The pastor in Florida who is known as a megachurch pastor was arrested Monday for refusing to suspend church services and follow the "safer at home" order which was issued by the government.

Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne of The River at Tampa Bay Church decided to defy the order and hold services anyway and put hundreds of people at risk.

I'm all for obeying God over man, but there comes a point where you're not loving your neighbor by refusing the abide by the order and you're jeopardizing the lives of others.

According to Fox 13 News,

The pastor of a Tampa megachurch is facing charges after refusing to close its doors despite a "safer at home" order in effect in Hillsborough County, meant to stop the spread of COVID-19. The sheriff says up to 500 people were in attendance at Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne's Sunday services.

Howard-Browne, 58, turned himself in Monday afternoon after Sheriff Chad Chronister and State Attorney Andrew Warren on Monday announced an arrest warrant had been issued for charges of unlawful assembly and violating public health emergency rules of isolation and quarantine. Howard-Browne was released 40 minutes later after posting a $500 bond.

The River at Tampa Bay Church held two services Sunday, Chronister said, and even offered bus transportation for those services. The church's live stream showed a packed crowd cheering and applauding.

 

"I don't believe in mandatory church attendance. Nor do I believe in mandatory weekly Sunday services. The Bible does not teach any such mandates. I also believe loving your neighbor means not exposing them to increased risk of disease. I support canceling select weekly meetings. If yours is not canceled, I support staying home. I especially support this for older and elderly people."

Worship comes in many forms. It first and foremost comes in the form of presenting yourself as a living sacrifice, deference to the needs of others, and works of charity based on our giftings.

H/T Joel McDurmon | Lamb's Reign

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