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Canadian women's unfulfilled fertility goals and the country's declining birth rate

TRANSCRIPT Welcome to Reformed Perspective. I'm Alexander Ellison. Today we are diving into a pressing issue – Canada's record low birth rate. Statistics Canada recently confirmed that in 2022 just over 350,000 babies were born, marking the lowest number of live births since 2005. This raises a critical question: what do Canadian women really want when it comes to family size? "So, do you guys have children?" "No, no." "Yes." "Do you have children?" "No." "Uh no." "Do you have children?" "Yes." "Do you plan to have children in the future?" "We don't think so. We actually just talked about it, like two days ago, and I don't know. Everything is just getting so expensive. We rarely know if we will make it, everything's rising up so much." "Honestly, I did think I was going to do it when I was younger, but recently, I've changed my mind, not just because of the whole financial thing, but security, and everything in my country. And then the whole idea of having children is just so big a responsibility. I don't know if I want it or not." "I had three, and that was enough." "I feel like I'd like to build a family of my own. I found that quite a nice future idea, to kind of like raise people like I was raised, hopefully give them a good future." "Yeah, pretty much the same. I just like the idea of family."  "Just having people to support you..." "Yeah, by your side." "It's really important, especially the fact that I don't have siblings, you know. So I want to have children." "Well, we had four children, two girls and two boys, and life was busy, but it was enough. I wouldn't want it to be busier, but I can't imagine my life without them." A Christian think tank, Cardus, took a closer look, through a survey they did, discovering some eye-opening facts. They found that when it comes to family size, there's a significant gap between what Canadian women desire and what they actually have. Andrea Mrozek: "So we found that almost half of Canadian women wish they'd have more children than they do have at the end of their reproductive lives. So we asked a range of women, up to the age of 44. And that's the key takeaway: that women would like to have more kids than they have. Fertility ideals are much higher than intentions. What that means is that the future people have for their family is not typically fulfilled. "My thought for changing the culture is around recognizing that you can be fulfilled over the life course in every way – that the career is something you can have the entire life course to work on – but having children is something you only have a more limited amount of time to work. I think we're really fortunate to live in a world where we have a lot of options and possibilities as women today. I think now is the time to speak more strongly to the joys of a family life. At one point in time you needed to speak more strongly to the desires of doing waged work and getting out into the world and having a career, but those things are completely accessible, they're accessible over the life course, but having a family is something that is deeply fulfilling and can only be done in a certain time frame. We kind of lost the plot on why that matters, how it feels to not achieve that. I really am hoping young men and young women can live in freedom and trust God with their lives. That means trusting him with every aspect of our lives including our family and our fertility. In a secular worldview, it's quite constrained – you have to do things in a particular way, in a particular order, and definitely take the birth control pill till you're good and ready, and really constrain, actually, how you live your life. I think you could view a secular worldview as being quite constrained. Then the joy of being Christian, and the beauty of being Christian is living in the freedom of God's plan for us, and being open to all aspects of that, at whatever time in life that they do come. I think we as Christians have more capacity to live imaginative lives, and that includes our family lives." As we conclude our discussion on women's fertility goals, let us remember that children are a blessing and an integral part of God's plan for families. In a world where fertility rates are declining, it is crucial to support and understand the desires of women when it comes to building their families. We hope this video has shed light on the importance of considering women's wishes in family planning and how societal challenges can impact their fertility choices. Remember in all our pursuits let us honor the call to "be fruitful and multiply" (Gen. 1:28), trusting in God's divine wisdom. Thank you for watching this video. Please like this video and subscribe to this channel, and feel free to share with friends and family. For Reformed Perspective, I'm Alexandra Ellison....


The most popular girlfriends are AI

Satan’s efforts to corrupt God’s design for marriage and sex has evolved yet again, spurred on by the advance of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI technology now allows people to create their own virtual girlfriend. For a fee, you can design not just their looks, but also their personality, and then have a “relationship” with them. “Create a girlfriend who is judgement-free! Who lets you hang out with your buddies without drama! Who laughs at all your jokes!” reported British freelance writer Freya India in her article “We Can’t Compete with AI Girlfriends.” According to a recent Breakpoint article, “since 2008, the share of men under 30 reporting no sex at all has nearly tripled.”  With more young men being single and lonely, the appeal of these apps is no surprise. Their popularity has already led some “real” social media influencers to adapt the technology for their own profit. India gave the example of Caryn Margorie, a young woman who has a large following on the social media platform Snapchat, who worked with an AI company to make an AI version of herself. She charges users $1 a minute to chat with this AI self. She is bragging about the thousands of boyfriends that she has and reportedly makes over $100,000 in a single week. This is the latest step in a trend towards increasing isolation and individualism, made popular for years already through the internet. Instead of embracing the joys and challenges of living with the families and neighbors that God has given us, it is easier to retreat to communities of like-minded people online. And with AI, these are not even real people any more but technology that has been made to figure out exactly what we want and like. It is a retreat into our own selves. The first human, Adam, started his life alone. But God said “it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a helper fit for him” (Gen. 2:18). As with so many other steps being taken by mankind today, AI girlfriends is a choice to ignore God’s good design for humanity. Although it may satisfy desires for a time, it will never fill empty hearts and souls. As our world quickly changes, the church can be a beacon of light and hope simply by living the “ordinary” calling God has given us. Getting married, and having children, is becoming extraordinary. Thankfully, it is also the means through which Christ grows His covenant community. And no technology will ever be able to stop this....

Christian education, News

“Early Years” mornings help preschoolers, and their parents, build connections

The gym at Smithville’s John Calvin Christian School (JCCS) is almost always filled with the delightful sounds of kids having fun. Once a month, however, the voices heard come from a particularly younger set. Through the initiative of the JCCS promotions committee, an Early Years morning for moms of preschool-age children has been running for over a year now. The idea was that often in the preschool years, parents and children never have the opportunity to actually visit the school. This means that when their children eventually do start kindergarten, it can be quite overwhelming and unfamiliar for them. The preschool years are also a time when parents might feel disconnected from the larger community and the school and when it comes time to be making decisions about pre-tuition etc., they have no feelings of personal connection to the school. In an effort to close that gap, the Early Years morning initiative was born, and it has turned out to provide so much more than an introduction to the school. Once a month (on random days of the week so that the same class does not miss Phys Ed) the gym is set up into stations. Gym mats are laid out and at each station are different types of toys, like Thomas the Train sets, Paw Patrol figurines and trucks, a kitchen with dress-up clothes, and a craft and coloring table. All moms, dads and grandparents with preschool-age children are invited to attend, including those who already have older children in school. For the first hour and a half the children play at all the different stations, meeting their future peers and burning off some energy. The parents or grandparents stay close by and chat with others while enjoying the coffee and baking provided. A toonie donation per child covers the cost of some of the expenses that occur (new toys, snacks and craft items). When playtime is finished the toys are put back in buckets and set against the stage wall for Grade 6 to come and clean up later (thanks Grade 6!). The children enjoy a snack while all the mats are pulled together. Then it's time for circle time and boy, is that energetic! The children have a fun story read to them and sing songs – the animal freeze dance song is a crowd favorite. If the weather allows, everyone heads outside to the playground after circle time to enjoy the sunshine; and if the weather is cold or rainy, parents are invited to bring a clean bike or trike and the kids have some fun riding around in the gym. The morning has been well received by all and is such a blessing for the community. Parents have reported that they love seeing their children interact with other kids. Kindergarten students have told their teacher with confidence that they know exactly where the gym is, as well as all the toys (and that very loud recess bell is not quite as scary anymore!). Relationships have been made as moms from different churches (we have five feeder churches at JCCS) enjoy conversation and fellowship. The Early Years mornings have created an opportunity to bring together the communion of saints and develop a love for our school, and what a blessing that is!...

Media bias

Dear Mainstream Media: 4 strikes and you’re out!

Like many of you, I grew up with the mainstream media being a part of our household. We got the Globe and Mail delivered daily; when they displayed too obvious a bias in favor of same-sex “marriage,” my dad switched to the National Post. We got TIME magazine weekly. When I moved out on my own for the first time – from Chilliwack to Calgary, Alberta – the first thing I did was get a subscription to a newspaper. But as the years went on, my “take it with a grain of salt” attitude to the mainstream media evolved into overt distrust. The feeble attempts at fairness largely disappeared, and brazen cheerleading for the movements destroying our society took its place. Strike 1: Hating babies One of the first breakdowns of trust between Christians and the press came with the issue of abortion. Christians view abortion for precisely what it is: an act of violence that ends the life of a developing human being. With only a few notable exceptions, the mainstream media in North America backed the abortion rights movement and opposed the pro-life movement. Dehumanizing language was deliberately used when referring to pre-born children. The issue, in most cases, was presented as a political struggle between the “pro-choice” movement and the pro-life movement, with the main characters – the pre-born babies at the center of the struggle – left entirely out. This bias has only grown exponentially, especially in the wake of Roe v. Wade’s overturn. The media deliberately misrepresents pro-lifers; it seeks to portray the movement in as negative a light as possible, and it actively ignores malfeasance on the pro-abortion side. I have read stories about people I know, in which I am quoted, that are obviously false. To read a story in the mainstream press about abortion is to see journalists assert, with complete confidence, that the baby in the womb is not, in fact, a baby. It is to read “fact-checkers” debunk objectively true claims on behalf of the abortion industry, and to see the pro-life movement portrayed as misogynists, religious fanatics, and, frequently, white supremacists. The mainstream media’s rule is “if it bleeds, it leads” – except when it comes to abortion. In fact, when David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress released bombshell videos in 2015, proving that the abortion industry was trafficking in baby body parts, the media promptly launched a massive investigation…into the Center for Medical Progress. The reality is that when you read a story about abortion in the media, it is almost certainly packed with disinformation and outright lies. Strike 2: Hyping hedonism It isn’t just abortion, of course. On virtually every issue, the mainstream press takes the side of the sexual revolutionaries – and when churches are covered by the media, it is almost always a story about a conflict between Christianity and the sexual revolution. It is not news that Christian institutions generally adhere to a Biblical view of sexuality, for example, but Canada’s state broadcaster and major newspapers treat us to an endless stream of breathless coverage reminding us of the fact. You have probably never heard about the community service work done by staff and students at Redeemer University. You probably have heard the stunning revelation that, as one CBC headline put it, this “private Christian university says no sex outside heterosexual marriage.” Progressive politicians and their media allies have put a lot of elbow grease into stereotyping conservative Christians, and it has been effective. While Christians are condemned for opposing an increasingly radical LGBT agenda, the press – especially Canada’s taxpayer-funded state broadcaster – has bent over backward to condemn parental rights, defend drag shows targeted at children, and justify a pornographic sex ed curriculum. Strike 3: Doubling down on death The same is true for the issue of euthanasia. With one exception – Andrew Coyne, who was then a columnist for the National Post and now writes for the Globe and Mail – the media was entirely in favor of legalization, and treated dissent as unworthy of coverage. I remember tuning into the CBC for a debate on euthanasia, only to discover that the debate was not between someone who opposed it and someone who supported it – it was between an advocate of the incoming law and a fellow who didn’t think it went far enough. In short order, the media wasn’t even calling it euthanasia or assisted suicide anymore – they’d switched the terminology to the sterile, soothing-sounding “medical aid in dying,” conveniently shortened to “MAID.” Only when the horror stories pro-lifers predicted began surfacing in rapid succession did some media outlets begin asking if we had perhaps “gone too far” – and none admitted that perhaps the pro-life advocates they’d ignored were correct. Strike 4: Celebrating castration But the nail in the coffin of the media’s credibility – not only amongst Christians, but in the broader public, as well – was their whole-hearted embrace of the transgender agenda. Prestigious media organizations with Pulitzer Prizes and foreign correspondents in a dozen countries began to publish articles with phrases such as “her penis” and “his breasts.” Scores of “human interest” stories about “pregnant men” – I’m not making that up – were (and are) published with full photo essays. The claims of the transgender movement on everything from suicidal ideation to the acceptability of subjecting gender dysphoric minors to double mastectomies and castration were accepted at face value, regardless of how ludicrous they were or how much contradictory evidence existed. Most damning were the countless stories about allegedly female criminals featuring photographs of ugly, snaggle-toothed men guilty of often horrifying violence against real women. Nearly all of them went viral, and the universality of the mockery was devastating for the media’s credibility. Trust in the press can survive mistakes – even catastrophic ones. But it is a different scenario entirely when the press consistently challenges its viewers and readers with obvious lies and asks them: “Who are you going to believe, us or your lying eyes?” I’ve even seen mainstream journalists such as Jonathan Kay (of Quillette and the National Post) make the observation on Twitter – the reason transgenderism is so toxic, he noted, is that “ isn’t just destroying trust in the educational/political elites when it comes to gender. It’s destroying trust, full stop. If elites…think waving a fairy wand turns boys into girls, what other crap do they believe?” Precisely. Over the past several decades, the mainstream press has revealed that it serves as the propaganda arm of the Sexual Revolution – and in the last ten years, it has abandoned reality entirely. You’re outta here This is undoubtedly a serious issue, because in the vacuum left behind, many people merely hunt for sources that back their preferred narrative on a given issue and independent platforms deliberately cater to this. I agree with the mainstream journalists who worry that the collapse of trust in the Fifth Estate is a huge problem. It just happens to be a problem of their own making. Jonathon Van Maren has written for the National Post, National Review, First Things, LifeSiteNews, and many other publications. He blogs at


