Most of us would confess that we pay little attention to the legislative activity of our federal government. We often assume that those in positions of responsibility will preserve and defend the rights of all of their citizens as set out in the Canadian Constitution. We also have the right to expect, that both houses of parliament will act with due diligence and not in haste, when researching and debating matters pertinent to the drafting of new legislation.
Neither of these two expectations were met when Bill C-41 was introduced to the House of Commons on November 29, 2021 and summarily passed on December 2, 2021. The Senate failed in its role as the ‘house of sober second thought’, passing the bill into law on December 7. As of January 30, 2022, it is now part of the criminal code of Canada.
If there was ever a legislative equivalent of a Kangaroo court, this was it. There was no debate: no weighting of evidence, no consideration of arguments to the contrary and no effort to pre-test it’s constitutionality. See: ( https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/how-rights-protected/guide-canadian-charter-rights-freedoms.html#a2b)
The government had made up its mind in advance and by drafting this very vaguely worded amendment, it accomplished at least three things.
- It scored ‘political correctness points’ without breaking a sweat.
- It shifted the hard work of sorting it all out to the courts where the expense of defense and the fear of trial is born by the accused.
- And by drafting a criminal amendment whose precise meaning and application is very unclear, it sets out to intimate and silence any whose beliefs and activities might cross a legal line – whose precise location, no one knows.
Before you read on, let me encourage you to read a copy of this bill at: https://www.parl.ca/Content/Bills/441/Government/C-4/C-4_4/C-4_4.PDF
Sending you to this link shortens my article and safeguards against misrepresentation on my part by encouraging you to read the bill for yourself.
Bill C-4 criminalizes anyone providing or advertising what it calls ‘conversion therapy’. It defines conversion therapy as: “A practice, treatment or service designed to
(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.
For greater certainty, this definition does not include a practice, treatment or service that relates to the exploration or development of an integrated personal identity — such as a practice, treatment or service that relates to a person’s gender transition — and that is not based on an assumption that a particular sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression is to be preferred over another.
This definition is intentionally broad, failing to distinguish between:
- Practices that rely on information, persuasion and an appeal to moral values from those that are authoritarian, power based and coercive to effect forced compliance.
- It also fails to distinguish between the treatment of minors and the right of adults to make up their own minds and to seek out the help that they want to effect the changes desired
Questions raised by the vagueness of this legislation.
- The Bible makes no distinction between a person’s biological sex and their sexual identity. Is it now illegal to preach Genesis 1:27?
- The scriptures recognize only heterosexual marriage, outside of which all people are commanded to exercise restraint and self control over sexual activity. Has the preaching of self-control (Gal 5:22-23) and the promotion of tools to aid it, become illegal in Canada?
- Both the Old and New Testaments condemn homosexual behaviour, identifying it as sinful. Christian conversion – which brings with it the promise of salvation from sin requires repentance from sins and a reformation of life going forward. Is it now illegal in Canada to offer God’s redemption to practising homosexuals and lesbians?
- And is it illegal to support former homosexuals and lesbians who have become Christians, and to help them to remain faithful to their new spiritual life in Christ? It stands to reason that the temptation to relapse would be reduced if the same-sex attraction were diminished. If Christians aid their fellow Christians to seek such treatment or provide it to reduce temptation in an effort to overcome sin, and to remain faithful to their saviour, is this now a criminal act? And if yes, what protections are afforded by the ‘freedom of religion’ provisions of the Canadian Constitution?
By censuring and criminalizing only those who attempt to ‘convert’ homosexual and non-cisgender persons, the law implicitly favours conversion moving in the opposite direction. This has long been evident. The public schools are mandated to portray and thus promote gay values and lifestyles as valid moral alternatives. Gender identity is taught as a matter separate from one’s actual gender. And marriage has been redefined in Canada to include unions between persons of the same sex.
The ‘field is tilted’ and ‘the deck is stacked’. All pretension of neutrality is gone and Parliament has declared war upon the church of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
An unfamiliar term:
The term ‘cisgender’ stems from an effort to distinguish between biology and perception. No matter your sex, you can choose to ‘be’ (perceive yourself to be) whatever you wish. A non-cisgender person simply chooses to reject their biology and act upon the conviction (perception) that something else is true.
I am reminded of an argument that C.S. Lewis made regarding the identity of Jesus Christ who claimed to be God in the flesh.
“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse”. (Mere Christianity)
What Lewis meant was that the ‘facts in question’ must always be the measure of the ‘claims in perception’. The man claiming to be a poached egg is still a man. It does not help anyone for the rest of us to agree or to adopt his view of reality. It seems reasonable that only those who know a real poached egg when they see one, are in position to help.
