Even though L.A. County said they placed them in the wrong spots, Grace Community Church posts signs disclaiming responsibility for any sickness if a person gets COVID-19 at the church. Given this disclaimer, it is not surprising that persons who say they attend Grace say they have to sign a COVID-19 waiver if they want to volunteer at the church.
John “There is no pandemic” MacArthur’s church requires a waiver from people who serve according to three sources who sent me copies of what they say members and staff are required to sign in order to work or volunteer at the church. Last week, I sent the waiver to the public relations firm representing the church with a request for confirmation and/or comment but did not get any response.
The full waiver is linked above and provided below but at least one point is worth mentioning. Remember when John MacArthur said:
the good news is that you’re here, you’re not distancing, and you’re not wearing masks.
Here is what the waiver sent to me requires a person to affirm:
While wearing a mask covering the mouth and nose while in the Church is not required, I assume additional risks of possible injury and death by not wearing a mask. I understand that I may request a mask from the Church and the Church will provide one for my use. I have been encouraged to use a mask at all times when engaging in Activities at the Church.
I am not a lawyer but if I wanted to challenge this waiver, John MacArthur’s words in church would be exhibit A. Furthermore, during the weeks that Grace has been meeting, no one on camera has worn a mask and no one has been encouraged to wear a mask. No social distancing has been observed.
Here is the waiver of liability:
WAIVER OF LIABILITY AND COVENANT NOT TO SUE NOTICE: THIS IS A LEGALLY BINDING AGREEMENT. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY.
I desire to participate in one or more activities or programs (each individually an “Activity”; collectively, “Activities”) offered, operated, sponsored or directed by, or otherwise involving, Grace Community Church of the Valley (“Grace Community Church”). The Activities may occur in whole or in part at or in the church (the “Church”) located at 13248 Roscoe
Boulevard, Sun Valley, California 91352 owned and operated by Grace Community Church. The Activities may involve, without limitation, attending or assisting with programs, events, instruction, and classes both inside and outside the Church and with or without supervision of Grace Community Church or any of its employees, contractors or personnel (collectively, “Personnel”). I understand that each Activity poses inherent risks of exposure to and/or contracting the COVID-19 virus. With full knowledge and understanding of these risks, and in consideration of my use of the Church and participation in Activities, I acknowledge and agree as follows:
1. Acknowledgement and Assumption of the Risk
I acknowledge that participation in Activities, use of the Church and any services provided by the Church subjects me to the following risks, among others: accidents which cannot be foreseen and personal injury, including but not limited to death or sickness from contracting the Coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID‑19”), the infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
I understand and acknowledge that:
A. The above list of risks is not inclusive of all the possible risks to which I will be subject in participating in Activities and using the Church and that the list in no way limits the extent or reach of this Waiver of Liability and Covenant Not to Sue (this “Agreement”) or any provision of this Agreement.
B. There is an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 in any place where people are present.
C. While wearing a mask covering the mouth and nose while in the Church is not required, I assume additional risks of possible injury and death by not wearing a mask. I understand that I may request a mask from the Church and the Church will provide one for my use. I have been encouraged to use a mask at all times when engaging in Activities at the Church.
I understand that masks may reduce or mitigate the above risks, but are in no way a guarantee of safety. I further recognize that masks have limited capability as far as prevention of infection from contracting COVID-19.
I VOLUNTARILY ASSUME ALL OF THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH PARTICIPATION IN ANY ACTIVITY OR USE OF THE CHURCH, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO RISK OF INJURY, SICKNESS AND DEATH FROM CONTRACTING COVID-19 OR EXPOSURE TO COVID-19. I VOLUNTARILY ASSUME ALL SUCH RISKS WITH FULL KNOWLEDGE, UNDERSTANDING AND APPRECIATION OF THE RISKS INVOLVED.
