Sun Valley church refuses to close despite pandemic

Some churches are holding services that are not necessarily following the updated COVID-19 restrictions.

One church in Sun Valley says they answer to a higher power than Governor Newsom. 

"Christ, not Cesar is Head of the Church” says Grace Community Church Pastor John MacArthur, referring to Governor Newsom’s order banning religious services in churches or singing. 

It seems that quite a few churches in Southern California are defying the amended COVID-19 restrictions.

On July 26th hundreds of people showed up at the Sun Valley church auditorium, even though it was being broadcast live. No one tried to stop them from sitting next to one another, or even singing, which the Governor has directly addressed as a problem, when it comes to possible transmission.

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Meanwhile in Huntington Beach, weekly beach revivals are drawing hundreds of people to baptisms, organized by Saturate OC, a group that includes about 60 churches according to co-founder Parker Green.

“Giving up civil liberties is far more dangerous than a virus with less than 2% mortality rate as far as we know,” said Green.

“If the Governor is going to allow, even encourage, protesters gathering with Black Lives Matter, then he might want to consider our services a protest and let us be.”

He and most pastors we talked to insist they are not being purposely difficult, but after months of closures and following restriction orders, they are worrying more about the mental status of their members, than the disease.

“More people I believe are dying from the lockdowns than COVID itself, suicide is 400% up in California,” Green added.

Grace Community Church agrees and says their decision is about more than the first amendment. 

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A statement they posted online says “We do not need the state’s permission to serve and worship our lord as he has commanded. The right we are appealing to was not created by the constitution…”

They go on to say that if the governor is going to allow protests, then their services can also be considered as a protest. 

It seems they are “over the back and forth”, as they say and plan to continue putting their services on social media and instilling safety in their events, while answering to a higher power than Governor Newsom.

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