SHAMING PASTORS WHO REOPENED THEIR CHURCHES

by | Mar 25, 2021 | Christianity Today | 52 comments

I read the article about a highly visible megachurch pastor who was embarrassed by his fellow pastors because they said he “started a spitting contest” with the government.

As I read the article about this pastor, it felt like Oprah’s interview with Meghan and Prince Harry. My first thought was, “Who cares what these people think?” My second was, “How can two obscenely wealthy people make themselves out to be victims?” Or, as in the case of this pastor, “How can his critics be so smug toward those who struggle in smaller churches?”

He said he is “embarrassed” by churches that engaged in “spitting matches” with state and local governments over COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, lamenting that far too many churches “abandoned the mission for the sake of the model.”

He went on, “I thought, ‘Wait a minute. We’re the Body of Christ. We’re not in it to win it.’ As you’re in it to win it, you’ve abandoned our New Testament mandate. We’re in it to serve, and there is more need than there has ever been. Everybody’s experiencing the same thing, all at the same time—that’s never happened before. Not just all over our communities, our country, but the whole world,” he charged. 

This pastor said the pandemic “presented the church with a tremendous opportunity to focus on external ministries and accelerate online programs.”

He is wrong.

1. Pastors who reopened did not “abandon the mission for the sake of the model.” These brave pastors do not reopen just because of a model of meeting in buildings. To reduce their heroic act to a nostalgic need for a model is truly insulting.  These men and women of God did not face persecution, fines, and arrests for a model!

They were also obeying the Bible’s specific instructions about the last days: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).

No wonder this pastor believes that a clear Biblical command is just an outdated model. He has demonstrated a lack of reverence for scripture before. He even once taught that we need to “uncouple ourselves from the Old Testament.”

The cause of pastors who have reopened their churches is freedom and justice. They were obeying God rather than man. They were opposing a blatant violation of the First Amendment. While this celebrity pastor may think he wants to preach the gospel—he is utterly wrong because he is not opposing the attempt by the Left to ban the Gospel in America that will inevitably come. It was the leaders who reopened their sanctuaries who were standing for soulwinning.

2. Then this celebrity pastor said: ““I thought, ‘Wait a minute. We’re the Body of Christ. We’re not in it to win it.’ As you’re in it to win it, you’ve abandoned our New Testament mandate. We’re in it to serve…”  The church is supposed to serve, but she is not supposed to act like a battered wife and remain loyal to a tyrannical government. The same church that stood against racial injustice must also stand against a rogue government that is codifying immorality and perversion—a rogue government that is silencing anyone who disagrees with their agenda.

The lockdown of the church and small businesses was not done to stop the virus. If it were, then big box stores would not have stayed open. And why were Black Lives Matter protestors and Antifa, standing shoulder to shoulder without masks, allowed to riot and to destroy $1.9 billion in property?

Democrats see small businesses and churches as strongholds for the family values they are trying to destroy. This was never about stopping a virus—it was always about destroying the opposition. The brave preachers who have refused to shutdown are being faithful to the mission! Just as Paul opposed the officials in Acts 16:37 when he said to them “They have beaten us openly, uncondemned Romans, and have thrown us into prison. And now do they put us out secretly? No indeed! Let them come themselves and get us out.”

3. This pastor is arrogantly forgetting that he had enough money to remain closed when many of these smaller churches did not. Not only this, but some churches closed for good because they couldn’t afford the bells and whistles that online technology demanded. This is truly hurtful. And it grows out of what I believe is his disdain for smaller churches. He once even intimated that parents who didn’t walk away from smaller churches to join ones that could provide a good program for their children were being selfish.

This mega church pastor should not be embarrassed by his brethren. He should be ashamed of himself. By insulting his fellow preachers who acted out of duty and truth, he has sided with and encouraged the enemies of the church. He is grandstanding to “woke” enemies of the church. He is virtue signaling to the people who hate God and discouraging the ones who do love God.

The Covid crisis has shown which pastors are following scripture. Some have held in-person services since July amid the many restrictions placed on churches by California. Yet one of the largest California megachurch pastors doesn’t believe California is targeting Christianity. He said the virus crisis has “revealed a fundamental weakness in the Church” which is that most churches view worship as their only purpose. Wait. What? He said that worship is all those churches have. But HIS church has more than JUST worship! His church has: ministry, mission, fellowship, and discipleship going on. He apparently thinks his church is unique, and that other churches are lacking those four purposes that his church has going on.

Let me say that I have never been prouder of those of my brothers and sisters in Christ who have opened their churches. God bless you all!

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52 Comments

  1. TFranklin

    Thank you! Fame, Fortune, and having some letters after your name seem to have a way of blinding people. Am happy that there are the faithful who are staying true to the Word and their “calling”.

    • C. Jones

      Thank you Mario for exposing the motive behind what the demonized Democrats are really trying to do to the church! That Howdy Doody Plastic Pastor is such a hypocritical mega coward.

    • RT

      Pastor Greg Fairrington of Destiny Christian Church, Rocklin, CA spoke in agreement with you Mario last Sunday. You can listen to Greg on YouTube.

  2. glenleatrophiesandengravers

    Pastors who closed their churches MUST BE HUNG BY THE NECK UNTIL DEAD AND THEIR INNARDS DRIP OUT. THEY ARE FALSE PREACHERS FALSE PROPHETS FALSE FRAUDULENT PEOPLE DENIGRATING THE WORD OF GOD.
    On Fri, 26 Mar 2021, 08:19 Mario Murillo Ministries, wrote:
    > mariomurilloministries posted: ” I read the article about a highly visible > megachurch pastor who was embarrassed by his fellow pastors because they > said he “started a spitting contest” with the government. As I read the > article about this pastor, it felt like Oprah’s interview with M” >

    • C. Jones

      glenlea…Please take your bitter root judgments back to hell where they came from.

      • Hilda Winzeler (@hwinzeler)

        c. jones the cowardly pastors who glenna referred to do not follow God’s Word

      • C. Jones

        Hilda, “MUST BE HUNG BY THE NECK UNTIL DEAD”. Are you going to join in on murdering them because they closed their churches?

  3. albright2231

    Yes!
    On Fri, Mar 26, 2021, 2:30 AM Mario Murillo Ministries wrote:
    > mariomurilloministries posted: ” I read the article about a highly visible > megachurch pastor who was embarrassed by his fellow pastors because they > said he “started a spitting contest” with the government. As I read the > article about this pastor, it felt like Oprah’s interview with M” >

  4. bgerk58

    Praise God for your voice Mario Marrillo, I’m praying for you and your your next tent crusade. May God open the heaven’s and pour his blessings over you as you minister the gospel, may the chains of sin be broken for good and revival continue to take over California. Glory to God as He continues to move thru this ministry, all Hail King Jesus! ???

  5. Judy Cole

    I agree totally with you.
    Get Outlook for iOS ________________________________

    • Jason

      Thank you. I pastor a very small church in Pennsylvania and we have been open since Easter 2020 – and we will stay open.

  6. John R.

    Thank you Mario for bringing this to light and your courage to do so.
    Here is the link for those who wish to read the article:
    https://www.christianpost.com/news/andy-stanley-embarrassed-churches-sued-govt-over-covid-lockdowns.html
    Curious if he and other mega-church pastors like Rick Warren will continue to hold the same benevolent view of government when it labels the Bible as “hate speech” for its position on marriage and sexual morality. Because that is coming under the cancel culture promoted by the Biden Administration.
    Already a new DOD training manual now lists Catholics and evangelical Christians as “religious extremists”, along with members of al-Qaeda and Hamas.
    So if you believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that man is a sinner by nature as well as choice, that marriage is between a man and a woman, and abortion is wrong — then you will be considered an extremist by the government and that society has the moral right to marginalize you for your beliefs.
    That is the path our nation is on.
    Pray that God will restrain this evil.

  7. shirleyweaver

    Thank you, Mario! We agree completely. God bless you!
    Shirley Weaver 843-437-2828 acleartrumpet.org
    >

  8. L'Angel de la Mer

    “Let me say that I have never been prouder of those of my brothers and sisters in Christ who have opened their churches. God bless you all!” MMM
    I agree! Preaching the Gospel is the Single Most Important mission in life.
    Psalm 103:2 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

  9. James Coy

    Mario! God Bless you and your endeavors…may the Fire continually be falling and hot!
    We need to get this REVIVAL on TV, and show the world that the rain is here!!! Keep trail blazin’ my brother!

