Update: Statement from Pastor Mike McClure—Court Holds Church in Contempt
Following are words of encouragement from Mike McClure, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel San Jose, CA, as he thanked the hundreds of supporters who stood out in the rain on Thursday, January 28, awaiting the results of a hearing over the church’s refusal to close down indoor services in defiance of COVID-19 orders by the State of California. Mike used the opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“It’s an honor just to know that you are standing here praying for the church to be essential and [realizing] how important it is. That’s why we’re here. We know the difference that Christ has made in our life and the difference that Christ can make in the life of our community. We know where hope comes from. We have hope in ourselves. Peter tells us that we need to be ready to give an answer to anyone that asks the hope that we have within us with meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15). So, I’ve done my best job to answer why I have hope with meekness and fear.
“And I know that we want to see the Lord work [through] all these things that we do. And the hope for America is that we would turn back to God. Ultimately it’s through Jesus Christ. That’s who saves us. That’s who’s given His life for us. And as the Good Shepherd [that] He is, He’s calling us to come to his fold. Maybe you’re listening today, you don’t know Christ, I want to encourage you—give your life to Christ. He’s a Good Shepherd [who’s] given his life for you. He’s going to be better than anything this culture is offering you, than anything the White House is offering you.
“We’re here because we want to follow Jesus Christ. He’s the one who is offering you His life. If you receive Him, He will come and transform you, and He will change you to be a new creation. That’s what we’re here for. We’re here to give the opportunity and the hope that is needed in [a] world that’s lost and dark and filled with rain; there’s sunshine. The Bible says that’s what Jesus is: “I’m the light of the world” (John 8:12).
“And now He says to his disciples, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14-16). And we’re out here to be salt and light, to give a thirst for Christ. My hope and desire is to honor our government, our officials. Honestly, all that they do, I’m so thankful for the rules, the laws for the streets, for the police, and the sheriff and all that’s going on. But we’re the church—the source of hope. The church is the only place you’re going to find life, because it’s not found in me. I’m no savior. Jesus Christ is the savior.
Pastor Mike’s lawyer, Robert Carson, reported on Thursday that although CC San Jose was held in contempt of court for meeting indoors, Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Peter Kirwan “really, really listened. He took time.” The judge suspended 11 days of fines against the church; he also did not issue personal fines against Pastor Mike or Youth Pastor Carson Atherly as long as the church complies in the future, providing a social distancing plan by February 19. “Now, we’re waiting on the U.S. Supreme Court to render a ruling, hopefully Saturday, maybe Sunday, that could come down … in our favor. It might come down and actually say, ‘Churches are allowed to meet indoors,’” he stated.
He added, “You know, we made it clear to the judge and to the county, “that … we’re not just doing this to fight. But we believe we have a Constitution that preserves our free exercise, our right to be able to meet in person, to gather together and worship. We’re going to continue to contend for that. Please pray for Mike, for Carson, for the church, the U.S. Supreme Court, the United States. And for Judge Kirwan as well.”
All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
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