Pastor John MacArthur is facing legal action after openly defying California’s restrictions on church gatherings.
Now the embattled pastor is receiving special counsel from President Trump’s personal attorney Jenna Ellis and religious freedom expert Charles LiMandri.
Jenna Ellis provided a comment to John Wesley Reid:
“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. 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.”
Ellis and LiMandri will work with MacArthur as he navigates the impending legal obstacles.
Last month, California issued a measure that closed churches in many counties across the state. MacArthur publicly declared this move an “overreach” and, after prayer and counsel with his elders, decided to reopen his church despite the edict.
In a blog posted to his church’s website, MacArthur wrote:
“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.”
That following Sunday, July 26th, MacArthur stepped up to the pulpit and was met with a standing ovation. Without much for remarks he immediately read from Scripture.
The Thomas Moore Society released a statement Wednesday morning announcing their support for MacArthur:
“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.”