This transcript is taken from a Stand in the Gap Today program originally aired on Oct. 1, 2020. To listen to the program, please click HERE.
Isaac Crockett: Hello, I’m Isaac Crockett and I’m the one hosting today. I have my co-host here. We have Sam Rohrer, the president of American Pastors Network and Dr. Gary Dull, senior pastor of the Faith Baptist Church in Altoona, Pennsylvania. For everybody here with Stand in the Gap today, I just want to thank you for tuning in, however you’re tuning in whether radio or online or on our smartphone app, or if you’re listening later on a podcast. This is a really neat program we have today. I think every day is really neat and special guests. But our guests today, many of you have probably seen him on social media, and I know I was watching some things on my social media feed and this video came up just a few days ago. I think I saw it on September 25th, I think the video happened the day before. And this video was circulating and it seemed to be showing a group of Christians just worshiping God, just singing Psalms. And the police come and start arresting several of them.
And I began seeing people talking about this and all this going on and I was stunned. Supposedly, it happened in Moscow, Idaho. And I remember my dad being in Moscow Russia during the time of the Iron Curtain, smuggling Bibles and telling us of events like this. But I just thought, this just seems, did this really happen? Did it happen this recently? So I started checking it out and I went to our program producer, Tim, he’s always behind the scenes, but he’s one of the most skeptical people. He’s really good at fact checking things. And he and I are coming out saying, “This is legit.” This really is going on right here, in the here and now, in our United States.
And the man I saw in the video being arrested, the first man, there was some other videos too, of other folks from this church, was Gabriel Rench. And he’s a follower of Christ. He’s a husband, a father of three young children, and a Christian businessman. He’s been a board member of the Chamber of Commerce there in Moscow, Idaho area. And he’s running for the County commissioner there and Latah County, Idaho. And so he was a legitimate Christ follower being arrested for this. So without any further ado, Gabe, I just want to thank you for being on our program today. Thank you for the stand you’ve made, but thanks so much for making time for us today.
Gabriel Rench: Hey, thank you, Isaac. And Gary and Sam for having me, I really appreciate it.
Isaac Crockett: Gabe, you’re right here with us today, not in person, we’re socially distanced in our different locations here, but you’re on with us. And many people have seen the videos online of what happened. I think Tim is putting some links on our own social media so people can see it there. You can talk to us too about different things that they can come to listen to different programs you’re a part of and see some of this stuff online. But basically, I mean, I saw a video of a group of Christians singing beautiful music out in public, outside, and all of a sudden the police come. And then you end up getting taken away, I guess, hauled off to jail, it sounds like. Can you just walk us through what happened and what many people saw in this viral video, you’re literally handcuffed while your group is singing?
Gabriel Rench: Yeah. To give a little context. We live in Idaho, which is about 70, 30% Republican. So, 70% Republican, 30% Democrat. There’s only two liberal counties in the state of Idaho that vote Democrat in the presidential elections, I live in one of them. And so that gives you a little context there. And then our mayor on July 2nd, signed in a resolution requiring everyone to wear a mask where they could not social distance. And so that resolution happened July 2nd. And so we’ve occasionally, this is one of the ways we protest, is we actually go and sing Psalms, that’s our habit, I guess, our custom of protesting when something happens like this. And so a couple of times in July and August, we went in the middle of downtown and would sing Psalms and protest. And reminding everybody of our first amendment rights and our constitutional rights and our right to worship without the government defining what we wear during our worship.
And so the mayor on September 21st, that’s about two Mondays ago, extended the resolution, the city council voted to extend the resolution to January 5th. And so we, my pastors on Tuesday decided, “Hey, let’s go do another Psalm sing on Wednesday at 4:45. And this time, let’s do it at City Hall, the parking lot in City Hall. And so to our custom… And keep in mind, no one had ever been cited for this resolution since it came into act on July 2nd. So no one had been cited for it. No one had gotten a misdemeanor for it, no one had been arrested for it. So we were doing our peaceful worship protest thing. And so on Wednesday we show up and the cops were there. And the cops had told my pastor, “If no one’s social distancing or not wearing a mask, then we will cite them and possibly arrest them.”
