07 Jun 2018 Ontario Election: Congratulations and Call to Prayer
ARPA Canada congratulates all newly elected or re-elected members of the legislative assembly of Ontario. And we congratulate the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario and its leader Doug Ford for their election victory.
We pray for peace and strength and a time of refreshing for all candidates, as an election can be very physically and emotionally draining. For those elected, may they be blessed as they prepare to take up their work as representatives and legislators. For those not elected, may they experience a smooth return to their work or be able to find new employment.
In keeping with ARPA Canada’s two-fold mission – to educate and equip Reformed Christians for political action and to present a biblical perspective to government – this article speaks both to those in authority and to Christian citizens of Ontario.
Recognizing the source of all authority
We pray that all MPPs and political staff, and indeed all people, may recognize and acknowledge the authority, righteousness, goodness, and love of God. May they endeavor to govern with justice and integrity. May they recognize from whom they receive their position and power and to whom they are answerable.
As Jesus declared to Pontius Pilate, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above.” (John 19) So the Apostle Paul writes, “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.” (Romans 13)
Jesus Christ has all authority. Every human authority is subject to him. As he said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 18)
So the psalmist writes, “Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.” (Psalm 2)
Every person is ultimately responsible and answerable to God for his conduct during the campaign. Yet we know that the outcome of every election is ultimately in God’s hands.
Praying for rulers, being good citizens
The Apostle Paul writes, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (1 Timothy 2)
ARPA Canada invites Christians to pray for all those in positions of authority. Please pray for new MPPs as they take up their role. Pray for wisdom for Doug Ford and his team as they organize a new government, assign individuals to Cabinet positions, and decide their legislative agenda. Pray for the Opposition too, that they may perform well the important task of holding the government to account and scrutinizing its policies through debate.
We urge Christians to speak up and to talk with MPPs. Christians’ engagement in politics should be thoughtful, winsome, and loving. At times, there are policies that ought to be exposed as foolish. Even then, Christians should not insult or disparage people, but speak the truth with clarity and conviction while respecting every person as created in God’s image.
Remember the words of Jeremiah (29:7), “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”
Governing Canada’s largest province
Human nature is fallen. Our hearts are prone to pride, greed, and lust for power. It’s not a happy reality, but it is worth reflecting on for everyone taking up a position of power.
Ontarians have witnessed the effects of our fallen nature in several ways in recent years, from lies and deception used to obtain and retain power, to irresponsible and deeply damaging public policy choices. Though such conduct and choices do not surprise us, we are right to urge people in government to do better. Let us pray that MPPs hire staff with integrity, and that both MPPs and staff alike may maintain their integrity and be granted wisdom to govern well.
Government is and ought to be “God’s servant for your good” (Romans 13). People in government need to discern what is good. ARPA Canada respectfully submits that several important bills from the last decade indicate that the government of Ontario has failed to discern what is good, right, and just.
For many people, the first thing that comes to mind is likely Ontario’s financial mismanagement. Indeed, ARPA Canada believes it is irresponsible and selfish for this generation to spend so much borrowed money. Ontario has a serious debt issue that must be addressed. However, there are several other issues that tend to get less attention, but are terribly important. These have to do with fundamental freedoms of religion and expression, and with how we understand and legislate with respect to sexuality and gender.
ARPA Canada urges newly elected MPPs and their staff to consider the issues we have identified in our “Ontario Election Report” and to peruse the resources provided there. Please consider what you can do to set things right.
May God guide and bless the government of Ontario.