A California megachurch pastor has reportedly encouraged his congregation to vote Governor Gavin Newsom out of office in the California recall election slated to take place next month.
During a sermon on August 1, Pastor Greg Fairrington, who leads Destiny Christian Church in Rocklin, told his congregation to vote "Yes" to removing Newsom from office in the upcoming recall election.
"You afraid of Gavin Newsom? My God, do your job as Christians on September 14, and vote 'yes' on recalling an immoral governor," Fairrington is seen urging his congregants in a video of the sermon.
According to The Sacramento Bee, the pastor also stressed that Newsom's "policies and politics have continually contradicted the Word of God and have been in opposition with the millions of Christians in California."
Farrington then went on to clarify that his comments on recalling Newsom were not meant as an endorsement of any other political candidate. Instead, he told his church, the issue at hand had to do more with morality than politics.
"My comments on the recall do not support a candidate but rather highlight the unfortunate actions by Gov. Newsom that have traumatic consequences for families, schools, communities, and the church," Fairrington explained.
"This is not a political issue, but a moral one, and it is the responsibility of the church to our community to preach what Ephesians 5:11 says: 'Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them,'" he added.
Fairrington also asked congregants if they were afraid of President Joe Biden, along with a list of several beliefs and ideological systems that are considered left-leaning.
"Are we afraid of big tech, socialism, higher taxes? Are we afraid of a vaccine, liberal school boards, racial, social agendas, (critical race theory), LGBTQ agenda," he asked. "The gender-neutral doctrine, anti-America, radical groups like Black Lives Matter? What are we afraid of, church?"
In response to Fairrington's comments, Jessica Levinson, a Loyola Law School professor and political ethics expert, argued that the church should not be weighing in on a political campaign.
"There's something on the ballot, it involves candidates, and (Fairrington) is telling people how to vote," she said.
While federal law allows churches to engage in many political activities, endorsing or opposing a political candidate could risk the church losing its tax-exempt status.
At present, it is unclear what consequences, if any, Fairrington and his church will face.
"My guess is they just get a warning letter," Levinson said.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Justin Sullivan/Staff
Video courtesy: ©The Sacramento Bee
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.