The nation’s press erupted on Tuesday in the aftermath of a U.S. government shutdown. Commentary on possible ramifications quickly surfaced and speculation about everything from the future of the economy to the fate of the beloved San Diego Zoo Panda Cam filled the air.
Many feared the loss of benefits for veterans and the inevitable boredom following a temporary closure of national parks.
The unfolding crisis, however, seemed to hit one community harder than any other: Church on the Sovereign Rock in Kern County, California.
“We’ve always believed that God instituted this country, but we also know that God is sovereign and would never shut down,” Pastor Gorman said, “it’s a serious theological problem for all the members of our congregation.”
Major changes to its worship were suggested as the Californian church struggled to navigate what it’s calling an “identity loss.” An op-ed piece entitled God Would Never Shut Off the Panda Cam circulated in the church’s weekly bulletin and called for the removal of the American Patriot’s Bible as the congregation’s approved translation.
Links to Kirk Cameron’s viral response Unlike the Government God Never Shuts Down were repeatedly posted on the church’s website. In it Cameron echoes Jay Younts, urging his readers not to abandon their God, even though their government had abandoned them. “Leaders come and go. Governments also come and go,” the article says, “be thankful that the Lord of heaven and earth never sleeps, never shuts down…”
Some church members questioned the wisdom of disassociating God and Country in their worship, but conceded that these were troubling times. “We thought America was special in God’s eyes,” opined one congregant, “I never thought I’d say this, but maybe we were wrong.”