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A Maryland pastor who went viral for shredding a local government’s cease-and-desist order to halt in-person services told “The Ingraham Angle” Thursday that he and his congregants are “tired of being told to sit at the house.”
Rev. Stacey Shiflett of the Calvary Baptist Church in Dundalk held a Wednesday night service with a reduced congregation capacity that was in line with Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s restrictions but defied a separate edict Baltimore County edict.
“I’m tearing up this cease-and-desist order right here and I’m telling you right now, we’re going to do it God’s way,” he told the congregation as he tore up the document. “Pharaoh doesn’t get to dictate to God’s people how they worship their God. God is the one that defines the parameters, God is the one that communicates his Will and his Plan for his church, not Egypt.”
Shiflett told host Laura Ingraham the community’s reaction to his stand has been “overwhelming.”
“I didn’t plan on doing that, it wasn’t scripted,” he said. “I happened to have it in my hands and there’s two things that get me passionate: one is the American flag and the other is the Word of God. Those two things have been jeopardized here in the last few months.
“It reached a boiling point for me last night and I decided we couldn’t take it anymore and it’s time to push back.”
Shiflett commented on the apparently arbitrary nature of many of the lockdown orders — which restrict access to some places, but not others, and prohibit some social practices while allowing others.
“We all know that the coronavirus only goes to church, it doesn’t go to Home Depot, it doesn’t go to the grocery store, it doesn’t go anywhere except to church,” he said, adding that the government has tried to indoctrinate people with the help of their “so-called experts.”
“We’re just going to church,” Shiflett said. “We are tired of being told to sit at the house. When a man can take his daughter to the abortion clinic but he can’t take her to church, when a woman can take her son to the liquor store but can’t take him to church, when the marijuana dispensaries are flourishing and churches are shuttered, it’s time for somebody to say something.”
The pastor added that he was shocked at how many clergy appear content to go along with government edicts instead of exercising their First Amendment rights and said streaming services online was a poor substitute for physical presence in a church.
“You can’t have church the way God intended for it to [be] through livestream,” he said. “It’s time to push back and it’s unfair, it’s unjust, it’s unconstitutional and we are tired of it.”
Fox News’ Caleb Parke contributed to this report.