Jesus said, “And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?” Matthew 16:3.
Two months after the Black Lives Matter protest in the area that became known as the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) in Seattle, Sean Feucht and some volunteers were setting up for a very different event. Sean called it a “worship protest.”
Since that initial concert Sean has been crisscrossing the nation holding similar events in other cities. The message he wants to send in these concerts is “COVID-19 won’t get in the way of those who want to worship.” He has scheduled a concert to be held in the National Mall. His concerts are drawing tens of thousands in support.
I have never associated the words “worship” and “protest” together, but when you hear Sean’s reason for calling these concerts “worship protests” you’ll understand. Supposedly when he initially requested a permit for a worship concert in Seattle he was denied until he called it a “protest” and he was issued a permit.
At this point I need to remind us of the wording of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution; “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Protesters were issued permits in Seattle because failure to do so would interfere with their right to free speech and to peaceably assemble. Of course, those peaceful protests devolved into a riot that pillaged and burned public and private property, but Sean could not get a permit to exercise his freedom of religion unless he called it a protest.
The first Ten Amendments to the Constitution are known collectively as the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment is considered the cornerstone for the other nine. I have said it is significant that when our founding fathers sought to protect individual freedoms the first one protected was the freedom of religion.
It is a clear sign of our times that our ship of state has drifted far from the moral moorings of our nation’s founding that the right to protest and riot and destroy what belongs to another are considered to have more legal standing than to worship the Prince of Peace, and to open casinos and bars is given preference to opening churches and houses of worship.
Can we not discern the signs of our times? Do we not see the need to repent and turn to God in faith?
“If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land,” 2 Chronicles 7:14.