Praising God at the West Coast Christian Accord Reveal. From left: Brian Hornibrook, Dave Carson and Bayo Adediran. Photo by Judi Vankevitch.

Dozens of local pastors and Christians leaders gathered at Cedar Grove Baptist Church in Surrey September 26 for the West Coast Christian Accord (WCCA) Reveal.

They in turn were representing 185 pastors and 1,000 others who have signed the accord “to support the biblical perspective of sexuality and gender according to our freedom of worship. We have gathered together today to speak to the issue of SOGI 123 and the infringement of our religious freedom.”

An article in the Globe and Mail November 12, 2017 described how SOGI came about:

The issue began in summer of 2016, when the BC Human Rights Code was amended to include gender identity and gender expression as prohibited grounds of discrimination.

In response, the government . . . directed all school districts to include sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) in their anti-bullying policies and codes of conduct. The Ministry of Education, along with the teachers’ union, the Vancouver-based ARC Foundation and others, collaborated on SOGI 123, an initiative that shares resources on how to support students and create more inclusive schools.

Teachers in the classroom, under a revised curriculum currently being rolled out in schools, may explore the various components of the human rights code, including sexual orientation and gender identity. Lessons on family diversity, for example, may include mentions of same-sex families and LGBTQ rights.

Host pastor Kevin Cavanaugh introduced what he described as a “historic moment,” backed by 40 or so fellow leaders representing a wide range of cultures and ethnicities. He said that he and pastor Dave Carson “made an official proclamation September 6, calling pastors, churches and Christian people to 21 days of fasting and prayer in view of this morning’s reveal.” Churches from Victoria to Kamloops were involved.

He added:

We are hereby revealing for the first time the West Coast Christian Accord, which in 14 articles provides a biblical statement on the supremacy of Christ, the authority of scripture, salvation, marriage, sexual orientation and gender identity.

We’re also issuing a strong public statement announcing our commitment to stop the teaching of SOGI in our BC schools.

Jack Taylor, in an article for The Light Magazine, described how Cavanaugh initially became involved:

In December 2017, pastor Kevin Cavanaugh (Cedar Grove Baptist Church, Surrey) was hosting meetings for Journey Canada and had invited another speaker to join them. He says that members of the LGBTQ community began inundating . . . the staff with intimidating threats saying they would be turned over to the RCMP for hate crimes and that there would be organized protests happening during his Sunday services.

He knew his congregation was unprepared so called off the meetings. In his reflections he realized that “courage comes from conviction,” so he connected with pastor Dave Carson and pastor Giulio Lorefice Gabeli of Hope Vancouver (Gabeli is also the senior pastor of Westwood Community Church, Coquitlam) to strategize a response. The West Coast Accord grew out of that collaboration.

(See below for the whole article.)

Gabeli spoke next:

God’s word is true, bringing life, purpose and hope to all those who hear it and obey it. For far too long, many of us in the evangelical churches throughout Canada have been dismissed, intimidated, bullied and even threatened because of our biblical worldview regarding human sexuality – a worldview that is not only based on the time-honoured truths of the Bible, but is a view protected by Canadian law.

Late last year, we as Christian leaders became aware of the SOGI agenda, surreptitiously targeting BC schools. At no time were we consulted or asked for any form of input by the Ministry of Education. We also became aware that parents, those duty bound to protect children, were unlawfully omitted from the process in spite of legal requirements concerning involvement of parents concerning the goals, policies and educational services for the BC education system.

To see a video of the WCCA Reveal, click on the picture.

René McIntyre, senior pastor of Trumpet of Truth Christian Ministries, offered a more personal insight:

At the end of this past school year, an eight year old Richmond girl was interviewed in the hallway of her school. She said, “A teacher came into our classroom and talked about SOGI. She taught us that if you want to be a girl, you can be a girl, and if you want to be a boy you can be a boy, because you can choose to be whatever you want to be.

The little girl asked the teacher, “Why do we have to change?”

She said, “Because you can be whatever you want to be.”

The little girl said, “I didn’t like hearing that. She said that boys can like pink and purple because colour has no gender, sports have no gender. And then she said, ‘There is no gender. . . ‘”

See the accompanying video for her full comment.

Other speakers were pastor Bayo Adediran of Grace Chapel in New Westminster; pastor Paul Dirks of New West Community Church, who has studied the issues in depth and led several seminars on related issues; and Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson, whose Facebook page hosted the live broadcast of the WCCA.

