John MacArthur: ‘We are not meeting because we want to be rebellious. We are meeting because our Lord has commanded us to come together and worship Him.’

Grace Community Church and Pastor John MacArthur defied Los Angeles, California tyrants and held worship services Sunday morning. The service took place after a crazy week of legal activities that saw the church win Round 1 in local Superior Court and then lose Round 2 in a late Saturday night Appeals Court decision. However, a large crowd showed up Sunday morning mostly without masks and without social distancing.

And the church sent a message. It would meet to follow God’s commands and not man’s rules.

Dr. John MacArthur stressed the church meeting was not out of a rebellious motive but a desire to obey God.

“We are having church,” MacArthur said to thunderous applause. “It is actually hard to figure out exactly what the city is trying to do to us and with us, but we know they don’t want us to do exactly what we are doing right now. We are not meeting because we want to be rebellious. We are meeting because our Lord has commanded us to come together and worship Him.”

After detailing some of the legal developments over the last week, MacArthur was blunt about how the City and County are working to prevent the church from gathering.

“They are not willing to work with us,” MacArthur said. “They just want to shut us down. But we are here to bring honor to the Lord.”

MacArthur then said the church must pray for the salvation of our political leaders.

Yes. We must all pray for our leaders.

We must also follow MacArthur’s example and defy tyrants.

We should follow the examples of history. We must do as William of Orange and pledge to defend our liberties and the faith from all who wish to destroy these precious gifts.[1]

We must defy these Leftist Tyrants in California and throughout America.

What is Tyranny?

Tyranny is any action by a governing authority outside its jurisdiction.

Governments have two sources of authority. First, God ordained government for our good and thus act as God’s servant (Romans 13:4). Second, government is formed by society through some means and is invested with authority typically through some type of Constitution. In the United States, each state and the federal government have their own constitutions which outline their powers and limitations. The US Constitution has a Bill of Rights that over time limits not only the federal government but also the states.

The question of if the government possesses the power to limit or modify how and when churches worship is a theological question debated by conservative, orthodox Christians; however, there is general agreement that Christians must “obey God rather than men,” (Acts 5:29). Banning worship for a limited period is much different than months up on months of worship bans while abortion clinics, liquor stores and riots proceed unchecked by the state.

It is clear: California favors some groups and persecutes Christians.

Also, when a leader or government ignores the Constitution then its orders are no longer valid. As American citizens our loyalty is not to men but to the Rule of Law—law established by the consent of the people and detailed in our Founding documents.

A plain reading of these documents make clear that the state has no such draconian powers to ban church meetings while allowing riots, protests and other favored activities.

Leftist Tyrants are attempting to create a new order. This new order is being forced upon the people without their consent and ignoring the constitutional protections and privileges.

We must dissent.

We must resist.

We must defy tyrants.

We must maintain the liberties of our people and the faith once for all delivered to the saints.

The time to act is now.

[1] William of Orange’s motto Je Maintiendrai (I will maintain) was joined with the slogans The Liberties of England and the Protestant Religion during the Glorious Revolution.

12 thoughts on “In Defiance of Tyrants: John MacArthur & Grace Community Church”

  1. Governments have two sources of authority? Certainly this conflicts with biblical revelation such as Romans 13/1 Peter 2. Consequently, Romans 13 answers the question of hierarchy in that it is addressed directly to the church and commands them to submit to the civil government —godless Rome at the time of writing. Submission to civil government IS submission to God. It is obvious JM does not like ceding this to the state and is therefore unwilling to flex church gatherings in response to an acknowledged global pandemic. JM is setting an example of insubordination. As such he is acting in defiance of the clear Word of God, the Word which also warns of condemnation for the rebel. As for freedom of religion, I would assume California has an exception clause in the case of public health and safety. I know my state of Virginia does.

    1. Yes, government has two sources. It has the ultimate source (God) and then the source of the society that empowers it to act on its behalf. Further, when and if government commands contradict God or God-given rights or government violates its own contract with the people (in our case the Constitution), then obedience is no longer necessary and in fact–to serve Christ and also be a patriot one must disobey those tyrants.

