Blog

30 Jun 2020 Reflections from a Christian patriot on Canada Day

By André Schutten Happy Canada Day! Canada Day (or, for those who remember, Dominion Day as it was called until 1983) is a great day to rejoice and be glad in the gift God has given us in this Dominion of Canada. I love my home and native land. Canada is a good country to live in, a good country to raise children in, to work in, and to minister and serve others in. She is stunning in her beauty, valiant in her history, and well-formed in her founding. We have more...

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25 Jun 2020 Ruth the Can Collector: The Case for Restoring Old Testament Gleaning Principles

  By Mark Penninga If Ruth the Moabite lived today, she would probably have resorted to collecting empties from recycling bins and on the sides of roads to feed herself and her mother-in-law, Naomi. Few Bible stories warm my heart like that of Ruth. When Ruth moved to Israel from Moab with her mother-in-law Naomi, she was vulnerable on a number of levels: widowed, without children, a foreigner, and the caregiver of her mother-in-law, who was also widowed.If Ruth the Moabite lived today, she would probably have resorted to collecting empties from recycling...

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24 Jun 2020 Counting the Cost of COVID Part II: Comparing to Past Crises

Updated July 8, 2020 by Levi Minderhoud In the first blog post in this series, I delved into the wisdom and morality of government debts, deficits, and aid from a Christian perspective. I concluded that incurring debt is often unwise and sometimes even immoral, but as long as the government has the ability to repay their debt, and the norm is a balanced budget, debt can justifiably be incurred. The Bible also teaches that individuals, families, and churches – not just governments – have significant roles to play in assisting the financially...

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23 Jun 2020 The Importance of Partisan Political Activity

by Levi Minderhoud *As ARPA’s British Columbia Manager, I’m going to discuss involvement in party politics in the British Columbian context, but the same principles apply anywhere in Canada.   Since its inception, ARPA Canada has chosen to be non-partisan. This allows ARPA as an organization to better engage with elected officials regardless of their partisan colour. But we certainly encourage you to be partisan. Being a member of a political party does not give you extra responsibilities within that political party. It does not take much time or money. It doesn’t even mean that...

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19 Jun 2020 Churches as unifiers should not be penalized for their effective contact tracing

By pastor Gerrit Bruintjes and André Schutten For the past month, many religious leaders have been calling on the Ontario government to ease its total ban on corporate worship services. On June 12th, the Ford government issued an executive order permitting religious ceremonies, including weddings and funerals, at 30% building capacity. In our current context amidst social unrest and uncertainty, this is a good decision not only because the Charter of Rights demands this response, but also because churches unify diverse people and can trace contacts well. In the last few weeks,...

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18 Jun 2020 BC Cuts Funding to Independent Distributed Learning Schools

Updated July 14, 2020 by Levi Minderhoud The year 2020 seems to be a year of almost unlimited government spending. The federal government (as of July 8) announced that its deficit would be $343 billion this year. The government of British Columbia is also spending $5 billion on a variety of COVID-related measures. The dominant view among policymakers and economists is that government should spend, spend, spend to avoid an even deeper recession. But, apparently that fund-everything-in-sight logic doesn’t apply to independent distributed learning (IDL) schools in British Columbia. On May 4th, the...

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17 Jun 2020 Counting the Cost of COVID Part I: A Christian Introduction

by Levi Minderhoud  Months after governments declared public health emergencies, COVID still dominates headlines and lifestyles. We at ARPA have tried to respectfully explain the essential nature of worship services and urge respect for fundamental freedoms. We’ve also evaluated the impact of government policies on long-term-care residents and workers. But there is another piece of the COVID puzzle that Christians must address: its monetary cost to our government and country. This blog post initiates a four-part series on the monetary cost of the “COVID Crisis.” This first post aims to articulate a...

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16 Jun 2020 Smithers Residents Launch Letter-Writing Campaign to Town Council

by Levi Minderhoud You are ARPA. ARPA is you. This tagline from ARPA’s intro video means that ARPA isn’t just made up of the staff members who work full-time for the organization. ARPA, fundamentally, is a grassroots network of people who take political action to bring a Biblical perspective to our civil authorities. ARPA members and supporters in Smithers last week demonstrated what effective political action looks like. A few years ago, the town of Smithers agreed to install a rainbow crosswalk to promote the LGBTQ cause. At the time, local ARPA supporters and...

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03 Jun 2020 Canada’s lack of strategy in targeting COVID-19 led to unnecessary crisis in long-term care homes

By Anna Nienhuis Long-term care facilities house some of our society’s most vulnerable: those who need help eating, using the bathroom, or simply turning over in bed. The fact that some of our elders are facing neglect and abuse from those meant to care for them incites justifiable outrage. We need to ask what can be done to improve long-term care and assisted living. But we also need to ask how our governments’ (federal, provincial, and municipal) responses to COVID-19 contributed to this. Long-term care homes were known to be high risk Outbreaks...

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03 Jun 2020 As COVID restrictions drag on, the civil government needs guidance from the instituted church

By André Schutten I’m always moved when I read the introduction to the Belgic Confession in the Book of Praise. It explains that a copy of the Belgic Confession was sent to the persecuting King Philip II, with a letter from a group of petitioners who “declared that they were ready to obey the government in all lawful things, but that they would ‘offer their backs to stripes, their tongues to knives, their mouths to gags, and their whole bodies to fire,’ rather than deny the truth expressed in the Confession.”...

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