Following the presentations, the whole group repeated the 14 articles of the WCCA declaration together, and concluded with a heartfelt rendition of ‘O Canada,’ which Gabeli said “is really a prayer.”

This event took place as I was completing my weekly update, so I do not have to time for a full-fledged discussion of the issues. But there will no doubt be considerable debate about the WCCA and the issues raised over the next few days. Here are some of the elements I see playing into that discussion.

Continued antagonism

Those who have taken a public stand against opponents of SOGI thus far will no doubt continue, especially with school board elections coming up soon. Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson (who is running for a school board seat in Burnaby), Culture Guard and Paul Dirks have been targeted as hateful and discriminatory.

BCTF guidance

The very afternoon of the WCCA Reveal, the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) sent this note to their members (as part of an online mailout):

New SOGI 1 2 3 Parent Resources are helpful communication tools for members who are using SOGI 1 2 3 in the classroom and need help in talking to parents about the initiative. The website, two videos and the downloadable brochure were developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Committees and can be found at www.sogieducation.org/parents.

There are also some Q&As to share that will support conversations with parents or members of the public about SOGI 1 2 3. The brochure can be downloaded and printed in English, French, Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, Punjabi and Tagalog. Farsi and Arabic versions are also on the way.

Christians for SOGI

There are, of course, Christians who support SOGI. Within a couple of hours of the WCCA presentation, for example, one local woman tweeted:

I’m starting to get questions from friends about  and  – and I’m here to say because of my faith, I’m totally for  and creating a safe and welcoming space for all kids.

Christian teachers open to SOGI

One Christian teacher I spoke to (he is the SOGI lead at his school) warned against taking an alarmist approach to SOGI.

“Conversations can still happen,” he said. “Our posture is initially more important than our position.”

He also pointed out that we should make a distinction between SOGI policies regarding bullying, harassment, etc – which are required in all schools – and SOGI 123, prepared by an independent group, but endorsed by the Ministry of Education and the BC Teachers’ Federation – which is not.

Christian teachers wary of SOGI

Another Christian teacher took part in a SOGI 123  training session for teachers. While some of the meeting was indeed directed to issues of bullying and harassment, the instructor shared how she approaches student groups on issues of sexuality:

Gender is like a web, we’re all on a continuum, she said. “We tell the children: ‘This is very different than what your parents taught you – you may have to teach them.’”

And in the high schools: ” It’s easier with high school because teenagers already think their parents are wrong.”

Prayer at the WCCA Reveal. Photo by Judi Vankevitch.

Christians undecided

Though the turnout, number of signatories and Facebook views (well over 10,000 on the first day) for WCCA were all strong, there are obvious gaps in support. In terms of leadership – I haven’t seen the list of all those who signed – there were few, if any mainline Protestants or Catholics.

That may change as more Christians are exposed to the issue, but currently the strongest support appears to come from the charismatic/Pentecostal/nondenominational wing of the church.

SOGI / SOGI 123

Here is a link to the BC government’s Fact Sheet on ‘Sexual Orientation and and Gender Identity (SOGI) in Schools.’

The SOGI 123 site says this about its collaborators:

SOGI 1 2 3 was created by ARC Foundation in collaboration with the BC Ministry of Education; BC Teachers’ Federation; school districts across BC; UBC Faculty of Education; education partners; and various local, national, and international LGBTQ+ community organizations.

*****************

Jack Taylor: West Coast Christian Accord revealed

Kevin Cavanaugh and other Christian leaders have signed the West Coast Christian Accord and are hoping many more will join them. Photo by Jack Taylor.

Jack Taylor is lead pastor of Faith Fellowship Baptist Church in Vancouver. He was on stage during the West Coast Christian Accord Reveal. This is his understanding of how the WCCA came about and what it signifies.

The West Coast Christian Accord arose like an unexpected pregnancy. On September 26, after 21 days of fasting and nightly prayer meetings, the WCCA was birthed with over 1,000 signatories affirming 14 clear declarations focusing on human sexuality, gender and marriage; 185 pastors were among the signees.

In December 2017, pastor Kevin Cavanaugh (Cedar Grove Baptist Church, Surrey) was hosting meetings for Journey Canada and had invited another speaker to join them. He says that members of the LGBTQ community began inundating Cavanaugh and the staff with intimidating threats saying they would be turned over to the RCMP for hate crimes and that there would be organized protests happening during his Sunday services.

