Perspectives; Thoughts; Comments; Opinions; Discussions

Posts tagged ‘Grace Community Church’

LA County clears John MacArthur’s megachurch in COVID-19 ‘outbreak’ probe


Reported By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor FOLLOW

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/la-county-clears-john-macarthurs-church-of-covid-19-outbreak.html?uid=03bea79789

Pastor John MacArthur leads Grace Community Church in California in a video posted October 2020. | Screenshot: Grace Community Church

Public health officials in Los Angeles have lifted all outbreak-related requirements and restrictions on Grace Community Church, which were put in place last month after three cases connected to the California church were confirmed.

“We are glad to announce that we received a notice from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health … saying that we have been cleared of COVID-19 outbreak,” the church says on its website.

L.A. County requires places of worship to report to the Public Health Department when there are at least three COVID-19 cases within a span of two weeks, after which the agency determines whether there is an outbreak.

“After a thorough investigation, Public Health officials have decided to rescind all outbreak-related requirements and restrictions on Grace Community Church,” the church, led by Pastor John MacArthur, said.

“Praise the Lord for His blessings and perfect provision. Thank you, Pastor John, for your example as you have walked this road,” a church member, Matt Mckinney, wrote on Grace Community’s Facebook page. “Your humble and unwavering strength, anchored in your trust of the Lord’s sovereignty to work this out to the counsel of His own will, for His own purposes and glory, are such an encouragement. Blessings my brother.”

Thousands of people have been attending the Sun Valley, California, church after it reopened in the summer despite restrictions on indoor worship services during the coronavirus pandemic. MacArthur and elders of the church said it was the church’s biblical duty to remain open and that they would not disobey “our Lord’s clear commands.”

The church has also argued that in the many months it’s been open, no one had been hospitalized with the disease.

In response to the three confirmed cases last month, Jenna Ellis, attorney for the church, said it was not an “outbreak,” given the more than 7,000 people who attend.

“It has never been the church’s position that it is only safe to hold services if no one ever tests positive, or for example, if no one ever gets the flu during flu season. Our position has been that LA County shutting down churches indefinitely amid a virus with a 99.98% survival rate, especially when state-preferred businesses are open and protests are held without restriction, is unconstitutional and harmful to the free exercise of religion,” she said.

Indoor worship services are currently banned in Los Angeles County, which has a Tier 1 status (when COVID-19 is “widespread“). Congregations are only allowed to meet outdoors with certain restrictions.

Grace Community Church and Pastor MacArthur have been in a legal battle with the county over the restrictions.

“They don’t want us to meet, that’s obvious,” MacArthur said after the county secured a stay of the trial court ruling in August that would have allowed the congregation to meet indoors with masks and social distancing.

“They’re not willing to work with us. They just want to shut us down. But we’re here to bring honor to the Lord.” 

MacArthur said he didn’t know “exactly what the city is trying to do with us and to us,” and clarified that the indoor service was not aimed at being “rebellious.” “We’re meeting because our Lord has commanded us to come together and worship Him.”

The church’s attorneys argued that the county’s demands to comply with COVID-19 restrictions were unreasonable. The church offered to have the congregation comply with mask-wearing and social distancing indoors until the matter could be fully heard.

At the start of the pandemic earlier this year, Grace Community Church initially moved to a livestream model and closed down in-person services. But within a few weeks, MacArthur said parishioners started showing up again. They decided to restart in-person worship services, with church leaders saying that the government did not have the authority to stop them from gathering.

LA County Loses Court Battle with Grace Community Church — So County Sends Eviction Notice to the Church on Sunday


Reported By Jim Hoft | Published August 30, 2020 at 9:12pm

On August 12th Los Angeles County filed charges prohibiting Grace Community Church from holding religious services. But a local judge decided in favor of Grace Community Church to allow religious service if congregants wore face coverings and practiced social distancing.

Pastor John MacArthur said at the time that the church was meeting indoors because it was their constitutional right and that it was commanded by God for his people to come together in worship.

Factories, pot shops, liquor stores and department stores are allowed to stay open but not houses of worship.

County officials did not sit back after losing last week’s ruling.

On Sunday Los Angeles County sent a letter of eviction to Grace Community Church from a county owned parking lot. They informed the church they can no longer use the parking lot they have used for over four decades.

Los Angeles officials gave church officials 30 days to evacuate the premises.

The county broke their agreement that was in effect since for 45 years.

 

Constitutional Law Attorney Jenna Ellis, Special Counsel to Thomas More Society,  released this statement on the eviction notice.

This is government tyranny.

“Los Angeles County is retaliating against Grace Community Church for simply exercising their constitutionally protected right to hold church and challenging an unreasonable, unlawful health order. In America, we have a judicial system to ensure that the executive branch does not abuse its power, and Grace Community Church has every right to be heard without fear of reprisal. The Democrats’ message to Americans is clear–if you do not bow to every whim of tyranny, the government will come after you. The Church has peacefully held this lease for 45 years and the only reason the County is attempting eviction is because John MacArthur stood up to their unconstitutional power grab. This is harassment, abusive, and unconscionable.”

As Attorney Ellis said, this is nothing more than harassment and abuse!

Here is the full eviction notice plus the contracts with the church that date back to 2001.

Los Angeles County Serves Eviction Notice to Grace Community Church by Jim Hoft on Scribd

Todd Starnes has more on the eviction notice.

California Threatens John MacArthur’s Church with Hefty Fines for Defying Lockdown


Reported by PENNY STARR | 

URL of the originating web site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/08/05/california-church-threatened-with-hefty-fines-for-opening-doors-amid-lockdown/

Pastor John MacArthur speaks at the Shepherds’ Conference in California, March 6, 2020. | Facebook/Shepherds’ Conference

“The state has absolutely no power to impose the restrictions it is demanding,” Jenna Ellis, one of the attorneys representing the church, said in a report on The Federalist website. “This is not about health and safety, it is about targeting churches.”

In mid-July Newsom ordered churches in 30 counties, including Los Angeles County, to stop holding indoor services, but MacAuthor refused to comply, as Breitbart News reported, saying that Jesus Christ, not the state government, is the head of the church:

When any government official issues orders regulating worship (such as bans on singing, caps on attendance, or prohibitions against gatherings and services), he steps outside the legitimate bounds of his God-ordained authority as a civic official and arrogates to himself authority that God expressly grants only to the Lord Jesus Christ as sovereign over His Kingdom, which is the church. His rule is mediated to local churches through those pastors and elders who teach His Word (Matthew 16:18–192 Timothy 3:16–4:2).

Therefore, 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.

“Now, the city of Los Angeles is punishing the church for its decision to continue gathering. In addition to fines and threats of arrest, Mayor Eric Garcetti has shown himself willing to use other tactics to keep residents from breaking shutdown orders,” The Federalist reported. “Back in April, he warned that he’d given the Department of Water and Power permission to shut off utilities for nonessential businesses that were operating in defiance of restrictions.”

The Federalist said that in addition to Ellis, who also is a private legal adviser to the Trump 2020 campaign, Charles LiMandri of the Thomas More Society is also providing legal representation for Grace Community Church.

“It is unconstitutional for Governor Newsom and the State of California to discriminate against churches by treating them less favorably than other organizations and activities that are not protected by the First Amendment,” LiMandri said.

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: