The pastors of two California churches did a family-friendly "striptease" in their Sunday services, removing their ties to mock the state's shutdown of churches while allowing adult establishments to remain open.
Pastor Jurgen Matthesius of Awaken Church in San Diego posted a video on Instagram of him taking off his tie in front of his congregation.
"STRIP CLUBS (Not Churches) are exempt from the COVID lockdowns, and are deemed essential by our governor!" said Matthesius in his post. "Soooooo... we decided we are NOW AWAKEN FAMILY FRIENDLY STRIP CLUB! (Where we strip the devil of his hold, power & authority over people's lives!)."
Pastor Rob McCoy of Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Thousand Oaks had a similar "striptease" where he removed his tie in a November 22 service before blasting the government and calling Christians to preach the Gospel by defying government "tyranny" and contending for their neighbors' livelihoods in the public square.
"You're contending for the welfare and the concerns and the livelihood of your neighbors," said McCoy. "Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Those that are abused are being quarantined with their abusers. The elderly are lonely and isolated for no reason. No one gets to attend the funerals of their loved ones ... it's our responsibility to support folks. We are finished with your tyranny."
McCoy and his church have faced numerous penalties for ignoring government orders in recent months.
🔦 Earlier this month, a California judge ruled that strip clubs have a First Amendment right to reopen while churches are forced to remain closed. In response, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said on Fox News that churches should reopen as a "temporary strip club."
"[Churches should] announce their pastor will remove his tie during the sermon, and therefore he will take off an article of clothing making it a temporary strip club so that people will be able to go to church," said Huckabee.