In a statement captured by The Christian Post, Pastor Jacob Reaume of Trinity Bible Chapel (TBC) in Ontario shared about the "pricey" consequence of gathering together just to worship God during the pandemic.
"We have had some really extravagant worship services over the past few months. A service we held on January 24, 2021, cost us $83,000. It was pricey, and we believe that Jesus is worthy of extravagance. After all, He purchased us for the extravagant price of His very own blood," Reaume began.
He then revealed that his church was again fined for a total of $85,000, violating the province's health guidance in April.
According to Kitchener Today, the church itself was fined $35,000 while Reaume and another pastor, Will Schuurman, were ordered to pay $10,000 each. Four elders, including Daniel Gordon, Randy Frey, Dean Wanders and Harvey Frey were also fined $7,500 each.
Further to the minister's post, he said that his church will never give up the worship services even if others were urging him to, pointing out that worshiping Jesus is "worth it" for the "small prices" they have to pay.
"I've heard some people say crazy things like, 'Giving up our worship services is a small price right now, just a little inconvenience.' The problem with that is that worship services are not ours to give up. They belong to Jesus. He purchased His worship with the price of His own blood. That mindset only reveals how man-centered many are in their view of church and worship. Really and truly, the mindset should be my money and my comfort and my life are small prices to pay right now to worship Jesus. He's worth it," he wrote.
Reaume also shared his personal statement to the court, presenting his argument for holding the worship services.
In addition, he stated that the "extravagant worship services" became an opportunity to explain the "worthiness of Christ" before the Court, citing Matthew 10:18.
He went on to say that they did not intend to disrespect the "courts or civil magistrates" but just wanted to declare in "word and deed" the lordship of Jesus Christ, adding that the authority of those people in the government was only "derived" from God.
In conclusion, the pastor disclosed that they were requested to sign an agreement to abide by Ontario's COVID regulations, as a requirement to have their building back but they refused, holding that they cannot hand over the church to Premier Doug Ford. Thus, he said that the judge did not require them to. He also expressed his hope that they will regain entry to the worship center soon.
However, in an email to The Beat, Alexandra Wilkes, coordinator at Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, said that in accordance with the court order, the church doors can only be unlocked if TBC will present a safety plan and evidence that the respondents are willing "to comply with the ROA," or the Reopening Ontario Act.