Chilliwack Free Reformed Church on Yale Road (seen on Dec. 1, 2020)was one of three churches in Chilliwack receiving a total of $18,400 in fines for repeatedly violating provincial public health orders. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Chilliwack Free Reformed Church on Yale Road (seen on Dec. 1, 2020)was one of three churches in Chilliwack receiving a total of $18,400 in fines for repeatedly violating provincial public health orders. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

LETTER: Chilliwack pastor says Christians who act recklessly, unkind and selfish are in the minority

Churches want to be treated like businesses for gathering but not when it comes to paying taxes

I am a pastor at a local Church here in Chilliwack, although I am writing this letter in my personal capacity as a Christian.

In the last few weeks, as I have read some of the articles published by the Chilliwack Progress, as well as the responses to those articles, I am sorry to say that I have been left feeling frustrated and angry.

READ MORE: Chilliwack churches fined $18,400 for violating public health orders

READ MORE: Two Chilliwack churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

I am left feeling frustrated when I read about a handful of churches who are deliberately disregarding the provincial health orders around public gatherings. I am left angry when in their defence of this reckless behaviour, these church leaders point to their rights as per the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but fail to acknowledge their greater responsibility to obey those in authority as per the Bible.

I am left feeling frustrated when I read about some Christians who insist on churches being treated the same as other businesses when it comes to COVID-19 restrictions and I am left feeling angry when I know that those very Christians would probably insist on the church not being treated the same as other institutions when it comes to paying tax.

I am left feeling frustrated when I read about a duly elected public official, who claims to be a Christian, being deliberately unkind to another duly elected official. I am left angry when after apologizing for this unacceptable behaviour, the duly elected official repeats this behaviour by simultaneously being unkind to a member of the public as well as to other people in our community.

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I am left feeling frustrated when I realize that a there will be those Christians, who after reading this, will automatically default to defending the above mentioned poor behaviour. I am left feeling angry when I realize that as a result, they will not change their own behaviour in any meaningful way.

I am left feeling frustrated and angry, but I am also hopeful when I realize that those “Christians” who are unkind and reckless and selfish, although making a loud noise, are actually in the minority and almost all the Christians I know are nothing like them in any way.

I am hopeful because I know that most pastors and Church leaders are hard at work finding ways to still “do Church” and help people experience community despite not being able to safely meet in person at this point in time.

I am hopeful because most of the Christians I know are actually good and kind and loving. I am hopeful because these people are far more like Jesus than those who are loud, but who aren’t like Jesus in any way shape or form. I am indeed frustrated and angry, but I am also hopeful.

Darryn Botha

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