Statement on Bill C4 and Transgenderism

On January 8th, 2022 Canada’s criminal code was amended to include the practice of so-called “conversion therapy” as a punishable offense, carrying with it a penalty of up to five years in prison. This bill received unanimous approval by both governing party and official opposition with virtually no debate, deliberation, or discussion, though many attempted to raise concerns about the extent of its reach and the concerning lack of specificity of its terms.

Due to the potential impact of Bill C-4 on Christian churches, we thought it would be prudent to lay out clearly what we view to be our role and responsibility in the midst of the current redefinition-project of sexual and gender norms.

We, therefore, as pastors of Hill City Baptist Church, set forth the following affirmations as a true reflection of our convictions on this matter:

  • That the Holy Scriptures (The Bible), being the very Word of God, are infallible and binding on all people at all times. It is, therefore, not the duty of the Scriptures to continually adapt to fluctuating social norms, but rather for social norms to be conformed to the Scriptures. The primary concern of Christians, then, is not that we are on the so-called “right side of history,” but on the right sight of God’s decrees.

  • That the desire and object of every Christian citizen is, fundamentally, “to live peaceful and quiet lives” (1 Timothy 2:2) and to submit to government, so long as it operates within its proper bounds of authority (Romans 13:1).

  • That it is not government, nor specialist, nor even a majority, which ultimately determines the bounds of human authority and responsibility. Rather, it is the Scriptures, which are perpetually binding over every human institution.

  • That the jurisdiction of government is not absolute, but is rather limited by:                                                                                1) The specific duties assigned to it, as laid out in the Scriptures (Romans 13:4, 1 Peter 2:14);
    2) The existence and legitimacy of additional God-ordained spheres in society (religion, family, etc.);
    3) The assumption of the Scriptures that there is one God and Lord over all, which necessarily lays constraints on any and all earthly authorities.                      

  • That where government attempts – by laws, threats, or coercion – to require Christians to do that which is against the Scriptures, it becomes the duty of Christians to “obey God rather than man.” (Exodus 1, Acts 5:29, Acts 17:7, Daniel 3:18).

  • That to force any course of action, including conversion, upon any person, through any coercive means, is inexcusable and a degradation of humanity and a strategy which we reject outright. Rather, “because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others” (2 Corinthians 5:11, NLT).

  • That binary distinctions of male and female are not a social construct, nor a perpetuated “myth,” but an irrefutable reality of nature, and that the Scriptures affirm the goodness of such a reality in Genesis 5:2: “Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.”

  • That it was God’s original design for man to be joined to a covenant partner (woman), for the purpose of lifelong fellowship (Genesis 2:24) and fruitfulness (Genesis 1:28). Where modern definitions of marriage fail to take into account either heterosexual norms, or mongogmous fidelity, they also fail to meet the definition of marriage.

  • That “there is a way that seems right to man [or woman] but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12). And that, therefore, to assume precedence of one’s inner feelings, over objective, biological criteria, is a posture of profound error that, far from correcting any so-called “gender-dysphoria,” will lead to further confusion and despair (22%-43% of transgender people will attempt suicide in their lifetime).

  • That humanity’s purpose is broader than the sum of our gender or sexual orientation, and that the prevailing “ache” of so many is much more than can be treated with surgery or hormone theraphy. Rather, as we have been created by God, so we will never be truly happy until we lay down our autonomy and find our rest in Him.

  • That it is not only the privilege, but the duty, of every Christian pastor and minister to freely provide counsel and direction in line with God’s design for gender and sexuality. And, furthermore, to do so assuming the “correctness” of an individual’s God-given gender at birth.

  • That insofar as Bill C-4, having recently received royal assent and which is now in effect, hinders any Christian from proclaiming, persuading, or pleading with people to submit, body and soul, to Jesus Christ, we reject it outright.

In a country like Canada, which has historically placed a high value on diversity of thought and opinion, it grieves us to see a bill such as this pass with so little thought or clarification. We put down the above convictions in hopes that many will rejoice in the truth as God has declared it, rather than what we feel the truth should be.

This is the path of true human flourishing.


The Elders of Hill City Baptist Church