A documentary that followed the hardship of three Christian churches to remain open despite government lockdowns during the coronavirus has hit number one on the Apple iTunes Store in the documentary category.
The film, The Essential Church, features the struggles of Grace Community Church’s John MacArthur in Los Angeles, Fairview Baptist Church pastor Tim Stephens in Calgary, Canada, and GraceLife Church pastor James Coates also in Canada.
The film talks about the likelihood of transmission in groups and also speaks to the power government had at the time and speaks to the role that civil government has in the church, and when and how it should or should not be obeyed by Christians.
Faced with what many health authorities called a health calamity when the COVID crisis began, these churches were forcibly shut down over their objections and, they felt, in violation of their freedom of religion. We know now that the predictions of high contagion for the virus were overblown and that it was unlikely that going to a Sunday church service would present any harm. But were the churches right to protest the shut downs when no one yet knew this to be true?