As the mantras of “tolerance” and “inclusion” continue to ring up and down the streets of America, it seems those principles fail to apply when it comes to Christians expressing their gospel-centered views. David Lynn, a pastor for Christ Forgiveness Ministries in Toronto, was arrested on June 4 for proclaiming the Good News of Jesus on the streets of an LGBTQ-friendly community.
A portion of the incident has been posted to YouTube:
“Everybody can have dignity and respect, everybody, but do you know it’s not all the time that this is carried out,” Lynn announced on the street corner, before ‘coming out of the closet’ as a Christ follower.
“Sometimes hatred is carried out by various members of the community,” he continued. “We’re here to tell you that we hate nobody; so I’m coming out of the closet and saying ‘I’m a Christian,’ and I want to know if you would tolerate me as a Christian.”
The pastor proceeded to ask if individuals within close proximity would tolerate him, as one person after another turned their backs and shut him down.
“What about acceptance? What about acceptance?” asked one irritated listener who got in Lynn’s face.
“I accept you. You’re here,” replied the pastor David Lynn as he extended his palm for a handshake.
As he continued to peacefully proclaim God’s love for all with a message about sin that was inclusive of both the heterosexual and homosexual community, various people attempted to trip and push the preacher.
Though Lynn remained calm and asked that people assaulting him would take their hands off of him, he was the one approached by police who accused him of being a “disturbance” and “breaching the peace.”
Though the pastor uses amplification to preach outside weekly, officers told him he needed to preach without amplification.
Lynn cooperated and continued preaching with no microphone in hand, but he was still ultimately arrested.
Pastor David Lynn. Street preaching in Toronto.. Arrested for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Assaulted numerous times.. Bullied.. Bashed for His faith. Arrested for preaching on a PUBLIC SIDEWALK. Open your blinded eyes and see what this nation is coming to. pic.twitter.com/xFvZDhL2tB
— Y O U N G M U F A S A🦁🐾 (@theJesus_freak) June 6, 2019
One of the arresting officers stated that the pastor was arrested for breaching the peace due to ‘derogatory comments’ that left bystanders ‘appalled,’ though he admittedly didn’t know what those comments were.
As Lynn was handcuffed and put in the police car, he repeated, “I was sharing the Gospel.”
“Our religious beliefs and our freedoms to exercise that belief are going to be taken away,” said one of the Christians accompanying Lynn, following the pastor’s arrest. “We didn’t form a mob today. A mob was formed against us. Assault was demonstrated against us. We were assaulted. No one who assaulted us was arrested, but the person that was speaking and freely exercising their Christian beliefs was handcuffed, and we don’t even know where he’s at right now.”
In a statement released later that day, Pastor Lynn said, “Every community in Toronto should have the same laws, and everyone should be welcome. Everyone should have rights, dignity, and respect, just like Christians should as well.”
“God loves you. There is hope for you,” he added, reiterating his earlier message. “Whatever community you are, God loves you. Jesus died for you.”