2020 & Beyond
Running with Endurance
As you are probably aware, record numbers of people voted for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC). Many had never ventured out to join a political party before and those we have spoken with felt this to be a very positive experience. All four candidates, including Peter McKay, did well.
For those who threw their hat in for support of Leslyn Lewis or Derek Sloan, don't be discouraged that there had not been a clear victory for either of these candidates. Rather, be encouraged that the results of Sunday's vote have a very positive aspect in that they demonstrate that the social conservatives continue to have a significant voice within the CPC. Even our national media expressed their surprise by just how well Leslyn did and political strategists are seeing her as one to watch in the future as she is encouraged to run in the next election.
Both Leslyn Lewis and M.P. Derek Sloan, did well in presenting plans to bring changes to issues which are important to Canadians. Leslyn also underlined the importance of restricting access to abortion; to re-establish an action plan to combat human trafficking; and stopping an expansion of new categories for medically assisted death. In presenting these values, both Leslyn Lewis and Derek Sloan presented incremental steps to help Canadians become aware of another viewpoint, or even remind Canadians of the of values that were at one time considered normal.
In case you didn't know, many MPs, Senators, and Staffers who hold to these values are to be found in each of our federal political parties. They embrace a personal faith in Jesus Christ and need our prayers for the grace to endure. Many find themselves in an arena of great opposition as they labour for righteous decisions in government.
For us as praying and supportive believers, we also need to change our thinking from expecting results 'yesteryear' to a more long-term strategy which requires great patient endurance realizing that there is much more work ahead of us and there are many oppositions.
Alberta's premier and known social conservative Jason Kenney publicly supported Erin O'Toole, and pro-life Alberta MP Garnett Genuis was among the 38 MPs who endorsed him. With the support of individuals like our former Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, O'Toole will hopefully come up with a strong economic recovery plan which will include further development of our national resources to tackle our growing national debt. He is also very focused on uniting the Conservative Party across our nation.
Three years ago, Erin O'Toole shared the platform with me at a Civic Prayer Breakfast held in Port Perry Ontario. As a practicing Catholic, we found Mr. O'Toole has held many values that any Christian would endorse: Freedom of Religion and he has historically stood against the MAID (Medical Assistance in Dying) bill. However, in answer to an interview (2020) it appears now he would agree with a person ending their life if there was no chance that they would survive the illness. It has been made public knowledge that O'Toole would take a pro-choice stand on abortion and would likely support the proposed Conversion Therapy legislation and same sex marriage.
I felt that Erin O'Toole's acceptance speech was well thought out in presenting the CPC in a very positive light. One of the strengths of his speech was the inclusivity of all Canadians:
"I believe that whether you are black, white, brown or from any race or creed, whether you are LGBT or straight, whether you are an Indigenous Canadian or have joined the Canadian family three weeks ago or three generations ago,"
"Whether you're doing well or barely getting by. Whether you worship on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or not at all ... you are an important part of Canada and you have a home in the Conservative Party of Canada."
Christians in a Foreign Land
Here's a question for you: can a Christian support a politician who doesn't hold to Christian values? Some would say that we should just bow out of any future political involvement when it has become so blatantly against our Christian values. What do you think? My thoughts go to Israel in exile, and to Daniel, whom God raised up to bless his people. This was not done with stubborn refusal to cooperate with the Babylonian oppressors, but through a wise strategy of helping the ruler and at the same time, through earnest prayer and enduring obedience in what Daniel believed about God.
We have been called out of darkness into the light and therefore, we now find ourselves in a minority position. We are told that our faith is a private matter and should be kept that way. Yet, our Christianity is a 'go and tell' faith and therefore we find ourselves in a place of tension for we know we need to do all we can to reach out to the lost world we find ourselves in. Would our best foot forward be one of only open opposition / criticism or would our eternal purpose be better served in proposing a better way and by reaching out in love to build relationships and credibility? This can be done without compromising our faith; to borrow a line from an interview with Leslyn Lewis:
"To unite the country, we have to be able to sit across the table from people who don't think like us and have strong conversations about where our country needs to go for everybody to benefit."
When it comes to our government today, our values aside, (but not silent), we need to do all we can to dialogue and pray that our government would make decisive steps in dealing with our massive debt; guard sovereignty against any idea of globalization; correct any loss of foundational and constitutional freedoms; and seek create a greater degree of accountability to the people of our nation.
Joining with all those who have gone before us, we as Canadian Christians, need to run with endurance the race that is set before us looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1,2. This my friends, is a life-long call.
In closing, even though these two highlighted candidates did not win the leadership race, MP Derek Sloan has declared that he will never stop championing family values (endurance), and Leslyn Lewis has announced that she will seek a seat in the next federal election, (endurance).
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise.
We hope to bring to you a series of blogs exploring this theme of what it means to endure as Canadian Christians today. My prayer is for God to encourage you with endurance in meaningful prayer. That intimacy with God, our prayerfulness may result in righteous acts and bold faith in our communities and thousands of lost souls coming to salvation in Jesus Christ.