On Thursday, the LA County Superior Court stated that there would be no court order that prevents Grace Community Church from holding their weekly indoor worship during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jenna Ellis, a representative of Thomas More Society and attorney of Grace Community Church stated that LA county has been hounding Pastor MacArthur and his church. Prior to this report, they had sought to shut down the church three times and will continue to do so. At this point, Ellis regarded LA County's actions as a violation of constitutional rights.
As of last Sunday, the court held Grace Community Church in contempt of court after their in-person worship. In addition, the county fined the church a total of $20,000 ($8,000 in fines and attorneys' fees and $12,000 in fines for violations of court).
"Pastor MacArthur is standing firm that church is essential and has no plans to yield to this tyrannical board, which is clearly defying the constitution's mandate to protect religious liberty."
To uphold Pastor MacArthur's decision, Sun Valley Church, one of the campuses of Grace Community Church, has been holding in-person worship for the past four weeks regardless of the governor's lockdown orders. Ellis provides the reasoning, stating that Church is considered as essential.
In response to LA County's actions against Pastor MacArthur and Grace Community Church, Grace Community Church filed a lawsuit against the restrictions set in place, accusing the government of restricting gatherings selectively. The lawsuit compares the treatment of its religious gatherings compared to the recent protests against police brutality in Los Angeles.
"As His people, we are subject to His will and commands as revealed in Scripture," stated MacArthur, joined by the pastors and elders of the church. "Therefore, we cannot and will not acquiesce to a government-imposed moratorium on our weekly congregational worship or other regular corporate gatherings. Compliance would be disobedience to our Lord's clear commands."
Pastor MacArthur went on to say that he isn't surprised by the actions of the County and the opposition they face. His reasoning is that as a congregation they will always have to fight as Satan will "find all kinds of ways to try to silence the Church."
"The Church in America has been so caught up in pragmatism; it has drunk the Kool-Aid of trying to devise a religion that non-religious people will like and accept, that it's afraid to be courageous because it might offend somebody," he concluded."