April 10, 2020: Survey on Christ's return, Kansas overturns church gathering restrictions, Jack Phillips back in court

Friday, April 10, 2020:

Here are the latest headlines, brought to you by The Christian Post.

— Most pastors see current events as part of Christ’s return

A survey by LifeWay Research found that 9 out of 10 pastors see at least some current events “matching those Jesus said would occur shortly before He returns to Earth.”

The survey did not ask about the eschatological significance of the coronavirus as it was conducted between January and early February — when the U.S. had only confirmed around a dozen cases. Certain events that most pastors agreed as part of the “birth pains” before Jesus’ return included traditional morals becoming less accepted, the number of people abandoning their Christian faith, natural disasters, famines and anti-Semitism.

— Kansas lawmakers overturn governor’s restrictions on church gatherings

Just a day after Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly restricted religious gatherings to no more than 10 people, Republican lawmakers voted on Wednesday to overturn her executive order.

Senate President Susan Wagle said people of faith expressed concern over the government telling them “they cannot worship in a way … they choose to.”

Kelly said she was deeply disappointed in the lawmakers’ move, saying the decisions she’s made have been difficult and unavoidable for the health and safety of Kansans. To beat COVID-19, she said, “We have got to work together.”

— Ways to observe Good Friday, Easter from home

With most Americans on lockdown and in-person Easter services canceled, some groups have released resources to help Christians observe Good Friday and Easter from home.

Missio Alliance released a guide to help people go through a virtual 14 Stations of the Cross, which go from Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane to His burial after the crucifixion.

Focus on the Family has offered articles and broadcasts that includes teaching children about Easter and comprehending the importance of the Resurrection.

And Tate Springs Baptist Church of Arlington, Texas, developed an Easter egg hunt game through a customized Minecraft game.

Churches across the country will also be broadcasting their Good Friday and Easter services through their websites and other streaming platforms.

— Christian baker Jack Phillips back sued again

Colorado baker Jack Phillips was back in court on Thursday for refusing to bake a transgender-themed cake.

Though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his favor in 2018 after he declined to make a same-sex wedding cake, he is facing a third discrimination lawsuit from a lawyer who wanted but was refused a gender-transition birthday cake.

The state court heard oral arguments in the case on Thursday. Alliance Defending Freedom, which filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, said, “For some, it won’t be enough until Masterpiece Cakeshop closes its doors and Jack Phillips is in financial ruin. They want Jack, an average American business owner, to pay a hefty price—all because he wants to live according to his faith. It is time to leave Jack alone.”

— Carl Lentz recovers from COVID-19

Hillsong Church NYC pastor Carl Lentz has recovered from COVID-19 and is urging the public to play its part to “get to the other side of this.”

With New York City bearing the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., Lentz encouraged others to practice social distancing and wear face masks.

Encouraging others, he said, “We pray this brighter day that IS on the horizon comes quickly.”

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