LASTEST UPDATE FROM JULY 24, 2020
Dear Candlelight Family,
Because of the recent decision made by Panhandle Health District, I have been asked about how we will proceed as a church family within our buildings and on our property.
Simply stated, I believe it is Godly and biblical to comply with good leadership and be submissive to local and federal authority—unless the authority compels us to disobey the Lord. The Scriptures teach, “Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:13–17 NKJV).
This being said, I do not believe that wearing a mask is an act of rebellion against the Lord and therefore might suggest that we as believers comply with the local mandate. However, in this case the circumstances do not require submission.
The “order” itself (READ HERE) allows for exemptions for such things as “medical conditions,” “mental health conditions,” “disability,” etc. Moreover, no documentation is required of those who “cannot tolerate wearing a face mask.” It has also come to my attention that demanding said documentation may be a violation of ADA and HIPAA standards.
The “order” also suggests that the application of the “order” applies to public places and defines “Public place” as “any place open to all members of the public without specific invitation…” Therefore, we note that Candlelight Christian Fellowship facilities are member owned and operated, are not “open to the public” and are not deemed a “Public Place.” We do maintain the right to refuse entry to non-members at our discretion. However, we do make “specific invitation” as suggested in the “order” to visitors, guests, and/or friends of members, to each service or activity held on our properties.
We at Candlelight are exercising our freedom, and the right to allow you as members, to come into the facilities without the obligation to observe the Panhandle Health District “order.” We are not suggesting you disobey your local, city, county, state, or federal laws. As your pastor I believe that would be sinful and wrong. However, in this case, we can peacefully and biblically resist, without violation of the Godly standards we submit ourselves to.
Therefore, if you chose to wear a mask, physically distance, etc. we support your freedom to do so. If you choose to refrain from wearing a mask, etc. we likewise support your decision.
Lastly, for those of you who have been or will be watching on-line, listening by radio, or viewing from the archives, we continue to pray for you and your health/safety. We do wish to see you return to the Candlelight facilities for worship, bible study, prayer, and fellowship as soon you are comfortable.
Many blessings to you all,