As of late, there has been much controversy concerning churches being barred from holding worship services. With schools opening and athletes taking to the field, among other bans being lifted, in some states, churches are still prohibited from swinging open their doors.
The liberal state of California is perhaps, if not, the worst offender. Who’s surprised? Democrat lawmakers in the land of fruits and nuts have threatened churches with fines up to $1000 per day, as well as possible jail time, should they choose to violate the official mandate barring them from opening.
California mega-church pastor, John MacArthur, isn’t having any of it. The author of the best-selling book, “The Gospel According to Jesus,” MacArthur in no uncertain terms is telling the state’s officials to go pound sand. Worshiping God is a fundamental right not to be denied, regardless of the circumstances.
In a clear cut message defining how he and the churches thousands of members report to a higher authority, MacArthur issued the following statement. “[W]e cannot and will not acquiesce to a government-imposed moratorium on our weekly congregational worship or other regular corporate gatherings. Compliance would be disobedience to our Lord’s clear commands.”
Not convinced the state lawmakers have the best intentions of the public in mind, he further stated, “History is full of painful reminders that government power is easily and frequently abused for evil purposes. Politicians may manipulate statistics and the media can cover up or camouflage inconvenient truths. So a discerning church cannot passively or automatically comply if the government orders a shutdown of congregational meetings—even if the reason given is a concern for public health and safety.”
MacArthur is pulling no punches as he stands firmly in his beliefs. On top of this, the church members are in an uproar from being denied the right to legally gather together as the bible calls them to do.
In defiance of the mandate, and ignoring the legalities, MacArthur has been pressing ahead with church services as usual. But then came a cease and desist letter from the state which indicated the fine and jail time he is subjecting himself to.
Not persuaded in the least by the threatening letter, he said. “As government policy moves further away from biblical principles, and as legal and political pressures against the church intensify, we must recognize that the Lord may be using these pressures as means of purging to reveal the true church.”
He has a valid point. Christianity in America is on the decline and those who have adopted an anti-religion philosophy, namely the liberal lawmakers, are attempting to impose their lack of faith on the church.
Attorneys for the church responded to the threat by letting the state know how they are in direct violation of six sections of the California constitution. The lawyers also pointed out the states’ double standards of allowing large groups of protestors to band together in the streets, with nary a word, but not allowing God-fearing Christians to worship together as one.
A portion of the letter read, [Americans] have witnessed how the onerous restrictions imposed on them by public officials to allegedly fight the COVID-19 pandemic simply do not apply to certain, favored groups. When many went to the streets to engage in “political protests” against “racism” and “police brutality,” these protestors refused to comply with the pandemic restrictions. Instead of enforcing the public health orders, public officials were all too eager to grant a de facto exception for these favored protestors. […]
MacArthur’s megachurch is not the only one claiming the unfairness of the unconstitutional mandate. Baptist churches around the state are meeting in large numbers on California’s beaches to conduct baptisms. They are doing this in full sight of the general public to make their point. They are turning out in record numbers to show state officials how mistaken they are by thinking they are dealing with a small minority.
In a recent sermon, Pastor MacArthur put things in the bluntest of perspective he could. “It’s a very dire time, and it is compounded by the fact that we feel like we’re being persecuted because we’re being told we can’t meet.”
Indeed they are being persecuted, but this is nothing new to the Christian community. Worshipers in California will continue with their defiance, more than willing to accept the consequences of their faith.
You can also bet they will turn out in full force when election time rolls around to show California’s liberal lawmakers just who they’re dealing with. In the meantime, they’ll be going to church.