MADISON, Wis. — “Are you ready to turn riots into revival?” the energetic black worship leader called out across the large crowd gathered outside the boarded-up Wisconsin Capitol Monday night.
Shouts and cheers emerged from the assembly, where hundreds of men, women, and children of all ages, races, and backgrounds congregated for an evening of praise. Twenty-somethings stood beside elderly couples, strollers and young families with picnic dinners spattered the capital lawn, fathers propped small children on their shoulders for a coveted view, and several women twirled flags to the rhythm of the music. Some attendees wore masks, but, unsurprisingly, the majority of the worshippers were more concerned with their spiritual lives than their physical ones.
— Kylee Zempel (@kyleezempel) September 14, 2020
After California Gov. Gavin Newsom overstepped his authority, declaring burdensome coronavirus restrictions that target religious gatherings, including banning singing in churches, missionary and worship leader Sean Feucht decided to take the church out of the building, meeting instead on California’s beaches and bridges in protest and declaring #LetUsWorship. Now the West Coast movement is extending to cities across America.
In less than 20 mins, @GavinNewsom is issuing an order to shut down all indoor church services across CA!
What a tyrannical move and drastic overreach of government into our religious liberties!!
LET US WORSHIP!!!!!
RT THIS AND LETS STAND AGAINST THIS INSANITY!!! pic.twitter.com/OokcTqVLNu
— Sean Feucht (@seanfeucht) July 13, 2020
One pastor and his wife from Madison told The Federalist that after about two months of trying to hold worship services over Zoom, they were thrilled to return to in-person services with their church. Now their congregation of about 50 people meets partially in person and online for those unable to physically attend. Under Dane County’s strict mask rules, however, churchgoers over age five attending indoor services must keep their faces covered, including when spaced apart, making expressions of worship and fellowship difficult or impossible.
The #LetUsWorship event Monday provided a chance for religious believers to forego those restrictions in protest. The pastor said he recognized many faces in the crowd from both his congregation and others in the Madison area.
We’re calling tonight a “Worship Protest” for legal reasons. 🤣
See ya in the streets next to GasWorks Park!
Live on Facebook at 6pm!
— Sean Feucht (@seanfeucht) September 7, 2020
Feucht’s political and religious activism stems from his Hold The Line organization, a movement that seeks to engage with the millennial generation to register them to vote, educate them on important issues, and mobilize them for action. Feucht believes Christians have a responsibility to engage in political issues, saying he thinks the argument that Christians don’t belong in government or activism is unbiblical.
Jesus “was very active in talking to, rebuking, engaging with political leaders,” Feucht told The Daily Signal. “Look at David. He was a worshipper. He was a songwriter. He was a psalmist, but he was also a king. He ended up leading an entire nation into the promises of God in that position.”
Despite Big Tech censorship on social media, Feucht and his worship team have been touring the country, hosting revival events especially in cities plagued by racial unrest and rioting. During an August stop in Seattle in the former “autonomous zone,” violent protesters sought to disrupt the event, flashing knives and yelling obscenities, with one man carrying a sign that read “Hail Satan.” The #LetUsWorship group remained undeterred.
The event on Monday continued the tour stops among unsettled regions of the nation. Wisconsin’s capitol square remains boarded up after riots struck Kenosha 70 miles east just three weeks prior and violence swept Madison following the death of George Floyd earlier this summer. Feucht opposes the Marxist Black Lives Matter organization and condemns violence and cancel culture, yet he strives for true racial reconciliation, a major theme that saturated the night of worship.
“Every single person was created by God for this time and this season,” one female worship leader charged the crowd. “He doesn’t create anyone without a plan. He doesn’t create anyone without a purpose.” While racial reconciliation is a noble goal, she said, and justice should be brought in the case of Floyd and others, “Justice is found first … at the cross of Jesus Christ.” She continued, “We can learn to love each other the way Christ loves each and every one of us.”
The crowd sang songs of unity and offered prayers for reconciliation, abandoning the performative nature of the left’s graceless struggle sessions in favor of an appeal to an eternal message that transcends racial differences. While race-based fights and the politics of the pandemic continue to tear Americans apart, Feucht and his worship team are reminding Christians this is no time for the church to be quiet.
“It’s time for the church to rise up with one voice and tell our government leaders and the rulers of big tech that we refuse to be silenced!” Feucht said.
His group is hosting two more #LetUsWorship events in the Dairy State this week, Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the War Memorial Center in Milwaukee and Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Kenosha County Courthouse.