RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AT THE CROSSROADS

Crossroads Christian Communications that produces the long running 100 Huntley Street television program has been under intense scrutiny recently.  Crossroads has received a $544,813 grant from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to build wells and dig latrines in the African country of Uganda.  (Crossroads claims they have invested $35 million in relief work worldwide with $3.2 in Uganda) None of this is particularly newsworthy as this is the sort of thing Canada does all the time.  Governments are not able or equipped to do foreign relief work themselves and therefore funds are granted to NGO’s (non-government organizations) that are on location doing the actual work.  This story exploded when gay activist freelance journalist Justin Ling did a story for the Globe and Mail pointing out that Crossroad’s holds a ‘radical’ religious position on sexuality that believes homosexuality (among other sins) is a perversion.  Apparently this was earth shattering news.  Who would have thought that there were Christians who believed such things?  Then the story really got legs was when the connection was made between between Crossroad’s position on homosexuality and the Ugandan government’s position.  Uganda is considering legislation that would impose the death penalty for homosexuality.  Now follow the bouncing ball;  Crossroads is digging wells in Uganda… the Ugandan government wants to kill homosexuals… Crossroads believes homosexuality is a sin… the Canadian government is giving Crossroads money to build the wells… therefore Canadian government is funding the killing of homosexuals in Uganda!

The leap in logic is disingenuous at best and blatantly dishonest at worst.  There would not be a single Evangelical church in Canada that would support the views of the Ugandan government on this issue.  The great irony in this story is that we are the ones doing the good works of love and compassion around the world, yet we are ones being flamed as haters and bigots.  It is confounding to say the least.  Evangelicals spend more money in that 3rd world than perhaps everybody else combined.   Who is taking care of the AIDS orphans in Africa?  It is not the gay rights activists.  They aren’t doing one single thing.  It is the  Evangelical church, the ones that supposedly hate gays.  Who is working to free the 2 million people around the world that have been sold into human slavery?  It is the Evangelical church.  Most people aren’t even aware that there are more enslaved humans today than at any time in history.  And the bulk of this travesty is in Africa.  Have we already forgotten that the Nobel Peace Prize winning champion of  the 1960’s human rights movement Martin Luther King Jr was an Evangelical minister?  Nobody is more committed to fundamental human rights today than Evangelical christians.

I am getting tired of the hypocrisy and stupidity from our critics.  This week NPD leader Thomas Mulcair waded into the fray.  In an outraged interview he said, “We don’t understand how the Conservatives can … subsidize a group in Uganda whose views are ‘identical’ to those of the Ugandan government.”  (Remember the bouncing ball we followed earlier)  He then added, “…these types of evangelical groups with vision that goes completely against not only Canadian values, but Canadian law.”  I sincerely wonder what planet Mr Mulcair is from.  The Christian church has regarded homosexuality a sin for 2000 years.  He himself is a Roman Catholic.  Why has he not lashed out against his own faith?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:  “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”  The level of hypocrisy is nothing short of staggering.  

Secondly, Mr Mulcair is a lawyer.  He should know that holding the view that homosexuality is sin is NOT “against Canadian law”.  The Charter of Rights and Freedoms holds the freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, freedom of belief and freedom of expression as the first of the fundamental Canadian human rights.

The third point, and just as disturbing, is calling Evangelical values un-Canadian.  Mr. Mulcair seems to have forgotten the roots of his own party.  Tommy Douglas, the very first leader of the NPD, was an Evangelical (Baptist) minister and the founder of our beloved medicare system.  It really doesn’t get more Canadian than that.  In 2004 the CBC named Tommy Douglas the Greatest Canadian of all time.  The statements that we have been hearing in the last week would never be said of Jews or Muslims or Catholics in today’s day and age, even though their position is essentially identical to that of Evangelical churches in Canada.  I would think a MP that would say the same things of, let’s say Muslims, would be forced to resign from politics.  If you have 15 minutes to spare you need to hear Ezra Levant’s commentary on this story.  It is brilliantly done.  By the way Ezra is Jewish.

HOLY HYPOCRITES: Click here to watch

I have said it many times before, it is now open season on Evangelical christians?  We are the only religious group that you can openly criticize without any fear of reprisal.  The political and cultural winds are blowing against us.  We are being increasingly criticized, marginalized and manipulated into abandoning our biblical world view.  Those of us that are not willing to yield are coming under increased scrutiny.  If there are now already politicians that think that we are breaking Canadian law, then it stands to reason that the day may come where we will end up in jail for espousing our beliefs.  If the winds do not change soon, this could be the end of religious freedom in Canada.  For the record, I would rather go to jail than compromise my commitment to the Word of God.  Even that would not shut me up.  I would just swap my TV ministry for a prison ministry.  I do not relish the thought, but that is exactly what the Apostle Paul faced during much of his ministry.  He was continually thrown in jail for preaching the gospel.

I think the only thing that will change that trajectory is a wholesale spiritual revival in Canada.  God could bring that to pass with the snap off His fingers.  In the meantime however, religious freedom is at the crossroads.

 

 

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