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Canadian Pastor Jailed for “Crime” of Holding In-Person Church

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton
The Truth Network Radio
March 12, 2021 7:00 pm

Canadian Pastor Jailed for “Crime” of Holding In-Person Church

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton

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March 12, 2021 7:00 pm

Last year in America, many who rioted and destroyed property (while disobeying COVID masking and distancing mandates) were arrested and released. Right now, those who enter the United States illegally are often released into the country. Apparently “justice” has become very selective.

Meanwhile, in Canada, our ally to the north, in a small town just west of Edmonton, Alberta, a pastor has been imprisoned for the past month awaiting his trial two months from now in May. His crime? Burning and looting? Inciting violence?

If you guessed, holding in-person church services in violation of government COVID mandates, you’d be correct.

Pastor James Coates’ imprisonment has garnered worldwide attention...

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Canadian pastor jailed for the court trying holding in person search services as a topical discuss today right here on the Christian worldview radio program is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to share the good news of Jesus Christ. I'm David with the host and our website is the Christian worldview.last year in America. Many who rioted and destroyed property well disobeying covert masking and distancing mandates and my dad were arrested and then released right now. Those who enter the United States illegally are often released into the country. Apparently, justice has become very selective.

Meanwhile in Canada.

Our ally to the north in a small town just west of Edmonton. A pastor has been imprisoned for the past month awaiting his trial two months from now. In May his crime, burning and looting and inciting violence well if you guessed holding in person church services in violation of government covert mandates you'd be correct.

Pastor James coaches imprisonment has garnered worldwide attention for non-Christians government." Experts are their gods so they keep condemnation of the pastor for following biblically-based beliefs.

What is surprising, however, is that many professing Christians say or write that pastor Coates isn't really being persecuted because all he had to do was quote comply with covert mandates or just hold his church online pastor Eric Davis of cornerstone church in Jackson, Wyoming went to seminary with pastor Coates. He's written extensively about his imprisonment and he joins us this weekend to discuss why pastor Coates should be respected and pray for rather than ridiculed for making the decision to meet in person with his church. Eric it's great to have you back on the program I want to start out by reading a column that you wrote on the cripple gate log website about James Coates, the pastor in Canada and Spruce Grove, Alberta, who was jailed Tuesday, February 12 so he's been in jail for almost a month now and I want to read just just a portion of that column where you say, Pastor James Coates of grace life Church in Spruce Grove, Alberta, was jailed this past Tuesday, February 16 as of February 17. He remains imprisoned with a possible trial date to be set next week sometime. Again, you wrote this back in February. There's been a lot more. This developed of the story since then.

Currently his wife and children are prohibited from visiting him.

Coates is a graduate of the Masters seminary was a personal classmate of mine has faithfully pastored grace life since 2010. Here's some context. You write grace life suspended corporate worship services in the spring of 2020. In response to a largely unknown covert situation on June 21 of 2020.

The church resumed meeting for corporate gathering, the lawyer representing the church stated quote even the summer of 2020. It had become apparent to congregants of grace life that government lockdowns cause far more self-imposed harm than the natural harm of covert" in early July to people who attended grace life tested positive for covert upon which the church shut down for two weeks. They then resumed meeting when it was discovered that no further spread occurred in December to be 2020 the chief medical officer of Alberta issued a mandate restricting worship gatherings to 15% capacity with the mask and social distancing representing grace life.

The justice center wrote such restrictions violate the constitutional rights of freedom of conscience and religion, expression, peaceful assembly and association as protected by section 2 of the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms in November. Canadian health officials began showing up at grace life worship gatherings, recording the number of attendees. Those who are not wearing masks and social distancing. This continued each Sunday for about three months. The church regarded quote the weekly invasion of AHS inspectors to be a potential criminal offense pursuant to section 162 of the criminal code of Canada which prohibits the interrupting or disturbing the religious worship service, unquote on January 21 a court order was filled to imprisoned pastor Coates, then the health department issued a closure order on January 29. Grace life. Continue together for corporate worship on February 7 Canadian police told pastor Coates that he was under arrest for continuing to preside over worship gatherings, explaining that he must abide by the health order. He explained that he could not go against conscience and the need to shepherd God's people. Police left without arresting him health inspectors attended grace life again on February 14. Pastor Coates was arrested and jailed on Tuesday as a mention February 16. In the meantime. As Canada jails pastor Coates, the nation considers marijuana dispensaries in liquor stores. Essential services reportedly authorities will release him from jail on the condition he does not preside over grace life services so far. Pastor Coates seems to have declined the offer. Perhaps this reminds us of John Bunyan, Pilgrim's progress, who once said I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience and let me display brief soundbite. Eric of what Pastor James Coates preached just two days before he was arrested whether or not were being persecuted makes absolutely no difference to me.

I don't think I could care any less about whether or not this meets the definition of persecution that doesn't even factor in the equation from that's not the basis upon which I'm doing anything. I'm doing what I'm doing in obedience to Christ.

I am quite content to let the Lord Jesus Christ himself decide whether or not this persecution.

He promises that those who are persecuted for his namesake will be blessed. He's the one that blesses and I'm content to leave that in his court. My responsibilities the witness to obey Christ you know James personally. Eric you want to seminary with him. Have you been in contact with him and how is he doing there would be under so appreciate the opportunity to talk about this situation so the has had very little contact the coat with anyone except for lawyer, why in the letter that are pouring in from literally all over the world. However, I'm told you doing well. He has within a few days of being in prison, he got the nickname the preacher because he has embraced God's sovereignty attentive thing out of the God-given opportunity, though not ideal to continue with the mission to love people and preach the gospel is doing well despite the condition well you can imagine the mean score see you didn't compare to like the actual imprisonment of John Bunyan using jail for years in terrible conditions, but still this is shocking really in a Western nation just Canada fairly small town in Alberta in Canada that they're imprisoning a pastor holdover refusing to shut down his church or abide by some really extremely strict covariate mandates in the follow-up to that column and this is what I will more want to get into today you wrote another column for the cripple gate why pastor James Coates, imprisonment is actual persecution. You say it is amazing that this even needs to be said the imprisonment of Pastor James Coates is actual persecution. It's been sorrowful to see many professing Christians over the past few days with an eagerness to declare the pastor Coates's imprisonment doesn't count as actual persecution like eager referees many professing Christians over the past few days or throwing penalty flags self righteously declaring things like quote no, sorry this doesn't actually count is persecution. He didn't technically need to gather as the body of Christ, try again unquote and it's gone further miscarried one Facebook comment that I read about this that describes what you just wrote in the column someone on Facebook. I'm so tired of people making him some kind of martyr for religious liberty. I mean, hopefully, our churches stay in compliance with fire ordinances for occupancy right. The Fire Chief will be able to enforce that if a church refused to comply. This is the same situation but with a public health ordinance. They were told to comply with occupancy limits and enforce masking and distancing. If you have a problem with that on libertarian grounds. I disagree with you but don't make this about church because it's not. There are literally dozens of ways a pastor could guide his church and complying with the public safety requirements. He did not he still refuses to. Hence, he's where he's at title think you could more perfectly Psalm up Eric what you just wrote in the beginning of your column.

The net Facebook comment so maybe you could explain why is James Coates being imprisoned and in is it actual persecution. It is certainly being imprisoned because he knew who compromised his conscience that concern presiding over the gathering of the wonderful great church up there outside of Edmonton.

Great like church and restricting their family gathering nearly 15% capacity. He absolutely has the any pastor have the right to before God and biblically to go with their conscience on that issue. Look another pastor in Canada. I have several friends, your couches across Canada might with their conscience. They okay I I am going to go with 15% would have fixed services or whatever it might be and that's okay but biblically speaking, I think what's happening with some people here and there imposing their content upon others and God's ideal. Hebrews 1024 25 God's ideal is that the body of Christ would celebrate together with the bowl local body, the whole local family there in corporate worship with all of the body present all the gifts, president of one another. We have to be careful with being so dogmatic that it not persecution because I wonder what those individuals might have said to someone like Stephen the stone that the apostle Paul watched in acts chapter 7, you know he has some firm word even been recorded in Chapter 11 for the Sanhedrin. I'm in East you know that you you are not that you're resisting the Holy Spirit and a stone of the debt they bait they kill him.

The murderer looked under the guise of abiding by the law and I wonder if people who are coming down so hard on pastor Coates would say well you know, technically, Stephen didn't need to say that they were stiffnecked enough you could you could have done a more backdoor gracious way and then and down like a passive aggressive approach and then he and therefore he could've avoided being stone so technically units Stephen Stonington that wasn't persecution or maybe they would've said that about John the Baptist you know well technically he didn't have to confront Herod on his sexual perversion and technically he could've just taken a more gracious approach and focus. He got his head cut off. You know that decapitation wasn't technically persecution when in fact John the Baptist held up the greatest greatest guy ever. Our Lord says in Luke 11 so I think we just have to be real careful about that and I wonder if some of the people making the statements.

Not all you know not all but some of them might be compromising in their own conscience behind the themes of that were in their heart and then imposing that upon others, so I'd I think it would be more graciously at the be real careful about imposing accounts upon others, and instead support this brother in prayer. Even if we disagree that the Christian way.

Absolutely Eric Davis with us today on the Christian relief. Use the teaching pastor of cornerstone church in Jackson, Wyoming.

He's also a columnist at the cripple gate blog an excellent website. By the way, the cripple and Eric, I want to read a comment by a well known evangelical leader named Andy Stanley he said recently the thing that has been concerning to me about the local church is how quickly so many churches felt like we've got to get back into our building shoulder to shoulder, doing what we've always done it was the exact wrong response to co-vivid because we had an opportunity of a lifetime to do new things try new things. Experiment with new things because we couldn't do the old things and instead of focusing out on what we can't do. We should have been 100% focused on what we can do. I thought again Andy Stanley, wait a minute, where the body of Christ were not in it to win it as you're in it to win that you abandon our New Testament mandate were in it to serve and there is more need than there's ever been. He said I'm so proud of our staff and our churches. Northpoint is a group of churches he leads and the adults in our church. You put up with me saying no were not going to meet. I know the church down the streets meeting, but we are intentionally redeploying and refocusing our attention at this time because this is a unique opportunity is going to come to an end, but we need to take full advantage of that opportunity. He said you inspire people to follow Jesus. That's our mission. You date the model knickers, play on words there, shoulder to shoulder into building singing songs and worshiping listening to sermons.

All that is is a model and during the season. He concludes you abandon the model of meeting in person for the sake of the mission. You inspire people to follow Jesus. That's what he says the mission is, but the local churches that abandon the mission for the sake of the model and rush back into the model. I feel like we in some cases miss an extraordinary opportunity, especially the churches that got in a spitting match with local and state governments. That was just embarrassing to me as a Christian. Again that's Andy Stanley, one of the most influential and well-known evangelicals in this country. Eric what is your response to Andy Stanley's perspective on meeting in person for churches on urging me. I wonder if we would stay that you churches in China or the churches across the Roman Empire for the first three centuries in which Christianity was legal and they so desperately love to gather together to worship. Granted they did it in different ways that go underground. But you know the idea that well we don't need to gather for worship are gonna do that them the mission that's misunderstanding of the Christian life worship is always the top priority and if you don't have without worship, you're not going to be able to do anything else without true worship, you don't have anything else all things in the Christian life flow out of worship.

Well, I can worship God in the mountain or in my neighborhood on a hike. You certainly can and praise God for the great joy. But the New Testament commands us that restrictively and descriptively we are to gather with the local body of Christ. Worship is not. God is not given the government the right the authority to dictate Christian worship you given them the authority to do other things from 13 first Peter two 1317 right to collect taxes to bear the sword on evil with Dr. Leavell and reward the righteous, but the misnomer of the misunderstanding of the Christian life all things flow out of worship once worsened to look like.

Among other things, gathering with God's people.

Hebrews 1024 25.

