Pastor MacArthur defied a preliminary injunction against him and Grace Community Church by an L.A court that prohibited them from having indoor services, setting himself up to be charged with a $1000 fine and face jail time for refusing to abide by the court ruling.
Speaking in front of a packed congregation, MacArthur was greeted by an almost 30-second standing ovation, with the church cheering him and thanking him for not bowing to Los Angeles County Health official’s efforts to shut him down.
MacArthur addressed one of the main questions he was receiving; why not just abide by the court order and have outdoor services, which they are allowed to do? The Shepherd explaining that to do so would practically and destroy their services and their ability to properly and effectively preach the gospel and serve the congregation. He said:
“You people are out of control. Are you happy to be at church?
Before we begin, 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 the list of things that are required of us as a church so that you understand how utterly impossible that would be. Here are the basic orders.
-No indoor meetings at all
-Pre-registration of every person who comes on the church property
-People only allowed on church property for scheduled events
-Every person who comes on the property is to be screened and have their temperature taken at the entry
-We all must maintain 6 feet of social distance at all times everywhere, including the parking lot and the restrooms
-Every other parking space must be left vacant
-Marked pathways to maintain social distance.
-Keeping people apart by staff monitors
-Everyone always wearing a mask
-Restroom monitors to control 6 feet social distancing at restrooms
-Tape on the ground marking distance
-Signs indicating these mandates and also full exposure on social media
restrooms are to be used during the service to minimize the rush. That would be interesting.
-No offering containers
-No pew bibles
-No shaking hands
-Disposable seat covers changed between services
-And the services have to be shortened (laughter from congregation) that’s not a problem for me, right?
And based upon the separation, we could only meet in the tent with a maximum of 350-400 people (GCC has 10 times that on a regular Sunday) You can see these are the requirements that would completely shut the church down. Anyone who comes in contact with someone outside their family for more than 15 minutes must self-quarantine for 2 weeks.
Obviously this is not constitutional, but more importantly it goes against the will of the Lord of the church who calls us to gather, amen? So look at the person next to you and say ‘I don’t know who you are but I’m so glad I’m sitting next to you.’