Locked wooden door

Why is the conclusion of many churches, that they are not essential?

Elective or Essential

In disagreement with John MacArthur’s stand that churches are essential and should be open, many churches have concluded otherwise – that they are not essential.

In the midst of the Covid-19 battle concerning what should be open and when, raged another battle over the effort to open or close abortion clinics.

It was generally concluded that “elective medical procedures” would be put on hold during the virus crisis. The question then arose “were abortions elective or essential”?

The issue was quickly put to rest when “on March 18, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology released a joint statement urging health officials across the nation to not classify abortions as nonessential or nonelective procedures.”

With few exceptions, the states agreed.

Of course, the battle cry protecting women’s “constitutional reproductive rights” would have exploded if any restrictions were imposed – virus or no.

The contrast with regard to the Church

Starkly apparent, however, were the contrasts – between churches remaining closed while abortion clinics, bars, liquor stores, and even Supreme Court approved casinos were allowed to remain open.

As would be expected, during a period of apostasy, many of the churches announced they too would be closed until 2021– all that was gratuitous.

To have a church, such as John MacArthur’s Grace Church publicly announce their willingness to go against a government mandate was the outlier to the norm. Religious leaders, all with long credentials, quickly piled on to disagree.

Like the Pharisees of biblical times “how dare John MacArthur.”

Biblical positions are counter to society

2 Timothy 4:3 states “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

This end-time concept applies to all sorts of doctrine – from abortion to welcoming false teachers. Of course, those outside the church are on board. But more and more, those, “inside” the church are along for the ride. It’s much easier to go along with the crowd than it is to fight it.


Those who warn of apostasy and violations of sound doctrine will be the very ones who are first accused of hatred, overreacting and false teaching.

Such accusations are, however, an honor. 1 Peter 4:16 “However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.”

Be careful which side you join.

"It wasn't a potential atonement actuated by the sinner, it was an actual atonement initiated by the savior."

John MacArthur