Los Angeles County is seeking a restraining order to stop John MacArthur, the pastor of Grace Community Church, from holding any service on Sunday in the latest act of aggression from the county directed at places of worship during the coronavirus outbreak.
Make no mistake, this is a direct assault on the U.S. Constitution and freedom of religion, said Todd Starnes. He predicted such action in his new book, “Culture Jihad: How to Stop the Left From Killing a Nation.”
Jenna Ellis, an attorney for the church, broke the news during an interview on the “Todd Starnes Show” on Thursday.
“They are targeting churches,” she said. “We got a notice from the county attorney that the county is now seeking an order for a temporary restraining order.”
“They are seeking a total shutdown,” she said. “The county is trying to force the church to comply with their health mandates.”
Ellis, who is also a senior legal adviser of the Trump 2020 presidential campaign, later retweeted a link to a report from the Christian Post that said MacArthur filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the state over its restriction on indoor services after Gov. Gavin Newsom issued new lockdown orders. MacArthur and the church reportedly accuse the state of infringing on their religious freedom.
“California targeted the wrong groups. California first lifted restrictions on gatherings that occurred outdoors—blessing after-the-fact the illegal conduct of the ‘George Floyd’ protestors. California then banned singing in worship services and then shut them all down—unless they could modify their services to operate identically to the now-legal protests,” the suit said in part, according to the Post.
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California has been ground zero in the struggle for religious liberty against state governments that seem intent on clamping down on religious worship.
Newsom, a top offender, insists that the state is simply focused on public health as the state tries to limit the spread of the deadly virus. But pastors and religious leaders seem emboldened in the fight and seem to be more willing to challenge these guidelines that they consider arbitrary.
“We cannot and will not acquiesce to a government-imposed moratorium on our weekly congregational worship or other regular corporate gatherings,” MacArthur and the elders wrote on the church’s website. “Compliance would be disobedience to our Lord’s clear commands.”
Jack Hibbs, the pastor of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills in California, told the “Todd Starnes Show” on Tuesday said the American faithful read the Bible and wonder how they would react when faced with government-sponsored persecution, but he said we are facing that now.
“Some people go so far to say, ‘Boy, I wish I lived back in the time of Jesus,’” he said. “Well, hello? Wake up, brother. We’re in it now and this is the time for the church to stand not to hide. This is the time for us to do Christianity and not just study it.”
Ellis said that there will be a hearing on Friday at 8:30 a.m. about the temporary restraining order that seeks to restrain the church from any form of indoor or outdoor worship.
She told the Daily Wire that the church intends to “stand on the side of the law against these overreaching tyrants that are defying the oaths of office when they are commanded, mandated by the Constitution to preserve and protect our right to free exercise of religion.”