About the Post

Author Information

Amy is co-host and blogger for both Stand Up for the Truth and Naomi's Table, two ministries that give her the opportunity to write and talk about Jesus all day long. She has written, produced and broadcast in the realm of television and radio news, magazine business journals and marketing materials. She continues her freelance work as a writer and social media consultant.

Two preachers arrested for preaching to "captive audience"

This happened right here in the good ol’ U.S.A.  OneNewsNow has the story of two pastors who were recently arrested in California for reading the Bible aloud in a public area:

Mark Mackey and Brett Coronado of Calvary Chapel Hemet often read the Bible or preach in public areas, such as parks and malls. This time, Mackey was reading aloud from the Bible while standing about 50 feet from the Department of Motor Vehicles, which was closed. But the two were arrested because the 15 people waiting in line for the DMV to open were considered to be a “captive audience.” The exchange was captured on video:

Mackey (reading): …and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

Officer: Alright, you give him the book. You’re under arrest.

Mackey: What have I done wrong?

Officer: You’re not allowed …

Mackey: Can you tell what it is that I’ve done?

Officer: Absolutely I will. Absolutely I will. You’ve been asked to leave, and you didn’t.

Mackey then turned to the crowd and said, “Folks, this is what the United States is coming to — you can stand here and talk about anything you want, but you can’t talk about the Bible.”

But the officer replied, “You can preach on your own property, you can preach on the street corner, but you’re not allowed to preach here because this is a captive audience.”

Mackey and Coronado were arrested on misdemeanor charges and are being represented by Advocates for Faith & Freedom attorneys, who have asked that the charges be dismissed. That request was declined, so the decision is now being appealed on constitutional grounds.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

7 Responses to “Two preachers arrested for preaching to "captive audience"”

  1. Jim #

    Two preachers arrested for CRIMINAL TRESPASS.

    Romans 13:1-7 states: "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor."

    That passage makes it abundantly clear. We are to obey the government God places over us. God created government to establish order, punish evil, and promote justice (Genesis 9:6; 1 Corinthians 14:33; Romans 12:8). We are to obey the government in everything – paying taxes, obeying rules and laws, showing respect, etc. If we do not, we are ultimately showing disrespect towards God, for He is the One who placed that government over us. When the Apostle Paul wrote Romans 13:1-7, he was under the government of Rome, during the reign of Nero, perhaps that most evil of all the Roman Emperors. Paul still recognized that government’s rule over him. How can we do any less?

    The next question is: "Is there a time when we should not obey the laws of the land?" The answer to that question may be found in Acts 5:27-29, "Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 'We gave you strict orders not to teach in this Name,' he said. 'Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood.' Peter and the other apostles replied: 'We must obey God rather than men!'" From this, we can plainly see that as long as the law of the land does not contradict the law of God, we are bound to obey. As soon as the law of the land contradicts God's command, we are to disobey the law of the land, and obey God's law. However, even in that instance, we are to accept the government’s authority over us. This is demonstrated by the fact that Peter and John did not protest being flogged, but instead rejoiced that they suffered for obeying God (Acts 5:40-42).

    March 31, 2012 at 6:27 AM Reply
    • Matthew LeMay #

      Well put, Jim. You have delineated both aspects of this issue evenly, as well as vindicated the truth of the martyrs.

      This gentleman was arrested for criminal trespassing and probably could be charged with harrassment.

      It sounds to me like he was hoping to make a 'dramatic' point and it looks like he got his drama. He sounds like a very anxious man.

      Speaking our hearts is good, but speaking out our anxieties should only be done in private with our companions in the faith.

      To bad preachers today confuse their own anxieties and paranoias for God-inspired preaching.

      April 13, 2012 at 8:09 AM Reply
    • Matthew LeMay #

      People get arrested for this kind of stuff all the time. It doesn't matter *what* you are preaching, it is the *way* you are going about it and how that is disturbing the public peace.

      I had a friend in high school who used to do this kind of thing. He'd go to semi-public places like outside a news station and preaching about religion and politics. Sometimes I agreed with his views, sometimes I didn't, but I definitely acknowledged that his way of going about it was disturbing the public peace. He was very anxious and upset and dramatic and he would really irritate people. He has now been escorted out and arrested several times. I'm sure my old man remembers him!

      Needless to say, I no longer keep company with him, but I occasionally still hear through the grape-vine about his antics. Poor guy was very sick; I pray for him!

      April 13, 2012 at 8:16 AM Reply
  2. This is something that needs to. E looked at very carefully. Can you force someone to listen? Will this arrest lead to arrests based on complaints by business owners? What is the precedent? What is the prophetic significance?

    April 3, 2012 at 2:44 AM Reply
  3. Elizabeth #

    Amazing…If everyone obeyed their governements when it came to preaching…there would be silence all over the world…I know my rights as an American citizen…The First Amendment…Conngress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances…So what law was broken that they should be arrested? China its illegal and everywhere else…I will stand up an reach out to the lost souls…What amazing preachers these men are…Made my heart race thinking about the great strength God gives these men…

    April 3, 2012 at 5:44 AM Reply
  4. rick #

    I did not hear him read his rights; so I am more incline to think that this was staged.

    April 18, 2012 at 3:03 AM Reply
  5. Bill #

    The whole point here is that – the building wasn't open for business yet so a group of people standing there "waiting in line" were being "held captive against their will" since they were "being subjected" to hearing the Word of God. Technically, the question is – Were Mark and Brett guilty of breaking the law going against authority figures God has put in place as Jim suggests? OR? Were Mark and Brett acknowledging God as the authority over men by witnessing for the testimony of Jesus Christ and the Word of God?

    Technically, you can argue the point either way. That still doesn't change the fact you can speak in public but do not read the Word of God in public or you will be arrested on a technicality for subjecting people to hearing the Word of God. The reason WHY? No one wants to hear the Word of God. Go figure.

    March 30, 2014 at 4:35 PM Reply

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: