A NOT-SO GRADUAL EROSION OF THE IDEA OF THE TRANSCENDENCE OF GOD
By Rob Parker
Founding Director of National House of Prayer
Of concern to any nation is that we would begin to see an erosion of accountability towards a transcendent God. By transcendent, I mean one who is above and distinct from the world; who is omniscient, (or all-knowing) to his creation and of whom we must all answer to. This very aspect of an all-knowing God, whom we are accountable to is at the very core of a nation leaving historical Christianity and running towards a perceived freedom in a world shaped by secularism. The Psalmist wrote of this in Psalm 2; notice verse 3: “let us tear off their chains and throw their ropes off of us.” (CSB)
I’m sure we could all quote many examples of how Canada is on a mad-dash towards increased secularism and a rapid turning away from any hint of a historical Christian plumb-line of morality. This trend has been defended in the name of multi-culturalism and the respect for the diversity and tolerance for people of all faiths.
Allow me to mention one small example of this erosion which happened at the Remembrance Day Service this year. To put it into context, over the last number of years, we have personally attended the National Remembrance Day Memorial Service in Ottawa and have heard many prayers by military Chaplains General. Often, this prayer was prefaced by “to pray to the God of your choosing”, which I feel is very respectful for peoples of other faiths. After making that statement, one Chaplain General actually went on to say that he chose to pray in the name of his Lord, Jesus Christ, (I was very blessed with his boldness). The reason I say this is that it is a known fact that any public mention of a Christian God today is being shunned in many official circles.
This year, the French speaking Chaplain General exhorted people in the respect of beliefs and individual consciences to take the time to reflect... We were told that we are to draw strength from remembering and oppose anything that opposes inclusion within our society. This was followed by a second Chaplain General, again, no mention of God.
Were these Chaplains Generals disciplined to be ‘woke’ in their addresses and not mention anything of God in their “prayers” (prayers in quotation marks because personally I cannot say that their words were directed towards God). Removing any mention of ‘God’ assumes that peoples of other faiths would prefer that as well which I have a difficult time believing. In fact, the majority of individuals of other faiths that I have spoken to like the fact that Canada has historical roots as a Christian nation.
Removing any mention of God seeks to put to death any notion of God. When we lose this accountability to a transcendent God, anything goes, and our society will become a very different, unsafe and unstable place. Our forefathers fought and died for our freedoms which are becoming threatened and no longer tolerated in a secular society.
Don’t we need to remind ourselves that our freedoms are established through Judaeo Christian roots that underline at the core of any civilization the truth of an individual’s free will? Even a world-renowned atheist, Marcello Pera, along with a group of other atheists, have backed the truth that only when Christianity is the assumed belief oF culture, do we have the freedom to believe, or not believe, as we choose. (See Why Should We Call Ourselves Christians by Marcello Pera, and ‘Without Roots’ by former Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger, and Marcello Pera).
Removing any mention of God in public prayer begins to reflect a nation whose ‘god’ is their secularism which soon becomes the religion of that nation. That religion is being taught to our children with complete disregard for a family’s personal values and religious beliefs. One provincial judge was so bold to state that the ideology of a particular province trumps a person’s religious convictions. God help us! I believe we need to ask ourselves as Christians, are we witnessing a secularization of Canada because of our own silence? Is there a lack of voices of testifying to the transforming work of the Gospel in that I was once lost but now am found? Has the love of God as seen in the Gospel been delegated to within four walls on a Sunday morning, supported by a secular sentiment to keep your religion personal and private? Is society running hell-bent as a ‘crooked generation’ because the yardstick of what is ‘straight’, what is good and upright, has not been properly presented to them? We need to think about this. Some might think that my reaction to no mention of God by our Chaplain Generals is an over-reaction. Well, in one sense, I hope you’re correct, but I don’t believe so.
By the way: For those who were watching the Remembrance Day Service, you would have noticed that the only mention of ‘God’ was by a Jewish Rabbi Idan Scher, nephew of the late Rabbi Boca who regularly spoke at this event. The Jewish people know what it is to stand-up to defend their faith and this Rabbi was unafraid to mention God. Quoting from Rabbi Boca’s last speech he went on to say,
“God bless our veterans. God bless our troops. God Bless all those who stand on guard. God bless all champions of peace, safety, security and tranquility. God bless Canada!”