The formal Christian calendar might technically say Advent, but for one Church, Christmas has already come early.
Just north of the border from Maine, a pastor stood up against his government’s COVID mandates. The government tried hard to break him but in the end … he won.
In Canada, like the US, there were a number of cases where law enforcement cracked down on pastors who refused to play along with draconian COVID measures.
Calgary’s Artur Pawlowski famously had his day in court after being repeatedly harrassed, intimidated, and eventually arrested by law enforcement. It took a while, but he was fully vindicated.
He was not the only Canadian pastor to win his religious freedom case in Canadian courts. Pastor Hutchings won his first round of legal battles. (He has a few still outstanding issues for the courts to sort out.)
Crown Prosecutors have dropped all charges against Pastor Phillip James Hutchings and Church Director Keith Douglas Cody Butler of His Tabernacle Family Church in Saint John, New Brunswick. Pastor Hutchings was charged with obstruction and breaching public health orders for holding church services without ensuring that all participants were vaccinated against COVID-19.
The charges were dropped on November 17, 2022, after The Democracy Fund (TDF)-funded lawyer Jonathan Martin filed a constitutional challenge earlier this year, arguing that the public health orders were inconsistent with fundamental freedoms and privacy rights as protected by the Charter.
Religious freedom is essential for many Canadians, and courts have recognized that it is a right that should not be infringed lightly.
TDF continues working with Jonathan Martin to defend Pastor Hutchings against contempt charges arising from allegations that he unlawfully held church services in an indoor public space back in November 2021. The New Brunswick Court of Appeal has already sided with Jonathan Martin in unanimously finding that comments made by the judge originally hearing the contempt motion gave rise to a reasonable apprehension of bias. The appellate court specifically found that the judge stated the outcome of a determinative issue without providing the parties with an opportunity to be heard. A hearing from summary dismissal of the contempt charge is scheduled for December 20, 2022. –TheDemocracyFund
It’s legal funds like these that give ordinary people a shot at having a day in court that might otherwise be beyond their financial ability.
You already know about groups like Alliance Defending Freedom that support American situations like this one.
Canada is even more secular than the US, so they can use all the help they can get. Keep in mind, Canada is often the lab rat for new woke ideas the left wants to thrust on the wide world. (Same Sex marriage went national in 2005, and they have recently adopted European-style ‘euthanasia’ that already accounts for 3% of all Canadian deaths — often for reasons having nothing to do with medical suffering.)
Any early win there could save us from having a far more expensive and difficult fight closer to home.
If you want to support legal funds like the one that defended religious liberty, their website address is thedemocracyfund (note: the website address has a .ca ending).
by Doug Giles
Beginning in March 2020, many Christians went into lockdown-freak-out mode. Uncut, irrational, unbiblical, and not to mention, unconstitutional, fear gripped many churches and church leaders. Forced to choose between obeying the Word of God or the edict of man, most Western Churches buckled. We even saw it here in First Amendment-protected America.
The Apostle Peter buckled to fear on the night of Christ’s crucifixion. But he learned his lesson and lived the rest of his life bold as a lion. How can the church ‘go and do likewise’?
Read the book and find out!
Get your copy of Dear Christian: Your Fear Is Full of Crap now. Better yet, grab an extra copy for any petrified pastor who dutifully put obedience to the unconstitutional edicts of Mayor McCheese ahead of obedience to the explicit commandments of the LORD God Almighty.