5 years of legal marijuana is wreaking havoc on children and adults

In 2018, Canada’s federal government legalized the recreational use of cannabis. Two of the three goals that they used to justify this abrupt change were to improve public health, and to reduce access by children. This October, the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) released a study, looking at the impact that legalized cannabis has had, pointing to a dismal failure in accomplishing either of these goals. Kids are getting harmed more often The CMAJ study found that, in addition to an increased number of Canadians using cannabis, there has been a startling number of hospitalizations resulting from cannabis use. This includes a large increase in the number of poisonings for young children, who consumed edible forms of cannabis. CBC has reported that prior to legalization, there was an average of 2 hospitalizations per month for children under the age of 10 in Ontario, Alberta, and BC. That spiked to nearly 15 hospitalizations a month through 2020 and 2021, which is far higher than the 2.1 average for Quebec, where cannabis edibles are not legal. Adult episodes are up too One study looked at the connection between cannabis and hospitalizations for adults in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and BC, and found that there were a staggering 105,000 hospitalizations reported between 2015 and 2021, one third of which were for people aged 15 to 24. They broke the data up into three groups: pre-legalization, post-legalization with store restrictions, and post-legalization with commercialization. Although the rate of hospitalizations didn’t change much when cannabis was legal but tightly controlled, it increased in the third stage, with commercialization. Other studies found a 20 percent increase in emergency department visits among youth in Ontario and Alberta, and increased emergency department visits due to cannabis-induced psychosis, and a doubling of “acute episodes of pregnancy care in which cannabis was present.” The impact can be long-term, with cannabis users having a significantly increased risk of developing schizophrenia within three years. Love laws, just not God’s laws With all this data contradicting the intended goals of the legislation, one would expect the federal government to admit a need to reconsider its course. But that isn’t likely, unless this research is widely circulated and Canadians are willing to speak up to their elected representatives. There is a glaring contradiction between our secular government’s concern for health when it came to the COVID virus, and how it is responding to the many immoral activities and choices that come with their own devastating health consequences. With COVID, our leaders were willing to undermine fundamental freedoms to minimize hospitalizations. Not so with marijuana use. There are also health impacts from other sins like pornography, no-fault divorce, abortion (hurt happens not only to the child, but to the mother too), sex outside of heterosexual marriage, and, of course, euthanasia. When health could come as a result of obeying God’s commandments (which are good for our heart, soul, mind, and body – Ps. 119), our government isn’t all that interested in exploring what laws could help....

News, RPTV

RPTV: Ed Fast wants to stop gov't from offering euthanasia to the mentally ill

OCT 18, 2023 UPDATE: The vote today failed to pass, but it was close, with the entire NDP and Conservative caucuses supporting Ed Fast's Bill. For more on the vote, see ARPA Canada's update here. TRANSCRIPT Welcome to Reformed Perspective. I’m Alexandra Ellison. In March of 2021, Parliament passed Bill C-7, which amended the criminal code, changing the provisions for doctor-assisted suicide in Canada. Medical Assistance in Dying, otherwise known as MAiD, became available to those whose natural death is not reasonably foreseeable. It also expanded euthanasia to become available for those with mental illness to come into effect in March of 2023. Last March, the federal government delayed the mental illness provision of Bill C-7 by one year, promising to create safeguards. However, they have yet to act on this promise. Today, we bring you a critical development in this ongoing debate. Conservative Member of Parliament Ed Fast is putting forth Bill C-314, aimed at stopping the Canadian government from expanding euthanasia to those suffering solely from mental illness. Ed Fast: “Well, this is an existential issue for Canadians because it's quite a step to expand Canada's assisted suicide laws to the most vulnerable in our society, the mentally ill being among the most prominent of those. I want to make sure the mentally ill are protected against government overreach. We know that they are intensely vulnerable to abuse, and we want to make sure that Canada's laws do not extend to the degree that those most vulnerable Canadians risk unnecessary death, and needlessly die." On October 3, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition hosted a press conference in support of Bill C-314. Anike Morrison is a recent graduate of an Ontario university, whose passion for advocating this bill stems from her own experience with mental health. Anike Morrison: “I have gone through quite a bit when it comes to my mental health, and I've had some really hard times. But I am coming through the other side of that, and I can say from personal experience it gets better. And I am living proof that with help, with counseling, therapy, family and friend support, medical care, that you can actually come out through that other side of a dark period of time without having to take your own life, or without having to leave your family and friends grieving for the loss of your life. You can actually get better and enjoy life.” Whether the bill passes or not, Morrison hopes this will open the conversation about euthanasia nationally and internationally. Anike Morrison: “I’ve been hearing that Canadians across the country are in support of Bill C-314. So I'm hoping that that movement and progress carries the Bill to be passed. But even if it is not, I'm hoping for increased conversation around medical assistance in dying in Canada, and even internationally, and having a national discussion about what is appropriate, and what is merciful, and what is truly helpful for our society, and what, maybe is going too far.” Dr. Paul Sabba is a family physician in Quebec who has been advocating for pro-life policies. In 2020, he wrote a book called Made to Live reflecting personal stories and debunking the myths of euthanasia and assisted suicide. Dr. Paul Sabba: “For example, if I refer a patient to a psychiatrist here in Quebec, it's about a 5-month waiting time from the time I make the referral to the time they actually get treatment. In the present legislation, which will be coming into effect for people with mental disorders here in Canada in March of 2024 – people will have access to be euthanized – there's only a three-month waiting period. We don't end the person's life because they have a disorder, or health or mental challenge, or are in distress. We have to help them in that distress. We have to meet what their needs are. That's our goal. That's the idea of the Good Samaritan; you don't leave the person half dead. You care for them. You treat them. We make every attempt to bring them to wellness, as close to wellness as you can, and find out what their needs are." Bill C-314 is currently at its second reading, with a vote scheduled for October 18 to see if it will go on to further study. Ed Fast: “I'm hoping that cooler heads will prevail and that members of all parties in the House of Commons will understand what's at stake here – the lives of the most vulnerable in Canada – and that they will support my Bill.” The reality is the general public is in opposition to the government’s expansions to euthanasia. According to the most recent Angus Reid Institute survey, just 28% of Canadians are in favor of MAiD for individuals with mental illness, while a significant 82% of Canadians emphasized that enhancing mental health care should be a priority before considering MAiD. For Reformed Perspective, I’m Alexandra Ellison in Ottawa. Other RP euthanasia resources For resources on how to understand and respond to arguments for euthanasia, check out the articles below. Euthanasia and the folly of downward comparisons Why euthanasia restrictions fail – “safeguards” become “barriers to access” Euthanasia film highlights horrors, but offers the wrong solution ...


