John MacArthur Grace Community Church
John MacArthur speaks at Grace Community Church, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020, in Sun Valley, California. Video screengrab via Vimeo/Grace Community Church

Judge Bans John MacArthur, Grace Community Church From Meeting Indoors

By Alejandra Molina

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge today granted a preliminary injunction against Grace Community Church, prohibiting Pastor John MacArthur from holding indoor worship services.

The County of Los Angeles has sought to stop the megachurch from hosting indoor services that have filled the sanctuary with many unmasked congregants sitting next to each other in recent weeks. 

Los Angeles County attorneys recently sent a cease and desist letter to the megachurch, threatening arrest or a daily fine of $1,000.

In a statement, county officials said they were grateful for the court’s decision to uphold the county’s COVID-19 public health orders that temporarily ban indoor religious services. The county added that more than 6,000 Los Angeles County residents have died from the virus.

“We went to court only after significant efforts to work with the leaders of Grace Community Church to protect public health,” the statement read. 

“We now look forward to working with church leaders on a plan to move services outdoors with physical distancing and the use of face coverings, which will allow worshipers to gather for religious observances in a manner that is lower risk and consistent with public health directives.”

For outdoor services, congregants must wear face coverings and practice physical distancing, according to the court order.

Grace Community Church was not immediately reached for comment. In the past, church leaders have said that there is no COVID-19 pandemic and that they will follow the Bible instead of health regulations.

“We will obey God rather than men. We’re going to be faithful to our Lord,” MacArthur told his congregants in a July 31 video. “We’re going to leave the results to him.”

MacArthur and the church’s elders say Grace Community Church’s actions are founded on biblical principles. According to a  statement, church leaders believe that the government is charged with protecting civic order and well-being. But the government can’t dictate “the doctrine, practice, or polity of the church.”

Alejandra MolinaAlejandra Molina is a national reporter for Religion News Service based in Los Angeles, California.

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53 thoughts on “Judge Bans John MacArthur, Grace Community Church From Meeting Indoors”

  1. I’m sure that Grace Community Church will quite enjoy worshipping outdoors, just like the early church did.

    A wonderful opportunity to return to the roots of their faith.

  2. Nobody’s got objections to brush arbor meetings.

    The broader issue is: Does Caesar have the God-given authority to dictate the terms under which the Church may worship?

    Still looking in my Bible for that one. (Romans 13 does not apply, unless you’re trying to argue that the State has the authority to punish churches as evildoers by dint of daring to gather together for worship.)

    For those who think that meeting in private homes will suffice: note that in July Newsome banned home Bible studies under the “pandemic” excuse.

    And while listening to sermons online is better than nothing, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that’s an acceptable substitute for either church or fellowship: how can you hold online baptism, or online Lord’s Supper?

    This attack on both Christianity and the 1A / free exercise of religion has got to stop, and Christians have got to stop contributing to their own destruction.

    1. In the book of Acts, we literally read about the disciples gathering in house churches. So house church does not simply “suffice”. It is more than enough to change the world. The first century Christians were conducting baptisms in any body of water that they could find, with an urgency that went far beyond the “let me wait until I can have a big ceremony with all my family and friends” that we have gotten used to in the 21st century church (And no, I’m not saying anything is wrong with that; I’m saying the Bible shows it was not necessary).
      I also have been blessed by having friends who were not yet ready to go to a “big formal church” feel more comfortable learning about Jesus in a house church or Bible study. So all is not lost! We can still change the world.

      And this is not an attack solely on Christianity; other houses of worship are also impacted (temples, mosques, Kingdom Halls, etc). Not one political leader has said you can’t practice a certain faith or worship – last I checked, a building or large crowd aren’t needed for either. So they aren’t violating the Constitution or scripture. Let’s not exaggerate to support a false narrative.

      Let’s keep praying, worshipping, praising, baptizing, partaking in the Lord’s supper, and sharing our faith. None of that requires a large crowd or building.

      And our world cannot afford for us to get distracted right now.

        1. Doubt it. They have already denied cert in other COVID related cases and there is already precedence given the states great leeway in dealing with health emergenices in Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905) and Compagnie Francaise de Navigation a Vapeur v. Louisiana Board of Health, 186 U.S. 380 (1902).

      1. Lest you forget, the early church ALSO met in synagogues, so they weren’t meeting strictly in houses. Your argument fails.

