A pastor was arrested and removed on bail after he was present in Toronto’s Gay Village. A condition for his release was that he was to be banned from ever visiting the district.
Police arrested David Lynn of Christ’s Forgiveness Ministries early Tuesday evening on June 4, 2019, and charged him with disturbing the peace. A crowd protesting his message surrounded him and his fellow preachers causing a massive scene.
Members of Torch of Christ ministries were also present and posted a full video of the incident on YouTube, while Christ’s Forgiveness Ministries posted a seven-minute edited version.
It is not uncommon for someone to think “open-air preaching” and “LGBTQ neighborhood” and immediately jump to thoughts of preachers condemning homosexuals to hell. However, Pastor Lynn’s preaching was some of the most loving and gracious preaching I have ever seen and heard. Which is why it is outrageous that he was arrested, Christian Post reports.
In a previous article, I broke the news. He and his team were doing a multi-day evangelism tour throughout locations in Toronto. After evangelizing in other locations throughout the day, they went in the afternoon to an area where many of the LGBT community reside. Not long after, a crowd began to form, and they tried to silence Lynn and force him to leave the area. When the police came, they charged Lynn with disturbing the peace even though the entire incident was video-recorded livestream and there was evidence of people in the crowd becoming angry and violent without any provocation from Lynn or his team.
The entire time of preaching was livestreamed via Facebook and can be found on YouTube. Throughout the video, it is surprising to see the reaction of those who were listening to Lynn’s preaching. The more love he poured out, the more hate and resistance he received. As anyone can see if they view the video, Pastor Lynn was respectful and kind throughout all of his time preaching. As he shared the Gospel, he also made statements like “We are here to tell you that we hate nobody.” He emphasized God’s love again and again.
He proceeded to ask those protesting him if they would be willing to tolerate him as a Christian. But those listening were unwilling to dialogue, and many asked him to leave the street corner.
Throughout the encounter he was very calm and collected, not entering into any disrespectful or condemnatory dialogue.
Canada does have hate speech laws. However, there is no way that his preaching could be deemed as hate-speech. Lynn stated while preaching, “Everyone is accepted….and that is what we preach as Christians.”
In order to not make anyone listening feel singled out, he said “Jesus died for the sinner…. Every heterosexual has sin. Every homosexual has sin. Sin is when we violate the laws of God….” He did not target any particular group of people or single out homosexuality.
Though he was very loving throughout the entire encounter, tensions escalated, and people began to form a mob of protest around him. As he tried to walk away from the most adamant protesters, they crowded in on him and would not let him move. All throughout the encounter, as he tried to walk away from them, they pressed in on him and blocked him. At times, they even pressed their bodies against him, which in technicality is assault.
When the police arrived, rather than dealing with those that were assaulting Pastor Lynn, the police blamed Lynn for creating a disturbance of peace. Even upon his request to deal with those who had assaulted him, the police would not listen to him.
Pastor Lynn, preaches on a weekly basis all throughout Toronto with amplification and, according to his statements, he has never been in violation of the law by using amplification. In the video that captured the entirety of the event, the officers told him that he needed to preach without amplification. They said this despite him not being in any violation of the law. He then proceeded to preach without amplification, but not long after, the officers decided to arrest him.
Later that evening, in a statement to the media, he said, “Every community in Toronto should have the same laws, and everyone should be welcome.” He continued, “Everyone should have rights, dignity, and respect, just like Christians should as well”
He clarified that all throughout his preaching, he was telling those listening “God loves you. There is hope for you.” “Whatever community you are, God loves you. Jesus died for you.”
We must understand the importance of this event. It is a gross violation against free speech, and it shows any Christian a precursor of what persecution could look like in the future.
This court case is a serious case to be aware of. Many Christians in Western countries do not believe that there will come a time when the freedoms that we presently have and can exercise will be taken away from us right before our eyes. We already have seen lots of instances of the government coming against bakers, photographers and others who were unwilling to participate in gay weddings with extremely high fines and even greater threats of further punishments if there was no compliance. Likewise, we have seen the media demonize Christians for holding to fundamental biblical views.