John MacArthur and Grace Community Church‘s annual men’s Shepherds’ Conference that draws upwards of 3000 attendees announced last Friday that they are postponing the conference citing continuing California government threats.
In the past year due to the pandemic churches across the nation have had to make hard decisions to follow or not to follow guidelines and restrictions their states have placed on businesses and places of worship attempting to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Grace Community Church has been in the national news since Pastor John MacArthur expressed in a statement last July 2020 that the state does not nor should have authority to close churches. MacArthur said, “As pastors and elders, we cannot hand over to earthly authorities any privilege or power that belongs solely to Christ as head of His church.”
Since then Pastor MacArthur and Grace Community Church have been fined, sued, and harassed by Los Angeles County and the state of California due to their restrictions they released statewide attempting to control the spread of the Coronavirus for refusing to close the doors on their indoor worship services.
The Shepherds’ Conference announcement said the County of Los Angeles and the State of California have threatened the conference if they met. Postponing, not canceling gives them time to seek answers from key health officers and county officials for their oppressive actions.
The statement reiterated Grace Community Church’s commitment “to the truth that Christ is the head of the Church and we will not yield to government’s infringement upon the biblical command to worship and gather together.”
A recent ruling from the Supreme Court of the United States granted churches in California to resume indoor worship services but still have to follow the statewide guidelines of only 25% capacity and no signing or chanting.
Read the official statement from their website below:
In light of our ongoing litigation and recent threats from the County of Los Angeles and the State of California, we have decided that the most prudent course of action at this time is to postpone the Shepherds’ Conference. We will be deposing the key health officers and county officials and requiring them to answer for their oppressive actions under oath, and requesting all documents and information supporting their arbitrary attempts to restrict our religious liberty as a church. Our church leadership remains firmly committed to the truth that Christ is the head of the Church, and we will not yield to government’s infringement upon the biblical command to worship and gather together. We intend to steadfastly defend this truth and obtain appropriate constitutional and legal protections and further relief from the Court.