A prominent Christian pastor in Los Angeles issued an open letter Thursday that rebuked Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom for his recent multi-state billboard campaign that promoted abortion by quoting Jesus.
Pastor John MacArthur, 83, who serves as senior pastor of Grace Community Church in Los Angeles, also accused the governor of exhibiting a worldview whose "diabolical effects" have effectively trashed the state, leading to "epidemics of crime, homelessness, sexual perversions (like homosexuality and transgenderism), and other malignant expressions of human misery that stem directly from corrupt public policy."
Newsom was met with outrage earlier this month from Christians who took offense when his gubernatorial campaign erected billboards in states where abortion is outlawed or restricted, urging women in such states to come to California to abort their babies.
Some versions of the billboards advertised California's easily obtainable abortions by quoting Mark 12:31, where Jesus says, "Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these." Some members of the clergy and other Christians excoriated Newsom for including Jesus in his pro-abortion billboards, deeming them "disgusting," "satanic," and "one of the [worst] distortions of a Bible passage I've ever seen."
"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," MacArthur wrote.
"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," the pastor continued.
"Furthermore, you chose words from the lips of Jesus without admitting that in the same moment He gave the greatest commandment: 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' You cannot love God as He commands while aiding in the murder of His image-bearers," MacArthur said.
MacArthur went on to express concern that Newsom's "soul lies in grave, eternal peril" for having "twisted" the words of the Bible, and that he will someday be called to give an account before God for his actions as governor.
"Our church, and countless Christians nationwide, are praying for your full repentance. 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)," MacArthur admonished.
Newsom's campaign did not respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment by time of publication.
MacArthur and his church made headlines in 2021 when they won an $800,000 settlement after tussling with state and county authorities for continuing to congregate in defiance of the government's COVID-19 protocols restricting houses of worship.
Citing Jesus and the Bible as the ultimate authority over his congregation, MacArthur wrote in a lengthy blog post in July 2020 that "we cannot and will not acquiesce to a government-imposed moratorium on our weekly congregational worship or other regular corporate gatherings. Compliance would be disobedience to our Lord’s clear commands."