It reads like Jonah confronting Nineveh … or Daniel rebuking King Nebuchadnezzar. Pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church in Southern California pulled no punches in a public letter he sent to Governor Gavin Newsom. Portions of the letter to the governor, dated September 29, 2022, include the following:
"The diabolical effects of your worldview are evident in the statistics of 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."
"In mid-September, 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.
"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."
American Family Association vice president Ed Vitagliano has read words like this before.
"This kind of letter is in the frame of mind that the Old Testament prophets demonstrated when they confronted political leaders," he notes.
Despite the strong rebuke, the heart of the letter was a call to repentance:
"My concern, Governor Newsom, is that your own soul lies in grave, eternal peril …. My plea to you … is that you would not let it come to that – that you would not go to that day of judgment apart from receiving forgiveness and righteousness through faith in Christ alone."
MacArthur concluded the letter with an invitation:
"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)."
Vitagliano, who is also a pastor, says it's worth a shot. "You never really know what will happen when God's Word is sent forth," he shares. "So, I heartily approve of what Pastor MacArthur has done – and I wish there were more pastors with this kind of boldness around the nation."
The AFA spokesman also notes this truth: Pastor MacArthur's history of standing against ungodly governance lends credibility to his intent.
"If we are not truly concerned about their eternal destiny, then we don't really love them – [and] a letter like this is just political expediency," he contends.