Los Angeles Pastor John MacArthur's message in a new viral video is crystal clear: Open your churches.
What are the details?
MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church in Los Angeles, released a video Wednesday detailing why he believes church is essential and should be opened.
Grace Community Church reopened for in-person services in July, defying California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom's COVID-19 restrictions. In response, Los Angeles County sought a court order to prohibit the church from meeting indoors. By August, however, a California Superior Court judge said the church could continue to hold indoor services as long as worshippers wear face coverings and practice social distancing.
In Wednesday's widely viewed video, MacArthur argued that churches and parishioners across the country should band together in an effort to take back church amid the COVID-19 pandemic because it should be as God commanded.
In the video, MacArthur — who was recently in the news after local authorities threatened to jail him for holding in-person church services — said that the Bible calls Christians to gather.
"Today's current crop of politicians are trampling on the Constitution and on the resolve of citizens to demand their rights under the pressure of a manufactured fear," MacArthur said. "The reality is that the COVID data just doesn't match the government's COVID narrative."
Without citing any specific research, MacArthur added, "You have a 99.99 percent chance to survive COVID. It's just not what they're saying it is."
MacArthur insisted that what he chalks up to as hype and paranoia is keeping much of the country shut down.
"That absolutely does not warrant shutting down anything," he continued. "But especially, absurdly, and arbitrarily, churches that have a special protection from the Constitution. Oh, and at the same time, leaving open abortion clinics, strip clubs, and marijuana dispensaries."
MacArthur added that Black Lives Matter demonstrations and subsequent riots also don't seem to be considered as "dangerous" as attending church services when it comes to the opinions of health officials.
"This is obviously targeted discrimination," he added. "Leftists and secular government officials have no tolerance for biblical Christianity, so they're using COVID as an excuse to shut us down."
He impressed the importance of remaining united as Christians, reminding viewers that "the church is essential," and pointed out that parishioners began showing up to his church in person, on their own accord, after a 20-week lockdown because "they didn't believe the narrative the local government and media were giving them."
In the video, MacArthur argued that the need to meet as a church is more important than ever.
"This is a watershed moment in America," he concluded. "We have been granted by God the freedom to meet as a church, and that is protected by the Constitution. We need to be the church, not only because we're free to be the church, but because we're commanded to be the church by the Lord Jesus Christ, the head of the church. This is a time of all times to meet as the church. Open your church. The church is essential."
At the time of this reporting, the video, which MacArthur shared on his Twitter page, has been viewed more than 475,000 times.
OPEN YOUR CHURCH. Hebrews 10:25; Matthew 16:18 #ChurchIsEssential https://t.co/CH28pwcWpL— John MacArthur (@John MacArthur)1602088304.0
(H/T: The Daily Wire)