Pastor John MacArthur says he'll 'obey God rather than men' on coronavirus closures

John MacArthur(Photo: YouTube/Grace Community Church)

Pastor John MacArthur has said he is prepared to be faithful to God instead of the authorities in California, which went into lockdown for a second time last month.

MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church, in Sun Valley, has been threatened with fines and even arrest for resisting lockdown orders by continuing to hold in-person services. 

In a video message to his congregation, MacArthur suggested he was ready to face the consequences. 

"We will obey God rather than men," MacArthur said.

"We're going to be faithful to the Lord and we're going to leave the results to Him.

"Whatever happens is going to be what He allows to happen. But He will be on our side because we will be obedient and faithful to His word.

"We will not bow to Caesar.  The Lord Jesus Christ is our king."

Religion News Service reports that local health officials are "investigating and will be reaching out to the church leaders to let them know they need to comply with the Health Officer Order".

MacArthur said that although he doesn't know "what the Lord has for us", the church is going to continue meeting on Sundays.

"We will meet as the church of Jesus Christ because we're commanded to do that," he said.

"We will sing, we will pray, we will fellowship, we will proclaim the Word of God far and wide and even around the world through this livestream opportunity that we have." 

Reflecting on some churches that have decided to shutter for the rest of the year, MacArthur said that pastors who took such drastic action "don't know what a church is and they don't shepherd their people".

He went on to say: "And you have a lot of people in Christianity, who seem to be significant leaders, who aren't giving any strength and courage to the church, they're not standing up and rising up and calling on Christians to be the church in the world as I said on Sunday."