        It’s not the *building,* it’s the fact that the Church is allowing itself to be governed by Caesar. If you fail to see what’s wrong with this, then we’re clearly operating under different presuppositions.

        1. Hogwash. The church is already subject to fire code regulations which–in the interest of public safety–limit the number of people they can host in their services inside.

          Do you consider that the church allowing itself to be governed by Caesar?

          What about parking regulations that govern what they can do with their grounds, or building codes that restrict how they construct their buildings? How about noise restrictions that limit how loud they can play their worship music lest they annoy their neighbors? Do you take offense at requirements that they must spend God’s money to ensure they have a certain number of bathrooms per child?

          According to your logic, GCC is already significantly governed by Caesar.

      2. M H – I respect your sincerity. At the same time, I see the proverbial frog in the warming water when I consider suggestions to go along with the government’s overreach. The word “incremental” comes to mind.

    2. Still looking in my Bible for the justification for church to ignore fire codes, because according to your logic they should be free to pack as many people into an auditorium as they please. All without sprinklers or fire extinguishers of course, to make sure they are not “subject to Caesar”.

      1. Lea, They are not ignoring fire codes. They have been able to gather in the same amounts of people for decades prior to Covid. I believe Hebrews 10:24-25 is the Biblical reference you are looking for.

  3. Beth Price-Almeida

    If you refuse to see this as an attack on religion (on each religion, on each denomination being told they CAN’T gather in their houses of worship) then you won’t be moved by a random stranger’s comment on a blog. I don’t think the question or worry is actually about just assembly in a building but the fact that there IS an alarmingly obvious bias against peaceful assembly of churches but, at the same time and just as alarming is the tolerance of riots, law breaking, murder destruction and general havoc caused by “protests”.
    The right to practice our religion and to peaceable assembly is LEGAL and Constitutionally protected. Lawless destruction and incitement to violence is on the other end of the spectrum but it’s perfectly fine for those involved to disobey the laws of civilized society? I am sure they’ve done an outstanding job of the 6 foot distancing and mask wearing.
    People should stop being so silly because they’ll soon find themselves wondering why they didn’t try harder to keep the rights and freedoms and privileges that are taken for granted for the most part.
    Here are some links for your research;

    “Ironically, politicians like Supreme Court Justice John Roberts have decided people can gather for riots, but not in churches. Peaceably assembling is protected – rioting is not. When the law is broken at a protest, it is no longer a protest and has become a riot.

    The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
    From the same article:
    “Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in dissent that the restriction, “…discriminates against places of worship and in favor of comparable secular businesses. Such discrimination violates the First Amendment.” He noted that supermarkets, restaurants, hair salons, cannabis dispensaries, and other businesses are not being subjected to the same restrictions. Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch joined the dissent, the Thomas More Society reported.”
    https://californiaglobe.com/section-2/while-rioters-gather-in-us-cities-supreme-court-rules-against-gathering-in-churches/

    This link just explores religious freedom and what happens when the government encroaches on it.
    https://www.heritage.org/what-you-need-know-about-religious-freedom/what-you-need-know-about-religious-freedom

    The Bible tells us to dress with the armor of God. Soldiers wear armor. No we aren’t fighting people, but we should be fighting for them.

    1. Ironically, politicians like Supreme Court Justice John Roberts have decided people can gather for riots, but not in churches.

      This is utterly delusional, and extremely self serving. If the only argument you have is to compare church services to riots that are already unlawful even when there’s no ongoing state of emergency, then you have already lost.

      Show me where in California any other type of large indoor gathering, without social distancing measures, is currently permitted, then perhaps you might have a case, but you can’t, which is why you’re reduced to these ridiculous claims that would be laughed out of court.

  4. MacArthur and Grace Community had their chance. Social distancing and masks in exchange for indoor services.

    That they decided to reject this compromise and play martyrs is on their own heads as I’d the health add any member who suffers because of it.

    Christians should save their outrage for actual persecution rather than rallying to. defend this circus of foolishness.

    Ignoring science and endangering the flock does not a “stand against tyranny” make.

    1. They didn’t have their chance as you say. They agreed to wear masks and social distance if they could have church until the case was heard. County refused. As far as sick, the church has been meeting for weeks and nobody has been ill. Science is not on the states side. Wearing a mask is not on science side. Social distancing is not on science side.

      1. “and nobody has been ill”

        Proof of your claim? If you read further in Julie’s blog you will find that MacArthur has already been less than candid about one COVID death potentially tied to his meetings.

