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Seven Ways Churches Can Engage (Unfair) Governing Authorities

How should Christians and their churches engage when they believe that governing authorities are treating them unfairly? For Christians ordered to suspend worship services under public health orders, there are two seemingly competing divine mandates: The church must assemble (see Hebrews 10:25); and The governing authorities must be obeyed (Romans 13:1). In a free and democratic society like Canada, these principles rarely come into true conflict. We are unused to being in this position. Jesus advised his disciples that in the world they must be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Here are some suggested steps to...

Two Reasons Why the Bible Tells Us to Obey Authorities 

Scripture tells us to honour the emperor (1 Pet 2:13), to submit to authorities (Rom 13:1), and to do good to all people (Gal 6:10). This represents the Bible’s basic stance on our relationship to authority. The Old Testament too confirms the rightness of submitting to proper authorities through its narratives. Throughout Scripture, God also calls us to what is good and right (Deut 6:18; 1 Pet 2:12). So if someone in authority tells us to deny Jesus or to act wickedly, we have to say, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Hence, the martyrs died at...

Obeying Rulers with the Reformed Tradition

The Covid-19 pandemic has been disastrous for many people, especially those who have lost their lives, loved ones, or their jobs. Added to these tangible losses, friends, neighbours, families, and even churches have been divided over the measures various governments have taken to deal with the virus’ spread. Masks are certainly an annoyance. For those who have health problems or those who are required to work for long hours with one on their face, they are worse. Social distancing measures can also be difficult and are especially hard during holidays. This will be the first Christmas in my entire life...

Don’t Hope in 2021

2020 has been an extraordinary year. Extraordinarily difficult. Extraordinarily sad. Extraordinarily disappointing. Whether you’re a senior, employer, pastor, parent, waitress, nurse, student, or child, life as we knew it in February of this year has been turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Loved ones have died, jobs have been lost, relationships have been strained, investments have been ruined, stress has been heightened, vacations have been canceled, and routines have been upended. We are all ready for a return to normalcy. Over the past few months, I’ve noticed this desire expressed in a predictable refrain: “We just need this year...

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