England joins growing group of countries banning phones in schools

Earlier this month, England’s Education Minister announced a plan to prevent children from using phones during the entire school day. “We know that mobile phones are a source of distraction and bullying in the classroom,” Gillian Keegan shared in a government tweet. “Yet, 40% of 14-year-olds report that their lessons were disrupted by phones. So today, we’re banning phones in schools.” That sounds stronger than it is, as schools will simply be given “guidance” to ban phones, and it remains up to the schools to enforce it. But the ban includes barring phone use during breaks and between classes. According to coverage by, China and France have similar policies, and the Netherlands will be following too. In Canada, only Ontario has restrictions on cellphones in school, banning them during instructional time. The province reported that 97% of the parents, students, and educators they consulted said there should be restrictions. Phones aren’t only a distraction, they also are rewiring young and old minds alike, making it difficult to concentrate or listen. One public school in BC has banned phones from the classroom and saw some very positive results after just five months. Chatelech Secondary School counsellor Tulani Pierce reported: "We are seeing improved mental health, we're seeing decreased bullying, we're seeing more engagement in class, we're seeing more social interaction, kids are playing again instead of being on their phones and we're seeing increased academic success." Most children won’t have the ability to regulate their own media usage. They need responsible adults to set boundaries. Like a fence around a swimming pool, these restrictions are not an imposition but an act of love and care (Eph. 6:1-3)....


Climate mandates will hike house prices, do little for CO2 emissions

The federal government’s upcoming energy efficiency mandates will make new homes more expensive. That’s according to a recent Fraser Institute report, “Wrong move at the wrong time,” which says mandates could increase the cost of new homes and commercial buildings by 8.3%, even as the mandates would have little effect on greenhouse gas emissions. The Liberal Party’s “2030 Emission Reductions Plan” requires that newly built homes must use 65% less energy than houses built in 2019. The “Plan” also mandates a 59% reduction for new commercial construction. The result? The Fraser Institute report expects that housing prices will increase about $72,000 in Ontario, $78,000 in B.C., $35,000 in Alberta, and $27,000 in Manitoba. This increased cost is projected to result in just a 1% drop in greenhouse gases emitted nationwide, while causing a loss of construction jobs, and a decline in national gross domestic production. When the cost to build new homes and business places increases on this scale, investors and consumers rethink their plans, perhaps deciding not to open a new restaurant location, or deciding not to develop a piece of property. That softens demand for new construction, and the demand for the many industries that support builders. Ross McKitrick, the report’s author, suggests that if the free market were allowed to operate without government intervention, many individuals and businesses would choose to upgrade their new homes or buildings with energy-efficient appliances anyway, and add more insulation to their building envelope. For some the reduction in their long-term living or operating expenses would justify the initial costs, so they would make the upgrades themselves. But by making these energy-efficient systems mandatory, the government will be hampering economic growth for the nation, while increasing costs for its citizens, and all for very little benefit to the environment....


Population up; birthrate way down

Canada’s population passed 40 million in June, and has grown by more than 1.1 million in the past year, according to a Sept 27 Statistics Canada report. The 2.9% increase in our country’s population is the highest rate of growth since 1957, which was the peak of the baby boom and also a year when Canada opened its doors to refugees from Hungary. Over the last 5 years, the population has increased by 5 million, and over the last year we were “likely among the top 20 fastest-growing countries in the world.” So Canada is growing. But a closer look at that data shows that this growth masks a problem. Our current growth is dramatically different than it was in the ‘50s. An astounding 98 percent of the growth today is from international migration, whereas just 2 percent is from births – almost all our growth is coming from the outside. As the same report shares, in the course of just the last year, the fertility rate in Canada has plunged from 1.44 to 1.33 children per woman, far below the 2.1 required to keep a population stable. Canadians and Americans are used to growing populations, and rely on immigration to keep our economies functioning. From a pragmatic perspective this works, but only as long as others are able and willing to come here. However, what few people seem to notice is that the fertility rate has been dropping fast in every continent, and it won’t be long before the world’s population begins to decline. The secular organization is concerned: “If we fail to address plummeting birth rates, humanity has a very real chance of experiencing an extinction event.” Christians can understand this coming demographic crisis as both a judgment and an opportunity. As the world has embraced abortion, and rejected the blessing of children, we can see here a fulfillment of Paul’s warning to the Galatians: “…God is not mocked; for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap” (Gal. 6:7). That’s the judgment. The opportunity comes if the Church, in obedience, remembers God’s first words to us: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen. 1:28). What an antithesis it will be – what a bright and shining light it will be – when a world that has rejected babies sees laughing, crying, beautiful children, found in abundance still, among God’s people....

