When churches lockdown, they essentially forfeited their ecclesiastical authority to the civil magistrates, as easily as Esau sold his birthright. The slippery slope has been set. Although some would argue that churches taking money from the state in the past or their organizational structure, was the start of the slippery slope which would make our situation about halfway down. But if you are wondering where the church in the United States is headed, I believe Bnonn Tennant is absolutely right.
What Tennant is saying is that churches are asking permission from the state to meet. If you’re asking the state permission to meet, that ultimately makes the state de facto head of the church. Christ not Caesar is head of the church. But unfortunately, the Doctrine of Lesser Magistrates is becoming a forgotten teaching.
John Wyse, an influential pastor who lived several decades prior to the American Revolution, wrote The Vindication of the Government of New England Churches. This book is a biblical argument that the church elders not the state are to govern the churches. If John Wyse were alive today, he would have been jailed by the New England states or these states would not have imposed coronafascism because of his influence.
In any case, we have lost our history. False interpretations of Romans 13 prevailed, and now the churches are increasingly reliant on the government for guidance and cash. In the UK and elsewhere in Europe, where they have state denominations, we can see their docile nature at work as well as their rampant apostacy. In America, we will have the same results with extra steps. In America what we are seeing is a vassal class of churches submitting to government as their overlord. It starts off with ecclesiastical matters now, but before long it will be doctrinal. After all, what are these churches willing to give up to stay open?
The movements, cancel culture and state overreach, that churches failed to combat will combine forces should the church continue its retreat from relevance and submission to tyrants.