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Defiant Baltimore Pastor Exclaims 'We're Gonna Do It God's Way!' As He Rips Up Cease-And-Desist Letter During Sermon

Defiant Baltimore Pastor Exclaims 'We're Gonna Do It God's Way!' As He Rips Up Cease-And-Desist Letter During Sermon

A Baltimore pastor shared a video of one of his sermons online. It drew attention due to his defiance of local orders.

The pastor tears up a cease-and-desist order during his Wednesday night sermon with all the fury and passion you'd imagine of such an act.

He shared the video to his Twitter account.

Pastor Stacey Shiflett of the Calvary Baptist Church in Dundalk shared a portion of his Wednesday night sermon online.

In it, he bemoaned the restrictions placed on his house of worship due to the ongoing pandemic.

"The closer we get to Jesus coming back, the more church we ought to be having, not less church!"

He continued his sermon:

"So I'm tearing up this cease-and-desist order right here, and I'm telling you right now, we're gonna do it God's way! God tells us how to worship Him, nobody else gets to do that."

Shiflett's church had about 100 attendees Wednesday night for the 600-person capacity of the building. This places them in compliance with the governor's orders that churches can operate at 50 percent capacity.

However, the Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services had more restrictive orders, ordering public areas closed, and gatherings of no more than 10 people.

In light of these competing orders, as well as the danger of the viral pandemic, people were split online.

Some cheered the pastor for his act.

This seems to be a recurring problem with religious leaders acting in defiance of scientific recommendations for combating the disease.

Pastors have vowed to keep their churches open since the start of this issue. Some at least acknowledge the danger they are putting their congregation in, though that's little comfort.

And there seems to be a distinct distaste for online sermons, or drive-in church service in the parking lot.

Admittedly, this may be due to conflicting orders that vary from state to state, and even county to county.

All in all, you'd figure people would be doing what they can to protect each other.

Shiflett at least acknowledges there is some danger to what he asks of his congregation, but he also doesn't want responsibility for it.

On the church website is a waiver of liability for its parishioners, warning of the risk and highly contagious nature of the disease.

This has some pointing out the contrast between the call to come to church, and the protection of legal liability for asking worshippers to do so.

Shiflett has said he plans to join other churches that have announced they will reopen Memorial Day weekend. He will even attend the ReOpen Maryland protests happening Friday.

He told Fox News:

"Either we have liberty to worship or we have permission to worship. It has become abundantly clear that if we settle for permission, we will never have liberty again."

The book The Immoral Majority: Why Evangelicals Chose Political Power Over Christian Values is available here.