Throughout the Bible — and through all of history, for that matter — God's people have suffered and have been imprisoned or even killed for worshipping Him or reading His Word. They have been attacked, mocked and jailed by tyrannical rulers intent upon silencing them.
But despite incredible pressure, these faithful believers pressed into the Lord, even when earthly authorities tried to tear them away. Like the Apostle Paul, not even the threat of prison or death stopped them from spreading the Good News.
Some pastors in America are encountering the early stages of the same age-old threat, right now and right here in a country founded upon Judeo-Christian values — a country whose founding charter was designed to protect the right of people to worship as they please, and not as a government official directs.
In Ventura County, CA, on Tuesday the attorney for the county demanded that Pastor Rob McCoy be THROWN IN JAIL for opening his church this past Sunday. What's more, the county attorney also requested that the judge order ARMED POLICE OFFICERS TO BLOCK ENTRY TO THE CHURCH so that no worshippers could enter.
Thankfully, the judge overseeing the case denied the county attorney's request for the time being.
Instead, the judge scheduled a new hearing, giving Pastor McCoy until August 21 to "show cause" as to why he should not be found in contempt of court, fined and jailed – all for exercising his God-given and First Amendment-guaranteed right to worship.
In Pasadena, CA, yesterday we appeared in court to defend Pastor Ché Ahn, Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry, and 162 other California-based churches. Immediately after the Obama-appointed judge denied our request for a preliminary injunction, we filed an appeal, in which we will request an expedited hearing. Please pray that we have a good panel of three judges who will adhere to the Constitution and understand that Gov. Newsom has no authority to ban worship.
On Tuesday, Pasadena city officials sent the pastor and churches a "Cease and Desist" letter demanding the churches comply with Gov. Newsom's illegal "no worship" orders. The letter stated that if they continued to meet for worship, they would face "misdemeanors under California and Pasadena law punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment."
Another Pasadena prayer ministry receive a similar letter for having five people gather for prayer in a 7,000 square foot facility – and this is in a country that is supposed to have religious freedom!
In Los Angeles, CA, where our client, Harvest Rock Church, has one of its campuses, Mayor Eric Garcetti continues to insist that power and water services will be shut off to any institution, building or even home that violates Gov. Newsom's unconstitutional ban on worship. California's overreaching government has illegally decreed:
- Jail time for non-compliant pastors.
- $1,000 per day fines for churchgoers.
- No power or water for churches or homes caught worshipping the Lord.
In each of the three California jurisdictions I mentioned, protestors and rioters have filled the streets shoulder to shoulder, singing and chanting about killing cops and destroying America. Yet none of these protestors or their organizers received "Cease and Desist" orders or threats of losing their power and water services.
Instead, on June 1, Gov. Newsom himself told the protestors "God bless you. Keep doing it."
Apparently, California is now Gov. Newsom's personal monarchy – one in which he encourages rioters while threatening to throw pastors into prison. One in which a county requests that armed police block church doors and that faithful followers of God should be physically and financially punished for worshipping according to the dictates of their consciences.
As I have said before, when one part of the body of Christ is attacked, the entire body of Christ is under attack. We must rise as one to defend the whole! Denominational differences must be set aside to defend the God-given, unalienable First Amendment RIGHT to worship as one pleases, not as the government dictates!
Faith and freedom are under attack. Let us stand strong on our watch.
In Christ and Yours for Liberty,
Founder and Chairman