There seems to be an attempt to silence Christians in Canada!
This is the view of Pastor David Lynn of “Christ’s Forgiveness Ministries,” a Toronto church which aims at “impacting the world through radical evangelism, church planting and discipleship” (www.christsforgivenessministries.org).
On June 4, 2019 Lynn was arrested for preaching the gospel on the streets of Toronto. That day he and his team were on the third day of a Toronto-wide evangelical tour.
“The themes of the message I preached throughout the time were ‘God loves you,’ ‘There is hope for you,’ John 3:16 and ‘I tolerate you. Would you tolerate me?’ At this particular stop, I was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace” (article by David Hoffman, Charisma News October 10, 2019 www.charismanews.com)
It was within a community which resided members of the LGBT, and they took tremendous offence of his preaching the gospel to them.
Now this is surely becoming a recurring theme in the arrests of street preachers. And it has been highlighted already in this column.
In the majority of cases whenever a preacher is heckled, physically challenged, or arrested, there have been LGBT members in the crowd.
Pastor Lynn claims that there was nothing hateful or offensive in his message. Certainly, the topics mentioned above do not seem to fit that mould.
But that does not matter. As long as it is the gospel many people – particularly those of the LGBT community – are highly offended.
Of course, the Bible clearly states that the Word would be offensive to those who would not believe (1 Peter 2:7, 8).
Pastor Lynn says that the laws of freedom of speech guaranteed by the Constitution have not changed. But what have changed are the new laws being used by the authorities to curb the gospel.
“There are hate speech laws and laws that pertain to disturbing the peace…get applied to us, wrongfully…What happens is that authorities use questionable grey area laws like, ‘Disturbing the peace’ or ‘Mischief’ in an attempt to silence us as Christians.”
So what obtains is that recent laws or amendments to existing ones have become more valid than the basic human rights of the Canadian citizen to freely express his/her religious beliefs.
The discrimination against Christians is clear in other areas as well.
Prime Minister Trudeau, infamously intolerant of evangelical Christianity, has curtailed funding for youth summer programmes to charities which hold anti-abortion views.
This has effectively limited the number of programmes sponsored by churches and parachurch organisations.
This is the treatment meted out to Christians in Canada. They seem to be relegated to the status of second-class citizens.
“Christian media outlets are…often not granted the licensing to broadcast their beliefs on public media forums,” says Pastor Lynn. “We are not allowed to have prayer groups in schools like Muslims. We don’t have a Christian month and are not allowed to place a flag, or cross, on our desks or beside the national flag like the LGBT community is permitted to.”
The pastor believes that the Christian community ought to get out there in the public spaces and evangelise while some freedoms remain.
There could come a time when even the liberties the Church enjoys now could be taken away.