Canada recently approved a “conversion therapy” ban that condemns orthodox Christian doctrine focused on the sinfulness of homosexuality and transgenderism as a “myth.” The bill known as C-4 passed unanimously in both the Senate and the House of Commons. Now pastors will be threatened with up to five years of prison time if they continue to remain faithful to what they believe is the Word of God.
There are thousands of American pastors who are standing in solidarity with their Canadian brothers and sisters. Many were willing to preach on sexual ethics on Sunday, January 16th.
Two pastors in Canada, Jacob Reaume of Trinity Bible Chapel and Tim Stephens of Fairview Baptist Church, are talking about the future implications of C-4 and how the Canadian Church is planning to respond.
Reaume’s church was saddled with over $100,000 in fines last year because they would not shut their doors in the midst of Canada’s COVID-19 lockdowns. He said that the new law would make the preaching of the biblical gospel a criminal act.
“The biblical gospel is a message of conversion, whereby Christ causes sinners to be born-again, thus converting them from sinful propensities to godliness. The bill’s language is vague enough that many think it might criminalize a biblical call to forsake sodomitic propensities to embrace righteousness,” Pastor Reaume explained.
Pastor Stephens was put in a maximum-security jail facility last summer for refusing to close his church’s doors. He said that this new law is too broad in defining conversion therapy; it enshrines progressive gender ideology and queer theory as normative.
“All societies that live according to the biblical ethic — in other words, creational norms — have flourished. This is now called harmful. Ironically, this law promotes a truly harmful type of ‘conversion’ using puberty-blocking chemicals, surgeries to remove functioning breasts and sexual organs, regular hormone treatments, and truly harmful counseling that has led to exorbitant suicide rates,” Stephens said.
Pastor Stephens questioned the extent to which officials in Canada will enforce the new law. He did say that many churches in his nation already avoid this subject in their congregation. But neither Reaume nor Stephens plans to change their preaching in response to C-4.
Pastor Reaume said that he had a message from God and that he has been called to herald it. He said that he is not his own, but that he has been bought with the blood of God’s son. By God’s grace, he will not stop speaking about God’s demand for holiness and his free gift of pardon. Reaume believes that this new legislation will motivate him to speak with more force and clarity. He hopes that his Master will find him faithful as he continues to preach the whole counsel of God.
Stephens echoed the same sentiment saying that he will continue to speak on the issues that face our culture with clarity. He said that these flashpoints in culture are where the battle rages and where faithfulness is tested. Stephens believes that the Church must be a prophetic witness and not be ashamed of God’s truth.
Both pastors agree that revival and reformation are what is needed. They are warning other Christians in the West about Canada’s passage of C-4. They say that progressive gender ideology has taken over education, corporations, entertainment, and the media. Stephens said that the U.S. is behind Canada, but the ideas are there and they will eventually bear fruit unless the roots are pulled up.
These pastors believe that the Church must lead, but American evangelicalism looks a lot like Canada…only a few voices are willing to be heard.