TORONTO — A Canadian preacher was arrested on Tuesday and charged with disturbing the peace as he was met with opposition while sharing the gospel in a section of Toronto known as “the Gay Village.”
David Lynn of Christ’s Forgiveness Ministries had been on a preaching tour throughout Toronto, and says that he was not specifically targeting homosexuals when he began preaching at Church and Wellesley.
In video posted to social media, Lynn can be heard explaining that all men have sinned, whether heterosexual or homosexual, as all have violated the laws of God.
“Jesus died for the sinner. Did you know that every person is a sinner?” he preached into a microphone. “Every heterosexual has sinned. Every homosexual has sinned. And sin is when we violate the laws of God and we go contrary to the things of faith.”
Those nearby began to surround Lynn with the rainbow flag and other banners and block him from proceeding down the sidewalk as he walked. Some held signs with messages such as “Love is love” and “If your religion teaches you to hate, then you need a new religion.”
The crowd of opposition soon began to grow.
“I’m here to tell you today that you deserve respect. Every person is deserving of respect,” he said as an angry group gathered around him.
At one point, in the early part of the outreach, Lynn began to individually ask those standing in opposition, “Would you tolerate me as a Christian?” but none wanted to answer.
Police later addressed Lynn and told him that he could be arrested for causing a disturbance, and so he turned his microphone off and preached on the sidewalk with his bare voice.
“Jesus Christ is calling all people to Himself,” Lynn declared, but his words were drowned out by the shouts of the crowd.
Officers soon approached Lynn again and advised that he was under arrest.
“This is against the law. Jesus Christ died for everybody,” Lynn stated to the police as he was being led away.
When asked what he had done wrong, Lynn was told that he had caused a disturbance and a breach of the peace.
“How so?” Lynn asked. “I was sharing the gospel.”
Police radio footage alleges that Lynn was making “derogatory comments” toward homosexuals that disturbed the people, but the officer also acknowledged, “I don’t know what those comments were or what he was saying.”
Lynn was later released on bail and was reportedly ordered to stay away from any homosexual pride events in the city, according to Global News.
In speaking to reporters outside the courthouse, Lynn said that he was not trying to target homosexuals as he had been on a preaching tour throughout all 22 districts of the city, conducting outreach at Kensington Market earlier that day and also reaching the homeless the day prior. He denied directing his speech toward “sexual orientation” while at Church and Wellesley.
“What I did say is that there’s hope for everybody and God loves you. I repeatedly said that,” Lynn stated. “I didn’t go deep into any sexual orientation talk.”
“I didn’t go to any event,” he added. “It looked as though they had an ‘event’ waiting for me, and they had some form of hatred against me. And it was very clear.”
In Acts 19, the Bible states that when the apostle Paul went to Ephesus to preach the gospel, those in the city likewise became enraged that he was speaking against false idols — especially those who had made money from the creation of shrines for the goddess Diana.
“And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, ‘Great is Diana of the Ephesians,'” the chapter states, and again, “all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, ‘Great is Diana of the Ephesians.'”
Editor’s Note: To view a fuller recording of the incident, please click here.