According to witnesses, a man approached John MacArthur, screaming in his advance while MacArthur began his sermon. Security subdued the man and removed him out the back entrance of the building. This isn’t a repeat of August 2015, in which a Scottish crazy man rushed the stage to announce himself a prophet and accuse MacArthur of heresy for believing in cessationism. After that, GCC security installed velvet ropes, which seemed to slow down the interloper this time.
Yesterday, the assailant was able to only make it a couple steps, and when hesitating at the ropes, was grabbed by the security team and hauled off. One GCC member told us, “Some goofball tried to go up on the stage from the organ side. He had to climb over the rope our security had to install (thanks to our Scottish prophet) and he didn’t get two steps up the stairs until security jumped him. He was rambling something about God not speaking to us anymore or some such nonsense and something about Pharaoh. The took him out the back door…”
The assailant was apparently not unknown at the church, and had been at Grace Community Church on a previous occasion, arguing about theonomy and asserting that the church was Israel. Security already had a restraining order against the man for that previous encounter at the visitor’s center. Reportedly, the previous incident was approximately a week ago.
Another GCC member, who wasn’t present at the second service where this transpired, told us, “I’m told that security was a lot more heavily handed than they were with [the Scottish prophet]. I was also told the guy was very strong.”
Yet another GCC member – who was present – reported the events in the following way:
“A guy just rushed the pulpit at Grace. [He] started shouting some nonsense but the security got on him quick and he didn’t even make it halfway up the steps. It was on the organ side and though he didn’t appear violent, he was certainly aggressive. It was right at the beginning of John’s sermon, I was looking down at my iPad and by the time I heard the guy shouting and looked up he was surrounded (being physically restrained) by security – maybe 4/5 guys – and there was another security guy standing between John and the kerfuffle…like a free safety…He was a good 15-20 feet from John. [He was] kind of a burly, unkempt looking guy.”
Reportedly, MacArthur handled it with grace. He continues, “John just stood there and let it all unfold then as they ushered the guy out the other door he says, ‘We didn’t plan for that.’ Everyone laughs and he follows that up with, “Sometimes I get up here and want to be sure I have your attention, but we didn’t plan that.”
The intruder was in his 30s or 40s, and was shouting about how the church was the children of Israel. His demeanor, from all reports, was much more aggressive than the Scottish prophet several years ago. Because it didn’t occur during the second service live stream, there is no video of the event currently available.