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25 Mar 2021 Throw Back Thursday: Kingdom Citizens in Secular Canada (Part Three)

Today’s Throw Back Thursday article is the third installment of the four-part series entitled “Kingdom Citizens in Secular Canada,” originally presented at a 2005 Burlington Reformed Study Centre event. The series was reproduced in the January 6, 2006, issue of the Clarion magazine, and reprinted on ARPA’s blog on July 3, 2009. At the original time of writing, Ray Pennings worked at the Work Research Foundation. His comments were set in a context when many Christians were finding their political feet, deciding with which political party to support, and wrestling with the legalization of same-sex marriage. Today, Ray Pennings is the Executive Vice President for Cardus, a rebranded and expanded version of the Work Research Foundations. He continues to contribute to Christians' understanding of public theology; his 2013 article, The Devil's Advocate: Perfection Waits for Another World, builds up the article republished below. If you enjoy the article below, we encourage you to give the newer one a read as well!   Influencing for Good By Ray Pennings Introduction Winston Churchill reportedly once said that party democracy is the worst form of government except for all of the others. Reflecting on the questions provided by the organizers of this evening in their kind invitation for me to address this meeting, I could not help but wonder, “How would we respond to these questions if we asked them in the context of Winston Churchill, World War II, and the stark issues confronting Christian citizens in that time? Would we still regard Churchill with the same respect as I sense most of us do today? Would we have been active supporters of his leadership?”
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22 Mar 2021 Conservative Convention Debrief

Last week, the Conservative Party of Canada held its bi-annual policy convention. Due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions, this convention was held virtually, enabling a record number of delegates to attend this year. Conventions are opportunities for members of political parties to come together, build the party, and prepare for the next election. At this virtual convention, delegates participated in campaign training, watched Conservative leader Erin O’Toole outline the party’s post-COVID-19 recovery plan, voted for national councillors (who help run and direct the party), voted on changes to the party constitution, and,...

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20 Mar 2021 College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario Consultation

The CPSO is the regulatory body for all medical professionals in Ontario. Physicians are required to register with the CPSO, who will then monitor quality of care and investigate and discipline any doctors who do not follow professional conduct as described in the various policies. Regarding Medical Assistance in Dying, the CPSO has no authority over the existing legislation or changes to it – this would fall to Federal and Provincial legislatures, or to the courts. However, the CPSO does have jurisdiction over the policies given to doctors regarding how...

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19 Mar 2021 BC Supreme Court Upholds COVID-19 Restrictions on Worship Services

In a disappointing ruling released last night, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia upheld the prohibition of in-person worship services. These restrictions were first implemented on November 19th, 2020, and continue to this day. Many Christians will be very disappointed, perhaps even angry, with this decision. Reformed Christians have an earnest, deeply-held belief that they must both respect the governing authorities and gather regularly to worship with other believers. The absolute prohibition of in-person worship services placed many Christians in an unfair dilemma, making it very difficult...

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18 Mar 2021 Webinar: Christian Engagement in the Forgotten Level of Government

Topic: Christian Engagement in the Forgotten Level of Government Date and Time: March 31, 7:30 PM EST | 7:00 PM PST Christians who are engaged in politics tend to heavily follow federal politics and, to a lesser extent, provincial politics. But what about local politics? Should Christians be involved in municipal issues and public school boards? Join us on March 31st as we interview several Reformed Christians who hold (or have held) local offices and hear their thoughts about local political engagement. Register for the 7:30 EST webinar! Eastern Webinar Guests Dave Bylsma...

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18 Mar 2021 Throw Back Thursday: Kingdom Citizens in Secular Canada (Part Two)

Today's Throw Back Thursday article is the second installment of the four-part series entitled “Kingdom Citizens in Secular Canada,” originally presented at a 2005 Burlington Reformed Study Centre event. The series was reproduced in the January 6, 2006, issue of the Clarion magazine, and reprinted on ARPA’s blog on July 3, 2009. The author of the second part of this series is Dr. F. G. Oosterhoff. Dr. Oosterhoff was a historian, active in secondary and post-secondary education, who specialized in European history, church history, and the history of ideas. Dr. Oosterhoff had already retired when she authored this article in 2005, and she recently passed into glory.   Christian Politics, What Does it Involve? By Dr. F.G. Oosterhoff Tonight and next week we speak about our calling as Christians in a secular society. Among the topics to be discussed are the causes of today’s secularizing trend, the strategy we should follow in trying to stem that trend, and the best means of organizing politically. With respect to the last issue, we would seem to have two options. One is to join a Christian political party, such as the Christian Heritage Party; the other is to do what many Christians south of the border are doing. It is to organize as a Christian alliance and so attempt to influence one of the mainline parties. In the United States that is the Republican Party. In Canada it would most likely be the Conservatives.
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16 Mar 2021 Grassroots Campaign on worship services in Ontario