      As for the clear Word of God, Romans 13 does not require unquestioned obedience. The Greek in play actually has multiple meanings and is used to show mutual obligation (see CEB Cranfield’s 2-volume commentary on Romans for more on the actual text…)

      1. I respect your position as I am a Virginian and it is the heritage of every Virginian to have an aversion to tyrants. It is posted on our state flag and the motto of Jefferson’s personal seal is well known – “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” However I am a Christian first and recognize this as contrary to the Word of God. 1 Peter 2:18 tells us, “Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust.” Would Christ have servants be subject to tyrants, yet all others follow a different rule? Consider the example of Israel groaning in Egypt. The LORD never had them protest or rebel against Pharaoh, but instead waited for him to give the word that they might worship the LORD as commanded. The Church — addressed specifically in Romans — was probably under the tyranny of Nero at the time of its writing. They were told told to submit to Caesar. Truth is, much of our rebel tradition is flat out wrong, and John MacArthur may go to prison if he continues to defy God’s Word. This is hard to accept because he otherwise has a reputation for faithfulness to Scripture. We should not lend him assistance to be jailed by thus supporting him. On the contrary he needs to be convinced of the error of his way. “And whosoever shall compel you to go a mile, go with him two.”

        1. Well stated. Thank you for a concise, clear, and appropriate response that is supported by scripture. Our appearance to the world as living our faith and obedience to God’s scripture is priceless.

  2. I hope he realizes that he can be put in prison for allowing the flock to cross contaminate each other! The liqour stores are a “walk in, walk out” business so COVID really doesn’t have a chance in that situation. Abortion clinics are a bit more dicey, they SHOULD BE HELD TO THE HIGHEST SANITATION STANDARDS because of the natird of the proceedures that occur there. Allowing massive outdoor gatherings and NOT churc is more than a bit hypocritical! Yes his flock should be wearing masks and social distancing during the services, these are mostly senior citizens too so COVID will hit them the worst. Can’t John simply meet with the Governor of the State and set an appropriate reopening time? Truth is, this COVID might last a few years plus can’t John simply broadcast his sermons over TV, Radio and the Internet? California and John MacArthur don’t have to be absurd about this. They need to meet in the middle on this issue.

  3. Very well done. Pastor MacArthur needs to stand up to this tyranny. The government has embellished and altered to worsen the affects of Covid19 and will not mention that 96% of the people who get the virus LIVE. Please continue.

  4. They will continue to play the “extenuating circumstances” card, and say that certain sections of the constitution must be temporarily suspended, like in times of war. They will have their creative lawyers say that this is a “war” against a silent killer. This will be a tough fight. But we DO have to obey God.

  5. I am not generally a John MacArthur fan. I am not a “hard core Calvanist,” and I would disagree with him on numerous topics in that regard. That said, I am in full agreement with John in this stance he is taking against the obvious tyranny in California. If John is wrong, then the USA is wrong. This country was founded for the purpose of breaking away from tyranny and setting up a Constitutional Republic so her citizens could live free lives. Governor Newsome has violated every law in the book concerning Religious Freedom while encouraging terrorism through Marxist-led BLM and Antifa groups who riot and burn the countryside.
    When a governor allows wicked liquor stores to remain open, abortion clinics to go about merrily killing unborn babies and encouraging riots by violent, Marxist led groups while refusing to allow churches to meet; that governor is a tyrant and should be removed from office; no matter his political party or affiliation. Adolph Hitler was able to convince Germans that concentration camps were a good thing by lies and deception, much the same as Newsome is doing in California. He must not be allowed to prevail.
    This is one time that I would gladly attend MacArthur’s church and proudly stand with this man of God, regardless of our differences which don’t matter much in light of eternity and in light of tyranny in this country.

  6. It’s interesting how many secular people and Christians have discovered Romans 13. Suddenly, people who have no problem discounting the Biblical account of creation or try to justify voting for politicians who support abortion now are appealing to Biblical authority to make their case against a pastor seeking to do his job.

    With regard to Romans 13, we are absolutely to submit to the governing authorities. We are a nation of laws made by elected representatives. However, in this case, no laws have been made. So isn’t the local government acting outside its authority, especially when it comes to establishment punishment, fines and jail time for non-compliance?

    We also have a hierarchy of laws, local, state, and federal. So what is the highest law of the land? Is it not the Constitution of the United States. This law trumps all others. And the first Amendment prevents government from infringing on citizens’ freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion. All of these, to say nothing of due process, are wrapped up in this case.

    Are Christians to submit to governing authorities? Yes, and we start with the highest law of the land.

Comments are closed.