Grace Community Church ‘has duty to remain open’
Ephesians 1:22; 5:23; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14; 19:16
7-25-20, * -- Pastor John MacArthur of California’s Grace Community Church in Sun Valley announced that his church would continue to hold in-person services despite Gov Newsom’s state-mandated restrictions as a response to the coronavirus banning in-person worship services.
Pastor MacArthur stated that as God’s people, we are subject to His will and commands as revealed in His Holy Word the Bible. Therefore, we cannot and will not acquiesce to a government-imposed moratorium on our weekly congregational worship or other regular corporate gatherings. He said: “Compliance would be disobedience to our Lord’s clear commands. Government officials have no right to interfere in ecclesiastical -->
<-- matters in a way that undermines or disregards the God-given authority of pastors and elders.” Genesis 2:18; Hebrews 10:25; Acts 2:42; Romans 12:4-5
God’s word does mandate careful, conscientious obedience to all civil governing authority, including kings, governors, employers and their agents (“not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable” 1 Peter 2:18].
We obey insofar as government authorities do not attempt to assert ecclesiastical authority or issue orders that forbid our obedience to God’s law whether we agree with their rulings or not. However,
God has not granted civic rulers authority over the doctrine, practice, or polity of the church. When civic government interferes with God’s business, we must honor God and not government’s overreach.
When on July 13, 2020 California’s Gov Newsom proclaimed churches must not hold in person services; Pastor MacArthur said the government is “specifically tasked with the oversight and protection of civic peace and well-being within the boundaries of a nation or community. God has not granted civic rulers authority over the doctrine, practice, or polity of the church."
…. The pastors and elders of Grace Community Church, therefore, 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. For California to proclaim that abortion providers, marijuana dispensaries and liquor stores are ‘essential’ while churches are not … we stand against it and moving forward,-->
<-- we are striving to pursue every biblical and legal means to oppose it.”
See 14 min MacArthur video here
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