John MacArthur, equating his experiences to those of the apostle Paul, said this week he is willing to go to jail to defend his decision to reopen Grace Community Church in Los Angeles.
Last week, after weeks of back-and-forth between MacArthur and city officials, the Los Angeles Superior Court issued a preliminary injunction against the church, barring indoor worship services — a decision the 81-year-old preacher called “inexplicable.”
Now, MacArthur claims, his church has received a letter threatening additional fines as well as up to six months in jail for continuing to hold services inside the church’s sanctuary.
“Of course, my biblical hero — apart from the Lord Jesus Christ — is the apostle Paul, and when he went into a town, he didn’t ask what the hotel was like,” MacArthur told Fox News host Laura Ingraham Tuesday night. “He asked what the jail was like, because he knew that’s where he was gonna spend his time. So I don’t mind being a little apostolic if they want to tuck me in a jail.”
The pastor went on to say he is “open for a jail ministry.”
“I’ve done a lot of other ministries and haven’t had the opportunity to do that one,” he continued. “So bring it on.”
MacArthur further reiterated to Ingraham his oft-noted belief the California government, led by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), is “going against the Constitution.” He said he is “so thankful” to have the support of President Donald Trump, who has argued churches offer an “essential” service amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has seen the temporary shuttering of most businesses and enterprises across the country.
“So with the Constitution on our side and the president’s backing, we’re open,” MacArthur explained.
In addition to his unflinching position regarding the reopening of his church, MacArthur drew quite a bit of attention in late August, when he said during an interview with Liberty University’s Falkirk Center, a conservative political advocacy apparatus, that “any true believer” will vote for Trump in the November presidential election.
“Upholding righteousness in a society is what a church is supposed to do,” MacArthur said in part. “I [told Trump] any real, true believer is going to be on your side in this election, because it’s not just an individual [Joe Biden]; it’s an entire set of policies that Christians cannot in any way affirm.”