"'...a report has been floating around online for some time that John makes more than half a million dollars annually from GTY. Totally false,' Phil Johnson, GTY executive director and an elder at MacArthur’s Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, said in a statement.'" - C.Post
"L.A. County requires places of worship to report to the Public Health Department when there are at least three COVID-19 cases within a span of two weeks, after which the agency determines whether there is an outbreak. GCC did not respond to a request for comment by press time." - C.Post
"Los Angeles County representatives requested a hearing for civil contempt against MacArthur, who has continued to hold services at his Grace Community Church despite a ban on large gatherings issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom that includes services in houses of worship." - C.Leaders
My heart goes out to churches in places where COVID-related health orders have made it impossible to “gather in a normal way,” to use a phrase from Grace Community Church’s (GCC’s) “Statement from Pastor and Elders.”
True, gathering that way is only “normal” in the sense of “what we’re used to as a megachurch, in modern times, in the most prosperous nation on earth.” But if we consider the conditions they actually have to meet under, to gather legally, it’s much easier to feel their pain. Outdoor temperatures in parts of LA County, California (where GCC meets), reached 121 degrees a couple weekends ago.
Can they really comply with God’s command to obey the local authorities—including health orders banning indoor gatherings—and also obey God’s command to gather for worship?
I believe they can, and in a previous post I laid the principles groundwork for a comply and resist response, rather than assuming churches must comply or resist. Here, I want to look at GCC’s case for it’s noncompliant-resistance response. Tyler Robbins’ evaluation posted here several weeks ago. I’m looking at it a bit differently, though we land in similar places.
"Pastor and author John MacArthur says in a new interview that President Trump phoned him this summer to offer support and that MacArthur told him 'any real true believer is going to be on your side' in November." - C. Headlines
"The California Court of Appeal late on Saturday set aside a lower court order and reinstated a ban on indoor worship services [in groups larger than 250] for Grace Community Church pastored by John McArthur in Sun Valley." - WORLD