[note: Joe Boot of the Ezra Institute wrote an excellent piece in September 2020 warning of the passage of Bill C8. That bill died when the election was called. Bill C6, which enlarges scope and penalties of C8 has been passed. I recommend you read it.]
Part one of this series is here.
The impact of Bill C4 is clear: to work for or encourage the conversion of an individual away from sinful sexual behaviour is now illegal. To preach, teach, counsel young people and to inform them of the teaching of Scripture on sexual ethics, is illegal. It is illegal to speak of “attempting to change one’s sexual orientation.” To present a Gospel that involves real change, is illegal.
In light of 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, preaching the whole counsel of God is illegal:
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9–11, ESV).
An unbelieving world will care little that some “will not inherit the kingdom of God” (vs 9). To the unbeliever, the secular state has declared itself to be God, and the only kingdom worthy of concern is the State. But that little phrase in verse 11! “And such were some of you!” This means change, born of the identification of sin, repentance from sin, regeneration.
“But you were washed, sanctified, justified.” You were one thing, now you are another thing. It really can’t be any clearer. There is an old riddle, “When is a door not a door?” Answer: “When it is ajar.” This works better when heard rather than written, since “ajar” and “a jar” sound alike. So a door is not a door when it is “a jar.” Break this down as a sentence and you get this: “When is a door not a door?” “When it is ajar.” A jar is not a door, so we can understand it this way: “When is a door not a door?” “When it is something else.” A door is not a door when it is something else.
When is an idolator not an idolator? When he is something else.
When is a homosexual not a homosexual? Bill C4 says never. “Once queer, always queer.” Scripture says, “And such were some of you.” The Christian then must answer, “when he is something else.” A regenerate man, a man who is “washed, sanctified, justified.” He is something else indeed!
This applies to all rebellion (sin) against God, so we never identify ourselves by our sin. A regenerate person will change. The sin once embraced has become a dreaded enemy to be fought at every opportunity. “You must be killing sin or it will be killing you” –Puritan John Owens.
To proclaim a Gospel that identifies and names sin (preaching the Law of God) and promises deliverance from that sin, is forbidden by Law. A man who loves his sin will not want to be saved from it. But a man who loves the Christ who died for that sin will seek to kill that sin.
Our response? We cannot adapt the Gospel to the urges of the day. God’s Law, His Word, abides. A cherished sin is still a sin, and sin forever separates man from God. A damnable sin is still a sin, and no act of a governing body can change that. Nothing has changed.
It is of the utmost importance that the church does not adapt its message to new laws. To adapt is to abandon Scriptural authority. It is impossible to preach salvation from sin and not to preach the necessary abandonment of that sin. This includes all sin, but some sins don’t have legal protection today!
Every preacher, elder, teacher must affirm commitment to this: “We must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). The context of this passage indicates that the Apostles cared little that they shamed their accusers: “The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree.” (Acts 5:30, ESV).
Some may ask, “Is this a hill to die on?” But, “Is this a hill to surrender on?” Can we surrender God’s clear Word on sin and still have a Gospel? That answer is clear.