Message to Pastors
I am very excited as I feel God is moving to set us free, free to preach, free from oppression, free to be full citizens. Church history proves that revival follows the preaching of freedom.
As pastors in Canada we are second class citizens. Pastors are oppressed by the government and threatened with severe penalties if we participate in democracy. Sure we can vote but we cannot do anything else. Pastors must have equal rights in democracy, We should not be limited, restricted or intimidated.
The Canadian government scares pastors with CRA regulations that state if a pastor’s ministry “carries out partisan political activities, it can be subject to compliance action, including suspension of its tax-receipting privileges, or revocation of its charitable registration.”
A pastor’s democratic right is severely restricted. A pastor cannot:
- Explicitly connect views to any candidate or political party.
- Distribute literature or voter guides
or publicly endorse a candidate by:
- Giving money
- Allowing a candidate or political party to use a church equipment, facilities.
- Volunteer time
- Make public statements.
- Suggest that people should vote for a particular candidate or party.
- Attend a political fundraiser as a representative of a church.
- Use a website to post or hyperlink to statements made by a third party.
- Publish or otherwise disclose voting records.
- Post signs.
The result is that we are afraid to fully express ourselves and rally our people when injustices occur. Our government passes law after law damaging the people of Canada and we are muzzled by their threats.
This oppression began with the Johnson Amendment in 1954 and Canada quickly followed suit. The result is that the church reduced from 65% of the population to 25% in America and 9% in Canada.
The newly elected government; the President, Senate and Congress, is planning to rescind the Johnston Amendment and free pastors to preach freedom from all forms of oppression, spiritual, financial and governmental. In Canada we must do the same and fight for freedom, equality and democracy.
Dr. Charles McVety
Canada Christian College and School of Graduate Theological Studies