Our Pastor’s Statement on Re-opening Bible Baptist Church of Clementon, NJ.

May 20, 2020

Bible Baptist Church
260 Berlin Rd,
Clementon NJ 08021

Statement on Re-opening Bible Baptist Church of Clementon, NJ.

This past Sunday on May 17th, being led by the Lord, made the decision to reopen Bible Baptist Church of Clementon, NJ. This decision was not made lightly but with prayer and the understanding that the church is essential for our community. We are facing days that for many people in my generation have never dealt with before. The physical, emotional, and spiritual problems have overwhelmed people to the point where people are losing hope.

It is our belief that hope for people is found in the Person of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the Church is essential. The Bible calls the church, the body of Christ, which means it exists for the purpose of carrying out the work of Christ. When Jesus was on this earth, He ministered to the poor and needy. He spent time with those who were in a hopeless situation.

The church is Christ’s organization on earth to minister to the needs of man. We are the hands, feet, and mouthpiece of the Lord to preach His word. We are the people of the Lord Jesus Christ who are called to minister to people in their time of need. It is the church that brings hope to people by preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and ministering to their physical and spiritual needs.

For 134 years, Bible Baptist Church has sought to make a positive impact on our town and surrounding areas. When the virus first hit our nation, we were happy to comply with the Governor and close our church so that we could better understand the virus and learn how to deal with it.

Since that time, we have learned how to social distance ourselves and be responsible in interacting with other people. We believe that we can do just as good a job interacting with a crowd of people like Walmart, grocery stores, home depot, Lowe’s, pet stores, and whatever else has been considered essential. Churches are not irresponsible or reckless. We love God, our country, our state, and our people. We have taken the necessary measures to ensure our services are safe, clean, and social distanced.

Our belief that church is essential is grounded in three beliefs.

  1. It is our constitutional right. The First Amendment protects our rights as citizens to assemble peaceably. We believe as attorney General Barr said, “the constitution is not suspended in times of crisis.” Our New Jersey Constitution also guarantees religious liberty. Religious freedom and the right to express those freedoms is what has made our country the greatest country ever. I am proud to be an American and as an American, we hold these rights near and dear to our hearts.
     
  2. Another belief that church is essential is grounded in the word of God. We as Christians are commanded by God to meet and assemble. Hebrews 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”As Christians, we are taught to honor and obey our government.
     
    The Bible teaches that government is ordained by God and is a servant of the Lord. Its purpose is to punish evil and praise the good. We believe in being in submission to our government, but not when it goes against the teachings of God’s word. Our first loyalty is to God. The Bible says in Acts 5:29 “…We ought to obey God rather than men.”
     
  3. Thirdly, we believe church is essential because of the spiritual welfare of people. Our people need church. Many have expressed that they have been struggling with anxiety and depression. Because of this, we believe that church is needed more than ever.

We are thankful for our state leaders. We pray for our Governor and his family weekly at our church. However, the governor has issued an order that violates our constitutional rights and goes against the teachings of God’s word. Because of this, we have made the decision to stand for what is right.

We have opened our church. We are holding services tonight and will continue to have services every Sunday morning, Sunday Evening and Wednesday night. We are prepared to civilly disobey an unlawful and unjust order by our governor. We are not looking for a fight, simply to exercise our faith and constitutional right freely. We respectfully ask Governor Murphy to list churches as essential.

Since making this decision we have received an overwhelming amount of support from people around the country and in our state. We thank those who pray and support us.

God Bless,
Pastor Andy Reese
Bible Baptist Church of Clementon, NJ

Click here to read the letter sent to the Governor by our attorneys.