COVID-19 Tag

10 Dec 2020 God’s Commission to the Civil Government and the Church (FT Pt. 1)

Part #1 of 4 in an adaptation of the ARPA Canada Fall Tour 2020, Defending our Christian Legacy of Liberty. Part #2; Part #3; Part #4 Freedoms are often tested in the crucible of national turmoil: war and terrorism, plague and natural disaster. During the COVID crisis of 2020, we have seen unprecedented limits on our fundamental freedoms: freedom of religion and conscience, freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and association. So, it was fitting that we could address these issues during Fall Tour 2020 – Defending Our Christian Legacy of...

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

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 of the...

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elder care in Canada

20 Oct 2020 Fully public long-term care is not ideal elder care

A BC NDP government will move to an entirely public system of senior care if elected, leader John Horgan said. The British Columbia provincial election is coming up on October 24, and after the COVID-19 pandemic exposed many deficiencies in long-term care facilities, this is a key issue for all parties to address. As home care services improve and our senior population increases, people age at home for longer and so often require high levels of care when they enter long-term care. But is full government provision of that care...

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22 Sep 2020 BC Election Provides New Opportunity to Advance Sound Policies

British Columbians are heading into an election. On September 21, Premier John Horgan requested from the Lieutenant-Government, Janet Austin, to dissolve the British Columbian election and trigger an election. The election date is set for Saturday, October 24. Elections are opportunities for change. COVID has brought many changes and disruptions to society, and this election is an opportunity for a political party or a movement to capture the vision of British Columbians and shape the province for decades to come. Elections are opportunities for change...

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17 Sep 2020 Recovering Fiscal Responsibility

For the last quarter-century, red and blue Canadian governments have both prided themselves on their dedication to “fiscal responsibility” or, in more Christian parlance, fiscal stewardship. Previous administrations were committed to some version of the ideal of not further indebting (future) Canadian taxpayers. Jean Chretien and Paul Martin set the stage for ten years of consecutive budgetary surpluses. That was fiscal responsibility. Stephen Harper, even while opting to spend billions of deficit-financed dollars for recovery from the Financial Crisis, always had a balanced budget in his mind’s eye. That also...

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21 Aug 2020 Are COVID Restrictions the Cause of “Excess Deaths”?

By Levi Minderhoud Soon after governments first introduced restrictions to combat the transmission of COVID-19, many people asked whether these measures would do more harm than good. We encouraged you to send an EasyMail to provincial legislators urging them not to neglect the impact of provincial policies on loneliness, substance abuse, domestic violence, economic dependency, among other problems. We have been worried that such restrictions may cause harm or even deaths through their unintended consequences. Many of you answered the call. Have there been “excess deaths” in Canada? Provincial governments and Statistics Canada...

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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...

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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...

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

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

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17 Jul 2020 The Key to Authority is the Office of Image Bearer – An Interview with Professor David Koyzis

ARPA’s John Sikkema interviews David Koyzis In We Answer to Another: Authority, Office, and the Image of God, David Koyzis addresses modern skepticism of authority by arguing that authority is intrinsic to humanity and part of everything we do, both communally and individually. Why is that? Because “authority is resident in an office given us in creation.” When we encounter authority, “we encounter nothing less than the image of God, which always points beyond itself.” Professor Koyzis was kind enough to talk about his book with me. Part 1 of our interview,...

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