Modern atheistic philosophers have always argued for the subjectivity of morality while affirming the objectivity of the material world. Our most recent crop of atheists have gone one step further, affirming the subjectivity of both and in Bill C-4 have enlisted the Canadian government to criminalize those who disagree.
As an act of desperation Bill C-4 is an intemperate use of power intended to prop up a failed worldview by criminalizing and imprisoning those who disagree. This use of power to destroy truth is straight out of Satan’s handbook. The Bible says that he has been a liar from the beginning and is in fact the “father of lies’ (John 8:44).
Regarding our mandate to Evangelize
Writing to the churches in Rome, the apostle Paul made it clear that the gospel of Jesus Christ is God’s power (his one and only way) to save the world from sin. Stated negatively, unless sinners hear, believe and obey the gospel, they cannot be saved. There is no other remedy.
Paul goes on to explain that the gospel reveals two things. It reveals how righteous God is and how we can participate in His righteousness. And it details those against whom the wrath of God is directed. Here is what he wrote – and notice how it applies to this parliamentary bill and the society whose values it expresses (Romans 1:18-32)
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, being understood by what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honour Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their reasonings, and their senseless hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and they exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible mankind, of birds, four-footed animals, and crawling creatures.
Therefore God gave them up to vile impurity in the lusts of their hearts, so that their bodies would be dishonoured among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for falsehood, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged natural relations for that which is contrary to nature, and likewise the men, too, abandoned natural relations with women and burned in their desire toward one another, males with males committing shameful acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a depraved mind, to do those things that are not proper, people having been filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed,and evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unfeeling, and unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them.”
The apostle traced the sharp downward moral spiral of those who in every age, deny the being and person of God. And while the list of sins goes far beyond the subject matter of Bill C-4, the sins of homosexuality and lesbianism are prominent.
The preaching of salvation in Christ includes information about just what kind of conduct constitutes sin and falls under God’s eternal judgment. Given that salvation is offered upon condition of repentance, those who would accept God’s grace are required to embrace His goodness and become His agents of change. Bill C-4 appears to forbid what God commands. In order to remain faithful to God, we must respond as the apostles did when faced with a ‘gag order’ from the high court of the Jews. ‘We must obey God rather then men’ (Acts 5:29)
Not only is it our duty to share the gospel, it is our mandate from God to help those coming out of a life of sin – to persist in righteousness. We come alongside adulterers and fornicators to keep them faithful. We stand with addicts of all kinds to fight addiction. And we must help those who have renounced their gay way of life – to remain faithful to their Lord and master.
In the first century, some who had once practised homosexuality had become part of the early church. Paul wrote to the whole church for the purpose of strengthening them in their new way of life and encouraging them to remain faithful.
In I Cor 6:9-11 Paul wrote:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor those habitually drunk, nor verbal abusers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and n the Spirit of our God.
Persecution has always had the unintended consequence of strengthening the convictions of those persecuted. It forces those who hold them, to get serious or to get out. And while it has never been an effective means of achieving the goals of those who use it, Satan still does. He works through agents, to intimidate and silence. And since Satan has never had the truth on his side, he invariably resorts to the use of force.
The church of the first century prospered in the face of persecution for it worshipped a crucified saviour and served a resurrected Lord. They counted it a high privilege to be counted worthy to suffer (Acts 5:41) and took up their cross daily (Luke 9:23) having counted the cost (Luke 14:33). God blessed them and strengthened them to endure and will do so today.
What Should We Do?
- Don’t panic – calmly obey God rather than men: Satan is condemned already as are all who are in league with him. Do not fear their intimidation (I Pet 3:14-16)
- Evangelize: Continue to speak the truth of God, in love. The salvation of the world depends upon it and public opinion will not change without it. Value the souls of others over the comfort of ourselves.
- For courage to speak out and for strength to endure.
- For repentance on the part of those who have authored and supported this bill.
- And for the conversion of those who are lost..for without conversion to Christ, all those who are lost will remain so.
- Appeal to your member of parliament
- Email, write, call and visit to discuss your beliefs and views
- Vote with your conscience. Make this issue and others that are faith-related, central to the next ballot that you cast.
- Appeal to the courts
- God is able to work through all men and women, whether saved or unsaved. Support those who will challenge the constitutionality of this bill in court.
It is not only that God has called us for such a time as this, but that such times remind us that. “… our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
May we then persist in “destroying arguments and all arrogance raised against the knowledge of God”, and strive to take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…” (2 Cor 10:5)