2. Waiver of Liability and Covenant Not to Sue
I, on behalf of myself, my heirs, representatives, executors, administrators and assigns, hereby knowingly and intentionally (A) waive any and all liability of Grace Community Church and their respective successors, assigns, owners, shareholders, officers, directors, members and
Personnel (each individually, a “Released Party”; collectively, “Released Parties”) for, (B) release Released Parties from, and (C) covenant not to sue Released Parties for any and all causes of action, claims, injuries, liabilities, damages or demands of any nature whatsoever, whether known or unknown, anticipated or unanticipated, which I, my heirs, representatives, executors, administrators and assigns may now have, or may have in the future against any Released Party on account of any and all known and unknown, foreseen and unforeseen personal injuries, property damage, death, sickness or accident of any kind and whenever occurring, arising out of or in any way related to any Activity, any occurrence or event involving the Church, any Released Party or any service or program related to any thereof, whether such Activity, occurrence or event is supervised or unsupervised and however and whenever any injury, property damage, death, sickness or accident is caused. THIS WAIVER OF LIABILITY AND COVENANT NOT TO SUE SHALL BE EFFECTIVE EVEN THOUGH SAID LOSS, DAMAGE OR INJURY RESULTS OR HAS RESULTED FROM THE NEGLIGENCE, WRONGFUL ACTS, OMISSIONS, BREACH OF WARRANTY, OR STRICT TORT LIABILITY OF ANY RELEASED PARTY. NOTWITHSTANDING THE IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING SENTENCE, THIS WAIVER OF LIABILITY AND COVENANT NOT TO SUE SHALL NOT BE EFFECTIVE IN REGARD TO LOSS, DAMAGE OR INJURY RESULTING FROM THE GROSS NEGLIGENCE OR WILLFUL OR WANTON MISCONDUCT OF ANY OF THE RELEASED PARTIES.
3. Indemnification Agreement
I hereby agree to INDEMNIFY, HOLD HARMLESS AND DEFEND the Released Parties from and against any and all causes of action, claims, demands, losses, damages, liabilities and costs (including but not limited to attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by Released Parties or any thereof) of any nature whatsoever, including but not limited to those caused by the negligence of any Released Party (except for those resulting from the gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct of any Released Party), arising out of or in any way relating to my use of the Church or the services provided thereby or my participation in any Activity.
I certify that I am in proper physical and mental condition to participate in Activities and that I have no physical limitations that would preclude my safely using the Church or participating in Activities, subject to the risks assumed. I agree to read and abide by all rules from time to time posted in the Church or otherwise communicated to me. I agree to comply with requests and instructions of all Personnel. In the event of an accident, if I should be unconscious or otherwise unable to make medical decisions for myself, I hereby grant the Released Parties permission to administer necessary first aid, and/or to solicit emergency medical services as deemed necessary. This authorization includes permission for emergency medical transportation to the nearest medical facility for additional medical treatment.
I hereby voluntarily waive any right I may have to a trial by jury in any action, proceeding or litigation involving any Released Party. The laws of the State of California shall govern the rights and obligations of the parties to this Agreement and the interpretation, construction and enforceability thereof. I agree that any lawsuit brought against any Released Party shall be brought solely in The Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles, North Central District. If any portion of this Agreement is held invalid, the remainder shall remain in full force and effect.
I hereby grant to Grace Community Church, and Grace Community Church reserves the right to use for promotional purposes any photographs taken by Grace Community Church at the Church or during any Activity. Such images may be used in Grace Community Church’s brochures, posters, website or other promotional materials without liability or payment.
I ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT BY SIGNING THIS AGREEMENT I AM RELIEVING THE CHURCH AND ALL RELEASED PARTIES OF ANY AND ALL LIABILITY FOR ANY LOSS, DAMAGE, INJURY, SICKNESS OR DEATH RESULTING FROM ANY ACTIVITY AND WAIVING MY RIGHT TO MAINTAIN A LAWSUIT AGAINST ANY OF THE RELEASED PARTIES, EXCEPT FOR ANY LIABILITY BASED UPON THEIR GROSS NEGLIGENCE OR WANTON AND WILFULL MISCONDUCT. I CERTIFY THAT MY AGE IS ACCURATELY SET FORTH BELOW; THAT, IF I AM AT LEAST 18 YEARS OF AGE, I AM LEGALLY COMPETENT TO SIGN THIS AGREEMENT; I HAVE CAREFULLY READ THIS AGREEMENT AND UNDERSTAND THAT THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT ARE LEGALLY BINDING UPON ME AND UPON MY ASSIGNS, HEIRS, REPRESENTATIVES, EXECUTORS AND ADMINISTRATORS; AND THAT I AM SIGNING THIS AGREEMENT, AFTER HAVING CAREFULLY READ IT, OF MY OWN FREE WILL.
A photocopy hereof, or a record of this Agreement sent and received by facsimile, email or other electronic transmission, shall be enforceable and shall have full legal effect as an original.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, this Agreement is duly executed this _____ day of_____________________, 2020.
