This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 14, 2020:
When the senior pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, John MacArthur, opened services on Sunday, he said:
The question has come up a number of times about why Grace Church does not just comply with the orders that have been laid down for churches, and I thought it might be helpful to give you a list of the things that are required of us as a church, so that you understand how utterly impossible that would be.
He then ran through the list of restrictions Los Angeles County Health Officer Buntu Davis placed on the church in order for it to be able to hold services. It was a long list, and MacArthur was interrupted several times with laughter from his congregation.
Before moving on to the service itself, MacArthur added: “Obviously, this is not constitutional, but more importantly, it goes against the will of the Lord of the church, Who calls us together.”
That is the core issue: whether the county can prohibit the church from holding services indoors, claiming the right to do so in the name of public health, or whether such an order exceeds the state’s authority in light of both the Federal and California constitutions.
And that is the issue that Mitchell Beckloff, the Superior Court Judge, skirted in his 22-page ruling against the church on Thursday.
He danced around it, claiming that his order against the church was merely a temporary restraining order and not a ruling on the merits: