As progressive politicians in California continue restricting church gatherings, one Sun Valley preacher just decided to give the Sunday morning service a new name: “a peaceful protest.”
“Good morning, everyone. I’m so happy to welcome to the Grace Community Church peaceful protest,” said 81-year-old megachurch Pastor John MacArthur. Congregants laughed, cheered, and applauded in response.
MacArthur made headlines a couple weeks ago, when he decided his congregation would flout orders from Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), who has banned singing and indoor church services.
During an July appearance on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” the Grace Community Church preacher told the host government “can’t intrude in worship,” pointing to the First Amendment, which states Congress “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
“We’ve had 21 weeks with no ministry to a thousand little children, to a thousand university students, to junior high students, high school students, senior adults,” MacArthur told Tucker Carlson. “We’ve had no funerals, no weddings. I can’t go to the hospital. I’ve had to go on the phone to talk to dying people at the hospital.”
Eventually, the pastor said, he resumed his regular preaching in the church’s auditorium, which, at the start was largely empty. But soon enough, without making any announcements about reopening, congregants just started showing up for Sunday morning services. His attendees “didn’t buy the narrative,” according to MacArthur.
As for this past Sunday, after welcoming churchgoers to the “peaceful protest,” MacArthur explained that, “based on the Word of God,” his church is “pro-life, pro-family, pro-law and order, and pro-church of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The preacher then invited a chaplain from the Los Angeles Police Department to deliver the service’s opening prayer.
The elders of Grace Community Church released a lengthy statement in July, explaining their biblical justification for re-opening the worship center for in-person services in violation of Newsom’s governance.