After lockdowns last Spring and again this past Winter, Ontario has returned to the colour-coded system with most regions returning to either 'red', 'orange', or 'yellow' zones. As a result, churches in those regions are now able to meet again with a 30% capacity cap for worship services. Some congregations in areas like Toronto, Peel, and Lambton remain in the 'grey' zone – under lockdown. As such, we were happy to hear the announcement on March 12 that allows for a 15% capacity for in-person worship servcies while a region...

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11 Mar 2021 Press Release: MPs set to vote on a “life and death” bill

For immediate release from the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada March 11, 2021 OTTAWA, ON – The Liberals, with the help of the Bloc Québecois, have just voted to end debate on Bill C-7. This means that later this evening, Members of Parliament will be voting on Senate amendments to Bill C-7 which expands Medical Assistance in Dying. The New Democrats and the Conservatives have indicated they will be opposing the Senate amendments that were added to the bill within the past number of weeks.   “The Senate has radically expanded this already...

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11 Mar 2021 Throw Back Thursday: Kingdom Citizens in Secular Canada (Part One)

Over the next few weeks, ARPA Canada will be re-posting a number of old articles on Throw Back Thursdays. Today's Throw Back Thursday article is the first instalment of a four-part series entitled "Kingdom Citizens in Secular Canada," originally presented at a 2005 Burlington Reformed Study Centre event. The legalization of same-sex marriage was one of the most pressing issues facing Christians in that era. The series was replicated in the January 6, 2006, issue of the Clarion magazine, and posted to ARPA's website on July 3, 2009. The author of the first part of this series is Dr. Cornelis Van Dam. At the time when this series was first written in 2006, Dr. Van Dam was a professor of the Old Testament at the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary. In 2011, he published "God and Government: Biblical Principles for Today," an introduction and resource that many ARPA staff have greatly benefited from and that we highly recommend Reformed Christians interested in public theology to read. Dr. Van Dam is currently retired. Kingdom Citizens in Secular Canada: The Lord wants us to be salt and light in a world that has a tasteless morality and lives in darkness By Dr. Cornelis Van Dam Shaking foundations With the civic morality of our country dropping to ever lower levels as witnessed most recently by our national parliament passing the same-sex marriage bill last June, many Christians are asking themselves: What can be done to halt the apparently unstoppable slide of Canada going ever deeper into being a modern Sodom and Gomorrah? What used to be considered an abomination and sin, for the Lord said it was so, is now exalted as good and is defended as a human right. “The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honoured among men” (Ps 12:8). There is no doubt about it; the fundamentals of our national life are being shaken. With the psalmist, we can ask: “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Ps 11:3)
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11 Mar 2021 Throw Back Thursday: Kingdom Citizens in Secular Canada (Part One)

Over the next few weeks, ARPA Canada will be re-posting a number of old articles on Throw Back Thursdays. Today's Throw Back Thursday article is the first instalment of a four-part series entitled "Kingdom Citizens in Secular Canada," originally presented at a 2005 Burlington Reformed Study Centre event. The legalization of same-sex marriage was one of the most pressing issues facing Christians in that era. The series was replicated in the January 6, 2006, issue of the Clarion magazine, and posted to ARPA's website on July 3, 2009. The author of the first part of this series is Dr. Cornelis Van Dam. At the time when this series was first written in 2006, Dr. Van Dam was a professor of the Old Testament at the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary. In 2011, he published "God and Government: Biblical Principles for Today," an introduction and resource that many ARPA staff have greatly benefited from and that we highly recommend Reformed Christians interested in public theology to read. Dr. Van Dam is currently retired. Kingdom Citizens in Secular Canada: The Lord wants us to be salt and light in a world that has a tasteless morality and lives in darkness By Dr. Cornelis Van Dam Shaking foundations With the civic morality of our country dropping to ever lower levels as witnessed most recently by our national parliament passing the same-sex marriage bill last June, many Christians are asking themselves: What can be done to halt the apparently unstoppable slide of Canada going ever deeper into being a modern Sodom and Gomorrah? What used to be considered an abomination and sin, for the Lord said it was so, is now exalted as good and is defended as a human right. “The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honoured among men” (Ps 12:8). There is no doubt about it; the fundamentals of our national life are being shaken. With the psalmist, we can ask: “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Ps 11:3)
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