John MacArthur Preaches at Grace Community Church
Pastor John MacArthur at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, July 26, 2020. Video screengrab via Vimeo/Grace Community Church

Members of John MacArthur’s Church Say They’re Being Pressured Not to Report New COVID Outbreak

By Julie Roys

John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church (GCC), which has defied county orders banning indoor worship, appears to be having an outbreak of COVID-19 among its leadership and members.

But a GCC leader who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of losing his job says staff and members are being pressured not to report new COVID cases to the health department for fear of being shut down.

Under a county health order, places of worship must report to public health when at least three coronavirus cases are identified among church staff or congregation within a span of 14 days.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health told The Roys Report, “No additional outbreaks have been reported by Grace Community Church” since an outbreak at the church in October. (That outbreak was investigated and closed in November after no further cases were found among employees for 14 days.)

But the GCC  leader, whose identity I’ve confirmed, said he knows of staff at GCC who recently contracted COVID, as well as two GCC members who are professors at The Master’s University where MacArthur is chancellor emeritus. He added that multiple members of the Filipino ministry have tested positive for COVID, including a leader of the Filipino ministry, who’s been hospitalized.

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The leader said he and his wife also have COVID and he is very sick. Several times during our interview, he had to stop because of coughing fits and to catch his breath.

Similarly, a blogger on Medium who goes by the pen name, “Modern Day Zorro,” posted last night that seven staff and elders who attended a Christmas party at GCC have COVID and are exhibiting symptoms. Zorro said that at the party, “lunch was served and maskless elderly and Elders sat should to shoulder, hugged and shook hands.”

I asked the GCC leader about Zorro’s account and he confirmed that GCC had a Christmas party on December 8. But he added: “John (MacArthur) will NEVER admit that number. I have no doubt that it is true, but any church leader who publicly affirms that will be looking for a new job!”

Facebook Posts Confirm Outbreak

Numerous posts this past week to a private Facebook group named after GCC’s GraceLife fellowship group confirmed the outbreak at the church.

One post stated that “a lot” of members of GCC’s Filipino Outreach Ministry “have been testing CoVid+.” The post added that one of those sickened is a leader of the Filipino Outreach, who’s been hospitalized.

The post said two other members of the Filipino ministry have pneumonia and one of them has been admitted to the hospital, as well.

Below is a screenshot of the post, which was shared with The Roys Report. (It has been blurred to protect the privacy of those with COVID.)

 

Several other Facebook posts by leaders of GraceLife this week mentioned that members of the group have COVID or COVID-like symptoms.

Staff pastor Mike Riccardi, who leads GraceLife with Pastor Phil Johnson, posted earlier this week that he had received a report that a member of the group had been rushed to the hospital with pneumonia and a “very low” oxygen level. 

Grace Community Church

 

Also this week, Ron Modugno, who’s “shepherd” of GraceLife’s Santa Clarita Study, posted that GraceLife had decided to cancel its banquet that was scheduled for Saturday, December 19.

In response to Modugno’s post, one member of the group said she wouldn’t have been able to come because she has COVID. Another group member responded that she knew a group member with the “China Virus” as well.

Grace Community Church

 

Members of GCC also posted about their COVID diagnoses on their personal Facebook pages.

On Wednesday, Dr. William Varner, a professor of biblical studies at The Master’s University, posted that he has COVID. Varner also is pastor of a fellowship group at GCC called Sojourners.

Varner Grace

On Friday, GCC member Sarah Duckett, announced that her 14-year-old son has COVID.

Sarah Duckett

I private messaged Duckett and she said that her son had attended the evening service at GCC last Sunday (Dec. 13) but wore a mask the whole time. Duckett said the rest of the family attended the service outdoors and did not enter the building.

In response to Duckett’s post, a GCC member whose husband is a neighborhood outreach leader at GCC, commented that her whole family of eight was just getting over COVID.

Grace Community Church

 

I reached out to the woman for more details, but she did not respond.

I also reached out to several GCC pastors for comment about the outbreak at the church, including GraceLife Pastors Mike Riccardi and Phil Johnson, but they did not respond either.

A Culture of Intimidation

I spoke with multiple members of Grace Community Church this week who said they were scared of speaking out about the outbreak for fear of retribution. Some said they feared losing their jobs. Others said they feared being ostracized and losing their community.

GCC is currently embroiled in a lawsuit with L.A. County for defying COVID regulations. And MacArthur has publicly urged other pastors to open their churches and Christians to sign a petition aimed at deeming the church “essential.”   

The GCC leader who wished to remain anonymous said MacArthur has downplayed the seriousness of COVID throughout the pandemic and often refers to COVID as simply “the flu.”

The leader said on GCC’s campus almost no one wears a mask. And in the service and fellowship groups, people are packed close together.

