I read an interesting article the other day that has calmed my fears somewhat in regards to Justin Trudeau's recent attack on Christians. It reminded me that even people like Trudeau who think they are in control - really are not. God has the final say, and way before Justin came into the world, God had already set his plans in motion. Much like he did with King Nebuchadnezzar (see Daniel).
For those of you who do not know what I am referring to, let me get you up to speed. In Canada, we have a government-funded summer jobs program that is supposed to help local small businesses, non-profit, and faith-based organizations by providing wage subsidies to create summer jobs for secondary and post-secondary students. We have had this program for years. When I was a teenager, I got a job through that program, and that was over 40 years ago. Everything seemed to be running smoothly. Students got jobs and businesses, non-profits and churches were able to afford to pay them because of the extra funding. But this year, Justin has decided to attack anyone who doesn't hold the same beliefs he does in regards to abortion. Simply put, if you are against abortion, you can't have any government funding.
The new application for the Canada Jobs Grant requires that businesses or organizations applying must respect the core mandate of "reproductive rights" along with other human rights. Unless that "attestation" is signed, the online application cannot be submitted. In other words, part of the core mandate of your business or church must be in support of abortion. If you don't believe that abortion is right, because of religious or even personal beliefs, don't bother applying.
That's right. We have a dictator here in Canada who is telling all faith-based organizations and churches that if they don't agree with his perspective on abortion and a woman's right to choose, then they can't have any government funding. The absurdity of this line of reasoning is the organizations and businesses Justin is attacking, deal with compassion for the poor and the elderly. Feeding and clothing the homeless, or bringing help to those with addictions. None of which has anything to do with abortion!
When I was a student in this program, I worked in a Day Care Centre. I took care of babies and little children until their parents came to get them. But according to Trudeau, those babies and children will not have that extra care now if the Day Care centre doesn't have something in its core mandate that deals with abortion. Why in the world would a Day Care Centre have that as part of its mandate?
This is dangerous ground because what is the next step after this? Denial of pensions or medical care if I don't tow the party line? Trudeau says he is doing this in the name of "inclusion" and "tolerance," but to those of us who don't share his beliefs, his words sound more like those of an unstable dictator like Kim Jong Un.
Due to Trudeau's intolerance, disrespect and exclusionary stance for those with differing beliefs than his, the poor, homeless and those with drug addictions will suffer the most. Think about organizations whose core mandates are founded on Christian principles like The Salvation Army and Mission Services who provide food, shelter and clothing to those in need.
Stephen Wile, CEO of the Christian aid organization The Mustard Seed, had this to say to the Calgary Herald, "The Mustard Seed doesn't take a position on abortion, but with the government making this a requirement for funding, it's trying to force us from a neutral position to an affirmative position on abortion, and we're not prepared to do that," said Wile from his Calgary office.
"We're not willing to support the government's position in order to get the funds. It's just not worth it for us."
"It seems," added Wile, "like the government is saying, 'The issue of where you stand on abortion is more important than the work you do and the people you serve,' and that's really sad. At the core of who we are, we're really against fear and hate, and unfortunately, the government is taking a position that instead of decelerating division, it's accelerating it."
Not only is this a clear attack on Christians and people of conscience in general, it is also a violation of our Fundamental Freedoms in our Canadian Charter of Rights. Which says and I quote:
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: (a) freedom of conscience and religion; (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication; (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and (d) freedom of association.
Getting back to that article I read and why I am not afraid of intolerant people like Trudeau. Eight words in the article encouraged me and they were:
Even bad leaders have a mandate from God.
They may not know it. But in their arrogance, they are probably like King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who thought it was by his power and might that he was a great king (Daniel 4:28-33). He suffered for his arrogance.
Every world leader today may falsely believe that they are actually in control. They would be wrong. God often uses those in power for His means.
As Christians, we know the truth, and we know things are going to get worse for us. This is a fact! We are now "living in the days of Noah" (Matthew 24:37), but we must not be discouraged because God has a plan, and it has been unfolding since time began.
Keep your eyes on the heavens. Be encouraged. Jesus is coming soon!