News, RPTV

RPTV: the 1 Million March 4 Children

TRANSCRIPT: Welcome to Reformed Perspective, I’m Alexandra Ellison. In the midst of a swiftly shifting cultural landscape, a significant event has emerged that gathers people from diverse backgrounds under a common cause. The 1 Million March 4 Children, a Canada-wide demonstration, has drawn attention across Canada, uniting them in a shared mission: To protect our children from indoctrination and sexualization. In today's video, we delve into the heart of the 1 Million March 4 Children, seeking to understand the motivations and voices that fuel this mobilization across different backgrounds and beliefs. On September 20, thousands of people gathered outside Parliament Hill to protest against Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity policies within the education system. Wellington St. was shut down for hours as parents, educators and children gathered to have their voices heard. Christians, Muslims, and people of various faith backgrounds attended the event. The demonstration, titled “1 Million March 4 Children,” expanded across Canada with protests happening in most provinces. This protest comes just months after Premier of New Brunswick, Blaine Higgs amended policy 713, making it so that LGBTQ-identifying students under 16 would have to inform parents before changing their name or pronouns within the classroom. Since this policy amendment took place in June, the conversation about parental rights has only expanded across Canada. Police were on the scene and LGBTQ activists also protested in opposition. The 1 Million March 4 Children was started by a Muslim man, who started speaking out on social media after discovering what was being taught in the education system. Kamel El-Cheikh: “But Canada's parents are the engineers, the restorators, they're the average blue-collar workers that care about their kids.” During the event, a father spoke out about how he got involved in the gender-critical movement after his daughter announced she would begin testosterone for gender transition after her 18th birthday. Shannon Boschy: "Unsafe means somebody might question them. A rational loving parent might say, ' Are you sure, sweetie? It's okay to be confused. We're going to get you some help that you need.' But no, this affirmation leads to the medicalization. These kids are ending up in the gender clinic." The leader of the Christian Heritage Party came all the way from Smithers, BC for the march. Rod Taylor: “We all have the responsibility as parents to raise our children. I think these parents, and Kamel El-Cheikh, who was the Muslim organizer of this event, he reached out to people of other faiths and said, 'Let's come together for something that we all agree on, something we all believe in, for the freedom to raise our children according to our own beliefs.' And that's something we all can agree with.” Taylor hopes that people can find their identity in Christ, rather than their gender. Taylor: "Parents are the first educators of their children. They have the responsibility from God to be the educators and trainers, and to raise their children not only physically, but in a moral perspective so that their kids know who they are. And this whole thing about identity, yes, children need to know who they are in God. He's the one who made us, He made us male and female, created us in His image, and puts us here for a purpose. And so we want to see that purpose fulfilled.” As we conclude our journey through the 1 Million March 4 Children, one resounding truth becomes abundantly clear: As Christians, we are entrusted with the sacred duty to share God's truth and be vocal in the public sphere. Our faith calls us to stand firm in believing that every child is a precious creation, molded in His image. May this march serve as a testament to our unwavering commitment to God's intended design and our collective responsibility to ensure that truth prevails in the lives of future generations....


SK Premier to use “notwithstanding clause” to uphold parental authority

If a public school student under 16 wants to be referred to by his own “preferred pronouns,” does the school need to go to his parents? Does the school need to get parental consent? In Saskatchewan, the provincial government has said yes. But then, yesterday, Regina judge Michael Megaw decided no. At the request of an LGBT lobby group, the judge granted an injunction – a stop-for-now order – against the government’s parental consent policy. Then, in a very rare move, Saskatchewan’s Premier Scott Moe announced he is recalling the province’s legislative assembly on October 10, to use Section 33 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to override the judge’s ruling. Section 33 is better known as the “notwithstanding clause,” which gives legislatures and Parliament the power to override sections of the Charter, though only for 5 years at a time. Any legislation invoking the clause has an automatic five-year expiration date, at which time the legislation will either lapse or have to be renewed again. The clause was included in the Charter to keep the judiciary from becoming too powerful, “interpreting” the Charter to fit their own preferences. It was included as a tool for reining in activist judges. Premier Moe minced no words in defending the move, even though it is extremely unusual. "Our government is extremely dismayed by the judicial overreach of the court blocking implementation of the Parental Inclusion and Consent policy – a policy which has the strong support of a majority of Saskatchewan residents, in particular, Saskatchewan parents. The default position should never be to keep a child's information from their parents.” He went on to explain that: "It is in the best interest of children to ensure parents are included in their children's education, in their classrooms and in all important decisions involving their children.” The announcement came a week after the “1 Million March 4 Children” rallies, held in towns and cities across Canada, to speak up for children in the face of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) curriculum and activism. The move also comes after work by supporters of and the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association to promote parental rights, albeit to a different end. Their efforts were in defense of the unborn, promoting a law that would require parental consent before minors can have an abortion. But have their years of effort borne fruit in this other direction? Saskatchewan isn’t on its own in taking a stand. In June, the New Brunswick government revised its educational policy to require parental consent for children under 16 before schools used their “preferred pronouns.” Mainstream media bias and opposition were on full display in the coverage of the March, and the New Brunswick decision, making Moe’s decision all the more laudable. While we aren’t always happy with our elected leaders, we can be thankful for Section 33 of the Charter. Without it, a lone judge would be able to overturn the decisions of our legislatures and Parliament. Photo is adapted from a Sept 22, 2023 photo by Alberta Newsroom ( and used under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED license....


Saturday Selections – Sept. 16, 2023

Click on the titles below to go to the linked articles... The terrific trunk! (8 min) "The elephant's truck is the Swiss Army Knife of the animal kingdom..." Chinese economy won't surpass US? Experts have long been predicting that China's economy would pass (or had already passed) the United States' economy very soon. But now Bloomberg has published a forecast that says if China surpasses the US it will only be briefly before sinking below soon after. But why would a nation 3 to 4 times the US in population not grow past them economically? This article only gives the barest explanation, but God's Word tells us more. China's economy is more centrally planned than the US, and such top-down planning presumes leaders have an omniscience that only God actually possesses. Communism (and socialism too) is also predicated on villainizing the rich and while China's economy isn't as strictly communist as it was, the government still has little respect for private property. So, we see here the sins of arrogance, envy, and theft. Add to that China's decades-long and only just ended One-Child Policy, which treated children as a curse and not as the blessing they are, and you have the explanation for their coming demographic crisis: a married couple will have two sets of parents and four sets of grandparents, but no aunts or uncles, cousins or siblings, to help them with their care. In the workforce there are also fewer and fewer young people to support the aging population. While the US has its own sins plaguing it in these same areas, China is going to do worse because they are embracing their sins even more fervently. Imagine then, what blessings a country might experience if they turned back to God? We didn't force anyone to be vaccinated - Justin Trudeau Maybe it's not surprising that the pro-choice Trudeau can't admit that he forced others to do with their bodies as he demanded. And he's not the only world leader to resort to doublespeak. Language learning app Duolingo normalizing LGBT As Jonathon Van Maren reports, the popular app that helps kids learn any language they want is deliberately inserting LGBT characters into their stories and sentences. Is Christian nationalism Christian? Do we want our nation to be un-Christian? Was our nation better when it was more Christian? Does "Christian nationalism" mean using the government to impose Christianity on an unwilling populace? How is this term "Christian nationalism" being used by different groups? John Stonestreet has some questions, provides a few answers, and has an upcoming online presentation this Sept. 26th where he hopes to get help providing more. Philadelphia's soda tax 5 years later Should North Americans drink less soda? Quite likely. More to the point, should the government make it so? And does God's Word have anything to say about it? The video below is by a libertarian, not a Christian, so it only presents some of the problems. The Bible's teaching on favoritism (Lev. 19:15) would bar us from penalizing one producer over another. It would also dissuade us from issuing taxes that target the poor (Is. 10:1-2, Prov. 28:3). And Samuel's warning against kings (1 Samuel 8:10-18) would have us leery of a government that thinks there are no limits to what it can involve itself in, even to what choice of beverage we make. A biblical understanding of Man's fallen nature, and his fallibility, also point us in the direction of much smaller, more limited government, recognizing that no one can competently micromanage thousands or millions of other people's lives. ...


Saturday Selections – Sept. 9, 2023

Click on the titles below for the linked articles... Can AI ever become conscious? (10 min) As computers become more powerful, will they ever become thinking machines? Folks who say yes only say so because they believe we're nothing more than computing machines ourselves, and merely the sum of our material parts. But Christians know that we are more than our matter. If we were to lose an arm, there would then be less of our body, but there wouldn't be less of us, because we are more than our body. What is that something else? Our spirit. We were made in the very Image of our Maker (Gen. 1:27), and that's not ever going to be true of machines. Ottawa's anti-plastic ban moving into dangerous territory "...while the previous stages in the war on plastics might have inconvenienced people or wasted their money, this new phase may sicken and kill them." Canadian male teacher who wore fake z-cup breasts to school is back The Toronto shop teacher who made international news last year for wearing enormous fake breasts to class will be back in the classroom this year, though seemingly without the beach-ball-sized prosthetics. When he first showed up at his school in this ridiculous attire, the administration wouldn't discipline him for the spectacle. This was a man clearly having mental issues, but his public school's secular worldview wouldn't allow them to acknowledge the elephants in the room, even when he claimed that his breasts were real. This year, however, he seems to be dressing like the man that he is. Worthy of note is the manner in which "conservative" media outlets have covered this story. The New York Post and Daily Mail have both been critical of his antics, but have called him a "her" in their articles. Meanwhile, both Fox News and Rebel News have used male pronouns for him (at least in recent articles), even as they have used female pronouns for American Olympian Bruce, now Caitlyn, Jenner. The problem with these organizations is that though they are sometimes conservative, they are not Christian, and so they aren't grounded on an unshakeable foundation, and thus waver back and forth. We could ask of them, "How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him..." (1 Kings 18:21). Does the FBI already have a file on Oliver Anthony? Probably. This is about an American agency, but more so, simply about a big government that has no boundaries... which we're familiar with in Canada too. Parents in Irish town band together to ban their kids from phones until at least 12 This voluntary ban applies not simply to school, but home too... Empty Canadian graves A Christian perspective from south of the border... Jordan Peterson will try to film his "re-education" The College of Psychologists of Ontario wants Jordan Peterson to undergo "re-education" for statements and tweets he's made critical of the Canadian PM, as well as of the doctor who cut off actress Ellen Page's healthy breasts in her futile attempt to become a man. The College said they were ordering the re-education because Peterson's comments ran the risk of: "undermining public trust in the profession of psychology, and trust in the College's ability to regulate the profession in the public interest." They are, of course, right that trust in the College is being undermined. Who'd trust a psychological body that insists that when men and women cut off healthy body parts in an attempt to become what they can never be that's a good mental health practice? We're going to trust these guys with our difficulties? We read throughout Proverbs, that the fool likes to air out their own opinions (Prov. 18:2) and blurt out their folly (Prov. 12:23). We can be thankful here for how the College has exposed themselves, for if they'd kept silent, we might have still supposed them wise (Prov. 17:28). But in coming after Peterson for positions that aren't even controversial to most of the Canadian public, the College has discredited themselves. ...

Christian education, News

How’s this for a graduate profile?

Marcus Schroeder had 4 minutes to call his city to repentance. The 19-year-old was ready. **** As parents, teachers, and students, we put a lot of energy, prayer, money, and time into our Christian schools. So, after it’s all done – after the 12 years are completed – what are we hoping our graduates will be equipped to do? What’s our measure of success? Some schools have a “graduate profile” that highlights certain skills or attitudes it expects every student to leave with. It's great to have that written down, but it’s even better when those expectations are being modeled. And this past summer a 19-year-old down south offered up this different sort of graduate profile. Over the course of just a few days, Marcus Schroeder modeled what a young Christian can do when he’s both well-educated and eager to take on whatever challenges come at him.  As Christian activist Jason Storms recounted the story on the Apologia Radio podcast, this teen was one of a couple hundred Christians who demonstrated against the Watertown, Wisconsin’s second annual “Pride in the Park” festival. The July 29 event was billed as: “loads of family entertainment, including a Children’s Dance Party, Drag Story Hour, 2 Drag shows.” A typical drag show will have a guy in a campy dress and perhaps lingerie, gyrating on stage, pretending to be some bimbo-esque sort of woman. This one promised to be family-friendly, so perhaps the gyrating was kept to a minimum. Now we’ve gotten so used to our upside-down world, we might not even be shocked that the gyraters got protected and the protesters got arrested. We should be shocked. As God tells us, our rulers are supposed to pursue righteousness and punish evil (Prov. 16:10-12, Ps. 72). Instead, police moved in on Schroeder as he was standing on the sidewalk outside the event. They arrested him after he used a microphone and speaker to start reading Galatians 5 out loud. As Storms recounts it, the teen was charged with “unlawful use of amplification and resisting arrest.” I don’t know what the city’s noise bylaws allow or ban, but as a viral video of the arrest shows, Schroeder’s resistance amounted to tensing his arms for the first 10-20 seconds of the confrontation as the first officer tried to grab the mike from him. In arresting him, the authorities made a big deal out of what was at worst a minor infraction. Their heavy hand didn’t intimidate the young man. Just days later, Schroeder took the opportunity to address his city council. He didn’t take a long time. What he said was remarkable: “I just wanted to ask a simple question. A Nazi group showed up at the event Saturday, and people were talking about that, and I just wanted for all of us to really think about this: what's wrong with Nazism? Seriously, what's wrong with Nazism? “Because imagine for a moment, that there is no God above us, no hell below us, no heaven to live for, as John Lennon wanted to imagine. If we are truly the result of evolved stardust, and our ancestors were fish, and we're the descendants of monkeys, then where do we find our value as human beings?  “What's wrong with Nazism, unless you understand that the God of Scripture says that we are made in His Image, and so to murder innocent people is a violation to God's commands? As a Christian I can say that what the Nazis did in Nazi Germany was completely horrific and that they should have been resisted. In fact, the number one people group that resisted the Nazis were Christians. And the reason why was because they had a worldview that says that people are made in God's Image and that they have worth and value. That's why Nazism is wrong. “But if we're going to reject the Christian worldview then we can't hold on to the fruit that comes from the Christian worldview, while denying the actual foundation. “Intolerance is an interesting word – tolerance/intolerance, hatred/love, bigotry, things like that – because really every culture has something that it's intolerant towards and something that it's tolerant of. I mean there are things like murder and rape and stealing that we are intolerant towards as a society. And so, every society has something that it’s intolerant towards. The question is just what is our object of intolerance, and what is our object of tolerance? “When I showed up Saturday all I did was read from Scripture on the sidewalk. I read from the Bible, Galatians. And, by the way, I wasn't reading Romans 1. I wasn't reading any passage that spoke against homosexuality or anything like that. I was reading a passage from the Bible about love and I was arrested. No reason. Not given any warning. Not told anything about my amplification needing to be turning down. I was arrested and taken into custody simply for reading the Bible on the sidewalk. “You see, as we become more and more tolerant of sexual immorality in our culture, we've become more and more intolerant towards Christian morality. And the more we become intolerant towards Christian morality the more we're going to see lawlessness in our streets. The more we become intolerant of Christian morality, the more we're going to see Nazis, the more we're going to see people who don't hold to a Christian worldview, who think that everybody is a result of animals, and therefore if we are animals then why can't we just act like animals? “We were called a hate group. We were told that we don't want to understand the other side. I just want to set the record straight. I am more than happy to have that conversation with the other side. I did speech and debate throughout high school and one of the things that we were taught in debate is that you can't make an argument for your side until you're able to make the argument for the other side. I've sat down and had hours of discussions with LGBTQ activists. I completely understand the other side; I want to understand the other side.  “But drag queens twerking on kids in lingerie is unacceptable and that's something that we have to notice as a culture. We can have our disagreements but there comes a time when we have to understand that we are all going to stand before God one day and we're going to have to give an account for what we have done with the children in our society, the innocent minds and the children who deserve to be protected. Thank you.” Isn’t this… glorious? Marcus Schroeder has been gifted by God with some exceptional talents. It’s just as clear that he’s been gifted with an exceptional education. That’s, then, the goal for our own graduate profile. We can pray that God will so equip us, that we can gift our own children with an education that’ll allow them to take on the world with confidence. Picture above is a screenshot from the Apologia Radio podcast with Marcus Schroeder. ...


Saturday Selections – Sept. 2, 2023

Cessationist trailer Click below for the trailer of a great new documentary that takes on "cessationism," the belief that the miraculous gifts of the New Testament have ceased happening. But have they? Pentecostals say no; most Reformed denominations says yes.... though we also acknowledge that God still performs miracles today (and, in fact, we regularly ask Him to miraculously intercede). This will be available for streaming on Sept 22. Does therapy even work? Talking to someone else about our problems is powerful. But secular psychology can only aim to answer, "What's going on inside of me?" and can't point us outward, to the God who made us. Free parents' guide to TikTok Axis is a Christian organization that specializes in resources meant to take a parent from knowing nothing about a new technology, app, or cultural trend to knowing enough that they can talk knowledgeably about it with their teenagers. And they manage this in a guide that takes just 10 to 15 minutes to read. Check out their TikTok guide in article form by clicking above or read it as a pdf booklet here. 1,600+ scientists, plus a couple Nobel laureates say climate "emergency" is a myth This says less than it might first seem to: 1,600 is a large number, but not compared with all the scientists who haven't backed this petition (or, at least, not backed it yet). Also, how many of them even have expertise in this field? But what the 1,600+ do offer, and the two Nobel Laureates as well, is a good counter to the notion that the "debate is over" and that only the uneducated could think different. John Piper: "life-changing moments come in sentences and paragraphs" (10-min read) "What I have learned from about twenty years of serious reading is this: sentences change my life, not books. What changes my life is some new glimpse of truth, some powerful challenge, some resolution to a long-standing dilemma, and these usually come concentrated in a sentence or two. I do not remember 99 percent of what I read, but if the 1 percent of each book or article I do remember is a life-changing insight, then I don’t begrudge the 99 percent." Yo-Yo magic This is the winning performance from last month's yo-yo world championships. This below is Division 1A where they use a long string. For 4 more division champions – including one where the yo-yo isn't even attached to the string! – check out the article linked in the title above. ...


John Calvin: Florida state attorney?

John Calvin showed up at a press conference in Florida earlier this month, as Governor Ron DeSantis introduced the state’s newest state attorney, Andrew Bain. As Bain took his turn at the podium he began by thanking the governor and his legal mentors, before then transitioning to an explanation of why he was happy with his new role. “For me, this is a place where John Calvin's second purpose of the law came to life. The second purpose for law is a restraint on evil. The law in and of itself cannot change the human heart. It can however, serve to protect the righteous from the unjust…. We are here to prosecute crimes, and to hold people accountable.” What he was referencing here was what’s known as Calvin’s threefold purposes of the law. Calvin said that God’s Law acts on us in three different ways: It acts as a mirror, showing us our sins, and our desperate need for a Savior. As Bain noted, it restrains evil. In forbidding murder, theft, and more, and promising to punish those acts, it will, as Calvin put it, “curb those who, unless forced, have no regard for…justice.” Finally, it shows us how to live a life of thankfulness to God by telling us what pleases Him. Now, Calvin was talking about God’s Law and not Florida’s, and the latter has some major departures from the former. Most notably, while Florida offers more protections for the unborn than Canada, banning abortion six weeks after conception, the state still allows the unborn to be murdered without sanction before that point. Still the second purpose is relevant in civil law, and Bain’s reminder is timely as that purpose is being forgotten. That forgetfulness is perhaps more evident south of the border, where in recent years we've seen major US cities decide not to enforce laws already on the books involving both smaller matters like shoplifting, and more major ones like rioting. From this distance, it’s impossible to know what sort of state attorney Bain will be, but what’s worth noting is his example here: a judicial official shamelessly talking from an explicitly Christian worldview, teaching the public about the benefit of the law in protecting the righteous from the unjust. That’s worthy of celebration and imitation. ...