He added that he felt pressured by church leaders to attend in-person events at the church and now is “paying the price” for complying.

In a question and answer session at the church two weeks ago, MacArthur expressed doubt that COVID is as contagious as is being reported. He stated: “We’ve been meeting together like this—and for months and months and months. And the health department was here a couple of weeks ago to say, there’s no outbreak at Grace Church. How is that possible if what they say is so? We are a microcosm of the world.”

MacArthur added, “I wanted to encourage you that, spiritually speaking, this is the best place you could be.” He also expressed doubt in COVID vaccines, saying “it’s all about money” and about “two massive corporations becoming more wealthy than you can even comprehend.”

L.A. County announced yesterday that it is changing its health order to allow indoor services “with mandatory physical distancing and face coverings over both the nose and mouth that must be worn at all times while on site.” The change was made to reflect recent Supreme Court rulings against state efforts to restrict indoor worship due to the coronavirus.

This morning at 8:30 a.m., the fellowship groups are scheduled to meet in-person at GCC, including GraceLife and Sojourners. GCC is also planning in-person services today for its congregation of about 7,000. 

“People have been put at risk. People endangered,” the GCC leader said. “And I pray it doesn’t turn into a huge outbreak that (MacArthur) is ultimately responsible for because he’s not taking the steps to control it.”

Editor’s Note: The information about MacArthur’s comments two weeks ago was added after this article was initially published.

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118 thoughts on “Members of John MacArthur’s Church Say They’re Being Pressured Not to Report New COVID Outbreak”

  1. This just shows how much GCC does not at all have anything to do with the real Jesus, but is just a personality cult following a person who is in fact a Malignant Narcissist according to psychology or being led by a next generation of Pharisees to use more biblical language. There is nothing good about selfish ambition, pride and leaders who do not even pretend to care about Orthopraxy. Being rude, arrogant, lying, bullying, greedy, entitled and grandiose are all fruits of the flesh and those are highly apparent traits in J Mac. Luke 12:1, “Beware the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” You cannot serve God and Money for you will love one and despise the other. No man who becomes a millionaire by preaching “a gospel” can actually be serving Jesus. The spotlight of glory is the place for devils not for servants of the real Jesus.

    What is happening now at GCC is tempting God and given the situation His protection is not there. No doubt in my mind that today there will be more spread of this judgment from God on their campuses. Some may even die from what they catch just because they attended today. There is nothing good about that…

      1. Hey NL think of mr jesperson as John the Baptist warning us and you just a useless parasite satan loving, I mean Mac loving spineless follower. Learn and memorize these words because god will say them to you. I don’t know you. The prosperity gospel thief’s are being exposed for who they are. Those parasites who have made excuses for Trump are being mocked. Have you actually read anything trump had said about his own daughter or other woman? And covid is real and everytime I read of some covid rejecting pastor die I simple smile and say, I guess Darwin was right. Grow up fool and take Kirk Cameron with you. The so called GODLY men and woman have done more damage to Jesus wonderful example than satan could ever do. And I don’t need your prays and god already gives me plenty of mercy.

    1. Christianity is being laughed at on tv and in the news and you tube because of scum like MacArthur and Robertson and Copeland and white and all the other hitler youth who lie thru there teeth proclaiming god speaks thru them. Yes there god does and he is called satan. After covid and trump, who never met a commandment he didn’t want to break, you scum are the reason Christianity is being mocked. Congratulations you did a fine job representing your father the devil and remember this line for all you prosperity gospel fools. When god says, I never knew you. Oh and it appears Paul white is back supporting the moonies. You know the guy who said he is here to fix what Jesus did wrong. And attended by all the usual prosperity gospel suspects. Hey Falwell some pool boy asked if you need your pool cleaned.

        1. Why not? They are all millionaires off of $elling a gospel to those who will literally buy it. If no one was looking to buy we would have none of these. J Mac is certainly very evil. Just read the article! Stop drinking the flavor aid. If the Pharisees were condemned by Jesus then so will this loud jerk along with a bunch of others. The only difference is small changes to what is preached. The orthopraxy is lousy for the whole bunch.

