Days ago, Canada approved a “conversion therapy” ban that condemns Christian doctrine on the sinfulness of homosexuality and transgenderism as “myth.” Indeed, bill C-4 — passed unanimously by both the Senate and the House of Commons — threatens pastors with up to five years of prison time if they remain faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
As thousands of American ministers stand in solidarity with Canadian believers by preaching about biblical sexual ethics on Sunday, January 16, two Canadian pastors — Jacob Reaume of Trinity Bible Chapel and Tim Stephens of Fairview Baptist Church — told The Daily Wire about the implications of C-4 and how Canadian Christians plan to respond.
‘The Church must be a prophetic witness’
While describing C-4, Reaume — whose church incurred over $100,000 in fines last year for refusing to shut its doors in defiance of Canada’s COVID-19 lockdowns — noted that the edict will “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,” he explained. “The bill’s language is vague enough that many think it might criminalize a biblical call to forsake sodomitic propensities to embrace righteousness.”
Stephens — who was jailed in a maximum-security facility last summer for refusing to close his church — added that “the law is overly broad in defining conversion therapy,” thereby enshrining “progressive gender ideology and queer theory as normative.”
“All societies that live according to the biblical ethic” — in other words, creational norms — “have flourished,” he continued. “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 that the extent to which authorities will enforce the law remains in question. In any case: “Many churches in Canada avoid this subject already to avoid the ire of the culture. When preaching is outlawed, the faithful will be the outlaws who preach.”
As ministers of the gospel, neither Reaume nor Stephens plan to amend their preaching in response to C-4.
“I have a message from God, and He has called me to herald it,” Reaume said. “I am not my own, but He bought me with the blood of His Son. I am beholden to Him alone. By His grace, I will not stop speaking about God’s demands for holiness and His free offer of pardon. If anything, the legislation will motivate me to speak with more force and clarity against the evils of homosexuality and transgenderism.”
“We don’t pick our battles, but we do pick how we fight them. May the Master find me faithful.”
“I will preach the whole counsel of God in season and out of season. I will continue to speak on the issues that face our culture with clarity,” Stephens likewise affirmed. “These cultural flashpoints are where the battle rages hottest and it is precisely here that faithfulness is tested. The Church must be a prophetic witness rather than gag God and be ashamed of His truth.”
“Broadly, Christians in Canada remain concerned about losing freedom of religion but fearful of using those freedoms to protect their ‘witness.’ But witness is not reputation in the eyes of the world, it’s faithfulness before God,” Stephens added.
‘Revival and reformation is needed’
How should Christians in the West — especially in the United States — be warned from Canada’s passage of C-4? According to both Reaume and Stephens, LGBTQ doctrine will continue to gain new footholds apart from Christians taking back ground.
“The ideologies of queer theory, progressive gender ideology, and critical theory have taken over education, corporations, entertainment, and the media,” Stephens explained. “Politics is simply the face of the heart of a nation. The United States is lagging Canada, but the ideas are there and will bear fruit unless the roots are pulled up.”
“Christians must realize that we are in a spiritual battle where we are called to destroy strongholds, these opinions and philosophies that are raised against the knowledge of God,” Stephens continued, warning that the United States Constitution will sooner or later “prove ineffective to stop the advance of these godless ideologies.”
“Revival and reformation is needed. The Church must lead. Sadly, American evangelicalism looks a lot like Canada with only a few voices sounding the alarm and speaking truth to culture.”
Reaume noted that believers in the West can no longer ignore pervasive sexual sin in their cultures.
“Christian have erred in thinking that we can carry on in our churches and lives just fine while the state and the media have done all they can to normalize sodomy,” he said. “We can’t carry on. Sodomy is selfish and destructive toward all it touches. The more it is permitted to grow, the more it will grow, and it will accelerate until it destroys every aspect of life.”
“Scripture describes Sodom as a vine with poisonous grapes (Deuteronomy 32:32). Without being cut back, the vine will take and poison the entire garden, strangling all of life. That is what has happened in Canada,” he warned. “The vine of Sodom has now entered the Church and is attempting to suffocate the pulpit. Christians need to put on the full armor of God and attack at the root to remove the entire plant from the garden.”
“We cannot tolerate even the roots of this vine. That takes courage and the power of God, and it is costly. But the cost will have to be paid one way or another. It can be paid while you still can speak without legal reprisal, or your children will pay with criminal prosecution like they might in Canada, if the vine doesn’t strangle them first.”
Reaume added that God gives no quarter with respect to societal evil.
“We are here because previous generations just went along and put up with sodomy, as long as they could go to church and send their kids to free public schools. The vine grew and grew, and now we pay a deep price. No matter how much the world libels us as ‘bigoted’ or brands us ‘intolerant,’ we must attack evil. Evil stinks in the nostrils of God and invites terrible judgments from heaven. We must see this as God sees it. He is not passively tolerant of gay marriage. He is Lord of all, and He demands that all of life be subject to His Law.”
‘Lukewarmness is a ball and chain around our ankles’
When asked about their prayer for Canada as they and other Christians respond to C-4, Reaume and Stephens mentioned their desire for bold ministers — as well as compassion for the individual Canadians who will be hurt by the legislation.
“It is my prayer that people most harmed by this bill” — namely, the teenagers who are confused about gender and sexuality — “will hear the truth and be saved,” Stephens offered. “Be saved from harm in this life and be united with God in the next. It will be those suffering from gender dysphoria and sexual confusion that will suffer most.”
“Too many Canadian pastors think faithfulness means half-heartedly subscribing to an orthodox doctrinal statement without ever offending the cultural effetes,” Reaume said. “If they can just do that they figure they’ve arrived. That needs to stop. I desire to see Christ spew the lukewarm pastors and churches out of His mouth if they won’t be full of living water so that it overflows to nourish their listeners.”
“Their lukewarmness is a ball and chain around our ankles,” he mourned. “This soft generation needs hard prophets with a portion of Elijah’s spirit. We need to unsheathe the sword and discard the sheath, keeping our edges sharp, swing often and hard, but never miss a target, cutting deep wounds in the enemy with every bloody blow. May God use this hour to purify the Canadian Church so that the dross is removed from the silver.”
“May Canadians learn to respect the Church and fear Her Bridegroom.”
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.