Among other things, Inc. and God's people desperately need need to be said in the context and in the way of corporate worship, especially in times like these where where we've seen studies of the past 12 months David that have shown how depression and mental illness in all suicide all the thing could skyrocket in the lies that will because human beings generally speaking, are meant to be together to have face-to-face interaction and biblically speaking that is meant to take place preeminently in the context of a local church with a local top 30 minute brain affirmed by existing quality: qualified elders to raise up this individual and pour into and preach the word and music in the one another's in prayer and God is decided, that is the preeminent way that I have decided to love and care and shepherd my people through my under shepherds as a regular way of life and hardship in world pandemic. Though there difficult are the real that they cognitive suffering or not they shall this essential way with our great God is she shepherd the Lord Jesus is decided to care for the means of grace is ever ever a time is needed to gather it up now. You're absolutely correct. Christian worldview returns in just a moment the new year has brought new features to the Christian worldview radio program first good news for those who don't have an affiliate station in their area and those who subscribe to our free podcast, the latest program will now be VR podcast feed at 8 AM central time on Saturdays. Short takes will also be released on Mondays. Following the weekend during the program.

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Now back to today's program with host David Wheaton Eric Davis with us today on the Christian worldview pastor of cornerstone church in Jackson, Wyoming. This is asking the same question sort of a different way or or asking it the way you might hear someone say currently in society. The mitts of cove. It will why is an online church good enough for you here. This isn't loving thy neighbor to stay home you're endangering people if you go to church and gather as a group and you don't keep physically distance and don't wear multiple mast and so forth how to answer those kinds of question two. There there there is that perspective out there as well. Tubal church online is is church.

After all, is not here just looking over a screen at the pastor and some other people who are maybe on that screen as well a really good question common question. First of all let me say that with people who, in the flock, and dear think you do want to stay home and baby are struggling a little bit or their caring for maybe an elderly loved one who is considered in this high risk category.

You know they're not sure about coming back in person you want to be really gracious and and take each person situationally bit beat patient be loving, be compassionate, but for this idea of will. I can't why can we do church online.

There's a lot of ways that address that first of all just generally speaking, I mean would you approach your family like that you know what you approach your your your family gathering feel my kids are in town. My grandkids are in town and while it's more work were gonna do our Thanksgiving dinner for a Christmas dinner online yet another the something missing there. You know that personal touch that that intimate feel of fellowship and not heightened in the body of Christ with the command that mentioned already from Hebrews 1025 also live with the one another's, and then descriptively practiced in Scripture together what God has made human being to 3D connect in person and there is simply no substitute for that and just evidentially paste we could interview a slew of church members over the past year. He did the online thing in many, if not in love with that, you know, it just does no substitute. You wouldn't get married your wife online. You know you want to be there.

You want to lift the veil you want to kiss your bride. You want people there take to greet you and congratulate you for that sort of generally speaking, more particularly, we frankly David have the command do not forsake gathering with one another and we ought not say well God didn't know that there is to be Internet back then and have these wonderful guys bend zooming FaceTime abilities know our God is sovereign God is is is mission TEE knew it was going to happen in the 21st century and Becky ordained it.

Ecclesiastes 7 talks about limitations three as well, and so the Scriptures. Therefore, when it commands us to meet together in person. Those commands are transcendent, they they applied to all time.

All places and all situations. And so this online thing that simply is no substitute okay when you know back in and ended in March and April last year we were sort of unsure. I think a lot of churches not all that a lot of churches that okay at the request of our local health authorities.

You have no idea what this virus is going to do the models were saying. Millions upon millions would die within the first few months to serve as a way to serve our local hospital to lighten the load on high for youth.

Okay, we can push pause for little bit.

I think that correct me if I'm wrong David, but I think that the quote was something like a 15 days to flatten the curb by David Victor about never exactly what what that very very much in exception to the command together in person.

Now as far as loving to stay home again.

We want to be real gracious with people be very very patient but no that that isn't more loving to stay home, and in fact I think in our time, we have we have taken and we sort of twisted this idea of love and forced it myopically to take the definition of stay home where Matt, don't be around people and it's become a symbol of righteousness love the Bible doesn't say that we have to be much more broad and are in our perspective.

