Michael Youssef, pastor of Atlanta’s Church of The Apostles, made some excellent and scathing remarks about “the entertainment-driven church” in an article in the Christian Post.
Today’s church is “making people feel good all the way to Hell,” he said. It’s the “gospel of positivity,” he said, calling the pastors of those churches “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
“Youssef also cautioned against the idea that tragedies like the coronavirus pandemic currently sweeping the world will spark a “revival,” emphasizing that revival will not happen unless ‘the people of God remove idols from their lives,’ ” the article goes on to say.
Furthermore, Pastor Youssef is quoted as saying that “Already they’re asking for anybody who goes to church to be arrested. If they’re doing this in the middle of our somber situation, wait until it’s over. They will come in after us with cleats,” he warned.
“I want to prepare the body of Christ of believers to be alert and to be aware of the fact that we are in for a very difficult time ahead,” Pastor Youssef said.
I’ve seen more than one article in Atlanta’s newspaper that traced local outbreaks to Christians. In one article, the paper reported that a funeral was responsible for a particular outbreak in rural Georgia, that spread to several other communities. In another, a gathering of musicians was blamed for another outbreak outside a large city, that spread to other small towns. The articles didn’t blame Christians, per se. But it’s not hard for those who are already against Christians to use these reports as examples of the harm Christians do.
Pastors of large churches don’t want to shutter their churches during this pandemic. At least one has sued to be allowed gatherings over 10 persons. I think this is showing its contempt for Emergency Orders by the states governor. These emergency orders are not persecution of Christians, as they pertain to all gatherings, whether conferneces or sports or large weddings.
What’s a Christian response to this pandemic?
Pastor “Youssef urged “faithful believers” to see the COVID-19 pandemic as a “warning” and “loving alarm bell from God, saying, ‘Turn to me before it’s too late.’”
“When a believer begins to get serious about their prayer life and their walk with Christ, we will see change happen,” he said. “I want believers to really get serious about this. I am pleading with believers to please, go back to the Lord now. I think God is looking for an excuse to relent. Before we see judgment, we need to get back to basics.”