— Paige Patterson (@_PPatterson_) August 6, 2020
“Every evangelical Christian and every lover of liberty needs to send a communication to Governor Newsom and suggest respectfully, but forcefully, that he refrain from interfering further with Grace Community Church or any other group of God’s people gathered for worship. Then, each should also send an encouraging word to MacArthur, a rare preacher with conviction, who is standing courageously in an apostate era.”
Nonsense. The Governor has a plain, no-nonsense duty to interfere when a church, on either civil or ecclesiastical grounds, puts public safety at hazard.
Ecclesiastical? Is child sacrifice permitted nowadays, or stoning faithless wives and gays, or summary execution of impudent children? Nope. Several states, and countries throughout the world, have outlawed gay conversion therapy because it’s not merely wrongheaded, but cruel. Even the ritual sacrifice of animals by Santeria, and the kosher slaughter of animals, are policed to assure minimal suffering.
It is long and well-established that the public sector may, indeed, interfere in ecclesiastical matters when it entails Bronze Age cruelties.
Civil matters? That church building was built according to very specific design standards. So, too, the management of effluent and, even, the number of parking spaces. It has a maximum occupancy rating, and the church is subject to the imposition of fines if it fails to observe that maximum occupancy. The state may condemn the building outright if it is found to be structurally deficient.
The state has every right on earth to temporarily prohibit the use of the building to protect public health and safety.
I don’t believe for an instant that either Paige Patterson or John MacArthur is so stupid that they don’t know that. I think what is going on is that revenues are way down — I mean, w-a-a-a-y down — and now they’re trying to rally the morons to the pews with gaudy talk about freedom and persecution of beleaguered Godly folk. And if they catch a fatal sickness? Why … they’ve been called home to Big Daddy, don’t you know? They’re the lucky ones!
Personally, if these pitiful fools didn’t endanger innocent bystanders, I’d be all for them going to church and howling and bellowing — and good riddance.