The following statement regarding Federal Bill C-4 has been approved by the Elders of First Baptist Church:
A monumental change in Canadian law and society transpired recently with the enactment of federal Bill C-4. This bill amends the Criminal Code to outlaw Conversion Therapy, which is ineptly defined as any attempt to assist or encourage an individual identifying as LGBTQ who is now seeking to conform to a biblical sexual ethic or to conform to the gender God gave to them at conception and birth.
We strongly oppose the coercive and discredited therapeutic practices the Bill was initially introduced to criminalize, and we appreciate the desire of parliamentarians to protect the vulnerable. However, we are convinced that the reach of this legislation will be extended far beyond its stated purpose. Because its definition of “conversion therapy” is so broad and unbounded, it effectively criminalizes parents, pastors and counselors who teach a biblical understanding of sexuality in a variety of situations. Furthermore, it infringes upon the liberty of those who no longer wish to identify as LGBTQ by criminalizing the counseling and help that they may seek. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees freedoms of religion, conscience, thought, belief, expression and association, and Bill C-4 is an affront to all of these rights. We deny the government’s claim to restrict or regulate, in any way, these matters of the faith. It is our prayer that this law will be amended by the government in such a way as to honour these Charter protections, and we will work towards this goal.
The greatest danger facing the Canadian church is not that we might face criminal prosecution, but rather that we might compromise the teaching of the Word of God or fall silent in our proclamation of the Gospel. Along with church leaders of like conviction across Canada, we pledge our commitment to obeying God above all others (Acts 5:29). With the Lord’s help, we will continue to proclaim the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). This includes God’s life-giving design for human beings, made in His image, with the only two genders of male and female (Genesis 1:27), with all sex and sexuality to be expressed and experienced, exclusively, within the covenantal union and legal bond of marriage between one man and one woman, pledged and bound to each other for life until death should separate them (Genesis 2:24).
We call all people, including LGBTQ individuals, to repent of sin and to believe the Gospel. We call on all people to undergo the conversion of their souls to become worshipers of Jesus Christ. We call all mankind to acknowledge that they have sinned against God (Romans 3:23), and that salvation through Jesus is the one and only true hope for the world (Acts 4:12). We will continue to love and serve all people in our community, without distinction, in Jesus’ name. This ministry will include counsel and other kinds of help for any who experience same-sex sexual attraction or gender dysphoria, to encourage them to follow the Biblical pattern for their gender and their sexuality as the only means of blessing and true happiness.
As we press on in the work of ministry and loving our community, we will trust our Heavenly Father to guard us and keep us, and to work out His greater purposes for our good and His glory. We continue to pray for our government, and to plead with the Lord to have mercy on our country.