It's actually loving it can be very loving to gather more in person. Worshipful life that seems kind of counterintuitive. Some people because you are getting bored into your worshiping God your meeting other people who are fearful, who are terrified you are scared you might be suffering your meeting with them connecting with them, hearing about needs you yourself as you attend corporate worship are just getting roof threshed with the word of God and refreshed with the gifts of the things that you see each other and therefore you go out the other six days and we scattered the other six days throughout the week. More equipped, more loving, more chance born into the image of Christ to be light and salt and frankly in a in a world that is backwards and darkened it terrified right now so I think we have to be careful about about being so narrow with our our definition of love and the time don't have the definition right in front of me but isn't the New Testament word clay CF or church does nasty mean gathering yet And has not been gathering the people of God assembled absolutely Eric Davis with S again today on the Christian worldview. The teaching pastor of cornerstone church in Jackson, Wyoming. He knows he was a classmate of James: the Canadian pastor imprisoned currently in Alberta. He's been in prison for a month now and I think there is actually some more time here. Eric got a few more weeks before his even here, he's in B's can be imprisoned for at least I think a couple months before this. This hearing comes up is that correct that it is correct. Portnoy, David Herring. I believe in early May. He's imprisoned Hill that is really an amazing thing. This is no criminal. This is a pastor about church whose conscience and based on the word of God compelled him to be meeting in person and I was arrested and imprisoned and in our in our continent and that me that this happens people are Christians are persecuted, imprisoned and killed all over the world. This is nothing new, but it is something I think a little new here where it sounds like this blatant want to read a quote from another very well known evangelical Rick Warren and Kim are the new source for this, but I'm reading this in a recent interview Pastor Rick Warren of the California-based Saddleback Church said he rejects the notion that churches are being discriminated against during Calvin.

He posited that covert, 19 revealed what he said is a quote fundamental weakness in the church." Which is that most churches see worship that's the word used Eric as their sole purpose quote and if you take worship away.

You've got nothing there in a hurry to get back to worship because that's all they got. He said that the 20,000 member Saddleback Church is built not on one purpose, but on five Warren explained, quote you take one circle out.

I guess that means worship you still got for other circles.

We got ministry going on. We got mission going on, we've got fellowship going on we got discipleship going on. They all stand on their own unquote that from Rick Warren, one of the most influential evangelical so serve in the same ballpark.

You could say is Andy Stanley with regard to the staying away. Don't don't meet in person so forth. What are the purposes of the church. Eric maybe you could list them in order of priority of the great question and without knowing more more to contact their discouraging on the well being taken worship away got nothing there in a hurry to get back to church to worshiping with all they have. David, our God is great God. He is great God the father said clap your hands all people shout to God with the voice of joy for the Lord most high is that he feared a great King over all the earth. Psalm 95, bow down, let us worship the Lord our God again and I just that idea is to seem foreign to the Scripture because worship is the launchpad for all of the Christian life without worship we have nothing we can still share the golf like theoretically if we didn't go to church on Sunday, we can still share the gospel in Boston get to with our not yet believing, neighbors and family and friends and and and emissions and have have informal fellowship but when you read the Scripture cover to cover. It always about worship. Worship is the starting point, the midpoint, the endpoint evangelism is worship and and everything else in the Christian life is the flow from worship and really again are our Christian life and all the other duties flow from worship so the church is to be a worshiping community is to be a witnessing community as well. RR as he talked about the purposes of the church and Jesus leave that out Matthew 28, 18 to 20. Murray said you at the church are to make disciples of all nations, baptizing in them the father from the Holy Spirit, you can end up directing a command you with you and so we are to do that but to say that while we don't need to gather for worship to do that.

I think I need to eat to go to work at the go for a jog to function, leading worship is the main thing David everything from Genesis to Revelation. Worship and so are straight and alignment and even our biblical doctrine that know-how the knowledge of how to do everything else in the motivation and the joy in it comes from worship. Preeminently of God is commanded in this day corporate worship as the idea that churches are being discriminated against. Hi just I can't really agree with that. Again, God has given government the authority to bear the sword against evil that actually will of God defines the collect taxes from doing so to reward the right if he is not given secular authorities the right jurisdiction to regulate Christian worship and when they attempt to bear overstepping their God-given bounds. Whether or not that country is a constitutional republic or not.

So it certainly is that it certainly is dissemination yes, but like persecution much lighter than some of her by the face now and have faith but nevertheless it absolutely is overstepping their bounds and therefore discrimination that we don't make a we don't dry it over. It we don't cause a ruckus will why because while in first Timothy 21 to 2 God says I want you to be quiet, dignified, want you to pray for your authorities and keep the mission amazing with his evangelizing the loss of Christ. Nevertheless still qualified as overstepping their bounds. Christian worldview returns in just a moment. David we hear most of the Christian worldview for over 15 years. Our mission has been to sharpen the biblical worldview. Christians claim the good news of Jesus Christ pursue that mission on the air through radio programs in person. Hosting events and online through A/V imprint resource. We are an all volunteer ministry have monthly operating expenses. The most significant being the cost of airtime on the station website or at what you hear the radio program looking for monthly partners so that each station website supported by its own listeners. The level of financial support for a given out as a key decision point whether we continue paying the broadcast.

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Thank you for listening to and supporting the Christian worldview. The new year has brought new features to the Christian worldview radio program first good news for those who don't have an affiliate station in their area and those who subscribe to her free podcast, the latest program will now be VR podcast feed at 8 AM central time on Saturdays. Short takes will also be released on Mondays. Following the weekend during the program.

These bite-size highlights are great for those who don't have time to listen to the full 54 minute broadcast short takes can be heard at our website podcast feed or social media pages on Facebook and YouTube for more updates, program previews and resources.

Be sure to sign up for our free weekly email by visiting the Christian or calling one AAA 646-2233. That's one AAA 646-2233 or visiting the Christian thanks for joining us on the Christian worldview. Just a reminder that today's program and pass programs are archived at our website. Christian things are also available and be sure to share with others. Now back to today's program with host David. We will very interesting near Hampshire.

You know this but the message that Pastor James Coates gave the Sunday before he was arrested back in February was on Romans 13 and that the role of government and so far they haven't had chance to hear the whole message but there was actually more to it. This church grace life church actually wrote a public statement that they dealt with the.

The theological issue that we've been talking about with the explicit and implicit examples of how churches are to meet in person so that there was that there was a whole theological basis why they opted to continue to worship in person, but there was also we have the public statement linked in our website.

The Christian they address the government overreach and the exaggeration of just how dangerous this particular virus is and how many people exactly affect affected and they when he might actually be the individual liberty aspect of this and saying this is way, way overblown, and it wasn't just opinions. They're using health department statistics and everything else so I may try to get a chance to just read some of that the listeners can read the entire statement made.

This church is on its it wasn't purely like this. Just what my conscience says which would be good enough for a pastor, but there were there was more to it than that.

I just want to close Eric with one more question about persecution. Paul writes to Timothy in second Timothy chapter 3, starting in verse 10 he says to his younger man in the face.

He says now you Timothy followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patients love, perseverance, persecutions and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch at I Coni a minute light strip paint.

Paul was constantly getting in trouble from authorities for his missionary work, preaching the gospel what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! It says in verse 12. Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted last verse, but evil men and imposters will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

Now I'm not sure of interpreting this right. You're the pastor so you correct me if I'm wrong, but evil men and imposters, evil men seems to be perhaps nonbelievers you never call a Christian evil man. So maybe nonbelievers and imposters has to do with someone who's kinda faking being a believer.

Correct me if I'm wrong and that that interpretation there still proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived so it cannot extrapolate from that that there is going to be governmental leaders who are just evil and hate the kingdom of God organ or proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived is also to be imposters inside the church professing to be Christians well known Christian leaders. There can be deceiving and being deceived as well and so the question is do you think persecution is going to increase for Christians pastors and churches here in America to make a great observation from the reader. Certainly would include governmental leaders and look to kingdom the kingdom of light in the kingdom of darkness right and and Satan is not tired. You got a long leash, but he is not tired and doing its thing, and on the basis of the authority of Scripture. You just read as well as others. I do believe we have we have reason to conclude that persecution will increase the way things are going.

And as far as inside and outside the church. You made a great point that there will be imposters. Jesus said in his parable of the week. The terror that there's going to be tears that the evil one will so tears in the church that will fall away that will deceive and be deceived governmental authority that even professing Christians who are not will come and they will under the guise of love under the cloak of compassion falsely cloaking their deeds in care and in unity will do evil things, that it's not love, because love is how God is defined love that line up with all the scriptural definition qualification for that happening now probably I'm not a prophet but probably it will increase, but for the Christian we can we can take Peter's advice and first Peter 412 order because the leather don't be surprised. They know he's taken in the first century, when the new Iranian persecution was chronic enough with the Coliseum and doing terrible, terrible things the Christian truth is, don't be surprised that applies to our day to at these fiery ordeals which come upon you for your testing of that some stranger bizarre thing happen if you felt if and when it doesn't create the probably will.

God is for us, hallelujah, that the creator of the universe for us.

All they can do. Jesus said in Luke 12 negative kill the body, they can't do anything more than that fear him to have the authority of her body and full well it probably will get more difficult, although what a great God we have and in eternity will look back on these things and praise and bless God for all of it. Thank you for answering the question, not just on the way was datable to be increasing persecution by giving us encouragement and hope that nothing can defeat the church. Nothing can defeat believers because we serve a much much greater God. So we just appreciate you Eric. These columns you for your written on pastor James Coates bringing him to our attention.

Ireceive widespread worldwide news on this particular issue, but you've really brought a biblical perspective to attend.

Thank you for coming on the program and we just wish all of God's best in grace to you and cornerstone Church will take every opportunity. David bless you your your wonderful ministry and all your listeners okay so if you missed any of the interview with Eric. You can always go to our website the Christian There's also a link to his church there.

If you want to hear some of his sermons as well. I just wanted to read quickly. One more thing that Eric wrote about this situation with James Coates.

He said instead of being quick to throw the persecution penalty flag, we should pause practice our faith, love and believe the best first Corinthians 13 we are to do something like rejoice in the boldness and love of this brother thinking something like wow praise God that this pastor so loves Jesus and his flock that he wants to be obedient to Jesus and shepherd them care for them, feed them, protect them in the sacred essential time of the corporate setting. Praise Jesus at this church so believes in the Holy Spirit's command to preach the word of the flock and trust the spirit to do a unique work through preaching in the corporate gathering of care for the hurting, encouragement for the lonely stabilization for the fearful rebuke of the proud into a transforming work of salvation and sanctification as this pastor preaches the word to Eric saying that's the attitude we should have about this pastor one more paragraph and if you disagree with his decision.

That's fine, but thinks something like I might not agree with gathering the whole church weekly in defiance of Canada's unreasonable restrictions, but I'm going to believe the best about this brother and his conscience. Praise Jesus that he doesn't want to violate his conscience, but so desires to feed his people promote an atmosphere of sweet trust in Jesus with the church during a time when people are gripped with fear and buying into the fear propaganda which is become a self righteous virtue. Praise Jesus for this dear pastor that he is so wanting to help people and gather despite the governments overreach that is unsubstantiated by data.

Let's pray for him, his family and the church and let's try to have something of the Christ honoring boldness of previous generations and I just think that is so well said amen to what he said right there.

Let's remember this pastor, James Coates is sitting in prison right now as you are listening to this.

He's been in prison for a month. He's going to be imprisoned for two more months he can go home to his wife and children every night and have dinner with them and go for a walk with his daughter whatever he does in his free time and go in and assemble with fellow believers at the church he leads. He sitting in jail right now. Well other people, throw arrows at him saying that we doesn't really need to be there. Let's have more of the attitude that Eric Davis just rolled out in this column and let's pray for this man in a regular basis that he might actually encourage put courage in other pastors to do the same.

Now I just want to play one more quick soundbite from that final sermon that James Coates gave before he was arrested, and here's what he talks about when it comes to Christians in their understanding of their role with government. The historical time were in has revealed both inefficient and inaccurate theology of government deficient for at least two reasons. One, we simply had it so good for so long.

