- Why We Should Engage Our Government
- What Bill C-6 is About and Why We Are Encouraging Hope to Take Action
- How We Can Take Action
It is sometimes difficult for believers in Christ to determine if, when, and how we should engage with the government directly on issues that intersect faith and life. We believe that God is sovereign and that He has placed our government leaders in a place of authority. We also recognize that Christians have the freedom and responsibility to believe, live out, and express their biblical Christian worldview in the public arena.
WHY SHOULD WE ENGAGE OUR GOVERNMENT?
“No one person and no human authority, including civil government, is above the law. The Bible teaches that even the king is to be submissive to the law. Deuteronomy 17:18-20 describes how new kings were to write a copy of the law and read it all the days of their life ‘that his heart may not be lifted above his brothers.’
“Furthermore, because every human being is made in the image of God, they all are to be judged equally before the law. The government should not favour the poor (Ex. 23:3; Lev. 19:15; Deut. 1:16; Prov. 17:26); the government should not favour the rich (Ex. 23:6, 8; Deut. 1:16-17; 2 Chron. 19:5-7; Psa. 82:2-4); and the government should not favour one race over another (Deut. 1:16 – ‘You must hear the cases of your fellow Israelites and the foreigners living among you. Be perfectly fair in your decisions.’).”
Given that we are both allowed and encouraged to participate in the political process, and that this issue directly affects an issue of discrimination against freedom of religion, we believe it is time to encourage greater dialogue from the local church on this issue.
WHAT IS BILL C-6 ABOUT?
Bill C-6 broadly bans and criminalizes all forms of conversion therapy while dangerously lumping together body-affirming counselling with other outdated, harmful forms of conversion therapy. This poses a direct threat to our ability to live out the whole gospel in freedom in Canada. The bill was rushed through committee with very little input or debate, raising serious procedural and ethical questions.
To be clear, we are not against what we believe is the intention of this bill, which is to ban a kind of conversion therapy that would be definted as involuntary, coercive, and abusive. What we are concerned about is the potential infringement on the Charter right of freedom of expression.
“Freedom of conscience and religion means a person has the right to:
- Entertain beliefs as she chooses
- Declare beliefs openly – without fear of hindrance, reprisal, or criminal prosecution
- Manifest beliefs through: Worship, Practices,Teaching, Dissemination”
The quote above is an excerpt from https://www.ourcommons.ca/Content/Committee/432/JUST/Brief/BR11026592/br-external/CanadianCentreForChristianCharities-10351589-e.pdf “Submissions to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights Re: Bill C-6, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy)” by the Canadian Centre for Christian Charities. It is a balanced, well-thought-out submission that we would encourage reading for clarity on the suggested amendments that would preserve the core elements of this bill while also preserving religious freedom for Christians.
The latest draft of the bill can be found here: https://parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/43-2/bill/C-6/second-reading
“Our main concern with so-called conversion therapy bans is the vague and overbroad definition of ‘conversion therapy’ and the potential criminalization of conversations between parents, pastors, and Christian counsellors when speaking to youth about a biblical understanding of ethics, sexuality, gender, identity, and belonging.” (Excerpt from Article Below)
For more information read this article: https://arpacanada.ca/news/2021/01/29/bill-c-6-is-rushed-through-the-justice-committee-and-comes-out-worse/
HOW CAN WE TAKE ACTION?
Most importantly, we must pray. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says “ if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
- Pray for our government leaders, that God would work in their hearts and lead them to a God-honouring outcome.
- Pray in repentance for our own sins and for the sins of our nation.
- Pray for the wisdom to respond in a loving, gospel-filled manner as the Church.
Send An Email
One of the practical ways we can respond in a respectful and clear way is to write an email or letter to your local Member of Parliament. The Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) has a tool on their website to help you easily find your MP’s email address and compose an email specifically about your concerns over Bill C-6. You can click this link to go there: https://easymail.arpacanada.ca/?topic=4909.
You can also watch this video on how to use this tool: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Zjr_LeUZPk
THE DAYS AHEAD
As leaders, we recognize there are several issues emerging into which the Church must speak. Whether it is about the church gathering, the sanctity of life as related to abortion and assisted suicide, or the current pressure on professionals such as doctors and lawyers to keep their faith and conscience out of the workplace, we believe it is time that we as Christians start to engage our elected officials in respectful and proactive dialogue for the sake of the gospel.