He knew his congregation was unprepared so called off the meetings. In his reflections he realized that “courage comes from conviction” so he connected with pastor Dave Carson and pastor Giulio Lorefice Gabeli of Hope Vancouver (Gabeli is also the senior pastor of Westwood Community Church, Coquitlam) to strategize a response. The West Coast Accord grew out of that collaboration.

The multi-denominational movement has bonded together diverse churches into a common cause. Gabeli stated publicly that “we were like Jeremiah – we were vexed in our spirit over the sin and immorality.”

He felt that the Spirit prompted him toward the words of Jeremiah 20:7-9. Part of this section reads “So the word of the LORD has brought me insult and reproach all day long. But if I say, ‘I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,’ his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.”

Paul Dirks (New West Community Church), Sam Owusu (Calvary Worship Centre) and Laura-Lynn Tyler-Thompson are also signatories.

Dirks says, “There is a time and place for church leaders to speak as prophets to our world regarding the Word of God. We’re facing the Bonhoeffer moment where we either speak up or lose the authority to speak.” He says the goal is to access two million people with the vision of the West Coast Accord and that this movement is part of the turning of the tide against the SOGI 123 curriculum.

Tyler-Thompson, running for school board in Burnaby, states:

We, as followers of Jesus, honour the rights of all Canadians to live the lifestyle they choose but we also must be honoured for our values. We don’t want our children taught transgenderism.

Cavanaugh invites others to join in affirming The Accord and says, to those concerned about losing their influence in the community by signing:

Our increasingly secularized society has a zero-tolerance position on anything Christian. Simply hint at any thought, idea or value remotely Christian and you will be quickly dismissed, marginalized, or removed. Friends, there comes a time in every believer’s life when truth and biblical conviction collide with one’s personal standing, even reputation. At one point, one must give way to the other.

Gabeli says:

The WCCA is a clarion call for Christian leaders to ‘arise and stand as one’ representative of the Canadian Church; declaring that we have the right, as law-abiding citizens, to the freedoms of conscience, speech and the freedom to practice our faith and values. For far too long the church has been silent in the public arena, allowing the secular social engineers to deconstruct the foundational biblical values that made our nation prosperous and the envy of the world.

With SOGI 123, it appeared as if the LGBTQ movement had successfully gained exclusive influence and authority over the messaging of information while the church had been disengaged or distracted with other issues. The social transition in our education system alone pressuring research, teaching, service, credentialing and administration systems, to conform to the new wave, shows the need for collaborative action is clear. Recent legislation across this country reveals that the courts cannot be relied on for consistent support.

The movement has embraced the words of Martin Luther King when he proclaimed: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Cavanaugh concludes:

The Accord is significant because all 14 articles taken together form a complete declaration that is important for three reasons: first, it is a biblically based teaching resource for the churches on the controversial topic of SOGI; second, it is a plumb line of righteousness to call the church and the city to account; and thirdly, it is a clarion call to pastors and churches to form a like-minded coalition who will stand together on this issue for the sake of our children and grandchildren.

The Reveal for the Accord, along with the wording of the 14 affirmations, can be accessed on the West Coast Christian Accord website westcoastchristianaccord.com.

WCCA_Launch_GFX from WCCA on Vimeo.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Did the Vancouver Archdiocese participate in this important Christian initiative?
    If not, why not?
    As a Catholic, I am very concerned.

  2. Hey, how’s it going?

    I want to pass along some very important news that everyone needs to hear!

    In December of 2017, Donald Trump made history by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Why is this big news? Because by this the Jewish people of Israel are now able to press forward in bringing about the Third Temple prophesied in the Bible.

    Jewish Rabbis have publicly announced that their Messiah will be revealed in the coming years who will be a leader and spiritual guide to all nations, gathering all religions under the worship of one God.

    Biblical prophecy tells us that this Jewish Messiah who will take the stage will be the antichrist “who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4). For a time he will bring about a false peace, but “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (Matthew 24:15)…then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).

    More importantly, the power that runs the world wants to put a RFID microchip in our body making us total slaves to them. This chip matches perfectly with the Mark of the Beast in the Bible, more specifically in Revelation 13:16-18:

    “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”

    Referring to the last days, this could only be speaking of a cashless society, which we have yet to see, but are heading towards. Otherwise, we could still buy or sell without the mark amongst others if physical money was still currency. This Mark couldn’t be spiritual because the word references two different physical locations. If it was spiritual it would just say in the forehead. RFID microchip implant technology will be the future of a one world cashless society containing digital currency. It will be implanted in the right-hand or the forehead, and we cannot buy or sell without it. Revelation 13:11-18 tells us that a false prophet will arise on the world scene doing miracles before men, deceiving them to receive this Mark. Do not be deceived! We must grow strong in Jesus. AT ALL COSTS, DO NOT TAKE IT!