We simply had it so good for so long and therefore haven't had the thing deeply about this aspect of theology at some muscle. We just simply having worked into ignorant of historical theology because theologians of the past thought deeply about these things and we haven't significantly enough and sufficiently enough exposed ourselves to the right and this is very true and this is going to become much more important going forward because as we've been talking about for months on this program. There has been a huge government consolidation of power in this country over the coronavirus over the social and racial unrest due to the death of George Florida. By the way, that trial is taking place right now here in the Twin Cities. This will not be a fair trial and in my opinion even holding it in the city is is incomprehensible with the amount of pressure and barriers and protesters going on all around the courtroom. But that topic is for another day. Now I mentioned earlier in the program that pastor James Coates is church had written a public statement this church not only dealt with the theological foundation for meeting in-person in their conviction on that. But the also dealt with the fact that this virus has been so overplayed to consolidate government power and it's a matter of losing individual liberties. They said it so articulately and convincingly, and so I really encourage you to read that statement is linked in our website the Christian real just to give an example about how Christians are going to have to think through how we interact with government you probably heard about the quality act. It is probably better termed the Christian persecution act because that is what it's going to be setting up to do against Christians in this country. Basically Justin in a nutshell, this inequality act adds homosexuality and transgender is into the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The nondiscrimination act were you you can't discriminate against someone on the basis of their race or skin color or their sacs or their father, born with factors.

Now this is already past the House of Representatives, it may probably likely will pass the Senate and will definitely be signed if it does pass the Senate by our wicked president who is intent on pushing all things ungodly on this country so to summarize what the equality act does anything an organization couldn't do to someone. Let's say based on their skin color like you could refuse to employ someone because they're black you can't fire someone because they're black that organization won't be able to do exactly that with someone who's a homosexual transgender. So, for example, what if an organization is a church, a Christian ministry, a Christian school or Christian college who has a biblical stance about biblical sexuality or marriage they will be faced with the decision to comply with this law, or else they will be under legal and financial jeopardy. So if your church and you don't do same-sex so-called marriages.

Well that's discriminatory you're going against the Civil Rights Act now injected with the equality act in your gonna be liable for persecution and litigation.

We will talk more about this inequality act and why it is the Christian persecution act, and in a coming program but I want to conclude today with some encouragement and hope from another paragraph from Eric's column. He said Christians need not be surprised nor shaken by these things.

Above all, the Lord Jesus Christ sits as the sovereign king and supreme Lord over all the universe every knee and every tongue of every human will one day bow and confess him as such, weather, and redemption or in wrath. Jesus will return one day to earth render judgment and rule as King over the world. In the meantime, God extends his loving mercy to sinners. The good news is that though we have all sinned, God the father has not left us to our condemnation, but sent his son Jesus to die as a raft bearing sacrifice in our place.

Christ then rose victoriously from the grave, demonstrating that he is the sufficient Savior. Incredibly, Eric writes God will instantly and irreversibly declare sinners righteous who repents and put faith in Jesus Christ, granting them eternal life in a glorious eternity with him. She really is that merciful in this life for all who experience persecution for their faith.

Jesus promises great blessing in heavenly reward. What a great way that captures exactly was going on. We can be encourage Christian we don't need to be surprised nor shaken. Jesus Christ is sitting on his throne.

I would only add to that the rest of the passage I read from second Timothy chapter 3 early in the program. Paul writes to Timothy and says this about expecting to receive persecution.

If you live godly. He says you however continuing the things you have learned to become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings, which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for me proof for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be equipped for every good work and that summarizes it so well. We do live in a changing and increasingly challenging world, but the Bible says Jesus Christ and his word are the same yesterday today and forever. So until next time think biblically live accordingly stand for. Rejoice always and pray for Pastor Coates and all those believers who in the world standing strong in lifting up the name of Jesus Christ, thanks for joining us today in the Christian. The mission of the Christian worldview is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. We hope today's broadcast encouraged for that and here we played today's program or to sign up for free weekly email to find out what must I do to be saved to your website or call us toll-free at 1-888-646-2233 Christian worldview as a listener supported ministry and furnished by the overcoming foundation, a nonprofit organization can find out more water resources make a donation become a monthly partner and contact us by visiting the Christian bowling toll-free 188-864-6233 writing to Box 41, Excelsior, MN 55331 Box 41, Excelsior, MN 55331. Thanks for listening to the Christian worldview. Until next time think biblically and live accordingly

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