Author: Andre Schutten

02 Sep 2021 Coercive Covid-19 Vaccine Mandates are Bad Public Policy

Several provincial governments have announced plans to roll out vaccine passports and/or require proof of vaccination against Covid-19 to attend events or enter “non-essential” spaces like gyms, restaurants, and theatres. Some provincial leaders have publicly mused about requiring proof of vaccination for church attendance. Federally, our prime minister is adamant that, if re-elected, his government will require Covid-19 vaccination to travel by plane or train. And many businesses, universities, and other government and non-government institutions are also requiring vaccination as a condition of employment or to be on their premises. There...

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25 Jun 2021 What does it mean to be a good citizen? Disagreeing well… even on abortion

Last week a student from my church invited me to present to her high school civics class on the question, “What does it mean to be a good citizen?” Since I work with ARPA Canada and interact often with the civil government, she thought that I would know something about – or at least have opinions on – the topic. I love giving lectures to high schools and university groups. It’s a highlight of my job. But what made this invitation a little more unique is that the school is a...

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21 May 2021 Freedom of Expression and the Regulation of Social Media through Bill C-10

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text]Last fall, the federal government introduced Bill C-10, a bill that – if passed – will amend the Broadcasting Act for the first time since 1991 in order to expand the regulatory powers of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) over the internet. In the last month or so, the number of critics has increased, as has the vociferousness of their opposition to the bill. When Bill C-10 was first introduced, we did an initial analysis and found that, while there were aspects...

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16 Feb 2021 Submission to Earthly Authority: Christian Freedom and Responsibility

How comparisons to employment law and deference to office might help Christians better understand each other on church lockdowns and bring a sense of peace Over the past year, provincial governments in Canada have used their power to restrict to varying degrees the church’s corporate, in-person worship of God for the stated purpose of slowing the community spread of COVID-19. The multiplicity of public policy and legal issues arising from different provincial responses to COVID-19 has resulted in much tension and division within the Reformed community. I’ve tried to wrap my mind...

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10 Dec 2020 The Freedom to do as we ought! (FT Pt. 4)

Part #4 of 4 in an adaptation of the ARPA Canada Fall Tour 2020, Defending our Christian Legacy of Liberty. Part #1; Part #2; Part #3 In the third part of this series, we focussed on how our Charter of Rights and Freedoms works and how we can use it, while maintaining a Biblical posture of respect for civil authority. We’re wrapping up this series with a suggested five-step process for determining how to respond to infringements on your freedoms. Five-Step Analysis for Processing Charter Infringements So, how do we work through an analysis...

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10 Dec 2020 So what if we have legal rights – aren’t we called to just submit to the government? (FT Pt. 3)

Part #3 of 4 in an adaptation of the ARPA Canada Fall Tour 2020, Defending our Christian Legacy of Liberty. Part #1; Part #2; Part #4 Our last post in this series considered what is meant by freedom, and the Bible’s long influence on the development of freedom. We’ll now look at how our Charter of Rights and Freedoms works, while maintaining a biblical posture of respect for civil authority. When Charter Rights Are Being Unjustifiably Violated The Charter of Rights and Freedoms was added to our constitution in 1982. It owes some –...

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10 Dec 2020 Biblical Freedom ≠ Personal Autonomy (FT Pt. 2)

Part #2 of 4 in an adaptation of the ARPA Canada Fall Tour 2020, Defending our Christian Legacy of Liberty. Part #1; Part #3; Part #4 by André Schutten We began this blog series by presenting an overview of what scripture tells us about the topic of civil government, and our duty to submit to those in authority over us. We are now going to shift gears and focus on why our freedoms are fundamental, and how we can work to answer the prayer of our national anthem – a prayer for God...

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30 Jun 2020 Reflections from a Christian patriot on Canada Day

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 religious, expressive,...

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

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

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02 Jun 2020 Still glorious and free? The duty of each Christian to stand on guard for freedom in an age of unprecedented lock-down

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_row_inner row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" css_animation=""][vc_column_inner width="2/3"][vc_column_text]The chorus in our national anthem is a prayer: God keep our land glorious and free. O Canada we stand on guard for thee. So, what does that mean practically? Christians take prayer very seriously. It is the most important part of our thankfulness to God (Lord’s Day 45, Heidelberg Catechism). James teaches us that it’s no good to pray for the hungry and poor if we ourselves don’t also help the hungry and the poor (James 2:14-26). How...

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