And so our pastor relayed that to the big crowd and we had about 150 people there and no one moved, no one moved to positions or anything. And so we started singing and they immediately, the cops, the officers walked up, approached my mom first. I was on the edge of the crowd, pretty much closest to the cops being able to walk up kind of thing. And so the cop walked up to my mom and said, “Is this man with you?” And my mom said, “Well, this is my son.” And then I put my arm around my buddy Tyler, and I said, “But this is my friend.” And obviously that signaled I wasn’t social distancing or wearing a mask. And so the officer asked for my driver’s license. And I didn’t really even recognize that as a legitimate question because I have a constitutional right to worship, I have first amendment rights to worship. They can’t tell me what to wear during my worship or how far to stand apart during worship.
And so I just told the officer, I said, “Hey, you don’t have to do this.” And he said, “Just give me your driver’s license.” And I said, “You have a duty to protect and serve your citizens, not the mayor. Your job is to protect and serve the citizens, not the mayor.” And the officer said, “Give me your driver’s license.” And then I pulled the first amendment card, I said, “I have a right to worship. I have my first amendment rights here. You don’t have to do this.” And he said, “I’m asking one more time. I don’t want to arrest you. And please give me your driver’s license.” And I responded and said, “Hey, look, you don’t have to do this.” And that’s where he proceeded to arrest me.
Now keep in mind in all this, our mayor was officiating a religious ceremony on September 5th, not social distancing and not wearing a mask. Our mayor in our town was at a party with about 50 people or more, not social distancing and not wearing a mask. And so there’s just been actually an incredible amount of hypocrisy here, on our mayor and our city council’s behalf. And I get arrested for actually practicing my first amendment rights at City Hall, in all this. And then after this, I get arrested. I go to Latah County jail. At this point, I knew I was going to jail. And I’m in the back of the police car and I realized, “You know what, I’m just going to start preaching.” I’m paying for some bond election, I’m paying for some misdemeanor, I’m sure. So I’m just going to get my money’s worth.
So I start preaching and I start bringing it back to the first amendment. I start bringing it back to the gospel. So I do that to the Moscow police that took me all the way to Latah County jail. And then I get to the jail and I just started doing the same thing. Every deputy that walked up to me, I started telling him this is wrong, this is not right. So I was in jail for about two hours. And while I’m getting released from jail, I’m sitting in a chair getting booked out and across the way in the office, there’s two deputies, not social distancing and not wearing a mask. And so I walk over to their office and say, “Hey, look, you guys aren’t social distancing, not wearing a mask, we need to arrest you guys.” I’m getting out of jail for that. And they just asked me, they’re like, “Please leave, please leave.” And I said, “No, I’m getting out of jail for not social distancing, not wearing a mask, we need to arrest these deputies who are not doing it right here, right now.
Isaac Crockett: This is just incredible for people hearing this. And if you haven’t seen the videos online yet, I think we’re going to have it on our social media too. But this really happened. We’re going to talk more about it. We’re going to take a quick timeout. But after this break, we’re going to come back on Stand in the Gap today. We’re going to talk with Gabe Rench about being arrested for singing in Moscow, Idaho.
Well, welcome back to the program, I’m Isaac Crockett joined with Sam Rohrer and Gary Dull. And if you were listening to the first segment, you heard this amazing, I mean, almost hard to believe story that happened in Moscow, Idaho. Our guest today Gabe Rench was arrested right in front of his mom and the rest of the people from mostly his church, who had gathered there to worship God outside, just by singing Psalms.
And Gabe, if you could maybe give us a little bit more of the context of what was going on. I think that there had been other protest groups out there, maybe BLM or similar groups, in your same area. You also even mentioned that even law enforcement officers there, where you were being held at the jail, inside without masks on, but they were not being cited. You were the one being arrested. Maybe give us a little bit of that. And then could you also just tell us a little bit of the backstory about your chief of police who was right there on the video when you were being arrested. You know him and I believe you’ve had quite a bit of interacting with him in a positive way before this happened. So maybe you could just fill some of those details in for us right now.
