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Trinity Bible Chapel pastor has 'had enough' of government's 'ridiculous policies'

Woolwich church trying to contact nine parishioners fined under Reopening Ontario Act on Sunday morning
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Trinity Bible Chapel on Sunday, April 18

Regional Police’s newly implemented COVID Integrated Response Team had a busy first day of implementation on Sunday, responding to another in-person service at Woolwich’s Trinity Bible Chapel. Empowered under recent amendments to our provincial stay-at-home legislation, those officers observed violations under the Reopening Ontario Act, issuing nine tickets to individuals seen leaving the church, believed to be violating COVID-19 orders. Responding to the action taken against his congregation, Trinity Bible Chapel’s Pastor Jacob Reaume said the church is reaching out to those that received a ticket, adding that he’s “had enough” of the government attempting to dictate what Jesus Christ deserves.

Speaking as a guest on Kitchener Today with Brian Bourke on 570 NEWS, Reaume said that some may have the impression that the Woolwich church continues to hold in-person gatherings in defiance of our current stay-at-home order as a desire for notoriety – clarifying that the church’s intention is instead “a desire to be obedient to our King”. Placing significant emphasis on the value of gathering in person, Reaume said that the experience of coming together is “significant and supernatural”; something that “un-believers” may not understand, but the people of his congregation happily experience.

While a recent blog post from Trinity Bible Chapel’s Associate Pastor emphasized the importance of keeping churches open as adherence to the commandment to “love thy neighbour”, Reaume was pressed to elaborate on whether or not he felt continuing to defy public health measures could be seen as sowing divisiveness in the community. Reaume argued instead that it was the government and their “absolutely ridiculous policies” that were the issue.

“It’s easy for someone to say we need to love thy neighbour by destroying a whole bunch of people’s livelihoods, businesses and destroying churches when those people themselves have never gone without a paycheque – and really haven’t had to watch their businesses be destroyed and their livelihoods destroyed in the process.”

When asked, Reaume added that he has not had to go without a paycheque throughout the pandemic.

While Reaume said that he is concerned for our local businesses that continue to remain closed due to our provincial public health measures out of a desire to “love my neighbour”, he said his primary objective is to “worship the Lord Jesus Christ” and minister to his congregation.

“At this point, I’ve had enough of the government telling me how I should be leading our people to worship in an attempt to dictate to us what it is that Jesus Christ deserves.” said Reaume. “I don’t think we’re going to change the way we worship any time soon because our government all of a sudden decides it’s a bad idea to worship in person.”

When asked why Trinity Bible Chapel cannot use technology to gather and worship as other congregations have, Reaume likened the move to worship through such devices as a sort of devolution, adding that some people might have “regressed” to that format, but it’s not something he agrees with.

“One of the assumptions that I think our government has made during this time is that people should be reduced to biotic units whose sole purpose is to avoid contracting a virus that over 99.9 per cent of Canadians haven’t died from in fourteen months,” said Reaume. “I happen to believe that life is to be lived abundantly … and that means sure, we’re going to mitigate risk and reward when it comes to contracting contagions … but at the same time, there’s much more to life.”

Taking issue with the province’s COVID-19 modelling and continuing lockdowns, Reaume said his main concern at the end of the day is the “worship of Christ and his offer of salvation to a lost world”, adding that he’s “pretty well had enough” of being told what is the right way to worship Him.

“It’s not our government’s prerogative to do that – He has crown rights over the Church. Not the government.”

In addition to those nine tickets issued to members of Reaume’s congregation, a police spokesperson said additional tickets could be issued depending on the evidence gathered on Sunday. In an email to 570 NEWS, that spokesperson said the service “remains committed” to working with Region of Waterloo bylaw to ensure compliance with our COVID-19 related orders, as well as the health and safety of the community.

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