    1. Yes Eric, however the governments orders were never to close the church entirely. Grace Community Church and MacArthur simply had to follow the health protocols like everyone else and conduct their services in a responsible manner a la outdoors, social distancing and masks to which they refused to do and instead sued the local government based on false narratives and misinformation, claiming persecution. This whole thing has been a mess unfortunately

  2. I supported MacArthur’s defiance of government orders to close church but I knew a covid outbreak at his church was inevitable, with his dismissiveness toward the seriousness of the virus and recommended precautions to prevent its spread. The way he seemed to celebrate people crowding together without masks seemed foolish to say the least. A church can protest unconstitutional government orders that infringe on their religious liberties and still be wise enough to self impose regulations and recommended health precautions. I don’t think we should ever have government in America telling churches you cannot meet or you cannot preach or you cannot sing. But given the high risk of transmission through singing churches should seriously consider how their responsiblity to protect congregants’ health can be balanced with the spiritual need for fellowship and worship. I also support any church defying government orders to report cases linked to their church. People can choose individually whether to report themselves but Christians would be wise to keep government out of the church. Left wing anti-Christian fascism is rising exponentially in our society. The last thing Christians should be doing is reporting other Christians to the government, especially to hostile Democratic governments like Grace Church has to deal with. When I walk into a restaurant or church that is making a list of names that would be handed to the government if anyone on the list tests positive I refuse to give my name and walk out if they require it. This will be especially important over the next four years, now that Christians no longer have a president who defends our rights. To the contrary we will have a federal government, in addition to many local and state governments, who will be out to destroy Christians. We will have a VP who has already shown she will send the Gestapo to raid your homes, she will file baseless charges against you and she will try to put you in prison for the rest of your life, if you practice your faith and dare defy her and her evil agenda, as she did with David Daleiden.

    1. Amen Eric! The Gestapo reference is quite accurate, considering that this entire article is all about people not turning in their fellow Americans to the government.

    2. Amen Eric! Churches should have nothing to do with reporting its members to the government. There is a group that in fact wants this and has written a letter to Biden/Harris asking them enact all sorts of legislation against the “Christian right”. When talking about big Pharma macarthur was answering a question on whether Christian’s should get the vaccine, he goes on to say it’s your choice. Would have been nice to include that in this reporting. And why wont this GCC staff member just quit or take a stance if they are that bothered?

        1. I get that part- I am only stating that if they feel this strongly against what is happening at their place of employment AND worship they should speak up and push back against this and then if all that fails look for another job. That is just basic employee/employer behavior. If all of this is true it is unfortunate this is happening in a house of worship. Been there and done this and its not fun

    3. I don’t entirely agree with the freedom of worship when it jeopardizes public health. But, your opinion is a very reasonable and respectable one. I can live with it.

      GCC has essentially put the US constitution above the bible by choosing to be completely ignorant and irresponsible.

  3. God can stop a moving bus, too. Maybe people should “prove” their faith by stepping in front of one. It would make as much sense.

    I go to church every Sunday. But where I go, masks are required, every other pew is roped off, there’s one person or family per pew, and sanitizer is everywhere. These people are squeezing close together, no masks, no sanitizer, like they’re almost DARING God.

    The Bible has nothing good to say about being foolhardy.

    And I don’t even understand the point with an evangelical service. They don’t even usually have Communion. They hear music and hear a sermon. Which they can do just as well over the internet. What is there in an evangelical service that requires physical proximity?

    I think the REAL problem is No Collections. As the Pastor says in the article above: “It’s all about money.” Nice projection there, Reverend MacCarthur.

    And encouraging people to not get vaccinated? “In the name of Jesus, let’s spread death.” No WONDER young people are turning away from church, if THIS is what they think the Church is.

    Well, we have a Christian President coming in, and one who will treat this virus as a medical problem instead of as a PR problem. And one whose top priority with be getting rid of the disease instead of worrying about his own ego, and how it makes him look.

    1. A. Biden has not become confirmed as President yet;

      B. He is neither a Christian nor even a practicing Catholic—have you missed how dedicated he is to murdering people not yet born???!!

  4. Lawrence,
    We “have a Christian President coming in…..?” What planet are you from?
    Obviously, discernment is not one of your spiritual gifts.

      1. christian president!? Wow what planet indeed, shocking!!
        People are clueless, I saw MacArthur himself say that if a vaccine was needed for him to travel he would be taking it, and he also said that he wouldn’t tell to anyone to get it or not to get it. It is unbelievable the lies that people spread!

      2. TS,
        Is Biden a practicing Catholic? Does his views on abortion reflect the Catholic Churches view? Does he affirm King Jesus as Lord and Savior?

      3. TS, I am baffled, just astounded… Catholics are not Christians. Roman Catholicism is a pagan belief system where Mary is worshipped and prayed to for just about everything pertaining to life. Behind all the feasts instituted by this organization there are in fact very occult celebrations. Perhaps you’re not aware that Francis is a Marxist and that he basically seized power through a nasty coupe d’etat dethroning Benedict. Many don’t know that he’s not even part of the order that a pope must belong to in order to assume the papacy. He recently presented to the world the Council for Inclusive Capitalism. You know what that is, right? Communism. But this man’s also been very busy stealthily working on a world government, too. He and his religion of absolute, corrupting power, are mentioned in Revelation and not in a good way. Please read up on this abominable, criminal institution and pray that the Lord give you discernment and wisdom. God bless you.

    1. I find it a bit curious that you recently posted an article about a church that has been meeting together and fellowshipping. It was a feel good article about how they felt it was important to meet together because it was hard times, and many of them were immigrants working at a chicken factory (if I recall correctly). So what’s the difference between the churches? One church, touching story….another church, intimidation and irresponsibility.

  5. Julie,
    Ideas for worthwhile stories running dry?
    Anonymous sources, sources unwilling to put their names on accusations, using MacArthur and GCC as lightening rods. The man is not perfect so I guess he is fair game for a “gotcha” article. Sad.

  6. Anyone who puts himself “out there” like MacArthur does is asking to be looked at and examined. When you deny COVID, and then turn around and tell your people not to report when they are sick, then, yes, you deserve all the negative reporting you reserve. My respect for John MacArthur (I used to have quite a bit), has whooshed right down the toilet. If his church doesn’t get its act together, there may not be a church, or seminary, for future believers to attend.

  7. I am so disappointed (but not surprised about the outbreaks) that the church is keeping this quiet. Our church, like others requires registration, masks, and social distancing at church. Also, during live stream we are told ahead of time to prepare for communion at home. We use grape juice and matzo to have communion with those at church.

  8. Does anyone really know where he contracts the virus? I suppose in some limited cases where no one gets out anywhere and contacts a covid carrier, he can surmise where he got his illness. However, most of us are out and about in all kinds of places where we have multiple chances of getting sick.

  9. Julie, so many of the people, mainly men, that are highlighted in these reports you and others do so well, seem to have a common character trait – hubris. God hates pride and yes, we all have it, but these men are shepherds of flocks. I am sickened but like most of the others who have responded, not surprised at all.

  10. Julie,
    Your article is ironic probably without intending to be. Your article provides ample evidence that GCC is not suppressing information within the church about members who have contracted Covid. In fact the article shows that even elders within the church have let other members within the church know they have contracted Covid. The article shows that members are not “intimidated” but instead feel free to report cases of Covid so that others within the church who really love them will pray for them. Thank you for documenting that our church leaders and church members are very open about addressing Covid cases within the church.

    When our elders decided to open the church at the end of July they fully expected that over the course of time some staff and some members would contract Covid. They judged that from a biblical and historical perspective it is important for the church to meet together. By 2020 public health standards going to church has always been “dangerous” and we should never meet in person again. During the 2017-2018 flu season an estimated 61,000 people in the U.S. died of the flu. Should we have canceled church during 2017-2018? What is the threshold at which we should not meet together ? During the 1957-1958 flu season, when you account for population growth, an estimated 220,000 to 286,000 people in the U.S. died of the flu depending on which estimate you use (CDC vs. cidrap). In 1957-1958 most churches continued to meet in person without intimidation from the government. Arguably the government’s course of action in 1957-1958 was better. The constitution was not suspended.

    I see no intimidation going on in Grace Church. The only intimidation I see is by the government. It seems your main point is that church member are not reporting other church members to the government.

    1. Great comment. I thought the same when I read it. How is this a scandal when people are clearly posting about cases? Wow GCC really can exert pressure to conform cant they?

      1. Yes, individuals are posting about cases but GCC leadership have not reported this to the county health dept. Leadership is at least violating the rules and likely putting pressure on employees to keep quiet as well.

    2. Thank you David…..you are a voice of reason. I know many people who attend GCC and I am told there is no pressure from any leader not to report Covid cases. This story actually gives ample examples of communication from leaders (Mike Riccardi) actually notifying church members of a Covid case and asking for prayer for the church member! This gives me the impression that leadership is actually open, honest, and acts with integrity asking for prayer for their members that are actually ill with Covid.

      Where is the story here Julie?

    3. People at Grace have been told directly and indirectly -not- to cooperate with the contact tracing folks from the health office, that’s certainly not being good citizens. MacArthur has, following Trump, been disparaging of the press reports, gives phony explanations, and then has folks like you repeat this misleading statistical nonsense. If you want to go back to the late 50’s and early 60’s how about coming home from school and finding your house quarantined for measles, or chicken pox. Oh, and were vaccines for polio “optional” then? He cultivates a conspiratorial atmosphere “your only being told what the media wants you to hear.” And purports secret information, “a serology report done in 2019” (which is more nonsense). Even if the church insists on meeting (a dubious biblical interpretation) as Grace does, are masks available? Are people required to wear them? Are proper distancing markers anywhere? No, of course not, because then MacArthur wouldn’t have a full auditorium to give him standing ovations. From people I’ve talked with, there might be upwards to 500-750 active Covid cases among church attenders. Oh, and the elders decided to reopen for one reason, MacArthur was returning from a vacation and he “wouldn’t preach to an empty building,” to quote another elder who remains anonymous. In the last few years Mac has bought entirely into the Trump narrative of government, media, and the rest. Why? Well, that’s fairly obvious.

    4. Hear, hear, David Johnson. Hundreds of thousands die during a seasonal influenza outbreak and no one sounds the alarm. Since the symptoms are the same, how do you really know if you have the new corona virus? Because of a test? That test isn’t adequate to diagnose COVID. Furthermore, European governments changed laboratory protocol so the testing of DNA would produce a sliver of any flu that is present or was present in one’s system and, eureka, you have SARS Cov 2. The test is so backwards. The testing sites will soon be turned into vaccination centers. Where we live the Health Secretary loves to flex his governing muscles, he’s already said that those without the vaccine will be restricted and he specifically mentioned that the chip in the vaccine may be used down the road to store and access information such as a bank account. Long before that, he stated that ‘we need to rid ourselves of those Christians’. If all that isn’t Revelation coming true, I don’t know what is. As for Mrs. Roys, her kind of journalism brings to the mind the gossip magazines at a supermarket cash register. I can’t stand those things so this is where I’ll take my leave. God bless y’all with all y’all need to navigate the dangerous waters we’re in!

    5. Thank you for talking sense. I am from the East Coast and every week I am blessed to see GCC stand for the Lord. We need to pray for the enemy’s attack on GCC. In the end, the Lord wins as he ALWAYS wins.

      It is sad for me, however, to see some of these members who attend GCC sabotaging the very place they call home. But not surprising to see this at the end times. The Lord indeed is coming back soon and He will bring justice to all.

    6. David Johnson, many Santa Clarita/Los Angeles/Glendale churches are meeting and have been meeting throughout the pandemic – within the suggested guidelines. During the pandemic, churches have found ways to meet safely. In parking lots, in tents, in an outdoor amphitheater. Why is it necessary to meet indoors, with no masks and no social distancing? We recently made the decision to leave GCC because of how this was handled.

  11. I go to GCC, and no one is telling us not to say things, and I can’t say that there is anything different here, other than people (in general) do get more sick in the winter time, which is why we in the USA get flu shots in the winter time. I don’t think there is a outbreak at GCC .. just mostly IMHO people online asking for prayer for their extended friends/family , that are not from our church

  12. Many of these comments here remind me of Mars Hill Seattle. There is nothing wrong here! The people are just gobbling up the flavor-aid even though it is bound to kill some of them. This is not church! This is people mocking Jesus while defending their arrogant, rude idol. I see a train crash shortly ahead and a lot of people scrambling to understand what the hell happened. Like the Devil’s angels before their fall you are simply getting tricked here.

    1. ROFL. Really? What I see in this and other threads on this…eh…news site are loads of ignorant Americans who have no clue what’s just around the corner, what’s behind the plandemic. No wonder the world hates us and our beloved and beautiful America.

  13. Sounds like the author, and others, has an ax to grind with MacArthur. Shame on you for slandering a man who is faithful to preach the truth. Of all the charletons and false teachers out there, you attack MacArthur? My daughter was a member there when she lived there last year and we have friends there who would tell you different.
    He is standing up for the church and the freedom to worship as we should. I appreciate what he has done and encouraging other pastors to preach and worship. The fear mongering has got to stop and we need to get back to living!! Stay home if you’re sick otherwise, LIVE!!! If God has ordained that this is your time to die you can’t stop it. He alone is in control of life and death. Live until He calls you home!

      1. Here are the number of deaths by year for Oregon where I live.

        35,269 2020 *
        37,397 2019
        36,191 2018
        36,640 2017
        35,799 2016
        35,709 2015

        *projected, based on # thru Dec 1.

        One can also look at the Social Security payments for a national view and you will see the same thing. SS does not pay dead people you can be sure of this. This is not a pandemic. Please Christian, don’t take medical advice from those who propagate infanticide.

        source: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/ph/BirthDeathCertificates/VitalStatistics/death/Pages/index.aspx

          1. Kent, again, please don’t take your news from someone who propagates infanticide unless you are in that crowd. The Social Security numbers are clear as well, there is no pandemic. SS doesn’t pay dead people and there is no drop off from previous years. I’m on FB and MeWe, you can find me if you want to chat about this and not hide behind a username.

    1. AMEN AMEN! Thank you Kay it is astounding and unbelievable what is happening! And now attacking this god fearing man! Clearly satan is having the time of his life stirring up all this utterly disgusting attack! How our Lord must be grieving.
      We say it all the time in our family when it’s our time it’s our time! We are not living in fear and not going to stop living! We trust God with all. We do our part just like we would in any normal flu season.

  14. I am amazed at the sharpshooting at Pastor MacArthur by what I assume to be Christians. He has been one of the few men to maintain his church consistent with the constitution and the 1st amendment not to mention it is a NECESSITY especially in these days. Do we really want to turn on the church? The left not to mention Satan loves this. I love Pastors like John MacArthur and pray for his church.

    1. Satan does love this because John is his servant. Get a clue. Jesus is not into lying and intimidation and bullying…

  15. If you go back and read Steve M, she did say she checked out that the source does work there. Are you judging her motives? I challenge you to write or find better reporting. Are you Sad?
    MacArthur is fair game because he is in a leadership position. He is accountable for what he does and say. We don’t have to blindly follow him. He has many books out and recordings. We have a right to know these things. (I don’t judge his motives). This is the USA. Many of us think this is a worthwhile story. But it is your right to civilly disagree.

    1. Not Sad,
      It is not good journalism to bring accusations in a story where there is not one source with a name. While I don’t think Julie is guilty of Fake News, I think this article is pathetically lame and that is why I said it is sad. Personally, I am full of great joy. Thanks for asking.

  16. I haven’t posted here in a while but see it’s the same old, same old in the comments section. Anyone with common knowledge of how any virus works KNEW this was going to happen. I personally believe that church was infected long before members began leaking the news to blogs. I’m praying for all of the people in our country who are catching COVID due to no fault of their own because of people like John MacArthur and his cult members. I’m sorry but MacArthur and his cult members KNEW what they were walking into and made a conscience choice. I feel compassion but zero sympathy for them. I feel so deeply sorry for the people who are trying to stay safe but are unable to because of the deceived lunatics who have been duped into believing they’re obeying the Bible and honoring God by participating in catching and spreading a deadly disease during a worldwide pandemic. MacArthur, and money hungry “pastors” like him NEED the churches not only open but packed full because they want the tithes and donations. Pure and simple. They’ve built multi million dollar businesses (masquerading as churches) that are collapsing without the money they get from people sitting in the pews. Church donations have PLUNGED since COVID-19 began. Instead of cutting their multi million dollar budgets and salaries they’d rather induce simple minded people to violate common knowledge (and common sense) and put their own health and that of others at risk. I have been attending church and fellowshipping with other Christians REMOTELY since March. I’m fellowshipping with other Christians throughout the week now instead of just on Sunday and am much more involved than before. Many others have said they feel the same. I look forward to going back to church when it is safe, however, my worship has not suffered at all by not being inside of a church building. I’m more connected than ever before to other Christians. So this isn’t about worship or fellowship. It isn’t about Biblical obedience. God never mandated that people meet anywhere, on any schedule. His word states we are not to forsake the gathering together of ourselves. It doesn’t mandate how often, where, or when. This is about people like John MacArthur sustaining their million dollar corporations. I pray some of you people wake up. So many have been lead needlessly into death and poor health by so-called pastors who are leading them into harm. This is in no way Godly and is very alarming and reprehensible behavior from those leaders and the people following them.

  17. If a super spreader ends up infecting hundreds of people at GCC (preferably MacArthur and the leadership) maybe they will end up in the ICU or the morgue. In which case, more Darwin Award nominations are in order.

  18. All you so-called Constitutionalists who support MacArthur’s madness are completely wrong. For starters, as long as the restrictions are applied without favoritism (i.e., a synagogue or mosque gets a pass would be an example of favoritism) the restrictions pass muster. Second, I suggest you read up on Compagnie Francaise de Navigation a Vapeur v. Louisiana Board of Health, 186 U.S. 380 (1902) along with Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905) and get a clue. What LA county is doing is perfectly Constitutional which is why if GCC pushes this, they will lose bigly.

    1. CM, have you missed the news? The restrictions aren’t being applied equally. That’s been consistent news from Cali and NY. Thus, you are out to lunch BIGLY … even if you copy/paste case law.

    2. I read the Louisiana decision. Correct me if I am wrong, but seems to me that the restrictions and quarantine laws must be enacted by state legislation. Since most of the state’s governors have been the ones issuing the edicts…..I mean mandates….these technically don’t have the power of law. To not follow a mandate might be foolish or reckless, but not a criminal act.

      1. Governor’s have power that the legislatures granted them. They have, by matter of passed law, emergency powers to handle situations like this. Their orders -do- have the force of law. The governors are not just a group of people issuing mandates for the fun of it. But, if silly people or churches are looking for reasons not to obey the government they’ll make up nonsense like this. Oh, perhaps read 1 Peter 2:13ff, as I recall Peter specifically mentions obeying governors. If California has a Trumpian or Republican governor I rather suspect his attitude would be entirely different.

  19. Considering most of your sources were posted in the social media for all the world to see, except of course from the “anonymous staff”, so much for intimidation to not talk.

  20. Unkind to make anonymous accusations.

    I go to to GCC – they have provided outdoor sitting under a tent. If you want to wear a mask, you can. Or you can stay home and stream it, too. John MacArthur doesn’t close the doors to those of us that want to be there. GCC treats their congregants as adults. We’re there by choice. I’m there because I desire to hear the word of God preached, for my soul desires it so much.

