Pastor still in custody after opening his church. Officials are having secret hearings away from the Public

After turning himself in to Parkland RCMP on Tuesday, Feb. 16, he was arrested and charged with two counts of contravening the Public Health Act, and one criminal charge of failing to comply with a condition of an undertaking. Following a bail hearing before a Justice of the Peace, Coates was to be released on conditions. However, he remained in custody overnight after refusing to agree with said conditions. Yesterday in Stony Plain Provincial Court, he continued his refusal. A judge’s order has been issued compelling him to attend court on Wednesday, Feb. 24.
GraceLife Church Pastor James Coates remains in custody following charges, a bail hearing in front of a Justice, and a court appearance in front of a judge.

On Sunday, Feb. 14, Parkland RCMP and AHS attended GraceLife Church to assess its compliance with conditions issued to the pastor on Sunday, Feb. 7. It was determined that Coates was not obeying his undertaking release conditions and that the church was once again in defiance of public health restrictions.

pastor in jail for preaching
pastor in jail for preaching

After turning himself in to Parkland RCMP on Tuesday, Feb. 16, he was arrested and charged with two counts of contravening the Public Health Act, and one criminal charge of failing to comply with a condition of an undertaking.

Following a bail hearing before a Justice of the Peace, Coates was to be released on conditions. However, he remained in custody overnight after refusing to agree with said conditions. Yesterday in Stony Plain Provincial Court, he continued his refusal. A judge’s order has been issued compelling him to attend court on Wednesday, Feb. 24.

“We’ve been consistent in our approach of escalated levels of enforcement with Pastor Coates and we were hopeful to resolve this issue in a different manner,” said Insp. Mike Lokken. “The pastor’s actions and the subsequent effects those actions could have on the health and safety of citizens dictated our response in this situation.”

In a separate statement, Insp. Lokken addressed the fact that a member of the church’s administration is a former RCMP officer. Paul Claassen retired from the force in October 2014.

“Parkland RCMP has managed the investigation into the GraceLife Church with absolutely no influence from any member of their administration or congregation regardless of any past or present affiliation with our organization.”

Irreducible Elements of the Gospel

The gospel is the great nonnegotiable of Christian truth. We aren’t allowed to add to, subtract from, embellish, or rejigger the sacred message of how sinful men can be reconciled to a holy God.

That’s why the apostle Paul reserved his sternest warning for anyone who would dare to mess with the message: “If any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed” (Galatians 1:9).

The preacher is left with one option when it comes to faithful gospel proclamation—and it’s not an elusive option reserved for scholars. Paul expected his audience to be able to clearly differentiate between the one true gospel and all the other pretenders. It is an expectation implicitly placed upon all believers. With that in mind, we recently asked John MacArthur to identify and explain the essential truths of saving faith—the irreducible elements of the gospel.

Our destinies hinge on the unshakable nature of those truths. Any variation in just one of them and the hope of eternal life completely collapses.  

If you present a different god than the God of Scripture, you are effectively calling people to idolatry. If you preach another Christ you do not have the Lord; you have a liar or a lunatic. If salvation by grace through faith alone is corrupted with even the smallest amount of works-righteousness, “Christ will be of no benefit to you” (Galatians 5:2). If we don’t repent from our former sinful ways, we will perish (Luke 13:3,5).

Questions? Contact Us

%d bloggers like this: