Pastor Robert Dekker made national news over the weekend when he drew a metaphorical “line in the sand” after his request to hold Sunday services on Rehoboth Beach in Delaware, near his own town of Lewes, was rejected by the city.  The reason he reportedly received from Rehoboth Beach city manager was: “I cannot mix Church and State.”

The New Covenant Presbyterian Church pastor called in to the Glenn Beck radio program Monday morning to explain his decision to preach on Independence Day regardless of the city’s decision, in a service described as “in defiance of tyranny.”

Delaware Pastor Robert Dekker Explains Line in the Sand Over Beach Church Service to Glenn Beck

(Photo via Delaware 105.9-FM)

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.

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.

“When I was asked to participate and join in and be able to preach [on July 4th], I thought that would be great because my goal as a pastor is to communicate the gospel by word and by deed to ourselves and to our neighbors, that the wonders of God’s grace in Christ may be known,” he said.

But he was quick to add that “the language of tyranny and the language of defiance is not language that I’m most comfortable with.”

“The issue for me is that [I] see opportunities diminishing around us to provide the help that I think the community needs more than anything. When you take the light off of the city, there’s going to be darkness,” he said.

“If there isn’t anybody that’s going to preach the good news, then people are going to be left in the dark because no one will hear it,” he continued.

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.”

Watch the entire interview on TheBlaze TV, below:

Complimentary Clip from TheBlaze TV

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