Seth Udinski, FISM News
Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, has refused to close its doors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pastor John MacArthur, senior pastor of Grace Community since 1969, made a bold statement in July 2020 by continuing to hold live services in defiance of Governor Gavin Newsome’s total lockdown orders.
Since the summer, Grace Community has continued to hold services indoors despite risk of fines, government seizure of parking spaces, intense scrutiny and restrictions from health inspectors, and a threat of arrest to John MacArthur himself.
MacArthur’s reason for refusing to obey the government-ordered lockdown is a simple belief that the authority of God supersedes the authority of man. MacArthur stated in August concerning the actions of California’s governing officials,
We respect them for their temporal leadership in government, but when they move into the life of the church and tell the church what it can do, they are usurping a role they don’t have.
Grace Community received support from President Donald Trump, who offered legal protection for MacArthur and the church as the legal battle intensified in late summer. Grace Community’s steadfastness paid off in December, as L.A. County officials changed their mandate to legally allow indoor worship services for religious institutions.