Pastor John MacArthur pastors a church in California with more than 8,000 members attending on an average Sunday, but those numbers might have increased in the last few weeks as Pastor MacArthur defied court orders to stop having church services at the indoor facility.
The 81 year old pastor says that he has obeyed all of the laws as much as he can, but has now come to a point where the new Californian laws being imposed on Christians are not constitutional and “goes against the will of the Lord of the church, who calls us together.”
Yesterday, in defiance of the court order, Christians from around California attended the illegal church service. When Pastor John walked out, the crowd erupted in jubilant applause and standing ovations.
Pastor John started off the sermon by reading the list that was given to him by the government of California. “Before we being,” he started, “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,” MacArthur said.
He then read a long list of requirements, many of which did not sound completely different than what the government has issued the churches in China:
-No indoor meetings at all
-Pre-registration required for every person who comes on church property
-People are only allowed on property for scheduled events
-Every person who comes on to church property must be screened
-People must be monitored by staff monitors (to ensure social distancing)
-Signs to be posted in Church to show government mandates
-No Bibles in pews
-No Offering containers
-No hugging or shaking hands
-Services must be shortened (yes this is a real California requirement)
-Anyone who comes in to contact with congregants that are not in their immediate family must immediately self-quarantine for two weeks.
MacArthur concludes by saying that the rules would “completely shut the church down.”
Hmmmm … government rules that are meant to shut the church down? This might be the one thing that the Chinese church can relate to the most.