The longstanding showdown between GraceLife Church and the Canadian government reached a renewed climax yesterday when the church showed up to worship despite physical barriers. The story of James Coates and GraceLife Church is a long one. Long story short, GraceLife Church decided to gather faithfully and reject the government’s ecclesiastical authority, declaring that Christ is head of the church. This resulted in Pastor James Coates being jailed for thirty-five days and released. That defeat escalated to the police fencing the property last week, after the church worshipped on Easter. Despite placing a physical barrier on the building, GraceLife demonstrated that the church is more than a building by gathering outside the fence in front of the police.
Eventually the fence would be briefly torn down.
As police fixed the fence they called in the Stormtroopers. It’s worth noting that the Alberta government is helmed by the left-of-center opposition party to Prime Minister Trudeau that has the audacity to call themselves Conservatives.
These events occurred as Montreal erupted in protests over lockdowns. Indeed, Canada is a police state. The Justice Centre, the civil rights firm defending GraceLife, disavowed the worship stating that none of the congregants were there in a bootlicking statement:
On behalf of Grace Life Church, we would like to state the following:
Grace Life Church appreciates the public outpouring of support to fully open churches in Alberta. Grace Life Church congregants were not at the protest that occurred on Sunday, April 11, 2021 near the Church’s facility. Grace Life Church recognizes the place for peaceful protest within the context of a democracy.
Grace Life Church has no control of our Church or grounds at this time. The Church grounds are fully under the responsibility and control of the RCMP and Alberta Health Services. The closing of the Grace Life facility has understandably resulted in significant public outrage and caused even larger crowds to gather in one place. Albertans have a constitutional right to assemble, associate, and worship. By taking the measures the government has, while the matter is still pending before the Courts, the Alberta Government has created an even more divisive situation.
It is time to end these unscientific, unjustified and arbitrary lockdown measures.
This law firm appears as though it wants to distance themselves from the situation rather than take up the necessary fight. For some reason tearing down the fence is a controversial action, even though it was erected unlawfully by a tyrannical government. Instead of rightfully seeing tearing down the fence as a Christ-like display of righteous anger, it is seen as a provocation. This is cowardly thinking, and the church does not have time for it.
GraceLife was faithful in defying the government to worship God. These were the little things. However, GraceLife Church is now in a position to preach the gospel to those who want their freedom back. They are in a position to helm a cultural movement and have a captive audience to proclaim the gospel to the masses. This could initiate a revival in post-Christian Canada. The cowardly statement by their lawyers shows a reluctance to pursue a grand revival. GraceLife Church has been faithful in the little things with little heat outside of its fearless leader, James Coates. But now the heat is on them. Will they be faithful with the bigger things?