Pastor: Obeying Lockdown Orders Would Violate “Our Lord’s Clear Commands”
Pastor John MacArthur of the Grace Community Church in California has called for the reopening of all churches, without any accommodations for social distancing measures, in a statement he shared online, according to Friendly Atheist.
- He wrote that adhering to government mandates would be acting against the commands of God:
“Christ is Lord of all… As His people, we are subject to His will and commands as revealed in Scripture. Therefore we cannot and will not acquiesce to a government-imposed moratorium on our weekly congregational worship or other regular corporate gatherings. Compliance would be disobedience to our Lord’s clear commands.”
- MacArthur fails to include an explanation as to why the churches are supposed to remain closed, instead framing the closures as an overstep in government authority.
- He closes the statement by condemning the government action:
“Therefore, 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.”
- The Friendly Atheist noted that MacArthur acknowledged having listened to the government’s guidance earlier in the pandemic, as he wrote: “[W]e voluntarily followed the initial recommendations of our government. It is, of course, legitimate for Christians to abstain from the assembly of saints temporarily in the face of illness or an imminent threat to public health.”