        The US is doing very little contact tracing, In contrast, other countries (including heavily Christian South Korea) have traced multiple outbreaks back to church services.

    2. Beth, the main distinction here is not between “church” and “protest”, however much you try to make it so.

      It is between “inside” and “outside”.

      Indoor protests of any size are subject to the same regulations the state is placing on GCC.

      Meanwhile, GCC is free to hold its services outside, which is where the protests are held.

      1. Beth Price-Almeida

        But are you, Lea, comfortable with more of the government’s insertion in the middle of the rights that protect the right to do either or? I haven’t been outside my house in several months, even before Covid due to health issues. **Issues not related in any way to anything viral or flu-like or pandemic like** just throwing that out there. If you will look back at the way the courts used to operate, say just 10 years ago, and compare that with today, you must be able to see the speed with which the Bill of Rights has been whittled on by power hungry, greedy individuals or by people who have tried to appease the loudest group rather than the group speaking with a modicum of common sense. That is my concern. I remember my daddy telling me once that he would rather stand flat footed and take the punishment for his OWN DECISION than to let someone else take his accountability on themselves. I have no idea where the flat-footed part figured in, but he was a proud man and made his own decisions right up until he died. He couldn’t stomach the idea that people wanted to keep a church closed because he didn’t have enough brains to exercise common sense or decide for himself. People who want to go to church, wherever they want to go to church should be left to alone to do so. Kids are in school for goodness sake. I would think that should be argued over before church.

    3. Does anyone really believe John MacArthur should be given the benefit of the doubt that he would properly require masks and social distancing after steadfastly refusing to cooperate with the authorities thus far? It’s a day late and a dollar short.

  5. If Grace Community Church is incorporated under the laws of the State then it is a separate entity that has agreed to obey the laws of the State. They incorporatedo initially because they wanted the State to protect them with limited liabilities,etc.
    If Grace Community Church is the body of Christian believers and unincorporated (separate from the State) then the State has no jurisdiction over their worship and the first amendment applies.
    Grace Church can’t have it both ways; to obey the state when they want to and then not obey when they don’t like the State’s rules.

    1. An excellent point. Churches have been eager to register with the government in order to obtain the legal protections (mostly for the officers/pastors) of corporate law, and to ensure their tax-protected status.

      There are small churches, of course, that refuse to register as a matter of conscience. I would have more respect for their arguments that for MacArthur’s claims, when he has organized his vast empire (much of which is clearly NOT church) under any number of corporate entities, willingly placing himself under the legal requirements of those registrations.

      1. Lea, a “vast empire”? Is that how you characterize John MacArthur’s ministry of more than 50 years? Preaching faithfully, founding schools, writing scores of books and Bible commentaries, and standing firm in the faith even when it’s not popular — you characterize this as him building a vast empire?

        Your bias and disdain for MacArthur have clearly colored your comments about him. And probably nobody has posted more comments denouncing him over the past several weeks than you have.

        What do you think the Lord will say to John MacArthur once he goes to be with the Lord? Will he be told, “Well done, my good and faithful servant”? Or will he be told, “Away from me you evildoer, for how dare you challenge the state authorities for seeking to hold indoor church services when they said it was too dangerous to do so?”

        Just curious.

          1. Lea, I was obviously making a point to bring some much-needed perspective here, since you chose to characterize MacArthur’s many decades of faithful and dedicated ministry as a “vast empire,” which was also quite strange (and uncalled for).

        1. To be fair, John MacArthur has built an empire – similar to a lot of megachurch “celebrity” pastors. Actually, everything Daniel lists (writing books, commentaries, etc) has been done by Tony Evans, Charles Stanley, and more. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it (I believe both huge and small ministries have their place) unless you’re talking about those built on bad doctrine (e.g., prosperity gospel, etc) or that have taken on the abusive traits of a cult (e.g, like those Julie investigates).

          And yes, there was a lot of governance – both internal and external – involved in the growth and sustainance of MacArthur’s numerous ministries. Not sure why that choice of words is bothersome?

          1. M H,

            The definition of “empire” in Merriam-Webster states: “a major political unit having a territory of great extent or a number of territories or peoples under a single sovereign authority; especially one having an emperor as chief of state.” Secondly, it denotes “imperial sovereignty, rule, or dominion.”

            Does that sound like John MacArthur’s ministry?

