Canadian pastors are urging their fellow-ministers to “stand up and defend” the church by returning to in-person worship services in defiance of state-imposed restrictions.
Trinity Bible Chapel, an Ontario church that has already been fined $83,000 for continuing to hold church services, released an 8-minute video on Wednesday, warning the Canadian church is presently being persecuted by the state.
The video features several Canadian pastors who refused to turn their congregations away from Sunday worship and as a result were hit with heavy fines, threats of violence, and even imprisonment.
Jacob Reaume, Senior Pastor of Trinity Bible Chapel said, “The men who are being persecuted and the churches that are being persecuted are asserting the supremacy of Jesus Christ over the church in a way that offends the government that wants to be supreme over the church.”
The video comes just days after Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church was released from prison after spending five weeks behind bars for refusing to close his church near Edmonton.
Pastor Steve Richardson, who was also charged for refusing to close Faith Presbyterian Church in Tillsonburg, said the problem is that the decisions for worship are coming, not from Jesus, but from a magistrate that “doesn’t know the difference between a man and a woman.”
Tim Stephens, Pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Calgary said, “I just don’t think pastors realize how hurting so many people are, and so many Christians. They’re lost, and they don’t have shepherds and they don’t have brothers and sisters they’re able to come together with.”
Pastor Richardson went on to urge ministers who have closed their doors to remember their vows, their promises, the songs we sing about Calvary, and the sufferings of Jesus and all he has done for us.
“Remember that he said we are to count the cost,” Pastor Richardson said. “So, having counted the cost, let’s go ahead an pay it. Let’s willingly say to Jesus, you are worthy. And I can assure you, that the experience of all of us who have been doing this, who have been gathering at risk of penalty to ourselves and our families, we have experienced blessings from heaven that we can’t put into words.”