A multicampus church has filed a complaint in federal court against California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 executive order that it believes effectively bans church members from holding Bible studies and other small group meetings in their homes.
The new lawsuit was filed last Saturday on behalf of the Pasadena-based Harvest Rock Church, which has campuses throughout the state, and Harvest International Ministries, a nonprofit corporation with 162 member churches statewide and over 65,000 affiliates worldwide.
“As part of the exercise of its sincerely held religious beliefs, Harvest Rock’s Church campuses also have numerous Life Groups, which meet in the homes of members of the Church to worship together, engage in Bible study, fellowship with one another, and minister to the needs of each other,” the complaint explains.
“Harvest Rock has and exercises a sincere religious belief that Life Groups are an essential way for the church to fulfill its mission and to foster a healthy, vibrant, and growing Church community such that its members can gather together to grow in the Lord, mature in their faith, and understand the Scriptures better.”
The legal filing, filed by the conservative Christian legal nonprofit Liberty Counsel, calls for an injunction that would not only allow home fellowship and Bible study gatherings but also end the governor’s prohibition on indoor worship services entirely.
“Harvest International has 162 member churches in California, and each of these churches has and exercises the sincere religious beliefs that the church is to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ to its members and attendees at its facilities,” the complaint reads, adding that the churches can’t fulfill this ministry without “gathering together in person.” continue story at Christian Post