Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before You. Psalms 89:14
People of faith, should be very concerned with the broad implications of Bill C-6. A casual reading of this Bill should cause you to reflect that the Bill's perimeters are very ambiguous and could result in laws being applied which could threaten religious freedom. Have a look at MP Bob Zimmer's comments on Bill C-6 after the second reading:
OTTAWA – Bob Zimmer, Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies, issued the following statement regarding his decision to vote against Bill C-6 in its current form:
“Make no mistake, I am opposed to the practice of conversion therapy.
“However, I am concerned that the current wording of Bill C-6 leaves open the possibility that voluntary conversations between individuals and their parents, family members, pastors, teachers, or their counsellors may be criminalized.
“Freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of association are fundamental in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms and I believe the current language of this legislation is an encroachment on those foundational principles.
“I will be watching to see if this language is changed when the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights reviews the legislation before it comes back to the House of Commons for a third and final vote.
Yes, Christians should be opposed to some of the archaic and harmful methods of conversion therapy that were practiced at least a generation ago. However, the ambiguous perimeters of this Bill makes it appear like these archaic methods are still being practiced today. Also, there are other questions around this Bill, for example: will it become illegal for Christian pastors to teach in their churches a biblical view of sexuality? Or, if someone approaches a counsellor, or employee of a church to receive counsel and then recants this decision. Could they then bring charges against the very ones that they sought counsel from in the beginning?
Whenever free speech is in jeopardy and religious freedom is threatened in any nation, that nation can no longer be referred to as 'free and democratic'. Any nation that seeks to stifle a Christian voice becomes an oppressive place. Although this may begin with Christians, it will soon spread to affect all aspects of that society from family values, to education, to the workplace, and more.
Interestingly, former Pope Benedict co-authored a book entitled 'Without Roots' with Marcello Pera, who is a world renowned atheist. Within this book, both writers exhort the West to embrace a spiritual rather than political renewal -- to accept and promote the traditional moral values that alone can help us to make sense of our world. Marcello Pera, as an atheist, acknowledges that it is only when Christianity is the assumed belief of that culture, are we guaranteed the freedom to believe, or not to believe as he chooses.
We must understand that our moral battle to protect free speech and religious freedom should not be primarily based on our own selfish motives, (only for Christians) because it affects all faiths as well as society at large. Protecting religious freedom becomes a real application of loving your neighbour protect them from an oppressive atmosphere where human flourishing is stifled. Therefore, contacting your MP regarding your concerns to the proposed perimeters to Bill C-6 is very important. Let me exhort you to write a letter; send an email to voice your concern to your MP.
Hopefully, Canadian Christians will thoughtfully and prayerfully consider the ramifications in accepting these changes that affect our society and will voice these concerns to our elected officials.
Lastly, let me exhort you to lovingly stand firm for truth, even if we are labelled as ‘hate groups’ because we adhere to a biblical worldview. Freedom of speech in our nation should be upheld understanding that a person has a right to a difference of opinion, even when that opinion opposes yours. Open and honest debates within society are good for all of us. Don’t worry, the truth will always stand-up to open and honest debate.
Not only for our sake, but for the sake of others, we need to see the importance of embracing the truth of our faith and be willing to let our light shine for our society. God has given us all free-will which is reflected in our Canadian Constitution and is seen in free-speech and freedom of religion which is a cornerstone of a nation's democracy.
Our Christian faith becomes worthless if we show a lack of interest for truth in our world. Be willing to live as a truthful contrast regardless of any possible derision and name calling. Followers of Jesus who count the cost and are willing to take up their crosses after him, must have broad shoulders.
We need to ask the question that when such laws are passed that infringe on our biblical practice of truth, who will we follow? Throughout history, brave Christians have not compromised their faith and have stayed true, "...choose for yourselves this day whom will you serve. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord," (Joshua 24:15).
NOVEMBER PRAYER POINTS
Pray 2 Timothy 1:7 - For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Pray for Godly wisdom to be given to our health leaders / scientists across our nation to control and/or eliminate the Covid-19 virus. Isaiah 59:13-15
Pray for information that reveals the truth on matters that affect the integrity of our government to be exposed.
Pray 2 Corinthians 3:17 - Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Pray that Canadian Christians will not be silent on these issues and that we will unite in taking a decisive stand, not only for ourselves, but in protecting all Canadians and for the generations to come. Write your MP sharing your concerns, they are there to represent you.
Pray for adequate boundaries to the perimeters of the Conversion Therapy Bill C-6 that allows for our nation to protect an individual's freedom to choose counsel in their sexual identity struggles.
Pray for the Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) - Bill C-7 (Amendment)
"Since 2016 there has been 13,946 medically assisted deaths, according to Health Canada. Canada's rate of death by euthanasia has increased more rapidly than other permissive countries, with annual numbers which are double the deaths of motor-vehicle accidents". - Real Women of Canada
Canadian believers, and certain Christian ministries, are increasingly educating themselves in how to address the issues that are harming our society. Faith Beyond Belief is one such organization.
Pray for people to continue to access well researched information and give support to and promote these organizations within their communities. Give thanks for those who have committed their lives to stand for righteousness and justice as they endeavour to direct people towards the plumb-line of truth.
Pray Psalm 90:12 - Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Pray that this attempt to increase access to assisted suicide would be challenged effectively with strong arguments to derail this bill.
Pray that Christians will demonstrate a great deal of compassion to those who are suffering. In addition, pray the we will hold to the biblical truth of the eternal nature of mankind. This truth should cause us to fight to save someone from taking their own life and that a person's eternal suffering would be seen as something far worse than the temporal suffering in this life.
Pray for the hundreds of doctors who are concerned about the consequences of this legislation.
Pray for them to make a substantial impact in the medical profession and with our lawmakers.
Pray for the mental health of Canadians. Mental health issues continue to be on the rise and recent statistics are demonstrating the rise of opioid has led to an alarming increase of deaths across our nation. It has also been more difficult for people to access community-based services due to closure or reduced hours, impacting access to safe spaces that provide opportunities for hygiene, food access, connectedness, and other practical supports.
Pray for the many dedicated frontline workers involved in this crisis, as well as the families who are worried for, or who have already lost loved ones.