Issues

12 Aug 2020 Further reflections and clarifications regarding mandatory masks in church – Part I

By André Schutten On July 23rd I released a 20-minute video on the ARPA Canada Facebook page. In it, I gave some reflections on the bylaws that many Ontario municipalities have adopted which mandate the wearing of masks in indoor spaces, including churches. I argued that there is some unfairness in requiring people to wear masks in church and questioned whether the civil government had authority to do so. I also tried to explain why church leadership ought to wrestle with the question of jurisdiction (church or state authority on the...

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04 Aug 2020 CBC’s strategic attack on Redeemer University

CBC is at it again. Last week, I explained how CBC’s reporting on a videographer’s decision to decline to film a same-sex wedding was designed to advance a particular narrative: that governments and society still have a lot of work to do to combat homophobia. This week, in a piece posing as investigative journalism, CBC bolsters this narrative and suggests next steps in the progressive battle against homophobia, namely: suing, defunding, and disaccrediting Christian schools. CBC targets Redeemer University, whose code of conduct forbids sexual intimacy outside of (heterosexual) marriage. Framing...

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29 Jul 2020 A Christian wedding videographer and the media’s homophobia narrative

by John Sikkema On July 20, Ms. Hamstra, who operates Caramount Pictures, replied to an email request from Ms. Roberts and Ms. Arthur to be the videographer for their wedding. “I say this with much care,” Hamstra wrote, “because I know your union is incredibly important to you, but we do not film homosexual weddings.” CBC released a story on this email exchange the very next day. “The refusal came 15 years to the day after Canada legalized same-sex marriage,” CBC highlights, as if the videographer planned this for maximal symbolic impact....

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21 Jul 2020 State and church authority in a pandemic – An interview with Professor Koyzis

In We Answer to Another: Authority, Office, and the Image of God, David Koyzis explains that authority is intrinsic to humanity and everything we do, because “authority is resident in an office given us in creation,” and when we encounter authority, “we encounter nothing less than the image of God, which always points beyond itself.” Part 1 of ARPA’s interview with Professor Koyzis covered some of his book’s key ideas. Part 2, below, focuses on the nature and limits of political authority and tensions between political and church authority during COVID. PART...

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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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09 Jul 2020 Parental Rights and Education in Alberta: A Timeline of Success

Real progress in education! The past two years on the Alberta education front have been anything but dull. To name just a few memories… The court challenge against Bill 24. The emails. The phone calls. The Gideon Project. The appeal hearing and ARPA’s intervention there. The Education Amendment Act. And now, finally, the Choice in Education Act. Below, we've put together a timeline of legislation from limiting parental involvement to legislation promoting the idea that parents know what’s best for their children. An Act to Support Gay Straight Alliances In November 2017, Alberta’s...

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08 Jul 2020 Counting the Cost of COVID Part IV: Forecasting our Financial Future

by Levi Minderhoud In the last two blog posts on the financial effects of COVID, I compared the current deficit to past deficits and critiqued government spending in response to government-mandated lockdown. Now it is time to anticipate the future financial impacts of COVID. Will this recent spending bankrupt our country? The short answer is… no. At least, not yet.Will this recent spending bankrupt our country? The short answer is… no. At least, not yet. This year’s federal deficit is currently projected to be $343 billion or 15.9% of GDP, although that number will...

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02 Jul 2020 Counting the Cost of COVID Part III: Evaluating Canada’s Current Deficit

Updated July 8, 2020 by Levi Minderhoud My previous blog post in this series compared Canada’s current deficit to the deficits in Canada’s past. At $343 billion, or 15.9% of GDP, Canada is spending more money to combat COVID than any other war or major disaster in Canada’s history except for during the Second World War. This begs the question, should the federal government spend so much to combat this virus? A Couple of Caveats Before answering the question of how much money the government should spend, I must address a couple of caveats. First,...

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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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