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Discussion Forum : News and Current Events : Pastor James Coates Arrested

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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37870
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 Pastor James Coates Arrested


here is a letter I recieved about Pastor James Coates in Canada and his arrest. You can watch his last full sermon below:


Dear servants of our Lord,

This letter is an urgent call to stand with and pray for Pastor James Coates, who is currently confined in (a maximum security) prison in Edmonton, Alberta for daring to be faithful to his God ordained duty to preach and shepherd the flock of Christ which Christ purchased with His own blood.

As you are probably aware, Pastor Coates was arrested on February 16, 2021 and could be held in prison until his court date in early May. The charges pertain to undue local governmental restrictions regarding exercising our God ordained right to assemble as the body of Christ for worship of our Lord.

The last sermon Pastor Coates preached, two days before his arrest, reveals the heart of a true servant of the Lord Jesus Christ who has taken a critical and courageous stance, prompted solely by his love for the Savior, for his brethren, and for the souls of the lost.

GraceLife Church - Feb 14, 2021 (Romans 13:1-4) "Directing Government to its Duty" Full Sermon

The purpose of this letter is to plead with you to encourage every pastor that you know to seriously consider this sermon in the light of Scripture, and to fully open the church which God has given him stewardship over.

The sermon is primarily directed to the government to address their God given duties. The subject of Pastor Coates’ powerful sermon is the Theology of Government – Romans 13.1. He discusses why we must obey God rather than men. The following is a brief summary of key points contained in the sermon.

Questions presented in the sermon include the following:

Can you be submissive to government while simultaneously practicing civil disobedience? Can you practice civil disobedience while maintaining a submissive posture by humbly subjecting ourselves to the consequences of our civil disobedience?

The answer is “yes”. When our responsibility to Christ leads us into conflicts with the government, we have to gracefully, humbly and submissively bear up under that consequence.

Government leaders are servants appointed by and accountable to God. They cannot set terms of worship because this is outside of their jurisdiction.

When is civil disobedience necessary?

§ When government forbids what God commands.

§ When government commands what God forbids.

§ When government commands what is not for them to command. (Examples: terms of worship for the local church; to this we cannot comply. They have no jurisdiction.)

Other excerpts from Pastor Coates February 14, 2021 sermon:

Government is accountable to God. The church must inform the government of their God ordained role. It is the role of the church to call them to accountability, and to let them know that they are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness, and to call them to repentance. Not to do so would be walking in negligence and being unloving, because they are storing up wrath for the day of judgment. They need to be confronted with their sin in order to realize that they need to be reconciled to God through the Son Jesus Christ.

It is the government’s role to protect the unalienable rights for men to fulfill their responsibilities. They must govern in accordance with the word of God which defines good and evil. They should protect rights.

It is not the government’s responsibility to protect us from a virus. Viruses are ordained by God. Viruses are inevitable in a fallen world. It is God who determines life and death.

Complying with unbiblical and unjust governmental laws is neither faithful nor loving. Affirming that the government has an authority that it does not have is also neither faithful or loving.

Of all institutions, the church has the obligation to call government to its God ordained duty. By meeting, we are openly testifying that the government has no jurisdiction and showing them that they have over-stepped their authority, and are being disobedient to Christ.

It is obedience to Christ that is driving this. It is also loving our neighbor, and that too, obeys Christ. It is our theology that is driving this. It is our ecclesiology that is driving this. Our government is out of step with its God given role. This is our Father’s world.

Jesus Christ is Head over the church. He is the Supreme authority and He governs the church. All of this is bound up in the word of God. Caesar has no jurisdiction here. I refuse to give the government what is not theirs.

It is a God given right to be with family when they are dying. It is not the government's responsibility to protect us from a virus. Attempting to do so actually infringes on God given rights, such as work and family life.

Government’s responsibility is not to govern the death rate.

It is God who governs and determines the death rate.

It is government’s responsibility to protect our God given, God ordained unalienable rights. Our government needs to repent and stand up for what is right.

Pastor Coates closed his sermon with a full proclamation of the Gospel.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2021/3/2 6:21Profile

Joined: 2016/11/15
Posts: 267

 Re: Pastor James Coates Arrested

Thank you for posting this dear brother.
What a brave soldier of Christ. He stands firm in Gods Word,
I’ve sent this on to many as well as pastors.
Lord, have mercy upon him and his family in the face this ordeal.
May they stand firm and be a light to many for Christ.

L Young

 2021/3/2 7:21Profile

Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1714
Tennessee, but my home's in Alabama


I pray for his faithfulness in jail, his freedom from custody, his ultimate acquittal, and for his family and church to remain faithful and that his family will be tended to by the church.

There are points in Pastor Coates’s letter or sermon that I differ on, but not significantly. I pray he fights the fight that matters and ignores ones that are of lesser import in this moment of history.


 2021/3/2 20:16Profile

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