When Pastor Brian Coldwell, of the New Testament Baptist Church of Spruce Grove, Alberta, says “No”, he means it. And I admire him for it.
“Yes-men” don’t get it. Indeed, political sycophants find such resolve offensive. But the difference between them and Brian Coldwell, is that the latter actually appreciates concrete principle— especially Biblical principle— more than the shifting sands of political pragmatism.
Brian knows there’s little to be gained, outside of eternity, for standing on Biblical principles. He’s aware that, at any point, things could go very badly for both him and the Christian schools with which his congregation is associated.
Pastor Coldwell knows that the NDP are ideologically driven— that they are highly influenced by Kris Wells and the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies at the University of Alberta. He also knows that the NDP’s own penchant for sexual progressivism is hardly a partisan issue.
He remembers it was the Progressive-Conservative passage of Bill 10 in March, 2015 (under the watch of the evangelical Gordon Dirks as Education Minister) that is most directly responsible for the difficulties his Christian schools now face.
He also knows it was a unanimous vote in the Legislature — “conservative” opposition Wildrose members included — that entrenched transgenderism as a protected class in Alberta, in December of 2015. This only managed to complicate moral matters further.
The present political trend, then, seems obvious.
To use a Biblical image, Brian Coldwell sees “the writing on the wall”. To make matters worse, there’s no real upside to his conscientious resistance and objection, unless— unless— truth might actually be at stake.
Truth, after all, is precisely why we protect freedom.
We protect freedom of speech, not because every profane foghorn or cultural blowhard has a valid point, but rather because truth (when finally spoken) has the capacity, in necessity, to offend power.
In other words, in the name of freedom, we tolerate the liar in the hope that, at least, the honest herald will have political room to maneuver. We live with the scoundrel’s words in order to protect the prophet’s— that humility might still be injectable into social life.
Likewise, we protect the public practice of religion, even when it is unfashionable, not because we must believe one or any religion, but because public religion occasionally contains a culturally necessary perspective, free from the machinations of government.
This is why Christian ideas, like those of Pastor Brian Coldwell, are so routinely politically incorrect. They are ideas from another realm, and a competing regime, altogether.
And this other realm, to sharpen the knife, doesn’t respect our “sexual revolution”. This regime’s principles have become so alien to us, in fact, that society— including government— now responds to this Kingdom’s messengers with both covert and overt hostility. We want to kill our prophets. I suppose we always have.
Nevertheless, this heavenly Realm rejects our permissive culture. This other-worldly administration would remind us that the spirit is always contrary to the flesh. Like it or not, this regime neither endorses our moral confusion, nor our cowardly conformity. It never advocates for divorce; it never endorses our abortion-cult. It rejects our sleazy hook-up culture, our addiction to voyeurism, our phoney serial monogamy, and our penchant for adulterous glances and actions. This same realm neither respects the Marquis De Sade, nor the sad Dr. Alfred Kinsey.
These people were deluded. We’re deluded.
Thus, to sit inside New Testament Baptist Church on a Sunday morning, as I have, is to realize that entire worlds are colliding. The contrast couldn’t be more evident if David sat next to Goliath.
Inside that small sanctuary, the music is simple; the Biblical message, pious and forthright. The people are humble and observably conservative— some might say terribly quaint. The women and girls tend to be in dresses, the men in their best. Even some of the boys look to be wearing their first jackets. In all, it neither feels sophisticated in a cosmopolitan sense, nor does it strike one as the hub of a suave intelligentsia that is deliberately dangerous to the social order.
Attending NTBC is no waltz down Wall Street. It’s certainly not a trip to Vegas. It has neither the panache of a sexual think-tank, nor the pomp of a Legislative assembly.
Yet, what Pastor Coldwell’s church does appear to have is an equal measure of both courage and simple Biblical conviction— remarkably subversive things according to social progressives. For these two traits, when properly combined, can give Christian living some rather tenacious qualities— the capacity to say “yes” when others doubt; the strength to say “no” when others surrender.
And conservatives need to say “no” to the sexual revolution as it now defines itself. This revolution needs to die. Thoroughly debauched, whatever noble ground it once occupied looks little better than the mud of a tawdry and whorish circus. Its research is self-serving, and its net results toxic to family and culture. In fact, the corruption it represents, in sum, likely constitutes the single largest internal threat to Western society.
Hence, I want to encourage the Brian Coldwells of this world— anyone, in fact, who can still say “no” to the libertine agendas underneath “Comprehensive Sex Education”; to legislation that forces Christian Schools to go against their institution’s beliefs; to societies that wish to force Christian law schools to adopt secular codes of conduct; to Medical colleges that demand Christian health workers, or institutions, participate in abortion or euthanasia.
The answer to all of these trends is a resounding “no”.
And neither will we retreat from the public application of our skill sets— not while there is still a government in Canada that believes in justice and freedom.
(PS: SIGN the Rebel's petition against the Alberta NDP's radical school rules.)