            The apostle Paul wrote half of the New Testament and he traveled widely to start churches or to disciple others to start churches. Should we characterize Paul’s ministry as building an empire?

            How about Luther, Calvin, Wesley, or Billy Graham for that matter? Should we insist that Billy Graham built an empire too? Is that the best way to characterize his ministry?

            You asked me “why that choice of words is bothersome?”

            Because it is hyperbolic and silly nonsense. The usage of “empire” is clearly pejorative in order to disparage MacArthur further. As such, all it does is weaken your argument, and it demonstrates yours (and Lea’s) bias and disdain toward MacArthur.

            MacArthur is an imperfect man to be sure, but he is a man of courage and conviction. He has dedicated his life (tirelessly) to pastoral ministry, and he even founded a seminary. His impact in the kingdom has been tremendous.

          2. Julie herself recently said she’s working on an investigation into the lack of financial accountability in large ministries like MacArthur’s Grace To You and Focus on the Family, namely how they have all converted from non-profits to churches over the last few years allowing them to hide all of their financial dealings and salaries from public scrutiny. Should be an interesting read when it’s ready.

          3. Daniel, you left out the definition of empire as “a large commercial organization owned or controlled by one person or group.”

            MacArthur’s interests, including publishing and education, are indeed a large organization whose “commercial” nature is seen in its corporate structure and its involvement in buying and selling, and which is controlled largely by MacArthur.

            You are casting your own interpretation on my remark as insulting. I see it merely as fact.

          4. Daniel –
            While I disagree with MacArthur politically (claiming Christians can’t be Democrats, and his response to covid), I have been blessed by several of his studies and sermons, so to say I have a disdain for him is a HORRIBLY inaccurate assumption. Christians can disagree without disdain.

            And an empire can absolutely refer to a large commercial organization, which MacArthur has established – complete with multiple streams of income (publishing, etc). It is also used in the business world, as some will say Oprah has built an empire, Kim Kardashians has built an empire, etc. I assure you no one who reads that expression is offended or concerned that Oprah or Kim are emperors of sort running a bunch of territories (unless they are paranoid). And there is plenty of proof that MacArthur’s ministry has the components of a large, multi-income, lucrative corporation.

            Again, I have no problem with it, as long as it’s not based on false doctrine or abusive tactics.

            And yes, Billy Graham did build an empire that literally changed the world.

            It’s just facts. Doesn’t take away from MacArthur’s (or Graham’s) ministry, influence, or calling.

  6. Isnt it more of a health risk to meet outside right now in LA due to both record-setting high temps & hazardous smoke from the many burning wildfires? Arent there warnings in various counties to stay indoors, until the smoke & heat subside? Its not always rosy outdoors in LA.

    1. 6,128 people in LA County have died from COVID. There were 42 deaths yesterday alone.

      So unless that many deaths a day are expected to result from the high temperatures and wildfires, COVID remains more of a health risk.

  7. The data show that the overwhelming number of COVID-related deaths are people vulnerable for other reasons; these are people that can be taken care of without the drastic measures that are strangling our society. These measures ARE government overreach. The power-grab that seems so “reasonable” now will soon be used to control the population in ways that will be unacceptable – but it will be too late.

  8. The Church Outside

    Our Michigan church has been meeting outside with social distancing (and masks by many still being worn) since Covid-19 began. We have had only two Sundays rained out, but we are online as well. Our live worship services and the preaching of the Word have been wonderful- to be completely honest- sitting in a comfortable lawn chair “at church” has been very easy to get used to! In addition, our church now has new DAILY morning online interactive pastor led devotionals and prayer and other online meetings as well. These additional Facebook interactions have actually been a blessing as I feel more connected in some ways to our pastors than ever before. I know that outside meetings may be more difficult in urban California. Grace Community Church may have to temporarily relocate to an outdoor stadium or large tented area. I sure hope they exhaust all other meeting options available to them rather than spend thousands on State imposed fines or legal defense costs, particularly as this indoor ban may be ending in another 4 months if not earlier.

  9. There is a Constitutional argument here, but not the one being made by GCC.

    The Constitution does not grant, but acknowledges, and protects the natural rights of US Citizens to numerous things among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It also prevents the government from infringing on those rights, many of which are enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Although there is no priority or weight assigned to the order of those rights, the First Amendment protects the right of the people to freely exercise their religion as well as preventing the government from making any laws that prohibit the free exercise of that religion. Additionally, it acknowledges and protects the right of the people to peacefully assemble, petition the government for redress of grievances as well as the freedom to speak out against the government and the press to do so as well.

