John MacArthur, the pastor of Grace Community Church in California declared to keep his church open for in-person services despite the coronavirus ban.
"Compliance would be disobedience to our Lord's clear commands," MacArthur said.
Pastor John MacArthur referred to the bible to support his decision, "Christ is Lord of all. He is the true head of the church (Ephesians 1:11; 5:23; Colossians 1:18)
"Insofar as government authorities do not attempt to assert ecclesiastical authority or issue orders that forbid our obedience to God's law, their authority is to be obeyed whether we agree with their rulings or not. In other words, Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2 still bind the consciences of individual Christians. We are to obey our civil authorities as powers that God Himself has ordained," MacArthur wrote.
MacArthur claimed the government officials have no right to interfere in religious matters "in a way that undermines or disregards the God-given authority of pastors and elders."
MacArthur implies that he holds "God-given" authority as a pastor and argues, "God has not granted civic ruler authority over the doctrine, practice, or polity of the church. The biblical framework limits the authority of each institution to its specific jurisdiction."
MacArthur added that he would like to complain to the civic leaders that they have "exceeded their legitimate jurisdiction" and that his "faithfulness to Christ" keeps him from abiding by the coronavirus restrictions.
On July 13, Gov. Newsom ordered churches, fitness centers, and various businesses across 30 California counties to close with leaving exceptions of outside activities with open ventilation or pick-up services.