John MacArthur and Grace Community Church in California won another round in the law courts on Thursday, along with the right to gather on Sundays without government interference.
The issue stemmed from a request by Los Angeles County to hold Grace Community Church and MacArthur in contempt of court and fined for meeting indoors for church on Sunday. State and city restrictions prohibit indoor gatherings, although churches can congregate outdoors.
Thursday’s ruling by Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff ruled the church and pastor cannot be held in contempt of court because there is no court order preventing the congregation from meeting.
It is uncertain if Los Angeles County will be filing an appeal with an appellate court. Los Angeles Country did file an appeal after a lower court judge initially sided with the church. Last weekend, the church believed that it could to meet after the judge’s order only to lose it at the appeals court.
Jenna Ellis, special counsel for Thomas More Society, said in a statement, “LA County continues to harass and target Pastor MacArthur. Having failed to get a court order to shut down the church they have sought three times, they’re going to try again by hauling us back into court. Ironically, LA County said in its application for contempt that, ‘Grace Church cannot thumb its nose at the court when decisions don’t go its way,’ yet that’s precisely what LA County is now doing themselves.”
Ellis further says that they will continue to defend their client’s rights because the church is essential. John MacArthur and the elders couldn’t agree more.
Grace Community Church is asking supporters to contact the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and convey your sentiment that the church is indeed essential.