Email your letters to

Email your letters to

LETTER: Restrictions placed on church gatherings are ‘beyond unreasonable’

‘Sorry Dr. Bonnie Henry, you and the government of B.C. have over reached into ecclesiastical affairs’

If restaurants, bars, liquor stores, and gyms allow 100 people at a time, airlines where well over a 100 are packed into a small area without six-feet “social” distancing allowed to fly in and out of B.C., why in the world is there a ban on churches of 50 or less social distancing and following “the rules” not allowed to gather together?

As one who had lost his family through a life of drug and alcohol addiction back in the mid-1970s and was wonderfully saved when I heard the simple unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ – the only “support group” that worked for me was getting anchored into a true and living support group for all kinds of sinners – called the Church. Do these recent restrictions want me to go back to my former “support” groups called bars and liquor stores which remain open?

The restriction placed on churches is beyond unreasonable and I for one would call upon all God ordained leadership of churches to open their doors and hearts and start shepherding the small flock God has called you to minister to in person.

I am one who speaks from 46 years of true Christian ministry working on the streets of Toronto, Montreal, Harlem in New York City, Cabrini Green in Chicago and many years in the Republic of Ireland – and most recently pastoring a small fellowship of God’s people in upstate New York for 14 years before relocating here in Abbotsford. Since being here I often find myself compelled to visit East Hastings and walk among and mingle in person with those for whom Christ came to save. All that is wonderful but my life-line is the local fellowship that I attend and gather together with God’s people according to our Lord’s exhortation: “Do not forsake the assembling of ourselves together…”

I assure you that it was very dangerous for Christians in the first century church to gather together for fear of imprisonment, torture, and death – much like it is in places like China, Russia, North Korea, Islamic countries – yet the true believers of Jesus Christ continue to gather together in underground churches – not the state-run government controlled “churches” – as they meet with their Lord who assured those who would be His followers, “Where two or three are gathered together there I am in the midst.”

We gather corporately according to His Word to worship and praise Him who loved us and demonstrated that love on the Cross. How can we forsake such an awesome privilege, but also a responsibility. We love Him because He first loved us. Surely He is worthy of our obedience regardless of the cost.

Sorry Dr. Bonnie Henry, you and the government of B.C. have over reached into ecclesiastical affairs where the government has no business.

Russ O’Neill

• Send your letter to the editor via email to Please include your first and last name, address, and phone number.

• READ MORE: Chilliwack Progress Letters


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ottawa serial killer Camille Joseph Cleroux died of natural causes at Abbotsford’s Pacific Institution on Sunday.
Serial killer housed at Abbotsford’s Pacific Institution dies of natural causes

Camille Joseph Cleroux announced dead on Sunday, known as notorious Ottawa serial killer

A child joins the Uke ‘n Play kickoff event at the Chilliwack Library on Oct. 1, 2016. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Events return, in virtual form, at Fraser Valley Regional Library

People can take part in ukulele jam, bullet journaling, reading groups and more

This urn was found Jan. 4 at a Yale Road bus stop and has now been returned to its owner. (RCMP photo)
RCMP find custodian of urn that was left at Chilliwack bus stop

Police say the urn contained the remains of a family’s cat

Garry Blanchard of Hope won $77,000 correctly guessing the outcomes of all 13 games of NFL week 17. (Photo/BCLC)
Hope resident rakes in $77,000 in NFL Week 17 bet

Garry Blanchard won the record-breaking prize correctly guessing every outcome that week

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Chilliwack ER doc runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

People wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 walk past a window display at a store in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, December 13, 2020. The association representing businesses across Metro Vancouver says the costs of COVID-19 continue to mount for its members.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Greater Vancouver business organization says members face uncertain outlook in 2021

Many Greater Vancouver businesses are barely treading water as they enter 2021

A handgun seized by Surrey RCMP. (Photo: Police handout)
Crime Stoppers received 500+ tips about Metro Vancouver guns, gang activity in 2020: report

Metro Vancouver organization ‘urging local residents to keep providing anonymous tips’

Most Read