Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, led by influential theologian and author John MacArthur, has announced that it will not obey the ban on indoor worship, stating that the state order restricting worship is not within the governor’s jurisdiction.
MacArthur published an article on the church’s official website, where he affirms that “government officials have no right to interfere in ecclesiastical matters in a way that undermines or disregards the God-given authority of pastors and elders.”
“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 California government decided on July 13 that churches would postpone closure indefinitely, as well as restaurants, bars, gyms, beauty salons and hairdressers.
A group of state churches filed a lawsuit against California Governor Gavin Newsom after he allowed some activities to resume but maintained the ban on worship services.
“Christ is Lord over Caesar”
The famous pastor pointed out that the head of the church is Christ, which makes it clear that the state cannot interfere in relation to worship, since this is also a principle of secularism, which prevents the state from interfering in the church, and the church in state.
“The biblical order is clear: Christ is Lord over Caesar, not vice versa. Christ, not Caesar, is head of the church,” McArthur wrote.
“Conversely, the church does not in any sense rule the state. Again, these are distinct kingdoms, and Christ is sovereign over both.”
Christ, not Caesar, Is Head of the Church: A Statement from John MacArthur and the Elders of Grace Community Church https://t.co/tObjChOfcI
— Grace to You (@gracetoyou) July 24, 2020