Letters to the Editor: Where in the Bible does it say church must be indoors?

Harvest Rock Church exterior.
Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena filed suit against the state of California for prohibiting indoor services during a pandemic.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I was born into and raised in a Baptist family. As my education progressed, so did my inquiries into the Baptist interpretation of the Bible’s strictures and dogma. (“Some California churches will reopen Sunday after Supreme Court lifts ban on indoor services,” Feb. 6)

The gist of the Old Testament was how to live a long life by avoiding the examples provided therein. The gist of the New Testament was the love of God. The idea that either book would support the actions of these ministers who want to hold indoor, in-person services during a pandemic is abhorrent.

If they took the time to be thoughtful instead of thoughtless, they would realize that Jesus doesn’t want people in a building, especially if it risks the lives of the faithful. Christianity doesn’t require that you go inside to worship; misguided preachers do.


These ministers lose money if people don’t attend services. You could lose your life by attending. What would Jesus do?

Kent Grigsby, Riverside


To the editor: To understand the Supreme Court’s decision to allow indoor worship services, just realize that if you “worship” at the “church” of Costco, you are allowed to spend hours indoors without social distancing, and yet the state couldn’t figure out a way to allow people of faith to gather indoors under any circumstance.

I’m not sure if this is because of incompetence, anti-religion bias or just laziness.

Eleven months into the pandemic, we have the right to expect that our elected leaders would have by now adopted laser-focused rules and restrictions that are consistently applied and based on scientific data. Instead, what we have are rules that punish some industries while few restrictions are imposed on others.

In the case of indoor worship, the U.S. Supreme Court got it right.

Glenn Fout, Ojai


To the editor: Pastor Che Ahn at Harvest Rock Church Pasadena explained that the Bible requires members of his congregation to meet inside.


He surely was not referring to the New Testament, because Jesus is usually not shown holding indoor gatherings. Does Ahn remember the Sermon on the Mount?

As it happens, Harvest Rock holds services inside the old Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena and is surrounded by 13 acres of lovely manicured grounds that it owns. Does the pastor not believe that those grounds would make an appropriate setting for a 21st century church service?

Erica Hahn, Monrovia