A Delaware pastor is taking a stand after city officials denied him a permit to hold church services on the public beach; largely due to a misinterpretation of separation of church and state.
Pastor Dekker first described the background to the story, explaining how the population in the area roughly doubles over the summer and it can be “hard to get around” with the increased traffic. To make sure everyone who wanted to could conveniently attend church, they decided to add early-morning services at the public beach nearby.
But after Robert Dekker of New Covenant Presbyterian Church in nearby Lewes, Del., wrote the Rehoboth Beach city manager for a permit to perform the services, this is reportedly the written reply he received:
“I am so sorry to inform you that I cannot grant your request to have church services on the public beach in Rehoboth. I cannot mix Church and State. I trust you understand. Wishing you the very best.”
Pastors in towns not far from his are already doing sermons by the beach, Dekker added, saying he was saddened by the response of Rehoboth Beach officials. Dekker tells radio station WXDE-FM that he will be preaching a sermon on July 4 on that very beach that he’s titling “Line in the Sand.” A flyer announcing the service “in defiance of tyranny” is circulating, but the pastor was quick to add that “the language of tyranny and the language of defiance is not language that I’m most comfortable with.”
In many ways, Dekker said, he actually feels “sympathetic with the struggle” of the city leaders. “There’s just this fear that if you do something, bad things are going to happen…[But] the reason we’re on this earth is not just to be quiet and do nothing.” READ full story.
This pastor is not trying to be defiant, he’s taking a stand for the very freedoms this nation was founded on. Refusing to acquiesce to these violations of our First Freedom is the answer. As citizens of this Constitutional Republic, each of us is responsible to pray and take a stand in our own sphere of influence. It is making a difference!