49 thoughts on “Despite Indoor Services, Grace Community Church Doesn’t Want to Get Sued if You Get COVID-19 at the Church”
So, where is the actual proof linking this alleged waiver to the church? Your say-so, which is the only thing backing this accusation up, isn’t enough.
There is also the lack of denial from the GCC public relations firm.
Warren has long established himself as a reliable source. So his word about the authenticity of the waiver is good enough for me. However, if you have evidence that Warren is lying or otherwise misrepresenting the facts feel free to present them.
John Hagee, Founder and Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church has reportedly been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
All the “it’s a hoax” crowd are dropping like https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d048fb72137469565660b3c369d87ba2ab142ee2225e30f55cb46a2ed85e9687.jpg
So, Hagee “reportedly” being diagnosed automatically equals “he’s dead?”
No, just his claims about the virus being a “hoax”
I wonder if Trump’s situation is going to serve as a wake-up call for MacArthur and many others.
To quote Chris Wallace: “Wear the damn masks.”
Johnny Mac’s too proud to be wrong.
Others (e.g. his congregation)? Don’t know. How much evidence do folks need?
I don’t view it as a matter of pride, but as a matter of intelligence. If Trump, who has a cadre of secret service and medical personnel testing anyone who gets near him, still contracted this disease, how much more likely is it that MacArthur might catch it? while I have a low opinion of MacArthur, I don’t think he is that stupid.
“Trump’s situation?” You mean surviving?
No, I mean contracting a potentially fatal, pandemic disease because he ignored the seriousness of it.
Well, I suppose that they are in a way admitting that there is a problem; they wouldn’t have gone to the trouble of getting people to sign something if they really believed that things were okay.
Not necessarily. This waiver was undoubtedly something the lawyers for the church said was needed, not that MacArthur et. al. thought was needed.
Do we actually know what MacArthur thinks? I wouldn’t be surprised if, privately, he is in favour of this legal device. We all know how these types of ‘church’ operate – doublethink all the way …
No I don’t even think MacArthur knows what he thinks on this subject ;). However, I was just pointing out that the waiver isn’t necessarily an indication of what MacArthur actually thinks, more likely it is what the lawyers want.
Your point was entirely fair, Ken.
O/T, but a subject not foreign to this blog rises from the dead: the late Ravi Zacharias, NotPh.D.
Julile Roys has him as the predator in a sexting scandal with a married woman.
And it turns out that Zacharias owned “health spas” in Georgia, and found that messing with his female employees was one of the perks of being the boss.
Warren, you may want to keep this meter as a permanent fixture on your blog. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d3a9fbd7ed2e2832679cd15777a3220e52f4c425361232de52424da87a710d9a.gif
Ugh. I’m sure that Zacharias’ defenders will blame his victims, or dismiss them as opportunists out to soil the legacy of a man who is no longer able to defend himself. I am sure they will ask why none of them came forward while Zacharias was alive, etc. Me, I’m wondering why a so-called “man of God” had a side hustle running what are basically glorified massage parlors…a way to indulge his “perversions,” (as one of his victims called it) perhaps? Or maybe being the best-known Christian apologist of his generation just didn’t pay the bills?
Excuse me, I need to go order some more popcorn….
Comments on Julie Roys’ Facebook page demonstrate the very tactics you describe.
They’ve certainly been accusing Roys of speaking ill of the dead, but then they’ve been after her for rocking the evangelical boat ever since she started her investigative reporting. As much as I disagree with her very conservative views, I have the deepest respect for her impartiality when it comes to her work. She’s proven to be fearless in her pursuit of the truth behind allegations, even when she’s been told what she’s doing is hurting the “body of Christ.”
Weren’t some of the “staff” at those “health spas” imported from Thailand?
As in the “One Night in Bang Cock” sex tourism capital?
And wasn’t Falwell Junior also involved in some sort of “Gym”?
Among the ongoing inquiries into Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, I believe the investigations are also looking into allegations of sex trafficking that may be linked to his two “health spas.” Julie Roys is thankfully posting updates.
Christianity Today has an in-depth article about the day spas and what Ravi Zacharias did there. It’s truly unseemly and I am of the opinion that were Zacharias still alive today, it’s entirely possible he would be looking at sexual assault charges. https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/september/ravi-zacharias-sexual-harassment-rzim-spa-massage-investiga.html
Is it me or does this look a little like a Non Disclosure Agreement that Trump would have a porn star sign?