    What GCC is claiming is that they, as a church, are being prohibited from meeting, without conditions unacceptable to them, and that this prohibition amounts to “persecution of the church” or Constitutionally, as an infringement on the right to freely exercise religion. There is little question that the government, at a local and state level is infringing on the First Amendment rights of US Citizens to assemble. There are no qualifiers attached to the freedoms protected by the First Amendment. One can argue that the SCOTUS has found limits over the past 200 years that have reduced or restricted these freedoms but the very acknowledgement of the need to protect those freedoms shows the foresight that the founding fathers had to protect such fundamental rights from overreach which would naturally occur and very likely under the guise of “safety” as a justification.

    There are some things worse than death. As Patrick Henry is famous for saying “give me liberty or give me death”. Or even Benjamin Franklin who paraphrased, stated that “those who would trade liberty for safety deserve neither”. Living in a society that trades the promise of safety in exchange for a sacrifice of personal freedoms could be a fate worse than death. Especially if those freedoms are eroded by a majority upon a minority against their will. When does “safety” simply become a synonym for any whim that the majority wishes to impose on the minority? The Constitution protects the right to life, LIBERTY and the pursuit of happiness. It does not protect the right to life, SAFETY and the pursuit of happiness. Safety and Liberty are not mutually exclusive but can infringe upon each other when the will of one group is imposed upon another.

    The reason for shutting down GCC is unconstitutional….but it is unconstitutional the same way that disallowing any group to meet for weddings, picnics, sporting events, etc. is unconstitutional. There is no part of this unconstitutional order that is focused on, or due to the uniqueness of, the Christian faith or the exercise thereof. There is no claim that the words of the gospel being preached include hate speech, discriminate or fail to include groups of people and therefore must be stopped. Rather the Protestant church is included in the same target list of Jewish synagogues, Muslim mosques, Buddhist temples, bowling alleys, professional sports arenas, movie theaters, hair salons, public beaches and many others.

    Christians ought to save their outrage for the “persecution of the church” for legitimate persecution…it will come. However, what we are seeing today is not unique to the Protestant church, nor any other religious organization. It is simply government overreach in the name of safety which is exactly why the Bill of Rights exists – not to grant us rights and freedoms, but to recognize those rights and freedoms and protect us from a government ready and willing to remove them in the name of the greater good.

    1. EE Mason, well said, especially your last paragraph.

      As Christians, we are of course commanded to obey the governing authorities, which is another way of saying that Christians are to obey “the laws of the land.”

      However, what happens when the governing authorities don’t obey the laws of the land?

      If the laws of the land are based on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, yet the state authorities continue to usurp them, then what we really have is governing disobedience.

  10. Are the lives of those who are old or have many pre-existing conditions worth less than a healthy person? This seems to be baked into the arguments of many and a far bigger danger to the church than wether it is allowed to meet or not.

    Remember as Chesterton says the church has gone to the dogs many times but the dogs have never won. If someone has the quote word for word please enlighten us.

  11. I grow weary of folks using the constitution as justification for endangering the health of others. I don’t recall Jesus saying care “for the least of these except where it conflicts with your constitutional rights”

    Depending on locale, churches (and other businesses) can meet outdoors, or virtually, or indoors masked-and-distanced. This simply doesn’t rise to the level of overreach or persecution.

    There is real martyrdom and persecution out there folks, and this just ain’t it.

    1. I have learned more from John Macarthur than any of my church pastors or any other radio or TV or Internet ministry. Truly life changing teaching.
      But from time to time he has said things that make me go, whoa. Anyone correct me if I am mistaken, but isn’t he on record at saying the American Revolution is illegitimate? That it was actually an act of rebellion against a legitimate government(the British Crown). So it follows that our American Republic was born in a rebellion not blessed by God? So him now taking a stand against government seems out of place.
      Please enlighten me.
      Shushynboy

  12. LEA,
    You dont think health problems resulting from poisonous smoke & high temps lead to death? It may not be as quick as Covid, but those conditions can cause death as well, correct?
    And when stats are given about deaths, it is rarely explained more in terms of the age or if there are comorbidities relating to weight, blood pressure, diabetes, etc. We don’t get the full picture on the profile of these deaths. Why dont public health officials do this? Wouldn’t it shed more light on this virus?
    Also left out in discussion are negative effects on the well being of people in the social, emotional, intellectual & spiritual dimensions of life. Isolation, depression, mental stagnation & other effects can result. Church gatherings w/corporate fellowship, worship, prayer, relevant preaching of the Word help reverse these effects, wouldn’t you agree on that?

