Wednesday, August 5, 2020 : By John Wesley Reid
California Pastor John MacArthur has received threats of fines or greater legal action after he defied Governor Newsom’s restrictions on Church gatherings.
Now the Grace Community Church pastor is receiving special legal counsel from the prestigious Thomas Moore Society.
Attorneys Jenna Ellis and Charles LiMandri will work with MacArthur as he navigates the legal obstacles inevitably facing him in response to opening his church against California’s edict that closed church gatherings.
On July 24th, MacArthur publicly declared that the state’s restrictions on church gatherings were an “overreach” and that he will be holding services, despite the state’s edict.
“In response to the recent state order requiring churches in California to limit or suspend all meetings indefinitely, we, the pastors and elders of Grace Community Church, respectfully inform our civic leaders that they have exceeded their legitimate jurisdiction, and faithfulness to Christ prohibits us from observing the restrictions they want to impose on our corporate worship services.”
That following Sunday, July 26th, MacArthur stepped up to the pulpit and was met with a standing ovation and then immediately read from Scripture.
The Thomas Moore Society released a statement Wednesday morning announcing their support for MacArthur:
“The State of California is using a pretext of COVID-19 to attempt to force churches to close indefinitely. This illegitimate, over-broad, and unconstitutional order to indefinitely cease assembly, and exercising their religion and sincerely held religious beliefs, forced Grace Community Church to defy the order and continue exercising their rights, seeking shelter in the guaranteed religious freedom protections of the United States and California constitutions.”
“Pastor MacArthur and Grace Community church are not disobeying the Constitution; it is California’s Governor Gavin Newsom and Mayor Eric Garcetti that are defying their constitutional obligation to protect religious freedom and church assembly,”
Jenna Ellis added, “I stand firm with Grace Community Church, its Elder Board, and Pastor MacArthur in biblical truth and the protections American churches are provided by our Constitution. I look forward to advocating on their behalf and hopefully encouraging other pastors and churches to also have the courage of Pastor MacArthur to stand firm that church is essential.”