By Michael Hernandez
NEWBURY PARK—Pastor Rob McCoy resigned his Thousand Oaks City Council seat Saturday night taking a stand that the church is an essential service in the community and going ahead with a livestream message on Palm Sunday followed by a public communion which some allege is in violation of county and state ordinances but following what he states are public health guidelines released by the government.
“The Lord commanded fellowship and the assembly of the saints (Hebrews 10:24-25),” said Pastor Rob McCoy at Sunday’s Godspeak Calvary livestream service on Palm Sunday—which was followed by Communion from 1-3 p.m. “We will still honor Caesar. We are compliant to all the rules. We are keeping social distance.
Pastor Rob McCoy stated: “Last night at 10 p.m. I resigned from the (Thousand Oaks) City Council. I did not want to put my other city council colleagues in jeopardy. I do not want to burden the other city council members. Not all agree with me, that’s okay. I did not want to be a city official in violation of a county and state ordinance declaring that a Church is nonessential.
“I believe if we do not exercise our rights, they are lost. “I respect authority, but I cannot submit to an authority that states the Church is nonessential. If the Church is nonessential, then Christ in nonessential.
“I know I am not popular right now. I am not seeking popular opinion. I really don’t care. I don’t care what it costs me. I really don’t. There is only one opinion that matters. I am only willing to honor God. He…will bring you the greatest blessing. Jesus died for the remission of our sins. He came to give life.”
In his Sunday sermon, Pastor Rob stated: “I am looking at the older folks in our congregation and in the city and we are protecting them. We have liberty and freedom (in this nation) but God demands we live for Him. The church is essential.
“In 1620, a 102 passengers and crew members left for the New World. They believed Christianity and religion to be essential and they founded a new nation in religious liberty and freedom which brought us to a place where we have the First Amendment. They believed Christianity and religion to be essential and they founded this nation.
“The reality is that no nation can declare themselves greater than God. I cannot live with that. The government that rejects the existence of God is the government that will give you your rights. In America, we have ‘unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness’ (Declaration of Independence). People are dying. They are lonely and depressed. They are unemployed, impoverished and have no hope.
Palm Sunday is the first day of the Christian Holy Week commemorating Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem before His crucifixion. Pastor McCoy started his Sunday sermon by sharing Jesus triumphal entry found in the Gospel of Luke (Chapter 19:28-44) which fulfilled Zechariah 9:9.
Pastor McCoy then shared from Exodus 5 (which recounts Moses first encounter with the Egyptian Pharaoh) and then proceeded to Luke 22:19-20 (where the Lord’s Supper or Communion is instituted) and 1 Corinthians 10:16-17.
“Communion is a sacrament instituted by the Lord. It is commanded by the Lord. We celebrate Palm Sunday (today) and Easter (April 12th) while Jews celebrate the Passover (exodus from Egypt) from April 8-16th.
The Godspeak website states: “After the 11 a.m. livestream, from 1-3 p.m., we will be opening the building for members of The Church (all believers) to come and partake in what the Lord has declared as essential. We will have arrows on the ground, six feet apart, starting from outside the building.
“You will see people you love that you haven’t seen in a while. Please refrain from any kind of physical greetings and maintain social distancing. The arrows on the ground will help you remember to keep the proper distance from one another. You will begin to walk inside (following the arrows) through the lobby, into the sanctuary, and to the communion table.
“At the communion table you will pick up the elements for yourself and either take a seat in one of the chairs (10 seats only) in the sanctuary and take communion there, or you can continue through the line and out the exit.
“If you are high risk, please stay at home. If you are sick, please stay at home. If you have contact with someone who is sick, please stay at home. If you have a mask and or gloves, please wear them.”
(Editor’s Note: To see the full directions and to hear a 15 minute message about communion go to Godspeak’s website: https://godspeak.com/what-about-communion.)
“Every other religion is man going to God. but in Christianity, God comes to man. I love the Lord more than anything else. I want you to know Him. He loves you. I know, because He first loved me. All the things I have done He has forgiven me. He is sufficient yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
“The church is essential because we are His bride. God gives us courage. Jesus is the only way, the only truth.”
Godspeak Calvary Chapel also features a “Kids at Home Resource” (volume 12) to assist children during this time. For more information go to: https://godspeak.com/
(Editor’s Note: Pastor Rob McCoy can be heard every day through his 7 p.m. “Fireside Chat.” Today’s 11 a.m. livestream service had 1,027 views. To view tonight’s episode 18 “Fireside Chat” broadcast go to: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYiP2FPff-_TH5kcjTp4oyQ. Episode one registered 1,000 views.)
Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service; editor of the History Makers Report and founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. He worked 25 years as a middle school teacher in Monrovia and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected].