Canada's new law, Bill C-4, is framed as a conversion therapy ban, but it’s really a Christian therapy ban. And considering the cunning and vague nature of the law, Bill C-4 threatens to criminalize Biblical preaching, too.
When Bill C-4 became law on January 7th, Prime Minister Trudeau said, “It is now illegal to promote, advertise, benefit from, or subject someone to this hateful and harmful practice.”
However, Bill C-4 won’t protect homosexual and transgender people from hate or harm. It’ll actually penalize the people who attempt to protect them from hate and harm.
The preamble for the bill says:
“Conversion therapy causes harm to society because, among other things, it is based on and propagates myths and stereotypes about sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, including the myth that heterosexuality, cisgender gender identity, and gender expression that conforms to the sex assigned to a person at birth are to be preferred over other sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions … in light of those harms, it is important to discourage and denounce the provision of conversion therapy in order to protect the human dignity and equality of all Canadians.”
Therefore, the bill implicitly suggests the Bible is filled with hateful and harmful myths about sexuality, equality, and human dignity.
What blasphemous thing to suggest about the Word of God — what a blasphemous thing to suggest about God!
God created all people in His image — so He gets to set the rules about the right way to protect human dignity, not the government.
Nevertheless, Bill C-4 says:
“Conversion therapy means a practice, treatment or service designed to
a. Change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual;
b. Change a person’s gender identity to cisgender;
c. Change a person’s gender expression so that it conforms to the sex assigned to the person at birth;
d. Repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour;
e. Repress a person’s non-cisgender gender identity; or
f. Repress or reduce a person’s gender expression that does not conform to the sex assigned to the person at birth.”
Therefore, anyone who influences a person to undergo conversion therapy or provides conversion therapy to that person could be fined or sentenced to up to five years in prison. And anyone who promotes conversion therapy could be fined or sentenced to up to two years in prison.
Meaning, under the vague law: anyone — especially Biblical counselors and pastors — who promote Biblical sexuality could be penalized for practicing or promoting conversion therapy.
This is why under the leadership of Liberty Coalition Canada, James Coates, and John MacArthur — pastors across Canada and America are preaching on biblical sexuality today (originally published on January 16).
This is why, for the first (and hopefully) last time, I’m publishing an article on a Sunday morning.
My friends at the Liberty Coalition tell me they’re expecting over 300 pastors in Canada and over 3,000 pastors in America to preach on biblical sexuality this morning.
When God said, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter (Isaiah 5:20)”, he was speaking about people like the Canadian government.
Therefore, what these pastors preached on a few days ago will be called hateful and harmful by many people today.
However, it isn’t hateful and harmful to convert homosexual and transgender people to Christ. It’s hateful and harmful to affirm homosexuality and transgenderism — since it leads them to the wrath of God in Hell.
Indeed, some versions of conversion therapy are hateful and harmful. But that’s because the people who performed those kinds of conversion therapy were disobeying the Bible. The Gospel is the free offer of salvation — it isn’t forced conversion.
However, Bill C-4 is even more hateful and harmful than any version of conversion therapy. This is because the conversion therapy ban is hateful and harmful to Christians and homosexual and transgender people.
The conversion therapy ban penalizes people who want to save others from the penalty of sin.
So we should all be grateful for the pastors, especially Canadian pastors who love homosexual and transgender people enough to preach on biblical sexuality today — especially since that act of love has become a controversial and possibly a criminal act this morning.
However, we can be grateful for these pastors without bitterness against the others who won’t preach on biblical sexuality today. This isn’t the litmus test for faithful preaching.
The Holy Spirit sets the preaching schedule for pastors — not me, not you, not anyone else. So although I’m grateful for the pastors who will be preaching on biblical sexuality today — I know they agree this morning isn’t the only day or only way to preach on biblical sexuality.
Therefore if your pastor isn’t preaching on biblical sexuality today, do not burden them with your preferences. If they submit to the Bible, you should submit to them.
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you (Hebrews 13:17).”
We should obey our pastors because we obey God, and we should disobey our government on Bill C-4 because we obey God.
Originally published at Slow to Write.
Samuel Sey is a Ghanaian-Canadian who lives in Brampton, a city just outside of Toronto. He is committed to addressing racial, cultural, and political issues with biblical theology, and always attempts to be quick to listen and slow to speak.