  10. archaios6

    Spirit of Christ, grass root
    I am inspired to write this message by Jesus Christ, M. Murillo, Pres. Trump, M. Lindell and all the others, family, neighbors, strangers that are brought together for the common good of all people.
    Grass Root: are peaceful protest to unite people to support and assist others when attacked by invaders who follow their own laws instead of God’s sovereign rule.
    1. I intend to make copies of Mario’s pledge and hand them out to people and place them on windshield of cars so others can read and make a choice that unites not divide the many who are troubled by what is happening in this country and worldwide.
    2. I encourage other to do the same,” pass it on” just takes minutes of time, making copies, and getting involve making a difference. (God is watching us to see what we are prepared to do)
    3. We the people, are not govern by political or religious parties, we the people that follow a divine law to protect our family, neighbor friends and strangers do oppose laws that cripple freedom of choice, speech, and tyranny.
    4. As Moses led his people, Mario, M. Lindell, and president Trump are the voice awakening people, they need support to bring people together as a unified force to defend a promise (constitution) so many fought and died for.
    5. The body of the people is being attacked, it is the Spirit of Faith and Freedom that will heal a nation of Christians who stand together.
    6. Simple things people can make to show their support for the “Spirit of Christ, Grass Roots” write it on your shirt, hat, make simple wrist or neck band, be innovative. It is a way of letting others know they share a common belief that holds Christians together. For those who remember the Viet-Nam era, to show support for soldiers, people we could tie yellow ribbons around their trees and car antennas
    7. I am 81 yy and witness many atrocities, and did nothing, and cannot stand idly at a time where unity is needed to prevent what Hitler did in WWII
    8. Get involve, make and sharing copies of Mario Murillo pledge will spread the word that we are not sheep’s but lions.
    9. I have cut and paste this message and shared it on many sites on youtube

    • archaios6

      anyone willing to help spread Mario’s inspiration can contact me at (email: jamant5@outlook.com) his messages are too important for the few who read or will attend his revival in California I live on the east coast and will spread his news and make others aware how important it is to get involve even if it is just tying a yellow ribbon around the tree. People will see and understand the support it gives to people that are fighting for our country to remain free from oppressive laws

    • Linda C

      Flying an “Appeal to Heaven” flag on the front of your house is a good way to make a statement. You can order one online.

  11. Sandra S. Turner

    Who is the California pastor who doesn’t believe California is targeting Christianity? Anyone have a link? Thanks

  12. addedperspective2020

    Once again, Mario is totally on target, it appears that this is a time of God separating the wheat and tares. But some of the tares are pastors not really preaching the Word of God. This has been and is a shaking of the church, Mario is one of the few speaking the truth.

  13. bdk11

    The shut down was definitely aimed at the Church, the small business with no real results. You are right Mario, the airplanes are full…..I have been on several. The grocery stores have been full since the COVID breakout. Why could we go to the grocery store and buy our food but not to Joes sandwich shop and eat? There is no reason. We were allowed to get groceries to sustain life, it was needed. The same is true with our spiritual food, it is needed for our real life. Perhaps God used this virus situation to His glory, to close down some of these false teachers, who are not teaching truth. Let the Holy Spirit through the reading of His Word teach you….we don’t need these big-business, money loving, social centers called mega churches. The church is the individual and the group of individuals in Christ that are important, not the mult-million dollar structures that they have built. We are to seek God’s kingdom…..not some heretic pastor.

  14. Roger Culwell

    No it never happened before and it was our chance to show where our trust and faith in God was, a time when we should have stood and shown him stronger than ever, but we let them scare us all our trust in God seem to have flew out the window and we bowed to devils, they took us prisoner, and once your taken prisoner, some one else is in control, we bowed when we should have stood, these weak kneed preachers, and the woke crowd, showed we trust the CDC and others more than God, the Lord gave me a word, TELL THE PEOPLE THIS IS NOT WHAT THEY SAY IT IS, [ NOT AS BAD, AND IF YOU CHECK ALL THE WHO HAVE DIED THE LAST FEW YEARS, NO MORE DIED LAST YEAR THAN IN OTHER YEARS, WE WERE LIED TO,] [ THE LORD SHOWED ME A VISION A MONTH OR SO BEFORE COVID, THE CHURCH WAS ON A CRUISESHIP AND PIRATES CAME ON BOARD, AND TOOK HER PRISONER, AND EVERY ONE JUST SUBMITTED BUT TWO OR THREE AND THEY KEPT FIGHTING AND TOOK AN AWFUL BEATING FOR IT,] but it was time to show who our God was, we either have faith and trust or we don’t, I am going through something right now either God will heal me or take me home, because they are not going to do to me what they want to, I trust God, and he is either God of all, or he is not God at all, I got in the Dr. face yesterday, and said dying is no big deal if your right with Jesus, and this is not exactly the world I wanted to live in, and your options just do not sit well with me, we have a better place to go, they didn’t like it but, but my Gods a healer not a butcher, he said prove him, he either can do it all or none, and I am going for all, and thats what should have been done here, with the Church he is Lord of all, the day I turn my tail and run from a virus, when I serve a God like Yahweh and Jesus Christ, will be the day I lay down my life, there was a time we trusted God, more than man, I have really seen the last few years what our leaders and man is capable of, and I don’t like, Time To Trust Our God Again, we are either the mighty warriors and army of God or we are fake’s claiming to be, and many are fakes.
    How strange we need to couple our selves to the complete word of God all over again, the whole problem is we have distanced our selves from the word and from God and it shows big time, time we got back to the basic’s of God to the truth of the word, it was all about division and isolation to get people feeling all alone and forsaken, and helpless and hopeless depressed. I think trying to force out the small churches, because the small churches were the backbone of the church, the big one’s entertained, the small one’s worshipped, as I even now help Holy Spirit filled preachers this is hurting bad, they are doing what they want trying to starve some out, but we have a God bigger than they are.
    If we just look around and listen the fake and compromised are showing who they stand for and back, the Lord told me at the beginning of this tell them to choose this day whom they will serve, The one’s who voted for JB and united chose whose side they are on, just listen closely, they are telling whom they serve, we do not condone what God condemns, by backing abomination, and transgender, and killing innocent babies, sorry but is you back evil, it’s not Gods side you are own. Good Word Sir be blessed

    • archaios6

      thank you for sharing your thought i will add you to my prayer list. if allowed on this site many people would welcome a prayer group to help and comfort each other across the nation and world wide. ( i was once part of a poetry site where there was a prayer group and many miracles occurred until some got greedy and asking for money to solve their problems ….arlene

      • Roger Culwell

        Thank you sis they are appc. very much more than you know. Be Blessed

      • Roger Culwell

        I don’t mind any one praying who prays the father’s will, and not there’s and healing, I have enough witchcraft to deal with, sadly so many Christian pray witchcraft, so I have to say this every time, we have some strange people in the body now LOL

    • Wordforworld

      Roger, you’re right, you’re going THROUGH something, and in the Name of Jesus, you’re coming OUT! We speak shalom to your body, wholeness where needed! We rebuke the bad report spoken over you. We speak BY THE STRIPES OF JESUS CHRIST YOU ARE HEALED. Where 2 or more are gathered in His Name, He is here, granting our petition! We Thank You, LORD JESUS, for Roger’s joy in Your Presence, and for his healing! Amen, so be it!

      • Roger Culwell

        amen I agree and thank you

    • prayinginok

      “either God will heal me or take me home”
      And either way, YOU WIN!!!!!! 🙂

    • C. Jones

      Roger, we surround you with faith, hope, and love and plead the blood of Jesus over you for divine healing in your body in Jesus Name!

      • Roger Culwell

        amen thank you

    • fromanislandinnewhampshire

      Roger, that’s one of the bravest things I ever heard of. Go to God first, and do not fall into the hand of man. We will all pray with you, for you and see the glory of God touch you. Jeremiah 17, you’ll be like a tree planted next to running water and won’t shrivel up in the year of drought.

      • Roger Culwell

        it just boils down to, do we really trust God or do we just say we do, well I am going all in on him

  15. Sandra

    Preach to the preachers! And no the whole BIBLE will always stand and if anyone disproves of IT they are not fit for the KINGDOM! Hate that people can not discern and if not being fed from the word and truth go find a church that holds up the standards of GOD and HIS WORD! This is what I have always said, half or more of the church will not make HEAVEN their home because they love the world better than GOD! Please do what the FATHER tells you and don’t be so upset by the foolish but pray for flock because the blind lead the blind! Stay true to GOD and pray for the simple and foolish because there are many of them! I am ready to do church different like in the old days where you came home drunk in the spirit and unable to sleep, let the glory fall because healing is in the glory!!!

