Monday, July 30, 2007

Ministry Closer to Home

I received an anonymous letter today from one of our supporters today saying that they have decided not to support us this month. This letter disappointed me on a couple of levels. First, I have a problem taking anonymous letters seriously in the first place. I believe that if you have an opinion that you want others to take seriously, you should at least have the courage to identify yourself. It's easy to have convictions if you don't have to stand up for them.

Second, the reason why this supporter decided not to support us this week had to do with the fact that we mentioned in our July newsletter that we were financially helping Kevin Kisilowsky with his legal expenses though our Legal Defense Fund. Kevin is fighting the Manitoba government's order for all marriage commissioners to perform same-sex marriages or surrender their marriage commission license. He refuses to do so because of his Christian convictions, which we support. The government has no right to order Christian marriage commissioners to perform ceremonies that are contrary to their beliefs.

Most of our supporters would agree that this is a worthwhile cause. The amount that we are supporting him to is only a tiny percentage of our overall budget (less than .5%). We believe that to ignore cases like this in our own country would be a violation of our purposes as an organization. Our mission is to glorify God by being Canada's reliable source of information and support for persecuted Christians around the world (not everywhere but in Canada and not only for Christians in the developing world who are poor). If we want to continue to experience religious liberty here in Canada, we need to fight cases like what Kevin is facing. And he should not have to face it alone!

Unfortunately, our anonymous friend thinks that Kevin should go into debt and borrow money in order to fight this case and that our support should only go to help poor Christians in other countries. Hence, his check will go to support World Vision this month.

Well, I make no apologies for what we are doing here. If this were a symptom of our losing focus on the world and starting to navel gaze on our own problems here in Canada, I would take this letter more seriously. But given our priorities and the kinds of projects that we are supporting around the world, I believe that we are in no present danger of doing this.

1 comment:

Arnau said...

I feel for you. There had been indications in South Africa where I am also a marriage commissioner that the same may be expected from us. Fortunately it seems now that marriage commissioners will not be forced to do anything against their own conviction. As for myself, I decided that, should this be enforced, that I would surrended my marriage commission license.