Saturday Selections – Aug 26, 2023

Click on the titles below for the linked articles and videos. Canadians pay more to government than for housing, food, and clothing combined Over the last 60 years the cost of clothing is 7 times higher, food 9 times, and housing is 19 times higher.  But the biggest increase of all has been taxes, 28 times higher than they were in 1961. Samuel warned the Israelites that a king would demand 10% of their goods – what the Lord Himself required! Canadians are paying more than 4 times that to their government. PM's cross-country vacation is hypocritical... but, more importantly, instructive News media will often hype political hypocrisy to get outraged readers to click thru. But instead of blowing a gasket, Christians should recognize hypocrisy for the insight it offers. God tells us that our actions can give lie to our words - someone might "profess to know God, but they deny him by their works" (Titus 1:16a). Our actions speak louder than our words. So when someone is hypocritical, it's actually instructive, with their actions telling us what they really believe. Canada's prime minister has called climate change an "existential threat" – a threat to our very existence. Yet this past month Justin Trudeau flew his family across the country for a vacation in BC. All that carbon... simply for pleasure. Then he'll head 5,500 kilometers the other way for a 3-day retreat with all of his cabinet in Prince Edward Island where they will discuss, among other things, climate change. That's a lot more carbon for meetings that could have been held right there in Ottawa... if carbon emissions needed to be a consideration. The PM is big on climate politics, and it certainly plays well at the polls, but his actions tell us that he really doesn't think climate change is that big of a deal. It certainly isn't important enough to get him to change his lifestyle. The tawdry and creepy origins of Barbie Barbie was modeled after a German doll known for her double entendres. But this article's most significant paragraph highlights a different sort of influence Barbie may have had: "Where young girls used to care for baby dolls, presumably projecting themselves as a wife and mother, far more girls today envision themselves one day being fiercely independent, fashionable, and seemingly successful like Barbie..." Manitoba residential school excavation turns up no bodies Claims two years ago of a mass grave at a residential school in Kamloops started a period of national mourning. No digging has been done there, but in a Manitoba residential school where digging just finished, no bodies were found. Does that mean nothing happened at these schools? No. But claims do need to be substantiated - as Mark Penninga wrote, the truth matters. As a Christian I went down the AI rabbit hole... ...and here are 12 things he discovered. Story of a deaf tennis championship comeback Haven't seen this yet, but the trailer caught my kid's attention. Subpar production values, but the educational aspect – getting some understanding of what it is like to be deaf – might still make this a good one for the family. It comes to theaters in September. ...


500 days later: Covid protestors still locked up without trial or bail

Although Covid and the truckers' convoy have been relegated to a part of our memories that many would prefer to keep locked up and left alone, there are unresolved issues. Few Canadians realize that there are four Canadians who are still locked up and being held without a trial and without bail on charges of “conspiracy to commit murder” in connection with protests at the Coutts border crossing in Alberta. It has been well over 500 days since Chris Lysak, Chris Carbert, Anthony (Tony) Olienick, and Jerry Morin were arrested, yet no trial has taken place. The denial of bail to the four is particularly unusual. “These are political prisoners, pure and simple” shared trucker Gord Magill in an opinion piece for Newsweek. “They are being denied basic rights due to even the most violent of criminals because they are on the wrong side of the Trudeau government. They are being used as a fig leaf, the last shred of Trudeau's legitimacy for invoking The Emergencies Act and for the massive overreach of freezing bank accounts and seizing assets that it incurred.” So how can Christians evaluate a situation like this? We might have our sympathies and opinions, but there is a lot here we just don’t know and aren’t really in a position to evaluate. For example, we don’t know if Magill’s claims are true. We also don’t know if these four are guilty or innocent of the crimes they are charged with. But we can hear Solomon’s warning in Ecclesiastes 8:11 that “when the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong.” If these men are innocent, that they’ve spent more than a year in jail is outrageous. And if they are guilty, this delay in justice will only foster mischief....


Court case to challenge Quebec’s ban on “overt prayer” in school

The Quebec Superior Court is set to hear a case that challenges the province’s ban on “overt prayers.” The province’s Education Minister Bernard Drainville explained that the purpose of the new legislation is “to preserve the secular nature of public schools.” The Christian Legal Fellowship (CLF) has been granted intervenor standing in the case. In his recent Globe and Mail article, “Banning student-initiated prayer in school spaces is unconstitutional and unjust,” CLF’s Executive Director Derek Ross explained why they believe the law is not constitutional: “True neutrality is achieved not by silencing prayer, but by accommodating students of all faiths, and none, to participate fully and equally in our public education system … if students’ prayers offend the state’s vision of secularism, which of their expressions of faith might be restricted next?" He also quoted a previous Supreme Court decision that explained that the Charter’s freedom of religion protects the right to “declare religious beliefs openly and without fear of hindrance or reprisal.” Pointing to a different Quebec court decision that defended someone giving the middle finger as a “God-given, Charter-enshrined right,” Ross concluded: “If an adult has the right to express anger with outstretched fingers, surely students have the right to express love with folded hands, or bended knees. If any right is God-given, that one is.”...


Canada's highest court declines churches' appeal over Covid restrictions

The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear an appeal of how the BC government dealt with churches during Covid. Although each provincial government dealt with religious gatherings differently, BC’s response was particularly difficult, as the province ordered churches closed while it allowed bars, restaurants, gyms, businesses, art galleries, and schools to carry on. The indefinite order caused great stress as it clashed with God’s calling to His people to gather for worship and to care for each other. And as the lower court judge admitted, it also violated the constitution’s protection for freedom of religion and assembly. After the numerous efforts by churches to communicate with the provincial government fell on deaf ears, a respectful court challenge was initiated by three churches, two of them Reformed: Riverside Calvary Chapel in Langley, the Immanuel Covenant Reformed Church of Abbotsford, and the Free Reformed Church of Chilliwack. ARPA Canada was also granted written and oral arguments by the court. These three churches invested a great deal of time, effort, and heartache into their court challenge, and into conducting it as far as was possible, even in the face of some criticism from other churches. Some brothers and sisters seemed to think that challenging the government in court was contrary to the call for submission to the governing authorities that we find in Romans 13. But it is not. The courts are one of the three branches of government, and they offer a critical accountability to both the legislative branch (which makes the laws), and the executive (which enforces the laws). Bringing a case to the court doesn’t show disrespect for the government. It shows utmost respect – using the process that God has given us and the system of government we have. That's why Paul could appeal to the court system of his day (Acts 25:10-11). One lesson learned by those involved in these cases is that many of our secular leaders, including our judges, have little concept of what church and corporate worship means. As ARPA Canada detailed in their analysis of the original ruling which the churches were appealing, it was evident that the judge didn't understand how important worship is: "we should also be gravely concerned that he does not seem to have an appreciation for how central gathered worship is to Christians. In the judgement, Chief Justice Hinkson suggests that because both secular and religious schools can gather, that the current restrictions do not disadvantage those with religious beliefs. But this fails to appreciate the centrality of gathered worship to Christian communities. It is small comfort for a child to be able to gather with other Christians for the purpose of learning at school, but not to gather for the purpose of worship at church." It is important that churches, as legitimate authorities under God, now use times of peace and freedom to build relationships with our civic leaders so that they understand who we are and what God has called both us and them to. That the Supreme Court declined to weigh in isn't unusual – most appeal requests are denied, and the highest court also doesn’t give reasons for its decisions for not taking an appeal. Yet we can be thankful that the highest court of all, led by the Chief Justice of the universe, is seated on the throne and will judge all things and also make all things right....

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