    I don’t understand how society is gripped by fear of Covid. Death is reality. Rememebr 15 million Christians died during the Soviet? There’s been genocides and wars… Soldiers who went to war for our freedoms – who didn’t get the”it’ll be ok” message- died for us. These are real humans, flesh and blood, heart and soul. Young men.

    Somehow, our time and our virus is more important than anything else? To me, that seems snobby , ungrateful and self centered.

    1. Elizabeth maybe you should visit some of the ICU units at California hospitals. Many California hospitals are a zero ICU capacity. The hospitals staffs in California are under incredible duress and are exhausted.
      What I hear from many evangelicals is that Covid is a hoax or to resist any government overtures in attempts to contain the pandemic, A total lack of grace.. The world is watching, and does not want any part of the Jesus evangelicals are proclaiming.

      1. TJ,

        Have you actually verified the claim that “many California hospitals are at zero ICU capacity?” or are you just passing along what you have read in the main stream media?

        The various medical professionals I know who work at places like Cedars Sinai say this is NOT true and that this is NOT a pandemic.

        1. Jay,

          Yes I rely on the mainstream media and the CDC hospitalization rates. The Epoch Times, OANN and NewsMax typically do not carry such things, as they are concerned about when the voting machines will be seized or when martial law will be declared to get back the stolen election, or whatever crackpot theory is coming from the White House. Then our dear evangelical leaders can say how great the president is… again the world is watching and does not want any part off the Jesus that evangelicals are proclaiming…

        2. I can’t speak for other areas, but here in Santa Clara County, as of two weeks ago (not sure about this moment), available ICU beds were in the low 30s throughout the entire county due to a spike in hospitalizations. One of the hospitals in the county, Kaiser’s San Jose Medical Center, was full and had to transfer patients over to Good Samaritan Hospital about 14 miles away where there were additional available beds. Not only was this reported in local media, but it was verified by someone in my church who is a nurse and works in ICU at San Jose Medical Center and has been very busy because of this. Again, I can’t speak for other areas, but it’s true and verified firsthand here in Santa Clara County.

    2. Elizabeth, what is your point? Are you saying that because people have given their lives in war and in persecution that therefore today people should be willing to die because others do not like to wear a mask? Is that your point?

      1. JS,
        That is not my point. My point is that this generation is cowardly and self centered. I think those that have reverence for God are brave. Those who are focused on themselves are not. Wash your hands, wear a mask (if you like) and more importantly, work out your salvation with God before you’re dead!

        Also I just read black and white. I haven’t watched television in 8 years or so. As such, I don’t follow the news, mainstream, liberal or conservative. I remember learning about Hearst and yellow journalism when I was young. News can be persuasive. It’s a business, so they make it entertaining too! I know that we have brains and can navigate it, but I would recommend anyone who is hysterical or living in fear or anger over Covid, consider turning off the television so you can collect your thoughts from a place of peace.

  21. Lawrence,

    You are mistaken on all counts, but least you are consistent.

    As someone who attends and is involved at Grace Community Church I can address each one of your points/concerns.

    1. Your first point is a false equivalence. Covid-19 has a very high survival rate. Yes, the virus is real, just like influenza is real. But the hype surrounding the virus is blown way out of proportion. At the close of 2020 there will be LESS deaths than in 2018 & 2019 (You can obtain this data directly from the CDC website, though you will have to search a bit to find it and the do the number crunching yourself) – So where is this super deadly virus in the annual death count? How do you suppose the survival rate from stepping in front of a bus would compare?

    2. Grace Community Church provides hand Sanitizer and Masks for anyone who wants them. They also provide alternate areas for anyone who is uncomfortable being in the main sanctuary. There is never any judgement for those who choose to wear or not wear masks. I see both.

    3. Based upon the high survival rate there is nothing foolhardy about attending Church without masks or social distancing, though the secular media and the government would have you think that there is. It is also the media and politicians that will say that protesting in huge numbers is O.K. (As in the George Floyd protests where government medical bureaucrats stated that “police” violence was a greater threat than the virus)
    Look around, these Governors, Mayors and un-elected officials who are behind the lock downs are the first ones to break their own rules. (Nancy Pelosi, Gavin Newsom, Andrew Cuomo…etc)
    Do you think that is because they really believe the lie that they are selling? No they don’t.
    This is evidenced in the nonsensical manner in which they apply rules – Small business are dangerous but somehow big box stores are not? Restaurants are Non essential but Strip clubs and the Hollywood Entertainment Industry are? People who work with virus’ wear full hazmat suits that have their own external air supplies, but don’t worry that home made cloth mask will protect others from any virus you may be carrying just fine. Wash your hands multiple times a day, but the homeless population who have little or no ability to follow these guidelines are not dying in the streets. Where are the piles of dead bodies? One drive down the I5 here in California will tell you the homeless population is alive and relatively well – they are homeless after all, and many are such because of unemployment due to the lock down..Nothing about the handling of this virus makes any sense – because it is not supposed to – it is supposed to keep you fearful, isolated and uncertain. The foolishness would be in not thinking critically about what one can see plainly if only one opens ones eyes and pays attention.

