As reported by The Washington Times, a California judge on Friday, Aug. 14, ruled that churches can operate indoor services with no attendance limit, despite going against Gov. Gavin Newsom’s bans.
According to Fox News, in late July, Los Angeles County sent a letter of complaint to MacArthur, pastor of the popular Grace Community Church, in which attorney Jason Tokoro asked that the church immediately stop holding indoor worship services or face criminal and civil liability.
Earlier this week, popular Los Angeles Pastor John MacArthur and his attorneys filed a countersuit against the state of California over Gov. Gavin Newsom’s second order to close churches during the pandemic, claiming the state is acting unconstitutionally and inconsistently.
“When many took to the streets to engage in ‘political protest’ against ‘racism’ and ‘police brutality,’ these protesters refused to comply with the pandemic restrictions. Instead of enforcing public health orders, public officials were too eager to grant a de facto exception for these favored protesters,” reads part of the lawsuit according to Fox News.
On Friday, a California judge ruled that churches can operate indoor services with no attendance limit. This ruling is a fatal blow to California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order banning indoor services.
The ruling came after President Trump’s lawyers, Jenna Ellis and Charles LiMandri, defended MacArthur, who openly defied California’s ban.
Ellis told journalist Todd Starnes, “This is a great claim for Pastor John and the Board of Elders of Grace Community Church, who have simply asked that their right to worship the Lord together in church be recognized and protected. John MacArthur is a kind and steadfast leader, and his position that the church is essential has now been properly validated. We hope to continue to advocate on his behalf by asking the Court to continue to protect the fundamental rights of the churches.
Attorney Ellis tweeted the news on Friday afternoon, “An HISTORIC WIN today for! Judge allows indoor services with singing and no attendance cap! Church agrees to adhere to masks and social distancing until full hearing. FIRST CA Court to recognize #ChurchIsEssential!“
🚨BREAKING w/ @PaulJonna:
An HISTORIC WIN today for @johnmacarthur and @GraceComChurch! Judge allows indoor services with singing and no attendance cap! Church agrees to adhere to mask and social distancing until full hearing.
FIRST CA Court to recognize #ChurchIsEssential!
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) August 14, 2020
This is a temporary restraining order in which Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant denied the state’s excessive demands and further recognized the constitutionally protected right to practice religious freedom without oppressive regulation.
MacArthur, openly declared that his church would no longer adhere to the oppressive measures ordered by the state. In a publication on his website, MacArthur wrote, “The biblical order is clear: Christ is Lord over Caesar, not the other way around. Christ, not Caesar, is the head of the church. On the contrary, the church does not rule the state in any sense. Again, these are different kingdoms, and Christ is sovereign over both. Neither the church nor the state has any authority greater than that of Christ himself.