Sean Feucht leads mass US 'worship protests' and defies COVID restrictions

This year’s pandemic has relegated most musicians – non-Christian and Christian alike – to online performances, with live gigs cancelled due to health restrictions aimed at stemming the spread of coronavirus.

But for Californian worship leader Sean Feucht, the pandemic has provided the perfect conditions for holding 45 massive “Let Us Worship” rallies across America in defiance of COVID crowd restrictions.

Tens of thousands of Americans have attended Feucht’s rallies for a variety of reasons. Some people might be there because they don’t believe COVID is real, while some because they believe Christians are instructed to gather – even if that means putting their own lives at risk. Some are there to protest what they consider to be religious discrimination against Christianity by state authorities, or society more broadly. For others, the rallies are political – with Feucht an outspoken Trump supporter. Other key Republican spokespeople, such as Franklin Graham, have taken part in his events, and even Vice President Mike Pence dropped in back in March.

Feucht has offered several reasons for holding the rallies which defy both state laws and the wisdom of health officials.

“I haven’t seen this level of persecution or intimidation toward the church [before],” Feucht told CBN News last week. “I think it is really revealing to us of the state of America and we have to rise up and be courageous – standing not only on our First Amendment right and the Constitution but also standing on our biblical mandate in Hebrews 10:25 – ‘to not forsake meeting and gathering together’.”

However, as Rolling Stone magazine pointed out in an article entitled “Jesus Christ, Superspreader“, Feucht has held rallies in cities where churches are allowed to meet and services are being held. So the persecution he speaks of is, presumably, not to do with restrictions on churches.

Whatever his reasons, Feucht’s national tour has been a boost to his public profile. It has garnered him even more national attention than his unsuccessful attempt at politics in March this year, when he ran as Republican candidate for California’s 3rd Congressional District.

Yet Feucht’s tour has not escaped criticism from a range of Christian leaders.

“The more that the church stands up and goes out into public forums and has ‘Let Us Worship’ parties  … it’s just offensive,” Hillsong UNITED’s Joel Houston said on a Relevant podcast. “It’s like, there’s no humility in that whatsoever. It’s not standing up for … I just go, ‘That is not it. That’s not what it looks like.'”

Houston himself is no stranger to a worship tour, and some might find his criticism unexpected – especially given the similarities in worship culture between Houston’s Hillsong and Bethel, the worship team Feucht is part of. (However, note that Feucht only is part of Bethel’s worship team as a volunteer, not a staff member, as stressed by Bethel Church).

“I think we could be doing so much more for our communities than having a worship protest.” – Joel Houston

Indeed, in an article published in Religion News, author Adam Perez asserted both churches share a common praise and worship theology. Yet it is clear that Houston objects to Feucht’s timing.

“Now there may come a time and a place and a day, right, where that make a bit more sense,” said Houston about protesting issues of religious freedom. “But I don’t think it’s during a pandemic, where people are protesting against injustice that is so blatant and obvious, and we’re sitting there crying ‘Oh, our religious freedoms!'”

“What are we talking about? There is no example of that in the Bible, as far as I’m concerned,” Houston said.

“And I think, OK, what’s going to happen now is [that] you’ve offended so many of the people we’re called to reach, that now part of their agenda is actually taking away our religious freedoms. It was a non-issue before then. And so that’s what happens, time and time again. We create the very things we’re afraid of …”

Houston pointed out that the Bible says Christians should make Christ known by their love, not by their fear or, even, by their courage in response to fear. “Don’t get me wrong, God is that good that I’m sure in all these meetings and all these places where people are doing stuff that God is actually moving – because he’s not going to miss a moment if people are hungry for him. He’s going to move in their lives. But I think, as a whole, that we could be doing so much more for our communities than having a worship protest.”

Shane Claiborne is a prominent speaker, activist, and author who has worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta and heads up Red Letter Christians – “a movement of folks who are committed to living as if Jesus meant the things he said.”

Claiboirne took to Twitter to try to make contact with Feucht, but was unsuccessful.

But it’s not just high-profile Christians who have taken issue with Feucht’s events, with local area pastors also voicing criticism.

Nashville area Pastor here @seanfeucht. We are meeting freely. That our city was concerned about crowds gathering does not mean the city governments in the area are resisting the church. They’re not. You do not speak for the Church here & your post slanders our civic leaders. https://t.co/izHV6ZLG1K


Undeterred by such feedback, Feucht’s opinion is that the national tour has been God-ordained and in God’s perfect timing – just like the release of his new book, out today.

 

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TODAY IS A BIG DAY FOR ME!!! 🎉🎉🎉 “BRAZEN: Be A Voice, Not An Echo” is officially OUT!!!! When God told me to write this book back in April, I had NO IDEA what my life would be like and how timely I feel this message would be for the world. HIS TIMING IS PERFECT 😭😭😭😭 This is pretty much my life story and a prophetic precursor to this season we are now in! I spare no detail and leave in all the grit 😳. This cover photo was from a bombed out bus outside Mosul in Iraq!! The first 100 orders from my website today will get a signed copy!!!! We’ll send them out tomorrow! You can also grab it on Amazon! I PRAY GOD USES MY SIMPLE STORY TO RAISE UP VOICES ALL OVER THE WORLD! We have a lot of echos of culture, but now more than ever we need VOICES!!! https://www.seanfeucht.com/merch/p/brazen-be-a-voice-not-an-echo #BrazenBook

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