Gabriel Rench: Yes, you bet. So the governor’s orders were in effect in June. And at that time, the mayor’s resolution had not started until July 2nd, but the governor’s orders were in effect in June. And at that time, you couldn’t gather in groups of more than 50 in June, according to the governor’s orders. Now our city council gave Black Lives Matter a permit to do a protest in downtown, where there are more than 50 people from Black Lives Matter that attended that rally. I think that was June 10th or 11th. And so our city council basically rolled out the red carpet to Black Lives Matter. It gives the governor’s orders in June. And then in July, again, I think it was around July 11th. My dates are hazy, but July 10th through the 15th, somewhere in that timeframe. Black Lives Matter also had a protest in town, where some people were wearing masks, some people weren’t, some people were socially distancing, some people weren’t. It was a mixed bag, and no enforcement there. And so that’s a little background on…
My friend, Andrew Klavan texted me the next day when I got out of jail, he said, “If you had shot a cop, you probably wouldn’t have been arrested.” Or “If you had a Molotov cocktail, you probably wouldn’t have been arrested.” But singing Psalms is a apparently taboo. If you aren’t wearing a mask.
Isaac Crockett: That’s so dangerous nowadays.
Gabriel Rench: Exactly.
Sam Rohrer: Okay, let me follow up with that Gabe because you’re talking there about the hypocritical response, which we’re finding all across the country. Governors dictating these kinds of things, we’ve done a lot here in Pennsylvania, across the country, saying, “These dictates are not even according to the law. They’re not lawful because they’re coming out of the executive branch, the governors.” Or in your case, they’re perhaps the mayor, same problem. So that’s a big issue and they’re very hypocritical. And that follows with themselves, not following the law. But from the response of what you have seen there in your area, what have you seen from other quote, unquote Christians. Whether they may be the woke group that may be out there or other, how have they responded to what you have done? And the fact that this has now become known across the country and people are looking at Moscow, Idaho, and what’s happened there to you, how they’re responding?
Gabriel Rench: Yeah. So Christians in our community, I think, it’s been a mixed bag of responses. I’ve had a lot of encouragement from all Christians. I got arrested on Wednesday, I got out Wednesday night. Thursday, my pastor said, “Hey, let’s do another Psalm sing on Friday, let’s do this again.” And so on Friday at 5:00, we gathered to sing Psalms at City Hall and there’s about 500 people that showed up. And legislators, people from all over, hour and a half to five hours away, showed up that evening at 5:00 to sing Psalms with them. It was glorious, it was fantastic. But I’ve also had the response in town where, “Why don’t you just love your neighbor and wear your mask?” And my response to that is, “I’m no Rosa Parks here. I’m not claiming this, but why doesn’t Rosa Parks just sit in the back of the bus.” Love your people, obey the mayor. Because what the mayor says in our town, Jim Crow laws are the law of the land, love your neighbor and sit in the back of the bus.
And so I think we’re in this moment where Christians really need to read the story and really need to understand the times of what’s going on. And we’re refusing that a little bit, some Christians are refusing and not thinking that, “Oh, there’s actually greater liberties at stake here that we need to be able to see and understand.”
Gary Dull: Love your mayor and wear your mask. I wonder what verse of scripture that is or what book of the Bible that was found in, Gabe? But very interesting, isn’t it? Love your neighbor and wear your mask. Well, it’s interesting to see what you’re going through out there and I’m of course, sorry to hear about it. But the Bible tells us, that the time will come when those who love Jesus Christ will suffer persecution. And certainly we are seeing that in many places around us these days. What is your goal to see what will take place as a result of the difficulty that you’ve gone through there in your hometown of Moscow, Idaho?
Gabriel Rench: Yeah, well obviously as a Christian, everything we do, we want to seek God and his kingdom and knowing that everything else will fall into place. And so our first goal, our first heart’s desire is to glorify God in everything we do. And so, one of the interesting things that has started to happen out of all this is other cities have started to do Psalm sings in front of their City Hall. My buddy, Pastor Joel Webbon, he did a Psalm sing in front of San Diego City Hall last week. I’ve had friends, I’ve heard of, in Georgia, Psalm sings happening in Georgia. I’ve heard of international Psalm sings starting to pop up. And I would love, I think if Christians are going to reclaim the center, you reclaim the center by worshiping God first and foremost. Politics is important, but politics is secondary to our worship with God. But how we worship God should impact our politics, absolutely.
And so I would love to see Psalm sings pop up all over the place in cities across the land. I mean, think of how strategic that protest is. You’re worshiping God, you’re practicing your first amendment rights, which historically the courts and the Supreme Court has done a very good job of protecting our rights to worship. And so your protest is worshiping, the right to assemble and the right to petition. And you’re mixing all that in your first amendment rights, in that protest, in the public square. And you’re worshiping God, your eyes are on the Lord. And so I would love to see Psalm sings pop up throughout our nation, from cities all over.
Isaac Crockett: That would be amazing. That would truly be awesome to see Christians, pastors, congregations, just communities of churches coming together in their local community and throughout the United States, just to sing, singing Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, having these Psalm sings. And we recently talked, and we talk about this sort of stuff a lot on our program, but we were talking with Jeff Coleman about just the political environment and the civility or lack thereof and things. And he was talking about the need for Christians to be kind and not be protesting in a worldly kind of way. And this is exactly what we’re talking about. We’ve seen this with other Christians who have been arrested illegally, wrongfully, the same kind of things happening.
We had Alveda King on our program a few weeks ago. And her talking about her whole family, including her uncle who was assassinated. Their goal was to be peaceful and oftentimes singing hymns and things. And it’s so different many times now. But in that vein, if you could maybe also tell us a little bit about some of the conversation that you had had with that, the very police chief that was there, overseeing your arrest. I know we just have a few minutes here left, but maybe you could talk to us so that people see your heart and see the context of the situation, that you weren’t just trying to get arrested.
Gabriel Rench: Yeah. So we, I mean, I’ve been working on… Irrelated, not knowing all this is going to go down. I’ve been reaching out to the police chief, building a relationship with him. We had him actually, I host a political TV show called CrossPolitic, crosspolitic.com is our website. And I had him on our show at one point. This was probably back in March maybe or May. And I’ve been into his office about this whole moment. I’ve been talking to him. I went to his office to actually visit with him specifically about the mandate and resolution that came into place in July 2nd. This is before they extended to January 5th. So I’ve been working hard to build a relationship.
Well, when I got… Excuse me, when the city council extended the resolution through January 5th, I went into his… I emailed him, excuse me, I didn’t go in his office. I emailed him Tuesday morning. And my email said, “Man, I’m praying for you. And do not let this be a Peter moment.” In other words, do not run when trouble is in front of you, trouble that you need to face. I said, “Be Daniel, this is your Daniel moment.” And so that was my email Tuesday morning. And our pastors hadn’t even decided to do a Psalm sing yet. And I just emailed that to him regardless. And then when he arrested me, or when his arresting officer was cuffing me, he was standing right behind him. And I said to him, I said, “This was your Daniel moment.” So I rebuked him, as I’m getting arrested.
I mean, I love our chief. I understand the pickle, the challenge, that our officers were in. The mayor had a unconstitutional edict, that he was wanting the police officers to enforce. But I also think as a Christian, you need to be able to sort through, at what point do you defend your citizens against petty tyrannical orders, like what our mayor did.
Isaac Crockett: That is so true. And we don’t want to miss, those of us listening, we don’t want to miss our Daniel moments that we have, to stand up. Gabe, I know we just have a few seconds here left. If you could maybe give us your website again, or any information or final words for those listening today.
Gabriel Rench: Yes, crosspolitic.com is where you can go. I also have a podcast network that we’ve been working on, it’s called fightlaughfeast.com. And those would be some good websites to go to. As for Psalm sings, we have a Facebook group where it’s, Fight Laugh Feast Family Facebook group. And you guys should tag that, we have a Fight Laugh Feast Facebook page and a CrossPolitic Facebook page also, and tag those and we’ll help get the word out. I would love to see these Psalm sings go all over the place and everyone hear about them. And it just become a really fun and cool movement. Back to your point earlier, what a joyful way to protest. You don’t want to be cantankerous as Christians, you don’t want to be bitter as a Christians. You don’t want to be angry when you go out in public and petition your leaders. So sing Psalms, you can not, not smile praising God, and this is a great way to do it.
Isaac Crockett: Amen. Amen. Flight Laugh Feast. Gabe, thank you so much. Our program’s going to continue, but I know we’re saying goodbye to you right now. We have on our social media, some of these things listed on their articles and links to this. Thank you so much for taking a stand, Standing in the Gap. Thank you for being on with us today. And we’re going to come back after this brief timeout, and we’re going to talk more about what we’ve just heard from Gabe, and what’s going on in our nation.
Well, welcome back to the program. I’m Isaac Crockett joined by Sam and Gary. We were just speaking with Gabe Rench, about what happened when he was arrested just for outside worship. They were singing outside and just so much going on with that. If you’re just now joining us, I would really encourage you to go back to our website, to standinthegapradio.com and just listen to the beginning of this. You might want to share it with some friends. And you can also go to our social media where you can see some links to maybe some of the videos from that day. And some articles and things about this. There were other folks from the same church group arrested that day as well. And just a really amazing story, almost hard to believe. And yet, it really seems that God is working through it and bringing a lot of people to be willing to come out and peacefully worship God, no matter what the cost, because that’s what we’re called to do as Christians.
So thank you so much for listening, on behalf of all of us here at Stand in the Gap, I am thankful for everyone who’s tuning in, however you’re tuning in. And we would love to hear from you. If you can take a little bit of your time to go to our website and contact us through that or on social media, Facebook, or things like that, to let us know that you’re listening, where you listen from and any thing where we may have been a blessing to you, we would really appreciate that. And we love hearing from folks who are partnering with us, people praying for us and helping us. Those of you help us financially, a big thank you to those for doing that as well.
Well, Sam and Gary, we know that God is sovereign. We know that he holds the heart of the King his hands. But the same time, we know that, as Gabe just said, “The most important thing is having our heart right with God, the gospel, but that will affect our involvement in government.” Gabe himself is running for a government position there, the County Commissioner, there in the Moscow, Idaho area. Sam you’ve spent almost two decades of your life as an elected official. And so, we’ve been seeing a lot of issues coming at the church, coming from government officials in our country.
And few months ago, we had another Christian on who was arrested, David Benham. He was on a program, very similar situation. He was outside of an abortion clinic in Charlotte, North Carolina. He had a few team members. They were socially distanced, offering assistance to the ladies who were considering abortion. And the day before he was arrested, the law enforcement officers there, they talked and David told them that they were praying for them. They seemed to all get along, nothing wrong. And then the next day they come by orders of the mayor and they arrested them. And it seems that we’re seeing this happening, other ways and times.
But Sam, as we see Christ followers, and we see what’s going on with these, in some cases, lower level government officials, we see mayors or governors or other civil leaders, saying things that aren’t true, pushing things that not only aren’t scientific, but seem to have a really bad part to them. What should we do? I know you’ve talked a lot about how we should react to face mask requirements and other things, but what is our duty as Christians? How do we line up with the truth when these falsehoods are being propagated, even through civil authorities?
Sam Rohrer: Well, Isaac, great question. And you know, as you referred, we have been trying to spend a lot of time on this program and everything that we’re doing, to help address that point. It is amazing thing to me, but as Christians, as citizens, who have a respect for the fear of God and the Constitution and moral law. What we say is this, and it’s where we have to start, by asking the question, “What is the truth?” And then, “What is the law?” That’s the next step and that’s the next question. And as what we’re doing with our part of a restore of the law and our effort here in Pennsylvania as a template for the country is to, in response to all of these actions under COVID, because that’s exactly what’s happening here with our guest that we just had on, these are policies coming out of the governor and the local office in regard to all this COVID aspect.
So that’s why I say, ask the question, what is the law, in the case out there? The law is that the mayor can’t make the law, he’s executive branch. He can’t make the law, that’s for the council. The governor can’t make the law, he’s executive branch, that has to come through the legislature. And yet all of these things that we’re dealing with, that we’re talking about, from distancing, to mask or no mask, or 25 people in church, or all of that. None of these are the law. So, that’s fundamental. What is the law? And then we need to respond accordingly. So if it’s not the law, then what’s actually happening. Isaac, by definition, is lawless. Well, if it’s lawless, it’s not legitimate law. Therefore, it’s not the law. And we ought to be responding that fashion. That’s number one.
