Pushing The Envelope on Closing Down Christianity, Newsom’s ‘Tyrannical’ Order Closing California Churches…
California Church Prepares to Face 1,000 Misdemeanor Citations for Worshipping During Lockdown
On Sunday, Rob McCoy, pastor of Godspeak Calvary Chapel, will hold an in-person indoor church service in violation of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D-Calif.) coronavirus order and in violation of a local court’s temporary restraining order. In a video message to parishioners, McCoy encouraged church members to attend the service, warning that the first one thousand will likely “win a prize” — a misdemeanor citation that will go on their records.
“I wish it didn’t have to come to this, I really do, but we will be violating the judge’s order,” McCoy announced. “We will be open this Sunday.”
Judge Matthew P. Guasco issued the temporary restraining order on Friday, prohibiting Godspeak and McCoy from offering indoor services at the church in Newbury Park, a suburb of Los Angeles, Calif. The restraining order lasts until an August 31 hearing when the court will determine whether to replace the temporary order with a preliminary injunction. Government officials sued the church and McCoy for violating coronavirus orders.
The church’s board of elders voted unanimously to continue worship in violation of the order.
“Come to church, and if you’re one of the first thousand, you win a prize. You will get a citation. It will be a misdemeanor,” McCoy warned. “It’ll go on your record; be mindful of that.”
While the court order allows the church to hold services outdoors, McCoy insisted that was not an acceptable solution. He said that there is no close public park large enough to accommodate 1,500 people, that members of the congregation have received death threats so he would rather worship in the church for safety reasons, and that one of the church’s staff members is allergic to sunlight.
“We want to worship God,” McCoy explained.
Many churches in California are fighting back after Newsom’s recent coronavirus orders. The governor first banned singing in indoor religious services and then banned them altogether amid rising coronavirus cases in the state. Grace Community Church and its pastor, John MacArthur, have retained one of President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense lawyers in response to a cease-and-desist letter threatening fines and jail time.
Newsom has reportedly threatened to cut off power to any church that continues to meet in-person. Yet he is facing a large movement of civil disobedience. A network of California churches sued him last month and many churches throughout the state have vowed to hold in-person worship services despite the state ban on gatherings.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts recently sided with the liberals and upheld the State of Nevada’s coronavirus restrictions allowing casinos to remain open while shuttering churches. Justices Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito shredded that decision in powerful dissents, but it remains to be seen whether or not Roberts would reconsider this position in a somewhat similar case.
Religious freedom is a core American principle, and Americans are standing up to defend it. Rabbi Michael Barclay, spiritual leader of Temple Ner Simcha in Westlake Village, Calif., and a friend of Rob McCoy, has called on all Americans of faith to support McCoy’s religious freedom. This battle is about more than just one church in California — it is about the principle that the government cannot prevent Americans from coming together to worship God.
UP-Date 7/28/2020 Will Authorities Cut Water and Electricity to Churches that Defy Newsom’s Shutdown Order?
On Saturday PJ Media reported that Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Calif., had announced it would not comply with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s draconian COVID-19 order shuttering churches in counties that represent 80% of the state’s population:
“We cannot and will not acquiesce to a government-imposed moratorium on our weekly congregational worship or other regular corporate gatherings,” the church, led for the last half-century by Pastor John MacArthur, explained in a statement on its website. “Compliance would be disobedience to our Lord’s clear commands” to meet together for worship. “The church by definition is an assembly,” the pastors and elders of the church explained. “That is the literal meaning of the Greek word for ‘church’—ekklesia—the assembly of the called-out ones.” As a result, “no earthly state has a right to restrict, limit, or forbid the assembling of believers.”
“Therefore, 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,” they wrote.
As promised, the church met for in-person worship on Sunday:
Indeed, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has deemed churches “nonessential” and warned in May that nonessential businesses caught defying shutdown orders could have their water and electricity cut:
Mayor Eric Garcetti expressed frustration and outrage that some nonessential businesses remained open despite coronavirus restrictions and vowed Los Angeles would take action against them.
Garcetti said his office was still receiving daily reports of nonessential businesses that continued to operate as normal — behavior he called “irresponsible and selfish.”
He also announced a “Safer at Home” business-ambassadors initiative that aims to bring about greater compliance from businesses that are ignoring the city’s order to close.
Such businesses should also expect to get a warning call from local prosecutors before the city takes more aggressive action, including turning off their water and power, he said.
On July 13, Gov. Newsom ordered churches in several counties, including Los Angeles County where Grace Community Church is located, closed until further notice.
Most churches chose to abide by COVID-19 orders when the pandemic began, but as the shutdowns continue to drag on, many have lost patience, arguing that Christians cannot do what the Bible commands—meeting publicly, singing together, observing the sacraments, and proclaiming scripture—while obeying the orders of state and local authorities.
John MacArthur’s Calif. Church Will Defy Newsom’s Church Ban: ‘Christ, not Caesar, Is Head of the Church’
In May I wrote about a group of Virginia pastors who implored Gov. Ralph Northam to allow churches to reopen:
“Because corporate worship is central to Christian life, it is extraordinary for churches to forego meeting for even a single Sunday,” they write. “Thus, with each passing week that corporate worship is banned, as churches stand ready to implement reasonable public-health precautions, the government pushes Christians closer to the point where they must choose to sin against God and conscience or violate the law.”
