They are now attempting to put preachers in jail simply for the sermons that they are preaching. This is complete and utter garbage.
First of all, it was billed as legislation that would ban so-called conversion therapy in Canada. Instead, the language in this bill is overly broad to the point where preaching the basic tenets of sexual morality laid out in the Bible could be construed as conversion therapy in the country.
Now, according to Fox News, there are going to be more than 4,000 preachers in North America that will be devoting their sermons to this perfidious influence that Bill C-4 might have on the freedom of religion.
Of course, attacks like this are nothing new, and they are especially pernicious because they are done in the name of “tolerance” but they are against the freedom of speech that people have in the pulpit and other places of worship.
They fast-tracked Bill C-4 through the Canadian Parliament without much debate last month and it went into effect Jan. 8. According to Canada’s CTV, the bill “includes wider-reaching vocabulary of what constitutes conversion therapy than what the federal government attempted to pass in the last Parliament, and expands beyond the past proposal which focused on outlawing the use of the practice against children and non-consenting adults.”
CTV’s Dec. 7 report neatly describes what proponents of the bill say they’re banning: “Conversion ‘therapy,’ as it has been called, seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual or gender identity to cisgender. It can include seeking to repress someone’s non-heterosexual attraction, or repressing a person’s gender expression or non-cis gender identity.”
Furthermore, “conversion therapy” is defined very loosely. According to Fox News, Bill C-4 characterizes it as any kind of counseling designed to “repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behavior,” “repress a person’s non-cisgender gender identity” or “repress or reduce a person’s gender expression that does not conform to the sex assigned to the person at birth.”
“This piece of legislation is by far the most direct attack we’ve seen on freedom of expression and freedom of conscience and religion,” Marty Moore, an attorney for the Calgary-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, told Fox News.
He said the violations to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and their provisions for religious liberty “are very concerning.”
One example would be a religious figure who says, based on the tenets of his or her respective holy texts, that sex should be reserved for a monogamous married couple that consists of a male and a female. Simply saying that could now be seriously problematic.
“The teaching and the propagation of those faiths, if it comes into contact with an LGBTQ person, regardless of whether that LGBTQ person is seeking that counseling or not, the propagation and teaching and dissemination of those faiths run the risk of being classified as conversion therapy,” Moore said.
This is the main reason why thousands of Christian pastors in North America — as part of a movement organized by Liberty Coalition Canada and prominent California pastor John MacArthur — said they were willing to protest Bill C-4 in their sermons.
MacArthur characterized the bill as part of a culture normalizing sexual immorality and cracking down on those who speak up for traditional biblical values.
“Ultimately, the dissenters, the ones who will not cave in, are going to be those who are faithful to the Bible,” he told Fox News. “And that’s what’s already leading to laws made against doing what we are commanded to do in Scripture, which is to confront that sin. And that’s just going to escalate.
“The fact that they identified it as a criminal conduct that could give you as much as five years in prison takes it to a completely different level, because Canadian pastors have been put in jail for just having church services.”
That’s another reason that Bill C-4 is ominous: several pastors were jailed by Canadian authorities after they held services during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Pastor James Coates, the first preacher to get thrown behind bars, spent a month in a maximum-security prison — something clearly commensurate with the “crime” of holding in-person church services.
Coates told Fox News that Bill C-4 is “anything but loving,” given that it aims to “shut the LGBT community off from the saving and transforming message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
“I believe our government is capitalizing on a politically expedient segment of its constituency in an effort to further dismantle Western civilization as we know it,” he said. “To do this, it must outlaw its very foundation, which is rooted in a Judeo-Christian worldview. Bill C-4 is another brick laid in this effort and is evidence that our government is under the judgment of God.”
Pastor Artur Pawlowski of Calgary has been arrested numerous times in dramatic raids by authorities. At one point, a court even demanded that he recite a script about vaccination and COVID-19 before his sermons that contradicted his teachings. Luckily for Brother Arthur, this was struck down by a higher court.
Bill C-4, the refugee from European communism said, was “straight from Soviet Russia.”
“Nothing new under the sun,” Pawlowski told Fox News. “I lived in a country that implemented laws like that.”
“The government was telling you what you can and cannot say,” he said, adding, “I will always preach the whole Bible. … If someone comes to me asking for help, for therapy, I want the government and everybody else to know I’ll never turn that individual away. And if it costs me, so be it. But every hurting person who is asking me for help, I’ll not turn away.”
The pastors have every reason to be furious. This is a very slippery slope indeed. We had people settling on this continent four hundred years ago because they wanted religious freedom, and now we just might be losing it here.