Number two, where there are issues coming down the pike that would say, for instance, he was talking about the mask, and that’s why he got arrested. He didn’t have his mask on, so forth. Well, the question is, it’s not the law, number one. Fundamental, it’s not the law. But do they work? So the truth is, we have to pursue the truth. You can go out and find people and say, “Oh yeah, if you wear them, it’s 70% effective. And you had to help yourself keep from spreading anything or from getting anything.” And then on the other side, and we’ll deal with it on this program tomorrow with a doctor, when deal with this tomorrow. The question is, “Well, what is it medically? Do they work or do they not work?” And you can’t have something, that on one hand is absolutely, it works with confidence. And on the other hand, you have other statements that it doesn’t work. Matter of fact, it’s dangerous. And you can apply that to any and every issue.
So my response is, ask the question, what is the law? What is the authority that now demands that we as citizens give up or forfeit our right to worship, our right to a travel or assembly, or whatever it is. And then on a specific matter, pursue finding the truth, because everything is either true or it’s not true. And then based on the pursuing and the finding of the truth, then let that dictate your answer. So if there’s ever a time, when we say Stand in the Gap for truth, Isaac, it really means, you’ve got to pursue the truth. And the truth is identifiable, as a matter of law, as a matter of science, it’s true or it’s not. And then make a decision to follow that truth. That puts a lot of things into effect, but that’s a basic foundational thing I’m trying hard to encourage people to do.
Isaac Crockett: That’s so true, very foundational. Gary, let me ask you, and we’ve talked about all sorts of things and talk with so many different people over the last few months because of the pandemic shutdown stuff. But, we have Christians that got arrested for serving God, rather than men, in many of people’s opinions. But there were Christians who, they were cited and arrested at Easter time because they had parking lot services, socially distant, in their own vehicles. In some cases, spike strips were put down, pastors were arrested, parishioners were cited. We’ve seen groups out in California, like Grace Community Church, and different ones, that have been told, even though they’ve won some levels of court cases, “You’re not allowed to use your building.”
And it seems like all along the way, there are other Christians, and maybe we should call them the woke groups or woke Christians, I don’t know. But saying to guys like David Behnam, “Oh, well, don’t go out there and stand in front of the abortion clinic if you might get in trouble.” Or saying to Gabe, “Well, don’t go out and sing in public. Don’t go making a fuss like this.” You can’t sing with a mask on. I mean, really? I don’t know if you’ve tried it, but it’s like chewing gum and blowing bubbles with a mask on, it doesn’t work. Or, “Don’t meet in your church, just go online. Come on, come on, what’s wrong with you.”
Gary, I wonder if this is, as Gabe told the police chief there in Moscow, I wonder if this is a Daniel moment or maybe a Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego moment, for many Christians and for many pastors and churches. Where, if we were in their shoes, in the Shadrach and Meshach and Abednego, for example, and the music was playing. If all these people would have said, “Just bow your knee, you don’t really have to worship the statue. Just bow down, come on, don’t raise a fuss. Don’t get arrested. Don’t get thrown into the furnace.” I wonder what you think about that, Gary, as a pastor in this climate?
Gary Dull: Well, I would simply add to what you say, in the fact that this is not a time for many pastors or churches or Christians to stand up like Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. This is the time for all pastors, churches and Christians to stand up. And it’s the time for pastors to lead. That’s what we are to do. I know we’ve tried to do that here on Stand in the Gap. We’ve done it through [APN 00:27:34]. But it’s time for all pastors to stand up and to speak the truth. I would encourage every pastor under the sound of our voices today, to spend some time on Second Timothy 4:1-8. Where it talks about what we are to do as pastors. And there are 10 components in there, that every pastor is to fulfill in his ministry. And then in Acts 5:29, we are told that we ought to obey God rather than man.
And here’s the point, Isaac, as pastors, we need to understand what our commission is. The church is the pillar and the ground of the truth. First Timothy 3:15, “Pastors are to understand the truth and to proclaim the truth and not the back down from the truth, whether it’s in teaching or standing out in the pulpit or out in the public square.” And I think that this is a time where pastoral leadership must stand up and go forward. God has put pastors in communities to be the spiritual leadership. Indeed, to be the spiritual authority, based upon biblical truth. And we must be willing to do that at all costs or at any cost, if we are going to be faithful under the calling that God has given us.
This is not a time for pastors to succumb to some kind of a lawless ordinance that has been given by some mayor, governor, or anybody else. But it’s important that we understand the truth and that we make certain that whatever we do, whatever we say, we are not being pushed back from being the witness in the community and the representative of Jesus Christ, that God would have us to be.
Isaac Crockett: That is so true. We need to be faithful at any cost. And remember, again, those two questions, “What is truth? What is the law?” Let truth guide us, let God’s word, his light, guide us. We have a lot more to talk about, but not a lot of time. We have one more segment coming up, we’re going to take a brief break, a brief timeout. We’re going to come back and Sam and Gary will give their final thoughts. And hopefully we can speak a little bit about something we’ve talked about here before, with our biblical worldview, this idea of the doctrine of lesser magistrates. Going to take this time out, we’ll be right back, just after this.
Well, again, welcome back to the program. I’m Isaac Crockett, joined by Sam Rohrer and Gary Dull today. And we had a special guest, the first half of our program, Gabe Rench. And he has a podcast CrossPolitic, and he works with a group that they’re doing Psalm sings and it’s starting to spread. And one of the very interesting things is, a video went viral of him, just a few days ago, being arrested for singing, for worshiping God out in public. Because he didn’t have his mask on, even though some of the law enforcement officers, when he was in jail, they were not social distanced or wearing masks. Even though the mayor, who was the one coming up with this law, even though that was unconstitutional, and he himself has been caught not wearing a mask at times, violating his own rules. And even though the Black Lives Matter groups that came and protested, they were not arrested for that, as Christians, their group was targeted.
And so it was a very interesting part. If you’ve been listening, you know what we’re talking about. If you haven’t heard that part of it, I would encourage you to go back to standinthegapradio.com and listen to the first part of the program, but it reminds us. And so Gabe who was on with us, he had a chance to tell the police chief, a guy who he has been praying for, a guy who has been working with and developing relationship with. Police chief was there while he was being arrested. And the day before Gabe had told the police chief, “With all that’s going on, you have a chance to take a stand, to stand in the gap, so to speak.” And he called it, the man’s Daniel moment.
Well, Sam, when I hear these kinds of things explained, I hear what you’re talking about, that each one of us, with whatever power, whatever authority we have, whether it’s as an individual, or in our home or church or our government or our community or job, wherever it is. We need to ask ourselves when things come at us, “What is the truth? And what is the law?” That reminds me of something we’ve talked about here before, and we’ve talked about on our TV program, and that is the doctrine of lesser magistrates. Can you just explain to us in a nutshell, what that is and how that applies to what we’ve been talking about?
Sam Rohrer: Yes, absolutely, Isaac. It’s a profound principle of understanding scripture. Christians across this country, many in the pulpits as well, not just in pews, are struggling unnecessarily, I believe. Under how do we respond to a government mandate, a dictate or whatever it is, that affects the way we deal with our family. The fact you can’t even go to sit with a family member when they’re dying under this COVID, you cannot worship any longer. You are afraid to give a hug to another Christian brother in church. All these things, all right, I don’t have to prove the point, this is what we’re talking about. And people are struggling. Well, what should we do? How do we determine? Is this a moment? Is this a Daniel moment? Is this a moment where we rise to the occasion and say, “We must obey God rather than man.” And we’re confused. The doctrine of the lesser magistrate simply says, “The Bible, the word of God, lays out the pattern for understanding what is law, legitimate law and legitimate authority.”
And it’s all built around a biblical worldview that we talk about here. God the Father sits on top as the designer of all. He makes all, he is the authority above all. He gave and delegated authority, which all authority is delegated from God. It’s given to Jesus Christ and then placed under Jesus Christ is the other authority structures that we talk about regularly on this program and beyond. It is the individual, self-individual, self-government, self-authority. It’s the family and it’s the church and its civil government. Now, if we don’t understand what the Bible says, then we have great difficulty in knowing how to respond. But if we do, and we know that all authority, the ability to make law, to enforce the law or determine anything about it. Be it as a parent or as an employee or a teacher in the classroom or as civil authority or however it may be, that it’s God’s idea.