    Finally, everyone must face the certainty of death. Sure, we want it to come latter in older age, but no one is guaranteed to make though this day, due to whatever the cause. This is where the church plays a crucial role in preaching the gospel & the hope we have in a risen Lord Jesus, who conquered death. He shows that this world is not all there is, that this life is passing. Seems like certain govt officials want to squash the proclamation of the need for repentance & turning to Jesus as He is the only way of salvation. Can’t you agree that perhaps the restrictions they want to keep imposing via Covid fears are really their way of trying to silence the Church’s hope-giving message? Isn’t it ironic that liquor stores & weed dispensaries are allowed indoor activity & considered essemtial, but church gatherings aren’t? Is it because the former pay taxes but churches don’t? Things that make you go hmmmm.

  13. At times like this, it is often helpful to think about the absolutes. What do we know to be true beyond a shadow of a doubt that is not influenced by our circumstances, fears, subjective interpretations or feelings.

    The Bible is crystal clear about obeying the government in any and all situations with the singular exception of when it goes directly against God’s word. This includes things that don’t make sense, go against better our judgement, seem counter productive or oppressive and any other reason beyond going in direct conflict with what Christians are commanded to do. It specifically includes unjust, ungodly, corrupt and hostile governments. Romans 13, although applying to all believers and churches for all times, was written during the reign of Nero who used Christians to light his garden, yet Christians were told to submit to him nonetheless. The temporal circumstances simply do not matter and only lead to rationalization.

    If the government is persecuting the church, then the pandemic death rate can be at 50% or 0.0005% and the response of the church is the same either way. You can’t use the justification that the death rate is so low that we think it’s ok to disobey the government now…just not when we thought it was too high. Statistics shouldn’t be referenced in favor or opposition to any Biblical argument. To do so only undermines the sanctity of the argument.

    What are Christians commanded to do? Preach the gospel, not forsake the gathering of the believers, observe communion and be baptized. At this point you must ask, are any of the government mandates prohibiting me from preaching the gospel? No. Forsaking the gathering of the believers? No. Prohibiting communion? No. Prohibiting baptism? No. Beyond this, it is simply preference and obedience in question and the above makes that very clear. Regardless of what we might see as reasonable or even wise personally, doesn’t matter.

    I will be the first to stand up and make a Constitutional argument against any law, executive order or decree against freedom of assembly as protected by the first amendment. However, I will make that argument as a citizen of the US, not from a Biblical perspective.

  14. Governors failed when they separated businesses, institutions, and sectors of the economy into essential and non-essential.

    All other arguments are tangential to the main issue/question of whether they had the right to decide whose and what needs were most important.

    If for no other reason – and there are plenty of other reasons – MacArthur is right because his Governor is wrong not only about churches, but also about a range of other arbitrary, oppressive closures and rules that have no legal, medical, scientific, or ethical basis.

    1. Jessica, I agree with you. But most of the people who comment on this blog do not.

      Interestingly, in my circle of friends, every one who is a Democrat believes exactly the way all the blue state mayors and governors do. They believe without hesitation in every mask and lockdown measure, and if you disagree, you are of course “denying science.”

      Whereas, most of my Republican friends are not nearly as accepting of these mandates, and maintain a degree of skepticism due to the blatant hypocrisy of the Democrat leaders on this issue.

      I believe this plays out the same way on this blog, based on all the interactions I’ve had over the past few weeks.

      I assume this has to do, at least in part, with how each political party views the role of government.

        1. Jessica, I agree. The arbitrary nature of all this, especially determining which businesses and services were deemed essential and non-essential, only served to make matters worse and polarize the country even further.

          Clearly, the state governors (mostly in blue states) have been usurping the laws established in the Bill of Rights, and they continued to do it while moving the goalposts from their initial objective, which was to “flatten the curve.” Once the “curve” was flattened in most states, these governors came up with new reasons to extend their draconian lockdown orders.

          And all the while (to no one’s surprise), these blue state governors, as well as Biden and Pelosi, blamed Trump for “not acting sooner” and thus causing the virus to spread.

