James Coates: TGC Author ‘Sounds More like Judas than it Does Mary’

Pastor James Coates of Gracelife Church in Edmonton, Alberta, has weighed in on a Gospel Coalition author who has repeatedly rejected the notion that the government has been persecuting the church all the while ripping faithful churches for choosing to rather be persecuted than to shut down.

In the September 12, 2021 sermon, Coates name drops Pastor Paul Carter- an Ontario based-pastor who has been a vocal critic of the faithful men who would not yield and like James Coates of Gracelife Church, Tim Stephens of Fairview Baptist Church, and Jacob Reaume of Trinity Bible Chapel, men who have been fined and/or jailed for refusing to let the government control how they do church.

The Gospel Coalition council member and contributor has repeatedly said that those claiming that Canadian Churches have endured ill-treatment at all during the pandemic need to stop yapping about it, lest they “destabilize” the rest of the body. Months ago, he published an article insisting that while there was “probably” some “overreach,” by and large, Christians have endured no “hostility and ill-treatment because of our religious beliefs,” as he concluded: “I’m not sure how any reasonable person could argue that [there was].”

When he’s not doing that, he’s taking potshots into the ethers, criticizing anyone who might oppose the government and their lockdown happy ways.

During the sermon clips, which is 10 minutes long and worth the listen, Pastor Coates talks about the faithful sacrifices that Trinity Bible Chapel has endured, and explains how Paul Carter is acting like Judas, rather than our example Mary.

“Judas is a virtue signaler. He effectively virtue signals concern for the poor when in reality, he’s concerned about himself. He’s a thief. And he’s looking at the money that could have been sold for that perfume. And he would have had at least a portion of it had it got its way into the money box. That’s where Judas is at.

His apostate heart is now beginning to come out. He doesn’t love Christ. He isn’t committed to the honor and glory of Christ. He was in it for himself. He was beginning to see the writing on the wall. There was no immediate kingdom. He wasn’t going to have an immediate place in that kingdom. There was not going to be a payday in this for him, just a life of self-denial, cross-bearing and obedience to Christ.

By the end of John 13, he’s prepared to betray Jesus for what? 30 pieces of silver. So Mary brings this out. God uses Mary’s worship to draw this out of Judas. Mary lavishly worships the Lord, anointed him with perfume worth about a year’s wages, and Judas deems that a waste and betrays him for 30 pieces of silver.

That’s a stark contrast. It’s a contrast that’s instructive. This is what worship does. When Christ is truly worshipped, it brings the worldliness of the hearts of folks out onto the table, it brings it out into its full expression.

And I think we can see it happening in our day. Because as churches put their money where their mouth is, as we saw a moment ago with Trinity, in their worship of Christ, there are those who speak out against them, and when they do, they sound a lot like Judas. And so either they are a Judas or they’ve been led astray by a Judas like the disciples and have made a terrible miscalculation.

Let me give you an example. This comes from a gentleman named Paul Carter- very outspoken, speaks often for the Gospel Coalition Canada, when it was announced that charges would be brought against trainee Bible chapter, here’s what Paul tweeted:

What a disaster. This was a major topic of discussion in premier Ford’s press conference today. Whatever this was supposed to accomplish, it has failed more than failed. It is backfired loudly. Publicly, embarrassingly backfired, Please, please, please, reconsider.

I don’t think that’s aged well. I don’t think that’s going to age well. Trinity has committed themselves to the worship of Christ, and there are naysayers who come alongside and want to ultimately cast embarrassment, scorn and shame upon them. Again, that sounds more like Judas than it does Mary.


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3 thoughts on “James Coates: TGC Author ‘Sounds More like Judas than it Does Mary’

  1. I find it interesting how some who twist the scripture like to jump back and forth between different translations of the Bible. Notice Paul Carter’s tweets. One day he quotes the NIV, and the next day he quotes the ESV. No one should go back and forth to cherry pick language to defend a position on a modern issue. If these pastors form their sermons in the same way that they form their social media statements and twitter posts, they aren’t performing proper exegesis. Consequently, their teaching could go any number of directions that run counter to the original meaning of the Biblical text.

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