Two well-known attorneys have announced that they will be representing Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church as special counsel.
MacArthur, who has led the California-based church for 51 years, recently defied Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ban on indoor services amid the coronavirus pandemic by resuming Sunday gatherings.
Last month, a statement entitled “Christ, Not Caesar, Is the head of the Church” was made by MacArthur and elders of his church, who contended that California officials have overstepped their boundaries against houses of worship.
“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.”
According to a press release by the Thomas Moore Society, the City of L.A threatened MacArthur with a daily fine of $1,000. In response, Trump’s personal attorney Jenna Ellis and Charles LiMandri will represent MacArthur and Grace Community Church.
“I stand firm with Grace Community Church, its Elder Board, and Pastor MacArthur in biblical truth and the protections American churches are provided by our Constitution,” Ellis told The Christian Post. “I look forward to advocating on their behalf and hopefully encouraging other pastors and churches to also have the courage of Pastor MacArthur to stand firm that church is essential.”
The Thomas Moore Society likewise expressed support for MacArthur, according to a statement on Wednesday.
“The State of California is using a pretext of COVID-19 to attempt to force churches to close indefinitely. This illegitimate, over-broad, and unconstitutional order to indefinitely cease assembly, and exercising their religion and sincerely held religious beliefs, forced Grace Community Church to defy the order and continue exercising their rights, seeking shelter in the guaranteed religious freedom protections of the United States and California constitutions.
“Pastor MacArthur and Grace Community church are not disobeying the Constitution; it is California’s Governor Gavin Newsom and Mayor Eric Garcetti that are defying their constitutional obligation to protect religious freedom and church assembly,” the law group wrote.
On Monday, MacArthur told Fox News host Shannon Bream that Christ “is the head of our church”, not Governor Newsom nor Mayor Garcetti.
"Never before has the government invaded the territory that belongs only to the Lord Jesus Christ and told us we can't meet, we can't worship, we can't sing. There's no power given to the government to make those kinds of calls against us," he asserted.
“We love our neighbors. We’re not spreading anything but the gospel.” he asserted.
Photo courtesy: John MacArthur Facebook
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.