Canada’s new law, Bill C-4, is designed as a ban on conversion therapy, but it’s really a ban on Christian therapy. And given the crafty and vague nature of the law, Bill C-4 also threatens to criminalize Bible preaching.
When Bill C-4 became law on January 7, Prime Minister Trudeau noted, “It is now illegal to promote, advertise, benefit from or subject anyone to this hateful and harmful practice.”
However, Bill C-4 will not protect gay and transgender people from hatred or harm. It will actually penalize people who try to protect them from hate and evil.
The preamble of the bill said:
“Conversion therapy harms society because, among other things, it is based on myths and stereotypes about sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, including the myth that heterosexuality, cisgender gender identity and gender expression consistent with the sex assigned to a person at birth should be preferred over other sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions…in light of these harms, it is important to discourage and denounce the offer of conversion therapy in order to protect the human dignity and equality of all Canadians.”
Therefore, the bill implicitly suggests that the Bible is filled with hateful and harmful myths about sexuality, equality and human dignity.
What a 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 it’s up to him to set the rules on 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.Changing a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual;
b.Changing a person’s gender identity to cisgender;
vs.Changing 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 behavior;
e.Repressing a person’s non-cisgender gender identity; Where
f.Repressing or reducing 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 can 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.
Which means, under the vague law: anyone – especially biblical counselors and pastors – who promotes biblical sexuality could be penalized for practicing or promoting conversion therapy.
That’s why, for the first (and hopefully) last time, I’m posting on a Sunday morning.
My friends at the Liberty Coalition tell me that they expect 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 talking about people like the Canadian government.
Therefore, what those pastors preached a few days ago will be called hateful and harmful by many people today.
However, it is neither abhorrent nor harmful to convert homosexual and transgender people to Christ. It is heinous and harmful to affirm homosexuality and transgenderism, because 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 practiced this kind of conversion therapy were disobeying the Bible. The gospel is the free offer of salvation—it is not forced conversion.
However, Bill C-4 is even more heinous and harmful than any version of conversion therapy. Indeed, the ban on conversion therapy is abhorrent and harmful to Christians and to gay and transgender people.
The ban on conversion therapy penalizes people who want to save others from the penalty of sin.
So we should all be grateful to pastors, especially Canadian pastors who love gay and transgender people enough to preach about biblical sexuality today – especially since this act of love has become a controversial act and can -be criminal this morning.
However, we can be grateful to those pastors without bitterness against others who will not preach on biblical sexuality today. This is not the litmus test for faithful preaching.
The Holy Spirit sets the preaching schedule for pastors – not me, not you, not anyone else. So while I am grateful to the pastors who will be preaching on biblical sexuality today, I know they agree that this morning is not the only day or the only way to preach on biblical sexuality.
So if your pastor isn’t preaching about biblical sex today, don’t burden him with your preferences. If they submit to the Bible, you should submit to them.
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they watch over your souls as those who will be held accountable. Let them do it with joy and not with groans, for that would be of no benefit 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 posted on 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 tries to be quick to listen and slow to speak.