If we don’t believe that, then it makes it really difficult to understand how to respond. But if we do properly, then it’s a matter of going to scripture and saying, “All right, what is the authority?” Is it the authority, the right of civil government, to tell families in their home how they raise their children, no. Biblically, they do not have that authority. Does the civil government have authority to tell the church how they worship, if they can baptize, if they can get close enough to give people a hug or whatever? The answer is, no, they do not. And that’s where the process begins. That’s why I say, “Ask what the authority is for these things that are happening.” And you come at it from that perspective.
Now, in our country, we have the constitution. So our highest civil law is the constitution, which fortunately at this point, mirrors exactly the structure that God lays out in the Bible. So if there is a violating of the civil law, meaning governors or mayors, actually usurping the ability of the law making body, the legislature, and they are making the law, then it’s unlawful. And that’s when you begin to determine, “Okay, I can’t just then go along without thinking about it. I must determine that, no, this is not right. And then we proceed into the process.”
Now I’ll conclude with this, just because we don’t have much time. When Daniel was told by the King, “You can no longer pray.” And Daniel went ahead and prayed out in public in his window. He in fact resisted as a lesser authority, he was a Prince in government. The King said, “You don’t pray.” Daniel said, “No, God says pray.” And he went ahead and prayed. And he resisted by doing what God told him to do. The midwives in Egypt were told by Pharaoh, “Kill all the baby boys.” Well, God said, “No, you don’t kill.” And the midwives said, “Civil authority, King, you may have said this, but no, we cannot do that.” And they resisted.
In real life across this country, when you see sheriffs stand up and say, “We are not going to go and arrest people locally.” As they have with John MacArthur, the local [inaudible 00:35:47] said, “We’re not going to do that.” Or local district attorney saying, “We will not prosecute.” Or local judges, as many have across the country, “We will not prosecute this mask law, this distancing mandate because that’s not the law.” They are indeed practicing resistance to unlawful authority, that is in effect, putting into effect, the doctrine of the lesser magistrate. Meaning lesser authority saying to the higher authority, “I cannot because what you’re doing is not lawful.” That’s in simple terms, what it is. It is a biblical model, it must be done and it must be done carefully. And God’s word tells us what we can and how we should do it.
Isaac Crockett: Sam, thank you for that. And for you listening, we understand, so many difficult things even before 2020. But this year seems to have been a culmination of a lot of difficult decision-making for every one of us, especially for pastors, for every Bible believing Christian out there. And that’s why we have a biblical worldview. That’s why we go to the Bible for our answers. And so with that, Pastor Gary Dull, would you just give us maybe your final thoughts, as a pastor that’s going through this? As one who’s encouraging pastors to be faithful at any cost, could you give us any final words of encouragement and then close this program in prayer for us please?
Gary Dull: Well, I think simply, Isaac, that it’s important that the pastors and everybody maintain that biblical worldview, you just mentioned. And if you can put it down to a statement, it would go like this, looking at everything through the eyes of the scripture, we need to allow the word of God to be our guide constantly. And father, it is my prayer that every pastor, every Christian and particularly every Christian who is in government these days, would search your word to find out what truth is. Your word tells us in James 1:5 that, “If we lack wisdom, as to what to do in the face of a trial, that we should just ask you through faith and you’ll give us that wisdom.” And I pray, dear Lord, that you’ll give us all the wisdom that we need to stand for truth today, whenever there are those who in one way or another are doing everything that they can to keep us from the truth. Give us the boldness and the strength that we need every day to stand for you. And we will thank you and praise you for what you’ll do in our lives, in Jesus name. Amen.
Isaac Crockett: Amen. Thank you, Gary. Sam, thanks for being on too. And want to thank our special guest Gabe Rench, who was able to make time to be on with us for the first part of this program. And on behalf of everyone here behind the scenes and on air, for Stand in the Gap today, thank you for listening. Thank you for praying for us. Continue to listen to this program as you’re able, and to stand in the gap for truth, today.