Yesterday, California megachurch leader John MacArthur held another massive in-person service at his Grace Community Church, rejecting a lot of sensible advice on how to prevent the spread of COVID. This is the same guy who recently said compliance with the law “would be disobedience to our Lord’s clear commands.”
Not only did MacArthur fill up his 3,500-seat church, he released a video condemning pastors who aren’t meeting in person as not real Christians.
… I’ll tell you what is disappointing to me… churches are shutting down! Large churches shutting down until, they say, January! I don’t have any way to understand that other than they don’t know what a church is, and they don’t shepherd their people, but that’s sad. 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…
MacArthur is presumably referring to megachurch pastors who have already announced they won’t hold in-person services again until 2021. Those churches made the responsible decision to focus on their online offerings while hosting only small groups in person, where there’s much more control over masks and distancing.
MacArthur, on the other hand, doesn’t care who gets infected. Apparently, church doesn’t “count” and God can’t hear you unless you show up to his building, where you’ll be surrounded by a bunch of strangers and breathing in that shared air… but where you can also make cash contributions to the church with the requisite peer presure.
By the way, it wasn’t just that video. MacArthur said the same things to his congregation yesterday:
During Sunday’s sermon, MacArthur suggested that churches that close are not true churches. “There has never been a time when the world didn’t need the message of the true church,” he said. “I have to say, ‘true church.’ I hate to think of that, but there’s so many false forms of the church. Let them shut down.”
The congregation laughed then cheered.
Hilarious. I’m sure it’ll be even funnier when MacArthur is delivering that sermon to someone dying in a hospital bed due to his negligence.