Pastor Ché Ahn of Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, California, spoke on the Victory Channel's FlashPoint to explain why they pushed back against Gov. Newsom's church lockdowns that began in July of last year.
"It was a total lockdown not only for services but also bible studies, prayer meetings in people's homes," Pastor Ché Ahn told FlashPoint presenter Gene Bailey.
He explained how and when they decided to file a lawsuit, saying that he was counseled by his attorney Matt Staver that the lockdown is an "egregious violation of their first amendment rights" because "the state would neither create a state church or religion nor interfere with the free exercise of religion," and that it is clear that Gov. Newsom's treatment of churches violates those rights.
"It was one of those things where the Spirit just was on me," said Pastor Ché. "I didn't even have to pray about it. I just felt this grace and I said yes even before I even checked it with our board and with our elders and our pastors...I had to make an apostolic decision but then I, of course, checked with everyone and everyone stood with me, and we decided to sue Gov. Newsom."
In August, the pastor said that he received a "very dark nasty letter" from the city prosecutor informing him that he would be arrested and imprisoned for a year. The letter also said that each church member would also be penalized a thousand dollars for each service that they have attended from Pentecost Sunday on May 31.
"Now the context of this is that, Newsom was releasing all these prisoners- rapists, criminals, because of COVID crowdedness and so with that backdrop, I'm thinking to myself, 'This is madness!' because they want to arrest law-abiding citizens who pay their taxes just simply because we want to worship Jesus and yet they're releasing criminals and I said, 'This is madness. We've come to Isaiah 5:20 where the Bible says, Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil.'"
Pastor Ché also revealed that after they filed a lawsuit against Gov. Newsom, they got hate mails from people in the community accusing him of selfishness, and that as a result, several church members left. Nonetheless, he said that it strengthened his resolve to continue, citing Galatians 1:10, which says, "Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ."
All of their efforts were eventually rewarded when they were able to win a permanent injunction against California Governor Gavin Newsom in order to prevent him from implementing prohibitions on church-related activities ranging from corporate worship to personal bible study and prayer meetings.
Also joining Pastor Ché Ahn in discussing the premise of when churches may resist federal orders were Lance Wallnau and Mario Murillo.
Lance Wallnau, in response to Christians who believe that the government must be obeyed without question in accordance with Romans 13:1-3, said that Christians misunderstood the roles of politics and government in relation to the church.
"Remember Paul's quote 'we wrestle not with flesh and blood, we wrestle with principalities?'" he asked. "The church misses the point. Principalities are working through flesh and blood. They're working through the political system. They're working through the education system and so, our battle is against the spirits that are working through the system."
"We have to, at times, engage the system in order to take a stand against the powers," he added.
Mario Murillo also weighed in saying that the Supreme Court was wise to see through Gov. Newsom's intent stating that it wasn't the virus, but rather his animosity toward faith groups which led him to discriminate against churches while allowing large businesses to open in areas where people would also likely crowd.
In addition, he has something to say to the pastors in Los Angeles.
"Once again, when fear dominates your thinking, you should be embarrassed because you're going to benefit from the courage of Ché and his church. All of you are going to benefit from it but you didn't go to war to win it. You stayed home. You caved in and God help you to wake up and understand that in spite of everything that we've heard today, the battle has been won."