“Ultimately, as Christians, we are compelled to obey God’s law (Acts 5:29),” they say, citing the Commonwealth’s Constitution, Virginia’s Act for Religious Freedom, and Virginian James Madison, who said, “It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.”
“The ban on corporate worship prevents Christians who believe that Holy Scripture commands them to assemble for worship (Hebrews 10:24-25) from acting as their consciences – and God Himself – dictates,” they add.
The ongoing ban puts churches in a tough position. Most churches have chosen to abide by the stay-at-home order, with many of them offering streaming services, but most have acknowledged that the situation is untenable and cannot go on indefinitely.
“Corporate worship is commanded by Scripture and has been a foundational element of Christian life for nearly 2,000 years,” the pastors explain. “Alternatives such as live-streamed services and ‘drive-through’ worship are not adequate substitutes to the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-27) united together in corporate worship.”
Virginia has since allowed churches to reopen with strict social distancing protocols, but in other states, including Nevada, where a group of churches is suing the state, churches are subject to attendance limits or other untenable rules. The Supreme Court ruled on Friday that Nevada was within its rights to cap the number of attendees at worship services in a 5-4 decision that saw Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the liberals on the court. Justice Neil Gorsuch issued a scathing rebuke in his short-but-sweet dissent:
This is a simple case. Under the Governor’s edict, a 10- screen “multiplex” may host 500 moviegoers at any time. A casino, too, may cater to hundreds at once, with perhaps six people huddled at each craps table here and a similar number gathered around every roulette wheel there. Large numbers and close quarters are fine in such places. But churches, synagogues, and mosques are banned from admitting more than 50 worshippers—no matter how large the building, how distant the individuals, how many wear face masks, no matter the precautions at all.
In Nevada, it seems, it is better to be in entertainment than religion. Maybe that is nothing new. But the First Amendment prohibits such obvious discrimination against the exercise of religion. The world we inhabit today, with a pandemic upon us, poses unusual challenges. But there is no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Caesars Palace over Calvary Chapel.
At least two pastors have already been arrested for flouting shutdown orders (see here and here), and while it hasn’t come to that yet in California, the threat of action against churches that disobey government COVID-19 orders looms large.
For Christians, suffering and persecution are to be expected. God has seen fit to allow Jesus-worshippers in the U.S. to largely escape the harsh conditions faced by Christians throughout most of Christendom, but as we’ve seen in recent months, our freedoms can be wiped away with the stroke of a pen. This time it’s a global pandemic that has our church doors closed. What will the excuse be next year?
Prediction: If Democrats take control of the Senate and presidency in November we’ll see a public health crisis declared to aid and abet transgenderism and gender confusion. What will your church do when ordered to either modify doctrinal positions on human sexuality or shut down? Now’s the time to be thinking through how we’ll respond when the real persecution begins.
On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) issued a new order closing all “INDOOR OPERATIONS” for fitness centers, hair salons, malls, “non-critical” offices, and places of worship including churches, in 30 California counties that include roughly 80 percent of the state’s population. The country was the first to lock down in March, but by late April, Newsom had begun allowing some businesses and activities to resume. His rules for churches have often been particularly harsh, and he instituted a ban on singing in houses of worship on July 1.
Newsom mentioned “places of worship” second on his list of establishments that must “CLOSE INDOOR OPERATIONS.”
Sean Feucht, a missionary activist whose “Let Us Worship” petition has garnered more than 14,000 signatures, condemned Newsom’s latest lockdown as a “tyrannical overreach.”
“Silencing the church seems to be one of his main agendas,” Feucht said of Newsom. “This is insane, what a tyrannical overreach of the government! What an infringement on our Constitution and our free liberty to worship God. We are standing up; this is insane. There’ll be more news to come.”
Speaking about the church singing ban earlier on Monday, Feucht admitted that church gatherings might spread coronavirus.
“I’m sure that you can track COVID-19 to various church gatherings just as much as you could to Costco or going to Home Depot,” the church leader said. “There was this kind of target on the backs of churches.
“We want to have freedom of religion in this nation to worship our God,” Feucht insisted.
While the 9th Circuit Court upheld Newsom’s restrictions on churches, the governor loosened them after 1,200 California pastors signed a “Declaration of Essentiality,” announcing that they would open their churches Pentecost, May 31.
The “Let Us Worship” petition
Feucht’s “Let Us Worship” petition rallies Christians to speak up for their religious freedom.
The fervor to worship God free from government edict and societal persecution drove America’s earliest settlers across oceans and wild frontiers to this beautiful land to create a new nation built on a simple premise that all men are created equal and cannot be denied their inalienable rights to life and liberty.
But our freedom to worship God and obey His Word has come under unprecedented attack. Influential politicians and social media giants have engaged in unchartered abuses of religious liberty, silencing the faithful, banning our voices, and outright attacking our God-given right to declare His goodness.