No doubt. And apparently they have a lawyer from the Turmp team who is advising them. Geesh, can you imagine taking *advice* from a Turmp lawyer!
I’m curios if GCC’s liability insurance has dropped them
Insurance carriers tend to be reactive, not proactive. They’ll wait until the lawsuits start rolling in.
This doesn’t bother me. If I choose to go to a church that is open, that’s my choice. I am smart enough to check it out in advance. I understand the risk. I’m an adult. If I get the virus, that was my decision. No one forced me to go. And of course there is the response, “but you could become a spreader.” Well then, do what the CDC says – stay at least six feet away and wear your mask from everyone.
Except the CDC guidelines are intended to prevent/mitigate the spreading of covid-19. they are not guarantees that you won’t spread it.
It’s not a question of being an adult, it’s a matter of trust. When you get into your car, you are entrusting you and your family’s safety to the manufacturers of that car and its parts, as well as anyone who has maintained the vehicle. You don’t check the entire paper trail of safety regulations and testing, or the credentials of all the people who worked on the car — that would be impossible. You put your trust in the authorities who oversee the safety regulations and their enforcement — i.e. the people who ought to know.
Nobody is forcing you to use your car, but if it turns out that the manufacturer fabricated the results of some critical safety test results, and a hidden flaw in the car’s construction cause you to crash and seriously injure yourself, who do you blame?
John MacArthur has been pastor of GCC for decades. He is the ultimate source of trust for the devoted GCC membership as one of the foremost evangelical leaders of last 40 years (whether or not you agree with him), and has been warning of the coming persecution of the church for most of that time.
Thus the congregation of GCC has long been primed for this moment. They trust MacArthur to tell them the truth implicitly, in the same way you put your trust in all kinds of authorities implicitly, likely without even realizing you do — we all do it to a less or greater degree. Personal responsibility doesn’t let people like MacArthur off the hook, not in the slightest. He knows what kind of sway his words have within his community — and he’s used to wielding them as the ultimate authority on how Christians should be leading their lives, knowing the trust they put in it.
What’s worse…MacArthur is holding video conferences to show churches in CA how to open and stand their ground. That is why my church is now “open”-although there is still an outdoor/online option. But, it’s obvious that “spiritual” people trust God and enter the building. They do require masks, pre-registration to attend, and they limit the number of people in the building. So, it’s not the free-for-all at GCC, but it’s still not legal or healthy. My current relationship with my church is a bit iffy-I’m absolutely appalled that they even thought it was okay to do this. But, the pastor leading the online Bible study I attended this week was ecstatic that in the MacArthur video conference that he had with the pastors, they were encouraged to keep on.
Disheartening, but not unexpected.
Does your church require liability waivers?
Have you tried talking to this pastor, to tell him meeting in person is a bad idea?
“Sign this, please. It absolves me from all blame.”
— Lucy Van Pelt, Peanuts (some time in the Fifties)
Yeeaah. Anybody who signs that thing and continues to do anything at/for Grace Community Church is a 24 karat idiot. John MacArthur & Co. accept no responsibility for anything, ever. Corporately, they know the risks, but MacArthur continues to pretend that they don’t exist.
And a lot of them will sign on PASTOR’s Command.
“TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED!”
So… They insist that their congregation meet in person, but they also insist that they cannot be held responsible if the attendees contract COVID, and presumably would offer little to no other aid to them either.
“They tie up heavy, burdensome loads and lay them on the shoulders of others, but they themselves will not lift one finger to assist them.”
When a person walks through the door at GCC, attends a service and consequently contracts Covid, this waiver for volunteers does not apply, correct? How ironclad are the posted signs for releasing legal responsibility on behalf of GCC?
do you know WHEN they started requiring the waivers? Specifically, was it before or after MacArthur’s Aug. 16th service (where he “joked” about not wearing masks or social distancing)?
I don’t but I assume before.
So… can’t sue if they are harmed or die from COVID, but the church can take pictures all it wants of them serving & not wearing masks for promotional purposes. The church can craft the perfect image to support MacArthur’s narrative.
Thanks for the followup, Warren.
So, did the church talk to its liability insurance carrier?
Who is there liability insurance carrier? I can’t imagine any insurance carrier being happy with wilful disobedience of a legitimate public health order.
Only to their Attorneys (plural).
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