Pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church has decided to follow God and not Caesar when it comes to holding in-person worship services.
Grace Community Church in suburban Los Angeles is now holding large in-person worship services in open defiance of the limit placed by the California government.
The Newsom administration in California placed a limit on in-person worship services to a gathering of 25% building capacity to a maximum of 100 people.
The services at GCC are being held with 7,000 in attendance.
A megachurch in suburban Los Angeles which has defied public health orders to hold services with up to 7,000 worshipers has filed a lawsuit challenging California‘s 100-person limit on indoor church gatherings.
Grace Community Church in Sun Valley initially closed its doors in March with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in recent weeks it has flouted public health guidelines and allowed thousands into its congregation.
It initially had plans to formally reopen in May, but a federal court ruling upheld the state’s ban on indoor religious services. Grace Community Church reopened in July.
You can’t really blame MacArthur for flouting the laws–between May and July the world changed.
Suddenly, we learned that there were things that were worth the risk of contracting a virus that (according to Worldometer) more than 99% of people who contract it recover from–protesting the death of a black man who had a police officer kneeling on his neck for nearly 9 minutes; protesting police brutality in general; tearing down statues of anyone who might suggest that America isn’t an awful country; and outright rioting. We had “medical experts” excusing the behavior because the virus would somehow be prevented by opposing “systemic racism.” Oh, and attending protests with hundreds or even thousands of people wasn’t something that the “contact tracers” were going to ask about.
What wasn’t on the list of acceptable risks was attending a worship service.
ClashDaily covered the initial re-opening of the church and the bold statement by Pastor MacArthur here:
Last Sunday, Pastor MacArthur welcomed worshippers to the “Grace Community Church peaceful protest.”
This is totally in line with the history of the church as the leaders in civil rights movements and pushing for individual liberty all over the world as well as what Doug and Rich have been saying in last couple of Warriors & Wildmen podcasts.
At first, GCC tried to obey the California state COVID guidelines by using tents as overflow areas in the parking lot and a screen placed on the back patio, but that just drew “a mob” of worshippers standing outside crowded together.
‘We opened the doors because that’s what we are,’ he said. ‘We’re a church and we’re going to trust those people to make adult decisions about the reality of their physical and spiritual health and how that balance works for each one of them.
‘Nobody’s forcing anything, they’re here because they want to be here.’
‘I’m not convinced that what’s being propagated is actually reality,’ he told CNN.
‘Neither are they. That’s why they’re here. I don’t know of anybody in the church – and it’s a large church – who’s sick at this time. We haven’t had anybody in our church in the hospital with it through all these months.’
MacArthur told CNN that he sees the Newsom order “not constitutional,” “burdensome” and that they “make no sense” considering the few deaths that the congregation has experienced.
“We don’t orchestrate this, this is a church. We don’t ask people to make a reservation to come to church,” said MacArthur.
Grace Community Church has filed a lawsuit against several high-profile California officials including Governor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Sheriff Alejandro Villanueva, and Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.
‘Grace Community Church has continued permitting its members to worship,’ the lawsuit read.’It intends to do so.’
In July, attorneys with Los Angeles County issued a cease and desist order to Grace Community Church threatening arrest or a daily fine of $1,000 if they continued to hold indoor services.
MacArthur and Grace Community Church will be represented by Charles Limandri and Jenna Ellis, two attorneys who have much experience with religious court cases.
Limandri was known for fighting the ACLU over removal of the Mount Soledad Cross in California, while Ellis is a senior legal adviser for President Trump’s 2020 campaign.
Source: Daily Mail
Attorney General Bill Barr has been pretty clear to faith leaders that the Feds will step in if necessary.
He’s backed up his words with action.
This could get very interesting.
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