Images and reports from Ottawa, the capital city of Canada have shocked the world over the past several days as an overwhelming show of police force cracked down on protestors against lockdowns and mandates in that country.
A woman with a walker was toppled and trampled by a police officer on horseback and reportedly died of her injuries at the hospital.
Truck windows were smashed, and protestors were dispersed with tear gas and horses.
By one count, over 150 arrests were made in relation to a declaration of national emergency by the government of Justin Trudeau.
An undetermined number of bank accounts and crypto wallets have been frozen at the Canadian government’s order to halt further support for truck drivers and other citizens tired of their liberties being indefinitely suspended.
Who could have predicted that the mild-mannered people of northern North America would be so dispensed with when a more peaceful resolution could have been accomplished?
As it seems to me, all that was needed was listening to their complaints and their cry for help, meeting with them in a way that restored a measure of the dignity which they feel has been lost over the past two years as they have seen their lives and livelihoods indefinitely suspended.
Yet Trudeau preferred smearing the demonstrators as science-denying, sexist, misogynistic Nazis, defiantly announcing early on that he only meets with protestors whose politics he agrees with – like Black Lives Matter.
If I can translate, Trudeau only meets with protestors who want more communism. He doesn’t meet with protestors, however peaceful, who want more freedom.
The thoughtful Christian should wonder what the duty of God’s people is in such a circumstance, whether to continue objecting when their reputation and peace will be so thoroughly abused in response.
Should we submit uncritically, without a whimper or objection, even to tyranny and totalitarianism?
Should we placidly endure the loss of our incomes and ability to provide for our families, or when our neighbors have lost their ability to provide – or even to speak freely, or to congregate in churches, or to choose what is injected into their bodies?
I think at least part of the test should be how we read Romans 13, where the Apostle Paul writes to the church in the capital city of the Roman empire whose government would ultimately take his life and those of so many other saints.
When Paul wrote what he did about submission, we too often miss that he also outlined the responsibility of the governing authority as God’s minister.
Instituted by God, civil authority has a two-fold purpose as an expression of common grace. For one, Paul says those who do good should be rewarded. For another, those who do evil should be punished.
What is the role of ministers of the gospel when those who do good are being punished and those who do evil are being rewarded by a government?
Is the role of the Christian not to preach repentance? Is it not to rescue those who are being led away to the slaughter?
The cure should not be worse than the disease. And those who dare say as much do well. Arguing forcefully because their patience runs out waiting with diminishing hope for their government to see reason, they should not be further abused in response.
From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is filled with allusions to authority and submission.
Wives are told to submit to their husbands. Children are commanded to obey their parents. Citizens are admonished to submit themselves to their civil authorities.
Yet first and foremost, we are commanded to obey God’s authority as Creator and righteous Judge. Further, we are charged to fear only God and not men – who can only kill the body and then have nothing more they can do to us.
And here is my test for Christian laypeople and clergy who want only to talk of the Christian’s duty to submit to authority, yet are conspicuously, maybe even conveniently silent beyond that.
What do we tell a Christian wife who is being abused by her husband? And what do we tell a Christian child who is being abused by their parent?
Do we only tell the abused person to submit more fully and truly? Do we say nothing to the one abusing their position of power and authority?
If we have two different sets of answers – one for domestic violence in the context of marriage and parenting, another for repression of a citizenry in the context of civil authority – I dare say we are guilty of showing partiality as we hold to the faith, and ourselves have cause to repent of serving as unjust judges.
In this episode:
- “Why would anyone keep their money in a Canadian bank after this?” – NTB Staff at Not the Bee, Feb. 18, 2022
- “Things just keep getting more fasci-tastic in Canada as Ottawa police threaten the media with arrest if found in “areas undergoing enforcement” – PlanetMoron at Not the Bee, Feb. 18, 2022
- Amusing Trudeau Headlines – The Babylon Bee
- ‘Freedom Convoy Organizer Daniel Bulford Peacefully Turns Himself In, Arrested By Police’ – Tim Meads at The Daily Wire, Feb. 18, 2022
- ‘Religious Liberty and Inalienable Rights: American public policy and human dignity’ – Joseph Crampton, Feb. 18, 2022
- ‘Run’ – AWOLNATION
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