So do you believe we should continue to attend these anti-churches, or retreat into the `interior castle' and commune with God there? Or, start the new churches?
This is a world ruled by the powers of evil; so that unless we die, we cannot avoid engaging with at least some evil institutions (see the other post from today).
So, there is potential for someone to attend, be a member of, anti-churches; so long as they acknowledge that these are indeed anti-churches and act accordingly - i.e. rely primarily, fundamentally on internal discernment and direct revelation, not on passive obedience to external institutional guidance.
Some particular parishes or groups of particular churches may be overall-helpful in leading a Christian life; but I suggest that it would be foolish, spiritually-harmful to trust any Church implicitly - since so many have become corrupted so quickly.
On the day before Christmas Eve I received an email from an Archdiocese that outlined something referred to as 'worshipsafe' protocols. Needless to say, these protocols all align seamlessly with the global diktat of 'none are safe until are safe'.
We're nearly two years into the birdemic, yet nearly all churches continue to obey anything and everything the secular authorities dictate. Even worse, I suspect many of the protocols now stem solely from the churches themselves. Though there are a few exceptions here and there, the overall 'rule' is irrefutably clear.
As far as I'm concerned, Christians have a clear choice before them - spiritually submit to 'worhsipsafe', or start worshiping 'dangerously'.
@Frank - As I said earlier today - as of now only total rejection of the birdemic narrative (etc) will suffice; we know that anything less is spiritually disastrous.
Including no compulsory masks again, ever.
But from the 'sensible skepticism' point of view; not only are current Church of England restrictions incoherent (sit masked in pews, take mask off to stand and sing, then replace mask when you sit down after singing...); but the restrictions accepted and implemented by churches are even-more-restrictive than those in cafes/ restaurants - where seated eaters and drinkers are not masked.
Not only were these insanities accepted by the ruling Bishops, but are defended as somehow 'necessary'; indeed actively promoted as Good.
We streamed for a few weeks but when we saw the Bhattacharya data on the low infection death rate and the Floyd riots double standard, we opened up again and haven't looked back.
At the least I would have expected priests to have demanded that they be allowed to make hospital visits, possibly standing outside the facilities or in their lobbies daily until they were let in. (With no Masses to say or confessions to hear there would have been ample time.) They could have publicly pleaded to be allowed to administer sacraments. The authorities would have been forced to tell them "No" repeatedly and just as publicly.
Lady Mermaid has left a comment:
I found a disturbing yet poignant picture of unpecked congregants worshipping outside a Finnish anti church requiring peck passes to enter. While it is horrifying what the church has done, the presence of real Christian believers worshipping outside shows that Christ is still present in this world. He is not limited to buildings regardless of their beauty but in the hearts of people who worship Him in spirit and truth.
@ap - Yes, if they believed what they professed; they would have done this (and not needed telling, either).
In Sweden things were slower at first but now we are quickly joining the rest of the world, including with peck passes. In the circles I grew up in slogans like "What would Jesus do?" are not uncommon. I wonder if those who says such things think that Jesus would have scanned peoples phones for entry into places of worship.
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