The following is the Press Release from Grace Bible Church, friends of our network who have been faithfully standing against the tyranny taking place in our nation. We will continue to shed light on these violations of our religious freedoms until there is justice!
January 17, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANOTHER PEACEFUL WORSHIP ASSEMBLY ENDED WITH CHARGES
MAXIMUM TOTAL PENALTY IS $100,000 PLUS JAIL TIME IF CONVICTED
Wednesday, January 13th, our teaching pastor, Rev. Dr. Michael Thiessen was charged under Section 10.1 of the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA) for holding a church service on Sunday, January 10. 2021. This personal charge carries a maximum fine of $100,000 and one year in jail.
The charge is the result of holding a normal weekly worship service, which also served as a contentious peaceful protest against the measures of the second lockdown. The peaceful sacred assembly was the same kind of meeting that Grace Alliston has held for over 45 years without incident.
We at Grace Alliston deeply respect the law, but we are concerned by the hasty, arbitrary, and severe actions of the Ontario Government. We stand beside Aaron Rock of Harvest Windsor and Jacob Reaume of Trinity Bible Chapel, and the other courageous church elders who were charged for keeping their churches open. Like these churches, we are committed to the local church’s important Christian function in the community: to worship God, to disciple Christians, to give witness to Christ’s commands publicly, and to be a redemptive voice calling out for justice and morality in Canada.
In our current unprecedented situation, as so many social grievances accumulate, as personal consciences are violated, and as personal health choices are being mandated without consent, it is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in human ideas and plans. We have ministered to those coming to our services by reading scripture, singing joyfully and victoriously to God, bearing one another’s burdens, and meditating on Christ — the Word, the Power, and the Wisdom of God. With the love from our Christian brothers and sisters being together, and with our restored intimacy to our creator God, people are finding encouragement and asking to be baptized. As the fear of the virus builds in some people, and the fear of “tyranny” builds in others, we teach about a hope that is found only in Jesus Christ. We warn people about God’s judgment of sin. We teach how Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross appeased God’s wrath and made payment for our sin. We plead with those who come to believe in Jesus Christ’s victory over death by way of the resurrection. We offer eternal life in the face of death through Jesus Christ our Lord. Isaiah 45:22-23 reads, “Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other… Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear allegiance.” Each of us will give an account of himself to God.
The elders and the church have retained legal counsel from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) who plan to represent Michael in court.
Michael Thiessen, D.MIN