California Appeals Court Upholds LA County Ban on Indoor Worship Services
This is a breaking news. Check back for updates
UPDATE: Despite the ruling of the appeals court, Grace Community Church is gathering for worship services this morning.
Los Angeles County lost the first round in its battle to halt worship services at John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church. The county appealed that loss and won Saturday. In a decision handed down by the State of California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Two, the lower court order that would allow Grace Community to conduct indoor worship was overturned.
The Appeals court said it would need time to consider the questions raised by the lawsuit before it could render a full order. It said in its opinion, “Definitively resolving these questions, however, will entail the resolution of difficult questions of law. We certainly cannot resolve them before tomorrow morning’s church services.”
So, while the issues are being decided, the Appeals Court said that LA County can go forward with any bans or enforcement that its Health Office decides appropriate.
According to the court, “As between the harm that flows from the heightened risk of transmitting COVID-19 (namely, ‘serious illness and death’) and the harm that flows from having to conduct religious services outdoors instead of indoors, the balance at this early stage favors issuance of a stay.”
What happens Sunday Morning at Grace Community Church?
Previously, it was planned that had the church conducting indoor services with face masks and social distancing pursuant to the decision of the Superior Court order. That order was celebrated by Grace Community Church lawyer Jenna Ellis. She said it was a victory and was the first court to make clear that Church Is Essential.
John MacArthur praised the earlier ruling and said the church would comply with mask and distancing requirements while the case proceeded in court. He said it was a sign the church was not rebellious.
Will the county attempt to ban worshippers Sunday? Interrupt services? Or simply attempt to fine the church after the service?
Will the church proceed with its planned worship service?
This is a critical moment in US history. What is happening now will determine our liberties for future generations.
We will update as we know more in the saga of LA County’s attack on John MacArthur and Grace Community Church.