'I Will Go To Jail Before I Close My Church': Pastors Prepare For Battle With CA Gov. Newsom
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Cities and communities across the country have been damaged and destroyed as some protests have turned into riots.
When it comes to coronavirus and stopping the spread, it has become apparent that riots and protesting are acceptable but attending church is too dangerous.
Now, church leaders in California say they are willing to risk everything -- even if that means going to jail.
When California Gov. Gavin Newsom in July announced revamped restrictions on worship, churches statewide resisted, drawing the attention of pastors nationwide as they prepare for a renewed struggle over church closures.
Newsom’s restrictions require all churches to suspend singing during services and most to hold their churches outside. Citing already burdensome restrictions placed on them in the spring, many church leaders refused to comply, most notably John MacArthur, a celebrity pastor who declared in a Sunday sermon that “Christ, not Caesar, is head of the church.”
MacArthur’s sermon won widespread approval from many evangelicals. Greg Locke, a Tennessee pastor with a large social media following, in a video this week cited MacArthur to make clear to his congregation that he has no plans to close again if shutdowns return to the state.
“Churches should be open,” he said. “There should be no excuses. I will go to jail before I close my church.”
Locke said in a statement that his decisions arose from a refusal to “live in constant fear and media hysteria.”
Several churches in California sued Newsom after he banned indoor services. Others have outright ignored the orders, holding demonstrations to protest alleged attacks on religious liberty.
Churches across the country have also cited the obvious double-standard, where liberal leaders are allowing mass protests but threatening to jail anyone who dares to open their church for service.
“This whole scheme is preposterous,” wrote Christopher Ferrara, the attorney for the churches. “America has never seen anything like it. Murphy is making up rules as he goes along. Meanwhile, almost no one in New Jersey is dying on account of the virus.”