The federal government of Canada is debating an amendment to the Criminal Code that is intended to ban and criminalize conversion therapy. The amendment is called “Bill C-6”. The purpose of the bill is to prevent practises, treatments, or services designed to change a person’s sexuality or gender identity. If Bill C-6 passes as it stands it would criminalize sincere attempts to seek or offer Biblical guidance on issues of gender and sexuality. This poses a direct threat to our ability to freely live out the whole gospel in Canada without hindrance.
“Our main concern with so-called conversion therapy bans is the vague and over-broad definition of ‘conversion therapy’ and the potential criminalization of conversations between parents, pastors, and Christian counsellors when speaking to youth about a biblical understanding of ethics, sexuality, gender, identity, and belonging.”
- ARPA Canada
It is sometimes difficult for believers in Christ to determine if, when, and how we should engage with the government directly on issues that intersect faith and life. We believe that God is sovereign and that He has placed our government leaders in a place of authority. We also recognize that Christians have the freedom and responsibility to believe, live out, and express their biblical Christian worldview through civil discourse.
Given that we are both allowed and encouraged to participate in the political process, and that Bill C-6 directly affects an issue of discrimination against freedom of religion, we believe it is time to encourage greater dialogue between the local church and our elected officials on this issue.
“Although some individuals will have the gifts, experience, and interest to devote more time to political engagement, all Christians, including leaders in the church, have some responsibility to apply their faith to public life. The fact that some political issues are controversial does not excuse Christians from addressing them.”
- ARPA Canada
When you pray individually, as a family, or with your small group, pray for the following things:
One of the practical ways we can respond in a respectful and clear way is to write an email or letter to your local Member of Parliament. If you choose to do so we would encourage that you voice the concerns raised by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. Our concerns would be alleviated if Bill C-6 explicitly state that the following will not be considered conversion therapy:
As leaders, we recognize there are several issues emerging into which the Church must speak. Whether it is about the church gathering, the sanctity of life as related to abortion and assisted suicide, or the current pressure on professionals such as doctors and lawyers to keep their faith and conscience out of the workplace, we believe it is time that we as Christians start to engage our elected officials in respectful and proactive dialogue for the sake of the gospel.