Last week, prominent California pastor, John MacArthur of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California announced that the church would not be complying with state and local mandates restricting gathering for worship on Sunday mornings. MacArthur rocked not only the religious community with his statement, but also shook up many of the local authorities around the area who have threatened to cut off utilities to churches and business that do not comply with the order.
In that statement, MacArthur said, “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.”
Elders at Grace Community Church are now concerned that the local authorities may follow through with that action causing problems with the church’s worship services.
“The local authorities say their plan is to shut off power to the church,” Phil Johnson, elder at Grace stated Sunday. “To be clear: they haven’t threatened GCC specifically. That’s what the mayor says he’ll do to any church that meets.”
Johnson noted that the city would have to serve notice before shutting off the power, so they weren’t concerned about an immediate power outage for Sunday, but perhaps for the upcoming weekend services.
Others noted that a water shut-off could actually cause even larger problems for the church since it would then not meet the fire code for sprinklers and the building would be unsafe and illegal to assemble. The fire department would then be able to bar off the doors.
Based on the resolve of the elders of Grace Community Church and pastor, John MacArthur, the church is not worried and will continue to worship the Risen Lord despite the efforts of the Pagan state to stand in their way. Grace Community Church stands as an exemplar to churches who face critical government overreach into their freedom to worship and serve God.