A renowned Southern California pastor is calling upon Gov. Gavin Newsom to repent and “respond to the Gospel” for his controversial reelection campaign that invoked Scripture in defense of abortion.
The open letter from Grace Community Church Pastor John MacArthur dated Sept. 29 quotes the Bible numerous times in response to the campaign earlier this month, which MacArthur said “shamelessly” misquoted Mark 12:31 for Newsom’s own political purposes.
“You revealed to the entire nation how thoroughly rebellious against God you are when you sponsored billboards across America promoting the slaughter of children, whom He creates in the womb (Psalm 139:13–16; Isaiah 45:9–12),” wrote MacArthur.
“You further compounded the wickedness of that murderous campaign with a reprehensible act of gross blasphemy, quoting the very words of Jesus from Mark 12:31 as if you could somehow twist His meaning and arrogate His name in favor of butchering unborn infants,” he added.
According to MacArthur, Newsom “used the name and the words of Christ to promote the credo of Molech (Leviticus 20:1–5). It would be hard to imagine a greater sacrilege.”
The letter also called out what MacArthur described as the “diabolical effect” of Newsom’s worldview, pointing to “California’s epidemics of crime, homelessness, sexual perversions (like homosexuality and transgenderism), and other malignant expressions of human misery that stem directly from corrupt public policy.”
Rather than staging a political defense, however, MacArthur voiced personal concern for Newsom’s soul, which, he said, “lies in grave, eternal peril.”
“You will stand in the presence of the Holy God who created you, who is your Judge, and He will demand that you give an account for how you have flouted His authority in your governing, and how you have twisted His own Holy Word to rationalize it. As you look over the precipice of eternity, what will your answer be?” wrote MacArthur.
He closed the letter by telling the governor that Grace Community Church located in Sun Valley, California, and "countless Christians nationwide, are praying for your full repentance."
MacArthur called upon Newsom to “please respond to the Gospel, forsake the path of wickedness you have pursued all your life, turn to Christ, ask for forgiveness, and use your office to advance the cause of righteousness (as is your duty) instead of undermining it (as has been your pattern).”
A request for comment from Newsom made Friday by The Christian Post was not immediately returned.
Newsom launched the billboard campaign Sept. 15 after he posted images on social media showing billboards set to go up in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and four other "anti-freedom" states where abortion is prohibited or significantly restricted.
Newsom's tweet read in part: "To any woman seeking an abortion in these anti-freedom states: CA will defend your right to make decisions about your health."
Newsom tagged several Republican governors, including Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, with whom he shared a billboard image that reads: "Need an abortion? California is ready to help."
In July 2020, MacArthur famously defied Newsom’s mandate banning in-person worship services when he announced that his church would continue to hold in-person services.
About two weeks after California indefinitely closed churches and other businesses in more than 30 of the state's 58 counties as part of its response to the coronavirus, author and theologian MacArthur has given a biblical basis for his decision. “Compliance would be disobedience to our Lord’s clear commands,” he wrote in a statement to the congregation on Friday.
“Government officials have no right to interfere in ecclesiastical matters in a way that undermines or disregards the God-given authority of pastors and elders,” MacArthur wrote.
Ian M. Giatti is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.