    “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11).

    People have been saying the end is coming for many years, but we needed two key things. One, the Third Temple, and two, the technology for a cashless society to fulfill the prophecy of the Mark of the Beast.

    Visit http://WWW.BIBLEFREEDOM.COM to see proof for these things and why the Bible truly is the word of God!

    If you haven’t already, it is time to seek God with all your heart. Jesus loves you more than you could imagine. He wants to have a relationship with you and redeem you from your sins. Turn to Him and repent while there is still hope! This is forever…God bless!

    “EITHER HUMAN INTELLIGENCE ULTIMATELY OWES ITS ORIGIN TO MINDLESS MATTER OR THERE IS A CREATOR…” – JOHN LENNOX

    We all know God exists. Why? Because without Him, we couldn’t prove anything at all. Do we live our lives as if we cannot know anything? No. So why is God necessary? In order to know anything for certain, you would have to know everything, or have revelation from somebody who does. Who is capable of knowing everything? God. So to know anything, you would have to be God, or know God.

    A worldview without God cannot account for the uniformity and intelligibility of nature. And why is it that we can even reason that God is the best explanation for this if there is no God? We are given reason to know or reject God, but never to know that He does not exist.

    It has been calculated by Roger Penrose that the odds of the initial conditions for the big bang to produce the universe that we see to be a number so big, that we could put a zero on every particle in the universe, and even that would not be enough to use every zero. What are the odds that God created the universe? Odds are no such thing. Who of you would gamble your life on one coin flip?

    Is there evidence that the Bible is the truth? Yes. Did you know that the creation accounts listed in the book of Genesis are not only all correct, but are also in the correct chronological order? That the Bible doesn’t say the Earth was formed in six 24-hour days but rather six long but finite periods of time? That the Bible makes 10 times more creation claims than all major “holy” books combined with no contradictions, while these other books have errors in them? The Bible stood alone by concurring with the big bang saying, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1); and says our universe is expanding, thousands of years before scientists discovered these things. Watch a potential life-changing video on the website listed below with Astronomer(PhD) Hugh Ross explaining all these facts based on published scientific data. He has authored many books, backed even by atheist scientists.

    Jesus came to pay a debt that we could not; to be our legal justifier to reconcile us back to a Holy God; only if we are willing to receive Him: “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23).

    God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten son, so that whoever believes in Him, through faith, shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Jesus says if we wish to enter into life to keep the commands! The two greatest commands are to love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind; and your neighbor as yourself. All the law hang on these commands. We must be born of and lead by the Holy Spirit, to be called children of God, to inherit the kingdom. If we are willing to humble ourselves in prayer to Jesus, to confess and forsake our sins, He is willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who keep asking of Him; giving us a new heart, leading us into all truth!

    Jesus came to free us from the bondage of sin. The everlasting fire was prepared for the devil and his angels due to disobedience to God’s law. If we do the same, what makes us any different than the devil? Jesus says unless we repent, we shall perish. For sin is the transgression of the law. We must walk in the Spirit so we may not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, being hatred, fornication, drunkenness and the like. Whoever practices such things will not inherit the kingdom (Galatians 5:16-26). If we sin, we may come before Jesus to ask for forgiveness (1 John 2:1-2). Evil thoughts are not sins, but rather temptations. It is not until these thoughts conceive and give birth by our own desires that they become sin (James 1:12-15). When we sin, we become in the likeness of the devil’s image, for he who sins is of the devil (1 John 3:8); but if we obey Jesus, in the image of God. For without holiness, we shall not see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).

    The oldest religion in the world is holiness through faith (James 1:27). What religion did Adam and Eve follow before the fall? Jesus, Who became the last Adam, what religion does He follow? Is He not holy? He never told us to follow the rituals and traditions of man but to take up our cross and follow Him (Luke 9:23). There are many false doctrines being taught leading people astray. This is why we need the Holy Spirit for discernment. Unlike religion, holiness cannot be created. It is given to us from above by the baptism of the Spirit. Jesus is more than a religion; He is about having a personal relationship with the Father. Start by reading the Gospel of Matthew, to hear the words of God, to know His character and commandments. Follow and obey Jesus, for He is the way, the truth, and the life!

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