“Reduced freedoms for one member of society are essentially reduced freedoms for all. That touches on the heart of what’s essential… we really are in this together, as citizens.”
This week holds a dark day for Canada. In Edmonton, Alberta, a pastor was imprisoned in connection with holding worship services during provincial restrictions.
Before we start raising opinions about government authority and jurisdiction, I just thought to reflect for a moment on what just happened. Imprisonment of a pastor. For holding a worship service in a church and doing what’s been done for hundreds of years, even through pandemics. And he was told he would be released only if he agrees not to preach and pastor his church. Did you catch that? Imprisoned for gathering, freed if he shuts his mouth and doesn’t preach. Still a health issue? Apparently not.
This is unprecedented in Canadian history. We have lost something tragic here. Freedom.
Regardless of where we fall with our opinion, we are witnessing our nation and provinces failing to acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ. As our culture slides further from Biblical truth, resorting to ever-shifting government rhetoric, the irony is that greater proclamation of the gospel is needed in these darkening days!
Pray for our country! Pray for the church of our Lord Jesus in Canada… and the world!
In British Columbia, there was good news. The chief justice of BC’s Supreme Court denied an application from the province for an injunction against 3 Fraser Valley churches, two of which are reformed; one of them where my current senior pastor served prior to coming to Ontario. Uphold these churches in prayer too, as the continued journey may prove difficult yet.
Reduced freedoms for one member of society are essentially reduced freedoms for all. That touches on the heart of what’s essential… we really are in this together, quite literally.
We join a growing list of nations facing the reality of reduced freedoms. If you think governing authorities will stop at only restricting freedoms for churches you are wrong. They will continue to devour freedoms of all of society. They’re doing it already. We are hardly out of a second lockdown and reports trickle out of a third lockdown… and multiple variants of Covid. Do you see an end to this?
Think of but one year ago how many freedoms we took for granted. Many of them now vanished. Do you hear of any talk of freedoms returning? We only hear faint gibberish of heavy handed restrictive re-opening of the province… ever so slowly with a colour-coded hodge-podge of zones that cause more confusion and division than help clarify anything… all in the name of our safety.
Can we get a memo out: We’d rather live with risk and a less than 1% risk of dying of Covid, than wither away in our homes under the guise of safety! (I asked my 76 year old parents just to be sure.)
The church stands as one of the few remaining obstacles of truth for the government to defeat and silence. The church holds to and proclaims eternal and absolute truths that surpass government comprehension and interest. In short, the church is a menace to them. If it abides by governing controls, it is tolerated. If it doesn’t it is not tolerated. Nor will you be. Woe to those who push back on the impending madness of the day; the media will attempt to pit the greater public against you as well!
Understand the government wants a monopoly on truth…relevant truth. One truth for today…maybe another truth for tomorrow. We see this in our very own Prime Minister, how he conducts his own life. He displays the attitude that he is above any law. Cheat, lie, steal, swindle, treason…all fine; it’s relative for the moment. Ah dear citizen, do not do as we do, just do as we say! Have we not experienced a barrage of wavering decisions and rules on how to behave? Just do as we say. Even if it changes… everyday.
I share these things because we are all affected in one way or another. And in talking about it, we may disagree on certain things, even the relevance or essential nature of church. But better to discuss it than ignore it. If you disregard church, I cannot change your mind. But can we agree on one thing? That our freedoms are diminishing, rather quickly, and are at risk of disappearing long term. The church just so happens to be out front right now. Like a front-line warriors taking the brunt of hazardous blows.
It is that kind of dark day in Canada.
We come to a broader understanding if we hear each other out. Meet with each other (not isolate from each other). Talk. Face to face. Empathize. Cry. Weep. Laugh. Plan. Take action. Draw lines in the sand. Take a stand. Regain lost territory. Brighten the days ahead for Canada.
This will take a lot of work. And a lot of prayer. Remember I am one who believes in absolute truth and in the One who claimed He is Truth. Imagine that, Truth is a person. Maybe that’s why the government takes such offence at it. This Truth-person has a Name: Jesus Christ, Lord over all. Not government over all. But Jesus over all. That means for right here and right now too. Talk about opposition! And He is the One we can pray to.
So we take heart. And we can take all our worries, concerns, fears, troubles, and relationships to this Lord Jesus in prayer. We have the rock solid assurance that Jesus is Lord overall and Lord over Canada and that He has Canada and all its people in His plan. He has the troubles of the day unfolding to shake out those who despise Him and truth. How will things shake out for you?
Once we learn to walk in His truth, He calls us to shine the light into the dark places and proclaim truth on dark days. Are brighter days ahead? It would depend on whether we as a nation choose to love the darkness or step into the light. Light exposes things that need change!
May we not be found among those reveling in the darkness and failing to acknowledge the light and truth anchored in the Lordship of Jesus!
We will need each other… as fellow Canadians… more than ever! We really are all in this together…as citizens wanting to maintain and regain freedom! Imagine thousands of us banded together and standing for our nation!
If you choose to disregard a church standing up for truth when few are standing, be warned, take stock, and join in standing for our freedoms while we still can. Don’t fall for the trap of pointing accusatory fingers at the frontline warriors. Don’t be caught sitting back and doing nothing. Next thing you know all of us will be shut down.
Come on… would that ever happen??
free anthem poster download from government of Canada website
Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash