Remember that Canadian pastor who was locked up because he refused to obey a government order to stop preaching during the pandemic? We’ve got an update on that story.
After spending five weeks locked up, Pastor James Coates is once again a free man.
Pastor Coates stood in front of a judge and argued his case in court, with his lawyer recommending a $100 fine for the offense.
The judge did not think that amount was anything close to severe enough, and set the fine at $1500 for defying the government lockdown orders, but counted his five weeks served as sufficient to offset the fine.
“I am not a political revolutionary,” Pastor Coates said before the court. “I am simply here in obedience with Jesus Christ, it is this obedience that put me at odds with the law.”
Pastor Coates’ wife, Erin, also took to social media today to announce the news of her husband’s release but warned the battle is not yet over.
“Our battle is not over but they are FINALLY releasing James. 5 weeks in jail and a $1500 fine. Thank you dear friends, your kindness to us in praying, encouraging, and loving us has reaped you an eternal reward. May Jesus Christ alone be glorified! We love you all!” — caldronpool
One might expect there are a number of passages of scripture that have taken on a whole new meaning to him in this experience… Joseph wrongfully imprisoned, Peter’s miraculous escape, and verses like this one, which will surely come alive in a new way should it ever come up in a text he preaches…
And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am—except for these chains.” –Acts 26:29
If you appreciated this story of a pastor and his courage, you’ll want to check out Doug’s current series on the topic. It’s sure to put some fire in your belly.