John MacArthur, Pastor-Teacher of Grace Community Church in California, is encouraging pastors across America to re-open their churches and Christ followers to remind their government leaders that churches are essential.
“We have to stand firm on the reality that the Church is essential,” he says in a short video posted on social media last week. “The most meaningful, transformative, exemplary lives in a community all come together in the church, and that’s been our impact on the city of Los Angeles.”
Grace Community Church resumed onsite worship services starting from July 26, and has continued holding them indoors each week since.
In a public statement coinciding with the church’s resumption of in-person services, MacArthur and the elders at Grace Community Church issued a Biblical case for the church’s duty to remain open, respectfully informing 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.”
Not long after, lawyers with the Thomas More Society representing MacArthur and Grace Community Church filed suit on their behalf against California’s governor and attorney general, the mayor of Los Angeles, and other California and Los Angeles County public health officials, after MacArthur received a cease and desist letter prohibiting indoor worship and threatening him with fines and imprisonment should Grace Community continue to worship in their church building.
The lawsuit seeks to prohibit California from enforcing its unconstitutional and onerous coronavirus pandemic regulations against the church and seeks a judgment that the health orders violate the California Constitution.
Attorneys for the church argue that it is time for California to recognize that Christians are not second-class citizens, and the court must step in to do its job applying the protections the U.S. and California State Constitutions provide to every individual equally and to churches in particular.
They said that the American people have begun to see that they are being cheated by their own government.
“This is a watershed moment in America,” MacArthur states in the video posted last week. “We have been granted by God the freedom to meet as a church, and that is protected by the Constitution.”
“Open your church,” he concludes. “The Church is essential.”
Viewers of the video are directed to visit TheChurchIsEssential.co, where they are encouraged to sign a petition to remind government leaders that the Church is essential and to call for the re-opening of churches. The petition is being hosted by the Falkirk Center at Liberty University.