California Church Defies Government Ban On Indoor Worship, Singing
Jul 30, 2020
Grace Community Church in Los Angeles County California, led by prominent evangelical pastor John MacArthur, will no longer abide to the state's COVID-19 restrictions against in-person gatherings, MacArthur wrote in a statement Friday. A number of other churches in the state also gathered on Sunday in defiance of restrictions.
This comes in response to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision to halt reopening plans for 29 counties on the state’s monitoring list following a surge of COVID-19 cases in mid-July. The new wave of shut-downs across the state includes indoor dining, bars, churches, gyms, nail salons, and malls.
MacArthur wrote that the indefinite order banning church worship is an act of overreach and an infringement on religious liberties by the state government and that the church has a biblical obligation not to obey the order.
In a statement posted on the the Grace to You website, MacArthur stated, “Notice that we are not making a constitutional argument, even though the First Amendment of the United States Constitution expressly affirms this principle in its opening words: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The right we are appealing to was not created by the Constitution. It is one of those unalienable rights granted solely by God, who ordained human government and establishes both the extent and the limitations of the state's authority (Romans 13:1–7).”
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has confirmed that its Environmental Health division "is investigating and will be reaching out to the church leaders to let them know they need to comply with the Health Officer Order."
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A Statement From John McArthur and the Elders of Grace Community Church