Freedom of Religion Tag

15 Apr 2020 Book Review: The Victory of Reason

God has blessed Canada. Canada, along with Western countries, is consistently one of the most prosperous, freest, happiest, and most developed countries in the world. Why? In his book, The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success, Rodney Stark, a professor of religious studies, argues that there are three specific reasons why Christianity – as opposed to other world religions – led to freedom, prosperity, and success in the West.   Reason #1: Christianity alone embraced reason as a method of understanding. Human reason requires a very important premise:...

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08 Apr 2020 Is Corporate Worship “Essential”? Some Biblical Considerations for the Church’s Response.

Essential services are a hot topic right now, as everyone wonders whether their place of employment or job description qualifies as “essential” under COVID-19 restrictions. Essential services include the obvious: nurses and doctors, fire fighters, grocery stores, child protective services, police officers. But they extend far beyond that, even including liquor and recreational cannabis stores. The result is that some businesses with hundreds of employees continue to operate with minimal oversight, while others have closed despite there being measures they could easily take to mitigate risk. Churches are not on the...

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31 Mar 2020 Letter to Government Officials – hope and humility

The following letter was sent by ARPA Canada to Canada's federal and provincial government officials, encouraging them to find their hope and direction in our sovereign God. We ask you to join us in praying for a blessing on this letter, and invite you to reach out to them to encourage them and, if the opportunity allows, to lovingly point to their responsibility to govern faithfully, in obedience to the One who gave them their authority. A meeting, including through electronic means, would be an ideal way to communicate this...

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12 Jul 2019 Pastor preaches gospel. People react. Police arrest pastor.

This week (July 10) pastor David Lynn appeared in court for the second time. In early June, pastor Lynn of Christ’s Forgiveness Ministries was arrested and charged with “causing a disturbance” (section 175 of the Criminal Code), held in jail overnight, and released on bail the next morning. His crime: preaching the gospel on the corner of Church and Wellesley. The Toronto Police explained in a news release at the time (image of the release copied below) that pastor Lynn’s message was “causing alarm” in the community (the Church and Wellesley...

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01 Jun 2018 Supreme Court rules unanimously in church discipline case

Can the decision of a church or religious body to expel a member be appealed to a civil court? Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada decided unanimously that the answer to that question is no. The lower court judge, Justice Wilson, and a majority at the Alberta Court of Appeal, had answered this question in the affirmative. The SCC overturned the decisions of the lower courts for three reasons. First, the Court ruled that judges can only review decisions made by state actors – those that have been granted powers by the...

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26 Mar 2018 Scripture, not state law, instructs us how to do church discipline Part 2 of 3

An ARPA Three-Part series on Church and State in Canada By John Sikkema and André Schutten Two weeks ago, in the first of our three-part series, we discussed foundations. We explained that God divides human authority between at least three institutions: the family, the church, and the state. Their authority or power comes from God and is limited by Scripture. The church must defer to the state in matters of state jurisdiction but cannot defer to the state in matters of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, particularly the preaching of the gospel and the exercise...

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14 Mar 2018 Who holds the keys to the kingdom of heaven? Part 1 of 3

An ARPA Three-Part series on Church and State in Canada By John Sikkema and André Schutten The back story… A few years ago, a man named Randy Wall was “disfellowshipped” from the Highwood Congregation of Jehovah Witnesses in Calgary. The elders deemed Wall “insufficiently repentant” for drunkenness and verbal abuse of his wife. Mr. Wall didn’t think this was fair. Wall was a real estate agent and about half of Wall’s customers were Witnesses. But after he was disfellowshipped, they refused to do business with him. So he took the Congregation to court,...

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27 Feb 2018 Manitoba court insists Christian marriage commissioner marry same-sex couples

The highest court in Manitoba has issued a ruling in a case involving same-sex marriage. The court concluded that civil marriage commissioners have no constitutional recourse if the provincial government forces them to perform same-sex ceremonies. The case involves a man named Kevin Kisilowsky, who works with street people and gangs in downtown Winnipeg as part of a street ministry. However, Kisilowsky is not ordained as a pastor. Jay Cameron with the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, Kisilowsky’s lawyer, says in the course of this ministry, Kisilowsky would encounter people who –...

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27 Feb 2018 LN feature: Manitoba Court of Appeal: Christian Marriage Commissioners Must Solemnize LGBT Weddings

Jay Cameron, Lawyer for the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms The highest court in Manitoba has issued a ruling in a case involving same-sex marriage. Specifically, the case centred on whether civil marriage commissioners have a constitutional right to refuse to perform same-sex ceremonies. The Manitoba Court of Appeal says they don’t. Kevin Kisilowsky had taken the Manitoba government to court after he was ordered to give up his commission because he refused to perform same sex ceremonies. Mr. Kisilowsky was represented in court by lawyer Jay Cameron from the Justice Centre...

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14 Nov 2017 Protecting the grizzly bear spirit?

Derek Ross, Executive Director of Christian Legal Fellowship One of the intervenors in a recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling on freedom of religion says even though his side lost the case, there are some positives to be drawn from the final ruling. This is about the Ktunaxa decision, which we told you about last week. The case centred on claims that the object of native spirituality for the Ktunaxa Indian band in BC should be protected by the Charter. The object of that faith is the "Grizzly Bear Spirit", which...

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