Calvary Chapel Church Held in Contempt
Calvary Chapel Church Held in Contempt

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Urgent Prayer Need - Calvary Fellowship Held In Contempt For Holding In-person Worship Services—Calvary Christian Fellowship, San Jose, CA

Santa Clara, CA

At a hearing on Thursday, January 28th, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Peter Kirwan has found that Calvary Christian Fellowship of San Jose is in contempt of court for continuing to hold in-person worship services in accordance with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that California can prohibit indoor church gatherings.

Santa Clara County sued San Jose Calvary Fellowship and their pastor Mike McClure to stop them from hosting indoor services during the pandemic. Youth Pastor Carson Atherley is also part of the lawsuit.

Both pastors face personal fines of $30,000 if CC San Jose does not begin complying with the state’s ban on indoor worship and submit a ‘social distancing protocol’ by February 19th. Additionally, the church itself still faces more than $1 million in administrative fines for multiple instances of hosting indoor services and refusing to mandate mask-wearing over a period of months.

Following the hearing, Pastor Mike urged fellow Christians to pray for our country, to be prepared—as we are commanded in 1 Peter 3:15— to give a defense for the hope that is in us, and that our country would once again turn to God.

Please pray for the upcoming ruling from the Supreme Court in this matter, that the Supreme Court will overturn the 9th Circuit’s and California’s unconstitutional restrictions on in-person church services.

Mike has led the San Jose congregation for over 18 years. The church’s mandate is to “love Jesus and make His love known.” Like all Calvary Chapel pastors this past year, it was a difficult decision to shut down when much was unknown about COVID-19. Pastor Mike stated that it is essential for the church to be open through these difficult times and that he was sorry for even closing at all.

Mike stated, “People are literally dying out here from suicide and alcoholism. Child abuse is up. Domestic violence is up. If churches aren’t open, then we are not being good shepherds. When I originally said we are going to remain open, it was not about defying the governor. We are the hospital. People need help from the church.”

The San Jose pastor has encountered resistance from other pastors in his local area who say Mike is putting the church in a bad light and being a poor witness to the community. Mike’s reply is that you may be fined or even face jail time, but at least you’re obeying God. “Above all that, if you look at the two commandments Jesus has given us, the first says we are to love Him. That is a command. That’s what He tells us to do. This is the Golden Rule. Then secondarily, He says to take that same love and use it to love one another. The only reason we are classified as “non-essential” is because we have allowed them to put us in that non-essential bracket. We have to say ‘No, we aren’t going to allow that anymore.’"

 

© 2020 Calvary Chapel Magazine. All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.

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