          This of course was a lie, and they knew it, since Trump banned incoming flights from China on January 27, yet on February 24 Nancy Pelosi was seen in a video (since deleted from her Twitter account) encouraging people to visit San Francisco’s Chinatown for a New Year’s Celebration. No masks, no social distancing, no regard for the virus she now claims the president should have been doing something about at the very moment she stood in a crowd. Such amazing leadership!

          Biden, to no one’s surprise, characterized Trump’s flight ban from China as “racist” and “xenophobic” (despite Biden’s own insistence the President should have “acted sooner”). Again, such amazing leadership!

          Then of course when all the riots and looting started, the cat was let out of the bag, and we understood how our Democrat leaders, and their media backers, ACTUALLY felt about masks and social distancing, which is not much (despite their self-righteous virtue-signaling).

          So these wise leaders, these followers of “science” (insert laugh), began to defend the rioters and looters while they continued to tell everyone else to be obedient and to remain in their home until the government comes up with a vaccine. Not to be outdone though, many of these wise leaders, these followers of science, now want us to believe that the coronavirus and climate change are parts of the same problem.

          Well, of course they are. They must be. And only uneducated and unsophisticated climate-deniers would even dare to question such a thing! Why? Because SCIENCE.

  15. Legal arguments aside, holding large indoor events, where people are doing things like singing without masks, is endangering the health not only of the attendees but of all the people they will come in contact with at grocery stores, schools, their homes, etc. If they continue to hold such meetings, it is likely that some of their neighbors, life created in God’s image, will get sick and even die.

    The bottom line is that MacArthur’s ego and persecution complex are preventing him and his congregation from loving their neighbors.

  16. Most of people here miss the point.

    For starters, SCOTUS decisions in Compagnie Francaise de Navigation a Vapeur v. Louisiana Board of Health, 186 U.S. 380 (1902) and in Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905) give states great leeway in their authority in dealing with health emergencies. Also, the power to restrict the 1A (or others) is valid as long as there is a compelling state interest, the restrictions are applied fairly, they are temporary, and they are of the scope and duration to cause as limited impact as possible. None of the objections GCC have made reach any of at this point. Whether that is the same 3 or 6 months from now, that is a different question.

    Until someone can provide a reference to an indoor event at a mosque, synagogue, other church, movie theater, concert hall, etc in the state of CA, then none of your complaints about LA County are valid.

    1. Thanks for providing some actual legal case law for the armchair constitutional analysts posting here. :)

      They also miss the point that quarantine and mass gathering restriction during public health emergencies are nothing new, and have been repeatedly upheld as constitutional. They were widely applied in the influenza pandemic of 1917-1918, and during the more recent polio outbreaks of the1950s. Neither caused the demise of American democracy, or of the church at large. Shrill that the response to COVID is “unprecedented” are just historically obtuse.

      And of course, those who are students of Scripture know that quarantine is prescribed in the Bible as well, being the subject of the entire chapter of Leviticus 13.

    2. “Also, the power to restrict the 1A (or others) is valid as long as there is a compelling state interest, the restrictions are applied fairly, they are temporary, and they are of the scope and duration to cause as limited impact as possible.”
      Well..this interesting…just exactly what does “temporary” mean? Looks like Gov. Wolf is being challenged to explain his definition of that word in light of the Constitution. I wonder how he will fare as this case moves forward.
      “The court believes that defendants undertook their actions in a well-intentioned effort to protect Pennsylvanians from the virus,” U.S. District Judge William S. Stickman IV wrote. “But even in an emergency, the authority of government is not unfettered.”
      I hope Newsom is put in this same hotseat soon. But for now, yeah Pennsylvania!

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/alisondurkee/2020/09/14/pennsylvania-coronavirus-restrictions-struck-down-tom-wolf-stay-at-home-order-federal-court/#1ed8c60a4bdf

  17. 9-24-2020 MacArthur wins yet again! Can this whole drama be anything other than Caesar desiring worship directed to his pronouncements and not to the Almighty?

    Rage on!

    Crank up Ye Olde Pipe Organe in worship.

    God of Grace and God of Glory – Harry Emerson Fosdick – 1930

    “Cure your children’s warring madness;
    bend our pride to your control;
    shame our wanton, selfish gladness,
    rich in things and poor in soul.
    Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
    lest we miss your kingdom’s goal,
    lest we miss your kingdom’s goal.”

    “Rich in things and poor in soul” – easily America’s new national phrase.

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