ARPA Canada has written about many aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic and government responses to the pandemic. Although the situation has been ever-changing in Canadian law and politics, ARPA Canada, under the leadership of our board of directors, has committed to maintaining the following principles based on Scripture, the Reformed confessions, and our Core Principles:
- The authority of the civil government comes directly from God. “He wants the world to be governed by laws and statutes, in order that the lawlessness of men be restrained and that everything be conducted among them in good order.” (Belgic Confession Art. 36)
- The civil government’s task of “restraining and sustaining is not limited to the public order but includes the protection of the church and its ministry.” (ibid)
- “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment” (Rom. 13: 1-2).
- If civil government demands from us what God forbids, we need to obey God rather than man. (Acts 5:29, Dan 3, etc.)
- The civil government is not the only institution that has been given authority from God to govern. The church (along with other institutions including the family) have also been given authority and particular responsibilities directly from God. The institutions of church and state and family ought to respectfully engage with each other while respecting each other’s distinct authority. “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s” (Matt. 22:21).
- Christians should seek to influence the civil government according to God’s good standards and purposes as revealed in the Bible and nature. This should be done in a loving and persuasive manner. Court interventions and challenges can be a blessing to civil governments as they seek to rule justly.
- God created humanity with the freedom and responsibility to make choices. The civil government has an obligation to uphold this liberty. As the civil government expands its role in the various spheres of life, human liberty is decreased. In particular, freedom of religion, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association are fundamental and God-given freedoms and must be vigorously defended by citizens and respected by the State.
- ARPA Canada believes that God has given authority (through office) to church leadership, not to ARPA Canada, in regard to whether and how individual churches will abide by particular government restrictions. We will strive to uphold and respect this sacred relationship between church leaders and their flocks. Our desire is to be a blessing and help to both the church leadership and flock as they seek to be faithful in response to government restrictions.