New Years Eve, December 31, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PASTORS AND ELDERS CHARGED FOR HOLDING CHURCH SERVICES
Yesterday evening, all six of the elders of Trinity Bible Chapel were charged under Section 10.1 of the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA) for holding church services on Sunday, December 27. We are peaceful family men seeking to pastorally care for our families and our church in sincere obedience to God. We are not criminals. Officers from the Waterloo Region Police Service (WRPS) showed up at each of our homes last night at roughly 8pm and gave us each a summons to court. While other pastors in Ontario have faced similar charges under the ROA for holding church services, to our knowledge this is the first time that each and every member of an entire elders board has been charged for gathering a church to worship. Although we know of officers within the WRPS who personally disagree with these charges, it appears the WRPS is trying to make an example of us. For years we have taught our children to respect police, and now our children and grandchildren are witness to their fathers and grandfathers receiving charges from police for worshipping Christ with our church. It is a dark day for Waterloo Region and Ontario.
Since we decided to re-open the church in June, implementing various COVID protocols in our services, we have not had a single outbreak traced back to our church. We thank God for that. Instead, we have heard a plethora of stories from many of our congregants about how they were negatively affected spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and financially during the first lockdown. On December 3, we informed our governing authorities that we cannot shut down the church again in an open letter entitled, “Here we Stand: The Church Must Meet.” Not one of our officials replied with an attempt to work with us. Our church community has become a vital refuge for hundreds of people during these times of despair. Our government is destroying our society to prevent the spread of a virus with a fraction of a fractional death rate. This is evil. Nowhere does the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantee freedom from risk or virus, but it does protect the freedom of conscience, religion, belief, and assembly. These are unlawful laws, a violation of God given rights, a contravention of Section 176 of the Criminal Code, and an infringement of the Charter.
We have ancestors who fought in wars to protect us from state abuses of this nature, and many of our families fled police states that eerily resemble what we are being subjected to at the present. Our high school teachers, parents, and grandparents warned us against governments that act this way.
While we seek to honour and pray for our governing officials, we are also grieved over the apparent hypocrisy and arbitrary applications of law. Several politicians have been caught violating their own laws by visiting cottages, hosting gatherings, or jaunting to warmer climates. Our very own Chief of Police, Brian Larkin, publicly endorsed much larger public gatherings in June. While Ontarians were restricted to outdoor gatherings of 5 or less persons, the Chief of Police offered the “full support” to a protest in which the “crowd may have been between 12,000 and 20,000 strong.” Chief Larkin explained to participants, even as they contravened lockdown orders, that police “will ensure you have the support needed to practice your democratic right and have your voice heard.” The arbitrary rule of law is dangerous even as it is contrary to our inherited values.
Our Saviour shed His blood to purchase the church, and therefore deeming the church “unessential” is tantamount to deeming the blood of Christ unessential, which is a public act of blasphemy. One day our elected officials, bureaucrats, and police will stand before the court of God’s justice for these acts. We earnestly pray that the Holy Spirit would draw them to his Son, Jesus Christ, who offers free grace and forgiveness to all who would repent and put their faith in him.
Jesus Christ is the King of kings and the Lord of lords, and therefore we must honour and obey him above all earthly governments. We emphasize that our hope in Christ’s goodness is firmly anchored. Our Saviour is just, equitable, and loving towards his people. He has every hair on our heads numbered, and his eyes see all things. He will lead us through the valley of the shadow of death, and we will fear no evil. He has taught us to love our enemies, pray for those who persecute us, and to count our sufferings as pure joy. We embrace his will in humility by submitting to his heavy hand trusting that in the proper time he will exalt us because he cares.
Members and adherents of Trinity Bible Chapel can anticipate internal communication by Friday at 5:30 PM. If you are a member or adherent and do not receive that communication please contact one of the elders.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience” – C.S. Lewis
From https://trinitybiblechapel.ca/here-we-stand-the-church-must-meet/, accessed December 31, 2020.
 The CDC’s survival rates are as follows:
0-19 yrs old: 99.997%
20-49 yrs old: 99.98%
50-69 yrs old: 99.5%
70+ yrs old: 94.6%
From: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html, accessed December 31, 2020.
From https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/const/page-15.html, accessed December 31, 2020.
 From https://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/as-it-happened-thousands-of-people-gather-for-peaceful-black-lives-matter-march-in-kitchener-1.4966927, accessed December 31, 2020.
 From https://www.wrps.on.ca/en/news/wrps-supports-solidarity-march-for-black-lives-matter-we-stand-united-with-you.aspx, accessed December 31, 2020.