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California pastor says 'bring it on' after being threatened with jail time for holding in-person services

'I'm open for a jail ministry'

Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Evangelical Pastor John MacArthur says some time behind bars does not scare him, after officials threatened him with incarceration for continuing to hold in-person services at his church in violation of the COVID-19 restrictions.

What are the details?

MacArthur, who leads Grace Community Church in Los Angeles County, told Fox News on Tuesday, "We received a letter with a threat that we could be fined or I could go to jail for a maximum of six months. Of course, my Biblical hero apart from the Lord Jesus Christ is the Apostle Paul, and when he went into a town, he didn't ask what the hotel was like, he asked what the jail was like because he knew that's where he was gonna spend his time."

"So I don't mind being a little apostolic if they want to tuck me in jail," he continued. "I'm open for a jail ministry. I've done a lot of other ministries and haven't had the opportunity to do that one, so bring it on."

According to The Daily Wire, MacArthur added:

"We believe that the governor, the county, the city, and the health department are going against the Constitution. And just to remove one obvious question, the rate of Covid in California is 1/100 of 1%. So 1/100 of 1% of 40 million people have COVID and that eliminates freedom to worship from the entire state."

An earlier report from TheBlaze noted that Grace Community Church reopened for in-person services in late July in defiance of Gov. Gavin Newsom's (D) COVID-19 restrictions. Since then, Los Angeles County has sought to shut the church down with a restraining order and even terminated the church's lease on a parking lot it had rented for the past 30 years.

Pastor MacArthur recently told his congregation in a sermon:

"We've all been suspicious of the fact that we've been meeting together now for weeks and weeks and weeks, and we don't know anyone who's ill. Nobody in our congregation has ever been to the hospital with this. We know there are reasons for this that have nothing to do with the virus. There's another virus loose in the world and it's the virus of deception, and the one who is behind the virus of deception is the arch-deceiver, Satan himself. And it's not a surprise to me that, in the midst of all this deception, the great effort that is going on is to shut down churches that preach the Gospel."
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