Newsom last week directed the California Department of Public Health to issue an order that forces restaurants, bars, churches, fitness centers, hair salons and barbershops in 32 of the state’s counties to close their doors—without a prospective reopening date, DISRN reported.
John MacArthur, who is the pastor at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, posted Friday on a blog that his church cannot submit to the governor’s demands.
He wrote 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.”
MacArthur, a prolific author and former host of the radio program Grace to You, said Newsom’s commands have passed the boundaries of legitimate government authority.
“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,” MacArthur wrote.
California’s churches may have to fight for themselves after a Nevada church’s appeal for relief to the Supreme Court failed.
Swing-vote Justice John Roberts sided with the liberals and displayed no interest in preserving and protecting the First Amendment.
The First Amendment used to ensure that government at all levels could not interfere with the people’s inalienable right to peacefully assemble for any purpose, including to worship God.
“The biblical order is clear: Christ is Lord over Caesar, not vice versa. Christ, not Caesar, is head of the church,” MacArthur wrote.
“Succumbing to governmental overreach may cause churches to remain closed indefinitely,” he continued. “How can the true church of Jesus Christ distinguish herself in such a hostile climate? There is only one way: bold allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ.”