  16. Sandra

    Preach to the preachers! And no the whole BIBLE will always stand and if anyone disproves of IT they are not fit for the KINGDOM! Hate that people can not discern and if not being fed from the word and truth go find a church that holds up the standards of GOD and HIS WORD! This is what I have always said, half or more of the church will not make HEAVEN their home because they love the world better than GOD! Please do what the FATHER tells you and don’t be so upset by the foolish but pray for flock because the blind lead the blind! Stay true to GOD and pray for the simple and foolish because there are many of them! I am ready to do church different like in the old days where you came home drunk in the spirit and unable to sleep, let the glory fall because healing is in the glory!!!

  17. Roger D Hill

    that was a great response. Our Pastor has had our Church opened during this time and i thank God for him and his obedience for listening to God and not man. Thank u for your post may God richly bless u and all that u are doing for Him

  18. Mae Bochau

    OMae Bochau pp

  19. beauwaln

    Amen and amen

  20. Denise Loftus

    Mario, there is so much that is wrong in America today that if someone doesn’t do something soon to bring back righteousness into every day living in America this will become the norm. It is URGENT. I have read all your messages on Facebook and know you have a heart for truth and for the Lord’s will to be done in your country. I can only see one solution – could you and some of your fellow preachers who are so revered by your followers get together and declare ENOUGH! The Lord helps those who help themselves as you know. You are all scattered all over the country – which is good – I am talking of the likes of you, Franklin Graham, Rick Joyner, Chuck Pierce, Che Ahn, Lou Engle, there are so many more as you know, if you all agreed to have the same message and announced meetings to be undertaken where you all decide this can’t go on any longer and denounce the Democrat party of bringing about the downfall of your country- surely with this leadership you could change things. Someone once said: Man is made stronger in the knowledge that the helping hand he needs is on the end of his own right arm. You could have prayer teams praying against the evil people who just want to cause trouble because they enjoy it. Forgive me if this seems nonsensical to you but something has to be done while you still have the right of free speech. God Bless you all. Denise.

    • archaios 6

      thank you for sharing your concern. i agree people have to come together and support what Mario, Mario, M. Lindell, president Trump is doing they are the voice of inspiration and they need help from all Christians by doing small thing like placing a yellow ribbon on a tree, if enough people do that, perhaps it will tell congress enough is enough, do something or the people will

    • Linda C

      You can sign up to do regular weekly prayer times for our country on the Intercessors for America website, IFA pray.org. They also have many articles about specific items to pray for our country for. And they have Tues and Thurs corporate prayer for the country you can join in on by either calling in or logging on. The info is on their website.

  21. yesua7

    praying for them all

  22. Mary J.

    Like a skilled surgeon you continue to successfully uncover and work to remove the cancerous growths that have infected, sickened and hindered the body of Christ!! I thank my Father in heaven for you!!

  23. kingskid48

    I used to watch Andy Stanley now and then. Some of the teaching was good, but I didn’t get the impression that he was a real threat to the kingdom of darkness.
    Meanwhile, his elderly father continues to preach his heart out, preaching the entire Bible, the whole truth, and leading people to Christ on a continual basis. That acorn fell some distance from that tree, as far as I can see.
    As far as Rick Warren-I appreciate the ads he’s taken part in running on tv news shows about knowing whether or not one is going to Heaven. But I truly do not understand his remarks in the article. Worship should be the primary purposes of our lives at all times. The Holy Spirit abides in our worship. To discount it as if it is not all that important is spiritual dangerous, IMO. We are supposed to be able to, “do the one thing, and not leave the other undone”.

  24. NewHeavenOnEarth

    Thank you Jesus for MMM who is not afraid to speak the Word of God. “Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. Drive out the wicked person among you” (1 Corinthians 5:12-13). “For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? (1 Peter 4:17). “Physicians heal thyself” (Luke 4:23) and preachers preach the Word of God outloud to yourselves, and stop conforming to the world, and be transformed by the renewing Mind of Christ (Romans 12:2). Faith comes by HEARING and hearing by the WORD translated by the Holy SPIRIT.

  25. Marcia S O'Neal

    Absolutely correct! Thank you Mario!

  26. mark Dubois

    Brother Mario, thank you for that acknowledgement & encouragement.
    Our Church “Church Tsidkenu” here in San Diego has stayed open pretty much
    all of this time for the most part.
    I am glad that our pastor has listened to God and not to men (the government)!
    Blessing’s to you and yours.

  27. Susan

    Perhaps draining the swamp includes draining the mega churches. I con’t see them anywhere in the Bible.

  28. Vivian Maroney

    Is God not big enough to protect us from Covid . Open the churches, put the blood on the door posts and let’s worship.

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