Fundamental Freedoms

30 Nov 2020 The Regulative Principle and church lockdowns

BY: COLIN POSTMA PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 30, 2020 The Regulative Principle and church lockdowns Returning to gathered worship is of vital importance *** “All of Manitoba moves to CRITICAL (RED) on #restartMB pandemic response system” So declares a press statement from the Government of Manitoba. With those twelve words, Christians in Manitoba are once again being plunged into the murky realm of “virtual worship.” For several months in early 2020 a full lockdown was mandated in the province and churches there were forbidden to open their doors. Now, once again, “religious and cultural gatherings must close or be...

Read More

23 Nov 2020 A Response to BC’s Ban on Worship Services

By: Levi Minderhoud   Last week, the BC provincial government issued a swath of new COVID-related restrictions, including a complete ban on worship services. These restrictions will be in effect for the next two weeks at a minimum and may be (will likely be, in my opinion) extended by Dr. Bonnie Henry if the trajectory of cases continues to increase. These new restrictions are deeply disappointing for a number of reasons. I had the privilege of discussing these restrictions on the radio on CKNW last week, and I’ll revisit and expand on some...

Read More

18 Sep 2020 Look out Albertans! Bylaw Bob coming to a religious gathering near you!

By: Ed Hoogerdyk A wave of conversion therapy bans has spread across the province of Alberta. Maybe not as fast as COVID-19, but fast enough. These by-laws are harsh and heavy-handed. Yet one municipality after another passed them with relative ease. Fort McMurray. St. Albert. Edmonton. Spruce Grove. Rocky Mountain House. And finally Calgary and Lethbridge. Many concerned citizens spoke out. The largest pushback took place in Calgary. There were phone calls, face to face meetings, Zoom teleconferences, and a public hearing with a record number of oral submissions from the...

Read More

08 Sep 2020 A Bubble Zone for Preaching in Vancouver?

By Levi Minderhoud David Lynn has come to British Columbia. Kicking off his national tour, the street preacher from Christ’s Forgiveness Ministries wandered the thoroughfares of Victoria and Vancouver last week, preaching the truth of Scripture with a microphone in hand and a stereo speaker at his side. A scene like this is bound to attract some attention. Sadly, the attention of our LGBTQ-fixated society has been universally negative. This reaction underscores the need for Christians to proclaim and live the gospel. Last year on Fall Tour we touched on pastor David...

Read More

19 Aug 2020 Grassroots Campaign on worship services in Ontario

From mid-March until June 12th, and again from December through February congregations in Ontario have been unable to gather together for corporate worship. Since Ontario has begun returning to the colour-coded system various regions have been returning to the previous 30% capacity cap. Some congregations in areas like Toronto, Peel, and Niagara remain under lockdown. Church communities and the work of our churches amongst their members and their neighbourhoods is extremely limited by these capacity requirements. As a result of ongoing limits and restrictions, our church communities and the work of...

Read More

19 Aug 2020 Grassroots Campaign to Expand Worship Services in British Columbia

Between March 16th and November 19th, 2020, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry restricted in-person worship services to 50 people in British Columbia in an effort to staunch the spread of COVID-19. On November 19th, she completely prohibited in-person worship services, a situation that still endures to this day. Christians have a complicated response to these restrictions. God has commanded us to submit to our civil authorities, to gather to worship Him regularly, and to love our neighbour, yet it is difficult to fulfill all three callings in our current...

Read More

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

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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,...

Read More

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...

Read More