According to The Hill, thousands of people have been allowed in for services Sunday by a pastor of a megachurch in Los Angeles. The pastor defended the decision despite California state orders to prevent the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.
Pastor John MacArthur held in-person services at his Grace Community Church on Sunday. He shared with CNN that approximately 6,000 or 7,000 people showed up for his service.
Currently, indoor attendance at a place of worship is limited to 25 percent of the building capacity, or a maximum of 100 attends, whichever is lower. The crowd size that came in undisputedly goes against the current state order that was released at the end of July.
MacArthur dismissed the responsibility for him to follow such guidelines after asked about him blatantly disregarding the state restrictions.
“When we look inside of your church, it is indoors, as you said, there are thousands of people, there is absolutely no social distancing, there [are] no masks. Why not get creative, so you can obey, as you put it ‘god’s law,’ but also obey public health regulations?” CNN correspondent Brianna Keilar asked the pastor.
“We don’t orchestrate this, this is a church. We don’t ask people to make a reservation to come to church,” he said.
Comfortable with his decision to open doors to an unlimited amount of worshippers, he said he wasn’t going to have people “standing outside in a mob.”
“We opened the doors because that’s what we are, we’re a church, and we’re going to trust those people to make adult decisions about the reality of their physical and spiritual health and how that balance works for each one of them,” he said. “Nobody’s forcing anything, they’re here because they want to be here.”
The restrictions on places of worship were put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus MacArthur described as “not constitutional” and “burdensome,” and argued they make “no sense in light of the actual numbers of death” members of his church are seeing.