    4. Grace has a regular monthly Communion Service, and has moved to serving individual sealed packets which contain the “bread’ and juice. Physical proximity and interaction helps the church to behave and act and function like the church. Which is why the Bible says in Hebrews 10:25 – “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” God is relational, and so are his people. Think about it this way, seeing a picture of the Grand Canyon in no way compares to being there and experiencing it in person.

    5. Grace Community Church has the ability to receive offerings online, so your No Collections argument holds no water, in fact it is quite the opposite. It would be far more lucrative to not have in person services and only have online services where people could give online as there would be far less overhead. And it’s not “Reverend” John MacArthur. John would not appreciate you calling him Reverend, He would prefer the title “Pastor”, or just John,. The title Pastor/Teacher describes ones role. “Reverend” is a man made term which ascribes some great “spirituality” to a person. John knows he is a sinner saved by the grace of God, and as such he would make no claim to be “reverend”. That’s something that people who see power and recognition do, and if you had ever met John you would know that is not the case.

    6. Why would anyone get vaccinated for something that has a better than 95% survival rate? Who is it that determines the place, time and manner of a persons death? Is it not God himself who appoints man to die? My Bible says that He is SOVEREIGN in ALL things. That means Covid-19 is GOD”s virus, and if He chooses He will use it as a means to end a person’s life precisely as He ordains it. No one can add even a moment of time to their life, and God laughs at those who think that they can.

    7. Inasmuch as (at least from your post) it appears that you have little understanding about the true nature and character God, It therefore comes as no surprise that you would think that Joe Biden is even remotely Christian. He is not even close.He is just another politician pretending to be Christian because he believes it give him a political advantage with those people who do not know the difference. He doesn’t even know that the ‘P’ in Psalms is silent (He pronounces it as Palms – Yeah, like the tree or the inside of your hand). Joe Biden is an Anti-Christ as is Kamala Harris – They are liars, just like their father Satan. They are secular humanists that promote the things that God hates. Those who are the elect of God (True believers) are not deceived by Joe and Kamala them because true believers have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who testifies to the TRUTH. It is not possible for the Elect of God to be deceived by Satan because we know the Father and His character, thus we can distinguish the things that are opposite of His character. It is really quite simple.

    1. “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Tim. 4:3

      J Mac is just one of many these days. It is amazing, really. This guy could kill someone, and is already responsible for at least one mans death, and yet his followers will defend him until the day they die. You all really need to stop drinking the flavor aid. J Mac is rude, arrogant and lies a lot. He looks like his father who is Satan. He does not look like my savior who went to the cross. Jesus died to save others. J Mac is willing to put many at risk and could care less if they die, just as long as his cult members just keep worshiping him. And keep throwing mountains of Mammon at him. How many million is this jerk worth?

    2. “Why would anyone get vaccinated for something that has a better than 95% survival rate? Who is it that determines the place, time and manner of a persons death? Is it not God himself who appoints man to die? My Bible says that He is SOVEREIGN in ALL things. That means Covid-19 is GOD”s virus, and if He chooses He will use it as a means to end a person’s life precisely as He ordains it. No one can add even a moment of time to their life, and God laughs at those who think that they can.”

      Jay, this is HORRIBLY misleading. First of all, there is a flu vaccine. It has existed for a while, and is quite popular. There are also vaccines for the chicken pox, which has a high survival rate. Then there are vaccinations for tetanus, polio, smallpox, hepatitus B, and other diseases that are so common that it is deemed ABNORMAL for a child to not have received them. And not just children – I had to show proof of having had a recent tetanus vaccination to enroll in my graduate school.

      I also am concerned as cult leaders twist the concept of God’s sovereignty to convince their followers to not seek medical attention. Let’s remember that Luke (the author of the gospel of Luke) was a doctor himself; God can actually bless others with medical knowledge to treat His flock. Seeking medical treatment and having faith in God’s sovereignty are NOT mutually exclusive.

      BTW, you’re concerned about Joe Biden pronouncing Psalms, but said NOTHING about President Trump reading from “TWO Corinthians” and holding his Bible upside down. That says a lot.

  22. stop the presses

    I am so tired of the hit pieces against GCC and MacArthur. Just as people say stop paying your tithes to Harvest, stop supporting Julie Roys. Eventually this bad reporting will go away.

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