Round 1: John MacArthur, Grace Community Church win first battle in LA court
A California judge refused to close Grace Community Church in a blow to Los Angeles County’s attempt to end indoor worship service at the church. The victory was announced by John MacArthur and Grace Community Church lawyer Jenna Ellis. Ellis said this decision is a historic victory and the state court judge recognized that Church is Essential.
According to lawyer Jenna Ellis, “BREAKING w/@PaulJonna: An HISTORIC WIN today for @johnmacarthur and @GraceComChurch! Judge allows indoor services with singing and no attendance cap! Church agrees to adhere to mask and social distancing until full hearing. FIRST CA Court to recognize #ChurchIsEssential!”
No doubt this is an important victory. It keeps the church services going while the legal process rolls along.
There appears to be some compromise in the resolution today as the church will require social distancing and mask rules while the legal battles advance in state court. In the last two weeks of services, there were few if any masks worn by the congregation.
Today’s hearing in Los Angeles court was prompted by a Thursday move by attorneys representing the Los Angeles County. The attorneys sought a restraining order to prevent worship at the church.
Ellis told Todd Starnes, “They are targeting churches,” she said. “We got a notice from the county attorney that the county is now seeking an order for a temporary restraining order…They are seeking a total shutdown…The county is trying to force the church to comply with their health mandates.”
The county claimed otherwise.
“The county took this action reluctantly, after working with the church for several weeks in hopes of gaining voluntary compliance with the Health Officer Orders, which allow for religious services to be held outdoors in order to slow the spread of a deadly and highly contagious virus,” the county said in a statement published by the LA Times.
There are other legal battles to watch in California over the coming days and weeks and the suit involving John MacArthur and Grace Community Church is long from over.