A California court has once again sided with Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church, denying the County of Los Angeles’ renewed application for a temporary restraining order against the church for holding indoor worship services amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In California Superior Court on Tuesday, Judge Mitchell Beckloff concluded that the county’s attempt to obtain a restraining order did not meet statutory requirements and that the Court of Appeals’ order did not justify a new temporary restraining order.
The next scheduled hearing on the original lawsuit filed by the church against the county and the countersuit filed by the county against the church will take place Sept. 4.
“This was their fourth unsuccessful attempt to obtain a court order prohibiting indoor worship services at Grace Community Church,” Thomas More Society Special Counsel Paul Jonna said. “We look forward to fully vindicating our clients’ constitutionally protected rights in subsequent proceedings for this important case.”
County officials had attempted to get a court order to shutter MacArthur’s Sun Valley-based church, which has been holding in-person worship services since last month in violation of orders from Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has mandated that churches in some counties refrain from indoor services amid the pandemic.
MacArthur argued that after 63 years of “sacrificial, kindness to our city,” to be repeatedly threatened with court-ordered efforts to shut the church down when no one is sick “reveals an inexplicable preference for a mostly harmless virus over the life-enriching and necessary fellowship of the church.”
“Our leaders and congregation see no real health threat to warrant such restraint. We see this action against us as an illegitimate misuse of power,” he concluded.
Full story at Christian Post.