We are blessed by the excellent commentary by my Brother in Christ Chuck Akeley. It is fresh off the presses. When God moves Chuck to write it is always point on. Even thou he is a Red Sox fan, we are still best friends!!! LOL!

Chuck Akeley, Albuquerque, New Mexico, January 1, 2021.


According to recent statements and actions taken against the church by the State of New Mexico, the governor considers those of us who live first and foremost by our Christian faith and the need for the church to be the church, corporately as well as privately, to be selfish.  Those who drove to church for services on Christmas Eve 2020 did not do so under duress and I’m confident that those services were viewable online.  Unfortunately, the State of New Mexico felt it necessary to issue administrative orders asserting noncompliance with its COVID-19 mandates and assessing $10,000 monetary penalties.


Regarding our civil government, the State of New Mexico’s position is contrary to the Bill of Rights (1st Amendment) and attempting to intimately regulate church operations under the threat of law, harkens to concerns from the very founding of our country and its constitution.  What happened this week is a line that ought not to have been crossed.  The affected pastors offered well-articulated responses that the church provides critical needs for New Mexico’s citizens – which the government does, by the way, 100% exclusively with the citizens’ own money derived from taxation anyway.


The selfishness is what has happened to our society and the lives of so many as a result of arbitrary governmental actions impacting nearly every single action and decision we as citizens make every day.  If you are willing, consider that state government currently, under threat of monetary penalties, business closures and even incarceration, has decided, for 10+ months and continuing, without legislation from the people’s representatives:  1) with whom we interact (or not interact); 2) what we can do (or cannot do); 3) when we can do it (or cannot do it); 4) where we can do it (or cannot do it); why we can do it (or cannot do it – essential v. non-essential); and how we can do it (or cannot do it).  Think for a moment about the level of intimate control our governor and certain municipal or county officials have taken from our lives and how we often think of each other as we meet or pass on the sidewalk as “walking death threats” or risks to be avoided.  How many relationships have fractured due to opinions about a piece of cloth?


The church should be the very last thing impacted in a situation like this.  All of our citizens should be given the benefit of government research, expertise and when necessary, assistance to foster an orderly civil society with protection of human rights for all.  We should not, however, be subject to unlegislated, never-ending, life-altering mandates – as NOBODY is pro-disease or desires for our loved ones (or others) to become horribly sick or die because of our actions, despite assertions to the contrary.  This country was founded on liberty with government established by the people and for the people, which should require legislative input for such drastic, life-altering decisions akin to the ones being made for us right now.


Let’s take a deep breath and pray (or keep praying) as to how we should react to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.  Let’s remember to love always and to see each other as the Lord sees us.  Let’s remind each other to depend more on our faith and God-given wisdom than our civil government – which rests on the shoulder of God [Isaiah 9:7] – however necessary civil government might be.  Let’s encourage our legislators, not the executive branch, in accordance with the constitutions of our country and states, to determine what is truly necessary for longstanding civil regulation and order, and especially whether a situation such as the current COVID-19 virus warrants the current restrictions and threats of arrest.


Romans 13:1-7[ESV] states:  “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.   2Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.  3For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad.  Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority?  Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4for he is God’s servant for your good.  But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain.  For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.  5Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.  6For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.  7Pay to all what is owed to them:  taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”


I fully understand that personal interpretation can be problematic and that intelligent persons may disagree, but this scripture has been referenced recently to justify recent decisions by government and to assert that those who might justifiably disagree with an action of government are therefore unloving of others and fail to reflect Christian values!  Just because abortion is legally authorized by civil government, is it now justifiable to the Lord?  It seems that this scripture affirms civil government to assure a moral and orderly society, but not to assert that man has the ultimate say in all matters, supplanting the judgment and wisdom of God.  I see no place wherein it provides for civil government to dictate church operations and override scriptural mandates and interpretation by ministers of the gospel and the church itself.


I suggest we pray to become more and more like Jesus every day, to be forgiving, loving and law-abiding citizens, and first and foremost, to give our hearts and obedience to Jesus, who is the Head of the church and upon Whom our government rests.  Praise Jesus forevermore!


Governor’s Spokesman Call Pastors ‘Pro-Virus’

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