Shepherds’ Conference 2021: Grace Community Church Yields to Threats by the State of California; Fearing Shutdown and Renewal of TRO
On February 12, 2021 at 3:17 pm, the following was twote (a new word, a past tense of tweet which was recently accepted into the vernacular and is beyond grammatical contestation):
ANNOUNCEMENT: In light of our ongoing litigation and recent threats from the County of Los Angeles and the State of California, we have decided that the most prudent course of action at this time is to postpone the Shepherd’s Conference. We will be deposing the key health officers and county officials and requiring them to answer for their oppressive actions under oath, and requesting all documents and information supporting their arbitrary attempts to restrict our religious liberty as a church. Our church leadership remains firmly committed to the truth that Christ is the head of the Church, and we will not yield to government’s infringement upon the biblical command to worship and gather together. We intend to steadfastly defend this truth and obtain appropriate constitutional and legal protections and further relief from the Court.
I would like to highlight a few things regarding this tweet, but would prefer to write a more expansive blog/article on the subject once more information is known. At this point in time, we do not know if there are any “recent threats” or letters from these agencies, or if Grace Church is using them as a scapegoat to further their narrative that Grace is being forever scrutinized.
We learned of the postponement throughout the recesses of the Twitterverse. There was much speculation regarding why and under what circumstances did John MacArthur decide to postpone this annual event. Austin Doucette, a former Master’s Seminary student and whistleblower, posted the following email:
He tweeted: “From a @shepconf email I received yesterday, February 12th, at 6:07 AM. The statement canceling Shepherd’s Conference was posted online (not sent via email) yesterday at 3:17 PM. Interesting”.
So, in those 9 hours what occurred…there had been threats in the past from the City to shut down the water and power, from the County: fines and jail time in which John gloried in the idea and said, “bring it on” to the flaxen-haired reporters of Fox News. Why now? What made the difference?
- As it was well-noted in several articles, Shepherd’s Conference is an event and events are not permitted under the Health Order.
— An excellent point; however, they had been defying the Health Order since July 26, 2020 gathering indoors, maskless, living in pre-pandemic times, and showing absolutely no regard for the safety of their congregation.
2. John MacArthur routinely blasted the local and State authorities concluding in one sermon that “Grace Community Church is the most scrutinized church in the United States”. They have leveled every name from “draconian” to “tyrannical” at the restrictions that they have been given, so we would have seen Trump concede before MacArthur.
— The scope of the Health Order pertains to the indoor operations of essential industries. It guides businesses on safe operating practices. It’s quite easy to comply. How does anyone at Grace go to Trader Joe’s, the DMV, or a bookstore? Do they pitch a fit or do they comply? So, they’re willing to comply to buy their Trader Jose’s salsa, but not when it comes to spending an hour and half with their friends and family on a Sunday?
“We will not yield to government’s infringement upon the biblical command to worship and gather together”.
Open. Defiance. It’s all you have left when you have made it a career to “cherry pick” verses you like to serve your needs when you’re basically acting like a…Jezebel. If anyone is counting, I can assure you that there are more verses regarding living peaceably, loving mercy, seeking justice and respecting government, then there are regarding that oft misquoted Hebrews 10 text. So, they have the “assembling” bit down…but not the exhorting.
With this postponement, I can also assure you that the men who were to attend this conference will not see it as such. They will not understand. They will ask questions for which they will not get answers and there will be a certain rift in the remnant of those supporters of GCC. I have it on good authority that hundreds of churches rely on the bold moves they believe that MacArthur is taking. They so solemnly hold to the narrative that John is fighting tyranny and upon that reliance, did a little California dreaming on such a Winter’s Day, and got their tickets to the Best Coast. The stories they heard from “ungodly bloggers” of outbreaks wasn’t going to keep them from the “breakout sessions”. No, sir…no way.
Even a Cat Lawyer Could Have Written a Better Tweet
We will be deposing the key health officers and county officials and requiring them to answer for their oppressive actions under oath, and requesting all documents and information supporting their arbitrary attempts to restrict our religious liberty as a church. We intend to steadfastly defend this truth and obtain appropriate constitutional and legal protections and further relief from the Court.
This was not written by a lawyer. Period. Even Jenna Ellis (miss you, Jenna) would have spilled a lot more ink on this issue.
“Deposing the key health officers and health officials”…and “requiring them to answer under oath” is not the dig that you think it is, “Moderator”. These are actual professional, scientists and epidemiologists who have spent the last year sounding the alarm despite death threats and you think they won’t rush to state “under oath” their professional opinion of how unspeakably ignorant a certain church has been in the worst pandemic of our lives? They don’t sit in their offices and read mean tweets and tell people to “grow up” (way to be, Jay!)
This is in the course of business. This is Discovery 101 at this point and Grace, having been embroiled in many lawsuits and controversies over the years, is like a lion cub swiping his paw at his father to challenge him. It’s laughable. You’ve run out of road. SCOTUS has ruled, they’ve turned off the lights and want to go home. You’re the drunk girl at the party wanting to sing ‘Freebird’ for the 11th time because it reminds you of the boy you should have married in ’73.
- 25% capacity, indoors OK and hope that the lower court doesn’t reverse the ruling and forbid indoor services again like they have recently in Santa Clara County.
- most churches have had no problems complying and should GCC continue their track they may jeopardize indoor services for LA County churches altogether, possibly.
So, for more on this issue, I refer to a back issue comment from a reputable source.
The Discovery Channel: When you file a lawsuit, as the Plaintiff you get to request documents and evidence of the other side and vice versa. So, if you have nothing to hide and have not been guilty of any other violations of the law, ordinance, or regulation, then Discovery is not a problem. In fact, it’s usually in Discovery where lawsuits are settled because you in essence show your cards to your opponent, and you either know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em. Litigation is expensive, so expensive, even if you are getting Jenna Ellis and Special Counsel all the way from San Diego, it’s going to cost time and money.
Here’s the thing, Dear Moderator, your scope is limited. You can’t waste these officials’ time and try to bring home the point that you think that their rules are unfair. They know that you feel that way. No, what is of material importance is: did Grace Community Church defy local and State mandates?
Let the reader know that Discovery works the opposite way as well:
- They’ll find that key leadership had zero regard for coronavirus protocols, showing tweets, videos and photos of maskless congregants.
- Video of MacArthur furthering QAnon conspiracies, COVID denial, and lying to his congregants that there is no one in the congregation with COVID. (and bringing home the point that I was called an “ungodly blogger”, the cheek.)
- Deposing employees, pastors, leaders, witnesses regarding how they were treated: intimidated and bullied, manipulated and lied to at both The Master’s Seminary and Grace Community church.
- And the Financials. Maybe that will become public information and Julie Roys can write a part two to her excellent article, which…yes, “Causeth the Doxxeth” of her by Phil Johnson because apparently that’s been normalized as accepted behavior in our leadership.
Stay salty, family!
Notable articles on the subject:
Under Pressure, California Church Postpones Conference for Thousands
Grace Community Church reversed course after Los Angeles County health officials warned that indoor conferences were…