States across America, including here in California, have shut down church services and even outlawed singing in Church. Instagram and Twitter are censoring Christian voices every single day. And every hour that passes, they grow bolder in their efforts to silence the faithful.
It’s time for the Church to rise with one voice and tell our government leaders and the rulers of big tech that we refuse to be silenced!
After Newsom announced his new coronavirus lockdown orders, #RecallGavin2020 started trending on Twitter.
As massive protests and riots broke out across the country following the horrific police killing of George Floyd, Newsom condemned the looting and violence, but he praised the protests, even though they presented a vector for the spread of coronavirus.
Coronavirus cases have risen by 48 percent in California during the past two weeks, while hospitalizations have increased by 40 percent, Fox News reported.
Church is essential
While Newsom’s new lockdown order does not single out churches for specific restrictions, it does treat the Church as non-essential. Yet as the pastors who signed the “Declaration of Essentiality” explained, religious services perform an essential role during trying times like pandemics.
The coronavirus crisis and resulting lockdowns have caused confusion and depression. In Knox County, Tenn., for instance, more people died from suicide than from COVID-19 over a week. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll found 45 percent of adults say the pandemic has affected their mental health, while the Disaster Distress Helpline reported an 891 percent increase in March 2020 over the previous March.
“The mandated closure of religious organizations has a significant and detrimental secondary effect on the citizens of California. For example, the closure of religious organizations prevents the numerous ministries and social services provided by churches to the poor, unemployed, and distressed. The humanitarian and spiritual support provided by ministries are innumerable,” the Declaration of Essentiality argues.”The religious services of ministries are essential to the health and welfare of the people of California.”
A recent JAMA Psychiatry study found that “religious service attendance is associated with a lower risk of death from despair among registered nurses and health care professionals. These results may be important in understanding trends in deaths from despair in the general population.”
As a Christian, I believe churches unite people with God. But even in a secular sense, religious worship binds people together in community and gives them a vital sense of meaning and purpose that helps bolster them in trying times. While some restrictions may make sense, Newsom appears to have dismissed churches as non-essential after dictating how people will worship in them — by outlawing singing.
Just who, exactly, does the governor of California think he is?
Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) Belial…
In several places in the Bible there are references to worthless persons (Deut. 13:13; Judg. 19:22; 20:13; 1 Sam. 25:17; 1 Ki. 21:9-13; Prov. 6:12-14; 16:27; 19:28; Nah. 1:11). The term worthless translates the Hebrew בְּלִיָּעַל belial, which occurs 27 times in Scripture. The word means “Uselessness, wickedness…good for nothing.” These are people whom God designates as worthless because they continually resist His will and disrupt the activities of His people.
The World Is In Big Trouble, for Those That Believe We Will Go Back to Some Sense of Normal Life Here on Earth, You Will Be Sadly Disappointed, Seven and Half Years of Hell on Earth Which Began January 1, 2020
“Our courts oppose the righteous, and justice is nowhere to be found. Truth stumbles in the streets, and honesty has been outlawed” (Isa. 59:14, NLT)…We Turned Our Backs On GOD, Now We Have Been Left To Our Own Devices, Enjoy…
While Mainstream Media Continues to Push a False Narrative, Big Tech Has Keep the Truth From Coming out by Shadow Banning Conservatives, Christians, and Like-Minded People, Those Death Attributed to the Coronavirus Is a Result of Those Mentioned, They Truly Are Evil…
Watchmen does not confuse truth with consensus The Watchmen does not confuse God’s word with the word of those in power…
In police-state fashion, Big Tech took the list of accused (including this site), declared all those named guilty and promptly shadow-banned, de-platformed or de-monetized us all without coming clean about how they engineered the crushing of dissent, Now more than ever big Tech has exposed there hand engaging in devious underhanded tactics to make the sinister look saintly, one of Satan’s greatest weapons happens to be deceit…
The accumulating death toll from Covid-19 can be seen minute-by-minute on cable news channels. But there’s another death toll few seem to care much about: the number of poverty-related deaths being set in motion by deliberately plunging millions of Americans into poverty and despair.
American health care, as we call it today, and for all its high-tech miracles, has evolved into one of the most atrocious rackets the world has ever seen. By racket, I mean an enterprise organized explicitly to make money dishonestly.
All the official reassurances won’t be worth a bucket of warm spit. The Globals are behind the CoronaVirus, It Is a Man-Made Bioweapon.
For those of you who care, Google and your favorite social media platforms have misled you, and now we all pay a heavy price for trusting the ungodly, Google and company knew exactly what they were doing, removing our history while preparing you to accept the New World Order playbook, Enjoy
The number of Orphans aging out of Child Protective Custody has grown at an alarming rate. The 127 Faith Foundation receives many requests each week to house them at our ranch. Our prayer is that the good people of our country will step up to the challenge and offer financial support for "the least among us." We need your help! StevieRay Hansen, Founder, The 127 Faith Foundation
Hunted by the Mob, Found by Christ
The gripping memoirs of the founder of HNewsWire. A binge-worthy afternoon read.
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