Thursday, June 26, 2008

Viewing Canada Through the Lens of Ecclesiastes

Today as I read from Ecclesiastes 3 (yes, some do read Ecclesiastes devotionally), I was reminded that in the places where judgment and justice ought to be found, wickedness, instead, is there (verse 16). As I look at recent court and human right commissions rulings here in Canada, there is little doubt in my mind that these words are just as relevant for us as they were in the day in which they were originally written. It is almost enough to cause someone to despair. Today, I spoke to one of our supporters on the telephone whose voice contained a certain tone of despondency as she expressed her concerns for where she saw Canada heading. I understand that feeling.

Of course, I know that we are not as bad as most of the world today. I am not naïve, especially not witnessing what I have witnessed in the many countries that I have visited. But we are not nearly the country that we were even ten years ago, when it comes to certain rights and freedoms. Religious freedom is increasingly being privatized and marginalized. As gays and lesbians leave the closet, they are shoving Bible-believing Christians into it, telling us to keep our faith to ourselves. Freedom of speech is no longer seen as inviolable; now it can be subject to restrictions and censor if it can be shown that someone might possibly be offended or hurt by what we say. Human rights commissions are now the instruments of restricting our rights rather than defending them.

There is hope, of course. Verse 17 of Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us that God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work. It may not be the timing we might desire; who wouldn't like to see things fixed up in our own lifetime. The author of Ecclesiastes is skeptical that this can really happen and he is right. In this fallen world, seeking for justice is usually an exercise in chasing after the wind; an exercise in vanity.


Jo G said...

I think increasingly, as we are in what was once a truly free country where others came to be able to practice their religious beliefts, especially as Christians, are finding a huge amount of despairing and despondency. There is nowhere left in the world to run to - except to our Heavenly Father.

As a Christian in a so-called 'free'society - which is using freedom only to gain interest in vices to bring itself back to slaevery - I find it difficult to differentiate between the actions of Christ, who spoke very little in his defence, and the 'time to war and time for peace'. How are we as Christians supposed to live? How is our voice supposed to be heard? I think there is where half our dilemma lies.

Joanne G

suzanna meyer said...

The churches surely have an educational role to play here.It is difficult to speak up as one lonely person but and i don't believe that that is always the right way.In Acts 4 Peter and John were jailedand called before the Jewish leaders.They were told not to speak in the name of Jesus.They answered that they would obey God before man.Then the congregation to whom they reported were united in prayer.They recognised that governments would fight against the Lord and his Messiah and they prayed for "great boldness in preaching" and for miracles and healing power.I think we should study these guidelines instead of sitting in a safe corner,wring our hands and bemoan the decay around us.Let us ask for strengs,realise that we are gifted with the Holy Spirit and be ready for battle,together.