California Pastor Says ‘God Has Not Granted Civic Rulers Authority’ Over How The Church Meets

07-25-2020 CBN News Andrea Morris

worship in church

Pastor John MacArthur with Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California says state mandates restricting worship services are an overreach of government authority.

The pastor eloquently argued in a statement Friday 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.”

Amid the pandemic, Christians in California have faced multiple challenges to singing and worshipping together.Related


Photo Credit: Rock Church San Diego via Facebook

‘Revival Breaking Out’: Thousands Choosing Christ in CA, and One Megachurch Even Quadrupled

California Governor Orders Churches and All Indoor Businesses to Close Amid Surge in COVID-19 Cases

Image Credit: Saturate OC/Facebook/Permission to Use

California Beach Revival Brings ‘Beautiful Harvest of Souls’ Together For Worship, Baptism

A revival is happening in the little town of Roberta, GA (Photo courtesy DR Harrison/ Voice of Hope Ministries)

Alcoholics, Drug Addicts Among Hundreds to Accept Christ at Central Georgia Awakening


First, the government banned singing in churches to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, and then came the recent order to ban indoor church gatherings which have put a halt on church services. 

But Pastor MacArthur points out that it’s the church’s duty to stay open despite recent restrictions by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE FREE CBN NEWS APP 
Click Here Get the App with Special Alerts on Breaking News and Top Stories

“In response to the recent state order requiring churches in California to limit or suspend all meetings indefinitely, 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,” the pastor wrote.

He declared that the church, at its core, is an assembly and that “a non-assembling assembly is a contradiction in terms.”

“As government policy moves further away from biblical principles, and as legal and political pressures against the church intensify, we must recognize that the Lord may be using these pressures as means of purging to reveal the true church,” he wrote.

“Succumbing to governmental overreach may cause churches to remain closed indefinitely. 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.”

Pastor MacArthur explained that God created the biblical framework for humankind which has three foundations: the family, the state, and the church, and each has its own limitations.

“Each has a sphere of authority with jurisdictional limits that must be respected. A father’s authority is limited to his own family. Church leaders’ authority (which is delegated to them by Christ) is limited to church matters,” he said. “And government is specifically tasked with the oversight and protection of civic peace and well-being within the boundaries of a nation or community. God has not granted civic rulers authority over the doctrine, practice, or polity of the church.”

He added, “The biblical order is clear: Christ is Lord over Caesar, not vice versa. Christ, not Caesar, is head of the church. Conversely, the church does not in any sense rule the state. Again, these are distinct kingdoms, and Christ is sovereign over both.”

Read MacArthur’s full statement here.

We encourage readers who wish to comment on our material to do so through our FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Instagram accounts. God bless you and keep you in His truth.

Did you know?

God is everywhere—even in the news. That’s why we view every news story through the lens of faith. We are committed to delivering quality independent Christian journalism you can trust. But it takes a lot of hard work, time, and money to do what we do. Help us continue to be a voice for truth in the media by supporting CBN News for as little as $1.Support CBN News

Steve Martin

STEVE & LAURIE MARTIN - LOVE FOR HIS PEOPLE FOUNDERS My good wife Laurie and I (43 years in October 2020!), through the ministry of Love For His People we founded in 2010, give love and support for our friends in Israel and in other nations with friendship, humanitarian aid, and social media support, along with Steve's NOW THINK ON THIS messages, and our Ahava Adventures annual trips to Israel. Steve has also authored and published 29 books. We live in the Charlotte, NC area, along with four adult children, spouses, and eight grandkids.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: