The Essential Church, rated PG-13
This documentary follows three pastors – John MacArthur from Grace Community Church in Los Angeles, and James Coates and Tim Stephens from Canada – as they refuse to suspend worship services during the COVID pandemic, and as a result face consequences from their respective governments (fines, imprisonment, legal action). The film was written and directed by Shannon Halliday.
The film shows that God, not the state (King, etc.) is the head of the church. It shows the hypocrisy of state and local officials ordering houses of worship to shut their doors while permitting – and at times participating in – destructive riots to sweep through major cities unchecked.
The film focuses on why Grace Community Church initially complied with the restrictions, and how Martyn-Lloyd Jones’ commentary on Romans 13 helped lead the elders to change course, and re-open. It follows the lawsuits leading to the church’s ultimate legal vindication. The film explores the struggle between the church and government throughout history, such as the Scottish Covenanters of the 17th century and the Great Ejection of 1662), and some of the people who sacrificed their lives for what they believed in. Continue reading