Author: John Sikkema

27 Oct 2020 Post-Fall Politics

by John Sikkema “See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” (Jer. 1:10) My previous article, “Creation and Politics,” focused on God’s sovereignty as the creator and sustainer of all things. In His sovereignty, God gives authority to man. Therefore, while God’s authority is “original, eternal, unlimited,” man’s authority is always “derivative, temporary, and limited.” [1] By God’s design, His character is reflected in human relationships and authoritative offices – including civil authority, which He...

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09 Oct 2020 Immigration Canada wrong to reject “conjugal relationship” of woman and gay man, judge rules

by John Sikkema Last month, a federal court ruled that a man and woman who have a committed friendship, a sexual relationship, financial interdependence, and a child together qualify as having a “conjugal relationship” for purposes of immigration law. “Ok,” you say, “is that news?” Well, you see, the man is same-sex-attracted. And so, the Toronto Star reports that this “groundbreaking judgment” enters “unchartered territory by broadening the definition of conjugal relationships to include mixed-orientation couples.” I’ve got news for the Star. This is well-chartered territory. Same-sex-attracted persons have been forming conjugal relationships (which, until...

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08 Oct 2020 Creation and Politics

by John Sikkema “The God who made the world and everything in it is Lord of heaven and earth… He himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth.” – Paul in Athens (Acts 17). (Note: this article is part 2 of a series that began with "Christian Political Engagement in Light of Redemptive History".) “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” God was before all things and before time. God is eternal and self-subsistent....

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17 Jul 2020 The Key to Authority is the Office of Image Bearer – An Interview with Professor David Koyzis

  ARPA’s John Sikkema interviews David Koyzis In We Answer to Another: Authority, Office, and the Image of God, David Koyzis addresses modern skepticism of authority by arguing that authority is intrinsic to humanity and part of everything we do, both communally and individually. Why is that? Because “authority is resident in an office given us in creation.” When we encounter authority, “we encounter nothing less than the image of God, which always points beyond itself.” Professor Koyzis was kind enough to talk about his book with me. Part 1 of our interview,...

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20 May 2020 Professing progressivism for emergency loans?

  by John Sikkema  What is our government doing by requiring small businesses to confirm that they do not “promote hate” or “discriminate” before they can get a loan? Imagine your business partner suffers a serious injury at the construction site. You call 911. The operator asks if you and your business partner respect collective bargaining rights. Or imagine you need cancer treatment, and hospital staff ask if you support the equal right of everyone to publicly funded medical care. Would that ever be appropriate? Does your respect or disrespect for collective bargaining or...

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20 May 2020 Criminal charges withdrawn against street preacher David Lynn

The Crown withdrew its criminal charges against David Lynn today, almost a year after he was arrested while street preaching in Toronto’s “gay village” at the opening of “Pride Month”. This case was politically charged from the outset. Lynn had been charged with two criminal offences: mischief and causing a disturbance. The entire incident was video recorded, however, and it quickly came to light that these charges were dubious at best. ARPA Canada’s Law and Policy Director reviewed that video last summer and wrote about the case on ARPA’s blog. At...

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27 Mar 2020 A Tale of Two Pandemics

by John Sikkema  Every day, COVID-19 numbers make top headlines. So, you probably have some idea of the numbers in Canada. As of today: Total people tested: >175,000 (most tests are negative or results pending) Total cases (confirmed or presumptive): ~4,700 (there are likely many more unknown cases) Total COVID-related deaths: 55 Meanwhile, since Canada legalized euthanasia in June 2016, medical practitioners have deliberately killed over 14,000 patients, with legal approval and public funding. And the rate of euthanasia deaths is accelerating. From June to December of 2016, about 1,000 people were...

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25 Feb 2020 Government tables Bill C-7 to expand assisted suicide

Yesterday, the federal government proposed legislative amendments to broaden eligibility for “Medical Assistance in Dying” (MAiD). Bill C-7 proposes to further liberalize Canada’s current law and endangers the lives of vulnerable Canadians. The bill is constructed around two vague categories – those whose natural death is reasonably foreseeable, or not. The legislation gives discretion to medical practitioners to categorize a patient as one or the other. Currently, doctors are permitted to interpret this foreseeable death requirement loosely. Patients who might have had years to live, but had a condition that would...

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14 Feb 2020 A breach in Wall:  New court ruling casts shadow on church independence

In 2018, we told you about a Supreme Court case called Wall v Highwood Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In that case, Mr. Wall took a Jehovah’s Witnesses Congregation to court for “disfellowshipping” him. Mr. Wall succeeded in the lower courts, but lost his case at the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC). The SCC decided unanimously that civil judges have no business reviewing a religious body’s decision to expel a member where no legal right is at stake. That case raised the fundamental issue of churches’ freedom to govern themselves, particularly in...

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29 Nov 2019 What’s going on with Bill 207, Alberta’s conscience rights bill?

  *UPDATE (added Dec. 5): On Monday, December 2, while MLA Dan Williams was speaking on Bill 207, a tragic incident occurred outside the Assembly, which then adjourned. Consequently, Bill 207 was delayed. It will likely be revisited in February 2020, once the legislature resumes. Last week, an Alberta legislative committee voted against Bill 207.  So, is Bill 207 dead? Not quite. Ordinarily, a bill gets debated in the Assembly at second reading. Then, if it passes the “second reading vote”, it goes to an appropriate committee for closer study, where amendments are often...

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