A church in Ontario has been handed down $83,000 in fines for a January Church service that resulted in several people baptized, according to their pastor in a statement released to the church website.
In a post that is a must-read all the way through, Pastor Jacob Reaume of Trinity Bible Chapel in Waterloo, Ontario, explained that while they incurred astronomical fines for having the service in contravention to Provincial shutdown orders which limits services to a maximum of 10 people, they would do it all over again, a choice made even easier by the fact that several baptisms arose out of their act of worship. Reaume explains:
On January 22, 2021, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ordered that Trinity Bible Chapel and her elders not hold gatherings of more than 10 persons. Upon receiving the order, I invited the community to church on January 24…
I noted, this was done in love for God and neighbour. ‘Risking reputation and financial viability to offer eternal hope and warm Christian fellowship to a world in despair is an act of love that I am certain Jesus smiles on.’
That’s precisely what we did. Personally, I have never experienced a more palpable manifest presence of God’s Holy Spirit during public worship than I did on that Sunday. Many others – I have lost track of how many – shared similar experiences…
On Sunday, February 27, we baptized 13 individuals, some of whom traced their conversion to those weeks in January, especially January 24.
This week the Ontario Superior Court of Justice handed down our sentence for having church on January 24. The service cost us $83,000.
That is our fine, and here is how it breaks down. Pastor Will and I each owe $5,000. Pastor Randy owes $4,000. Each of the other elders owe $3,000. The church itself owes $15,000. And we have been ordered to pay $45,000 to cover the legal fees of the Ministry of the Attorney General.
The Ministry of the Attorney General [MAG] claims their lawyers spent 104 hours to prosecute us for holding services on January 24 – charges for which we pled guilty. Evidently, the MAG was very motivated, and the prosecutors worked tirelessly against our church. So that is a grand total of $83,000. These fines will not and cannot be appealed. They are final.
This is the church that we wrote about previously, whose elders were all fined and whose church could have incurred $10,000,000 in charges for being open, being considered a corporation under Provincial health regulation.
Noting that they had a GoFundMe to cover the fees and hoped people might be able to donate, they conclude:
We will pay $83,000 for having church on January 24. I could say it was the most extravagantly priced service I’ve ever held, but that would not be factual. Every service I’ve held has cost Christ His very own blood, which is worth infinitely more than any dollar amount.
I was heartened by something Pastor Steve Richardson recently pointed out. In reference to Matthew 26:6-13, he explained the anointing of Christ by Mary with the alabaster jar. The alabaster jar of ointment would have been worth the equivalent of a retirement savings. It was expensive, and that dear woman paid a lot of money for one quick act of worship. She thought Christ was worth it. The disciples, however, were indignant, saying,’ Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor?’ Jesus defended her saying, ‘She has done a beautiful thing for me.’ Chief among the woman’s accusers was Judas (John 12:4-5). The woman thought Christ was worth the money, but Judas thought He wasn’t. She went down in history for doing good, but Judas was a traitor who would have been better off not being born.
On January 24, we worshipped Christ extravagantly at the price of $83,000. He is worth that and so much more. Our fine is nothing near what Mary spent on Jesus for her one quick extravagant act of worship. And we cannot compare it to the price of blood He paid so that we would worship Him. As we’ve sung many times:
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
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