Commentary

CA Pastor Calls Out Newsom: 'Blasphemy' To Say Church Is Not Essential

Ché Ahn, senior pastor of Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, California, called Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s designation of churches as “nonessential” blasphemous.

Speaking at a Christian event hosted by the BridgeBuilders International Leadership Network near Phoenix on Oct. 23, Ahn discussed his church’s decision to sue Newsom in July over an executive order which effectively prevents Harvest Rock from legally holding indoor services.

“It’s the first time I didn’t even have to pray about it. I just said, ‘This is a no-brainer. We’re going to sue him,’” Ahn recounted telling his attorney.

Ahn, along with 1,500 California pastors, sent a letter to Newsom saying, “With all due respect, the church has been essential for 2,000 years.”

“We are here representing Jesus Christ. To say Jesus is not essential is blasphemy. It’s so dishonoring,” Ahn told the gathering.

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Ahn chose to defy Newsom’s order and open his church for indoor church services.

In response, a Pasadena prosecutor sent a letter to Harvest Rock in August, threatening churchgoers with up to a year in jail and a fine for each violation of Newsom’s order.

Do you think Newsom's order is a violation of religious freedom?

Ahn said the fines would be up to $1,000.

Newsom issued a new plan in late August for reopening California, which designates four tiers.

Harvest Rock Church, located in Los Angeles County, is in a “Tier 1” designated area, meaning no indoor church services, according to a news release from Liberty Counsel, the nonprofit law firm representing Harvest Rock Church.

The order further prevents in-home Bible studies, unless all the people in attendance live in that home.

“In Tiers 2 and 3, churches can have no more than 100 and 200 people respectively no matter the size of the building, but gyms, fitness centers, museums, family entertainment centers, retail, shopping malls, big box centers, warehouses, destination centers, swap meets, and more have no numerical maximum cap on the number of people that can congregate in the building,” Liberty Counsel noted.

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The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 against granting an emergency injunction against enforcing Newsom’s order earlier this month.

However, Ahn said the court agreed last week to an en banc review of the case, in which all the appeals judges making up the 9th Circuit will rule whether the three-judge panel got the decision right.

The Los Angeles Times reported in February that President Donald Trump is reshaping the 9th Circuit, having successfully named 10 judges to the court, more than a third of its active total.

Even if Harvest Rock should lose its en banc appeal at the 9th Circuit, Ahn likes his prospects at the Supreme Court following the successful confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett.

“We’re at peace,” the pastor said, noting the 6-3 conservative majority on the high court.

Ahn has been on a speaking tour, hitting battleground states — including Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina and Arizona — encouraging Christians to vote for candidates, like Trump, who uphold the sanctity of human life for the born and unborn.

“It’s not enough for us to pray and to fast. Faith without action is dead,” Ahn said.

“You have to vote and you have to vote for life,” he added.

“You have to vote biblically. But also for religious freedom because what we are experiencing in California, if the left wins, I promise the Biden-Harris ticket will bring that socialistic spirit of control and they will lock down the church and impact our religious freedom.”

This article appeared originally on Patriot Project.

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