Those of you have read some of my previous articles over the last few months or have seen our messages online will not find the news coming out of Canada (and from other supposedly freedom loving democracies such as Australia and New Zealand) surprising. We have been talking about the subject throughout the last two years. Governments and leaders were making excessive demands to the point of issuing threats, all in the name of stopping the Coronavirus. “After all,” the politicians pontificated, “we need to follow the science!” Turns out, it had nothing to do with science and everything to do with the abuse of power. Apparently, the biggest shock for everyone today is that there was finally a revolt against this abuse, and in Canada of all places, and against its famously liberal prime minister, Justin Trudeau.
“Liberals” are supposed to be the “good guys” according to the mainstream press and most of the entertainment industry. They obviously are not “in the pocket of big business,” and “care about the minority groups such as the LGBTQ… and BLM”. Liberal men are male feminists and liberal women (like Jacinda Ardern, the PM of New Zealand and very much a COVID dictator) are “inspired trailblazers” who can do no wrong. But then the world saw what happened in “liberal run” Canada that so many likeminded people in the United States would like to run to if conservatives like Donald Trump come into power-an assertion such people may want to rethink if they have been paying attention.
Justin Trudeau is the paramount leader for the leftists in western democracies. The handsome, “demure” son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Justin Trudeau is outspokenly “Woke” to such a point that one would assume that he is living in some kind a bizarre world where everything is happening in reverse. For some odd reason that only he and the majority of his Liberal party understands, he decided to strengthen the mask and vaccine mandates in a nation that has over 90% of its population inoculated against COVID-19. This time, the direct effect was toward the truckers through whom two-thirds of the Canadian economy moves within that nation and into the United States, valued at over $511 billion. In the last two years, the COVID regulations with regards to the truckers was minuscule in that they were considered essential workers.
This is not to say that Canada was in any way lenient. In every other aspect and every other facet of life in that nation, the COVID rules were adamantine. And the majority of Canadians tolerated such excessive regulations in the name of annihilating the “China virus.” But then some churches began to stir in the heartland, questioning why the regulations were in place as the disease began to wane and more knowledge about it began to be revealed. Other parts of the world were not making demands of their people to take the vaccines or forcing people to lose their freedoms and livelihoods, but in “freedom loving” nations like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and in parts of the United States the excesses of government incursions on previously taken for granted liberties and freedoms seemed to be a standard way of life for the future. That suspicion became a bona fide threat when Canadian churches began to see police officers in riot gear coming into their churches to stop services. Pastor Artur Pawlowski and his brother David were arrested for having an outdoor service in Calgary (in the province of Alberta), and later they were arrested again for being a part of protests outside the home of the health minister of Alberta. There were about 50 people there, but only these two were arrested. There should have been hundreds or thousands there with this small group of demonstrators, but as it happens so often in democracies of the world, most of the people will believe in the “good intentions” of people in power without a second thought; after all, “everything will be back to normal soon.” Two years later, we keep hearing from these officials that THIS IS THE NEW NORMAL.
What is normal now?
The vaccine and mask mandates were only the start. Trudeau and his Liberal government became increasingly autocratic. Any form of questioning the government’s mandates and edicts was treated as dissent worthy of ostracism and then incarceration. Ninety percent of Canada has been vaccinated and yet the government said that anyone who refused the vaccine, had second thoughts about it, expressed hesitations about taking another dose or booster, they were now treated as persona non grata, as if they (that small 5 to 10%) would cause the ruin and oblivion of nation. That 5 to 10% were to be driven out of society, from their jobs, from schools and colleges. There was no mercy or judgement; even children were treated with contempt if they “played the rebel” in this subject. When the truck drivers became the object of the government’s next round of rules and regulations, the “proverbial line” was crossed by the Trudeau government. They did not expect that the truckers would react by driving from every end of Canada to the capital city of Ottawa, to the Parliament itself to express their grievances. The numbers swelled to the tens of thousands, and then to the hundreds of thousand, and during the coldest time of winter. The convoy stretched for miles.
The organizers of the convoy purposely planned that there would be no acts of violence or destruction perpetrated by them on the government or the police or on anyone property or persons. They would protest peacefully, as was their right, as Canadian citizens. This was not going to be a scenario of leftist anarchy like the BLM protests of 2020. As in any large scale protests, any number of people or groups can join whose intentions conflict with those of the organizers. But at the end of the day, there were very little, if any, acts of violence or destruction. Rather, many church groups had the opportunity to evangelize and serve the truckers. What happened next both stunned the world.
Canadians of all races were part of this ‘Freedom Convoy,’ and yet the Liberal government, and Prime Minister Trudeau in particular, and the media (which is almost 100% subservient to the Liberal party, no better than a propaganda ministry) called the protestors “terrorists,” “white nationalists,” “Trump supporters” (only Liberals could think that this term is a pejorative), “insurrectionists.” Prime Minister Trudeau, with great drama, was taken along with his family to security quarters, as if Canada was under “imminent threat” of a government overthrow by nefarious groups. It was laughable! But then the threats started to come from the government and then it was no longer funny.
Threats, imposition, and abuses were thrown at protestors who posed no danger of violence, who committed no acts of violence, who under Canadian Law had every right to be heard as long as they were not destructive. The kind of threats that were being hurled were only heard of in authoritarian countries and never in North America. Personal information was being encroached and subject to abuse by the government and government proxies. Bank accounts were frozen, not just of the truckers but also anyone who gave online to their cause; mind you, these kinds of donations are not illegal. Trudeau and his government just decided to declare them illegal, whether the law said so or not. And he trusted the Canadian press to make all of this palatable to the general public, as well as to the rest of the world, an endeavor that was a colossal failure.
Gasoline was denied the truckers despite their ability to pay for it, and this in the peak of winter. Yet the truckers would not be moved from Ottawa, or from bridges in which traffic runs between Canada and the United States. Increasingly crazed, Prime Minister Trudeau decided to declare a nationwide State of Emergency, the first time such a declaration was issued in North America. That was the last straw which broke the “camel’s back.” World leaders even reacted, and in some cases rebuked Trudeau for his overreach (to put it mildly).
I can only hope that the people of Canada, and the rest of the world, will open their eyes and understand that authoritarianism is possible in any form of government, be it called Fascist, Communist, Liberal or Conservative. In fact, I would say that the arguments based on those terms, and the divisions that are caused by them miss the central problem involved. The problem we face is the angst between those who are For God and those who are Anti-God. In the terminology of two hundred years ago, the terms are ‘Christian’ and ‘Infidel’. Unfortunately for the Christian world, many who call themselves ‘Christian’ are some of the worst God-haters and deserve to be categorized as “Infidels.”
The government of Canada and social media/tech giants, and the media in that nation, did not have a second thought about freezing bank accounts, silencing social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook, stopping money transfer operations (Go Fund me) and taking an extreme biased stance to the point of actually celebrating being silenced (the Canadian media) against the Freedom Convoy despite the fact that they for the most part were completely peaceful and law abiding. But they were called “terrorists” and “insurrectionists” without any proof of either charge except the fact that they were present in gigantic numbers. Yet Prime Minister Trudeau had no problem with leftists and infidels of every stripe. Why is this?
It is a problem that reveals itself in our use of language. Think about all the terms that we use in politics. The Democrat Party in the United States traces its beginning to the time of Thomas Jefferson where the group was called “Democrat-Republicans.” They were (at that time) pro-states’ rights and against big, centralized government. Unfortunately for them, the South where the Democrats were prevalent was pro-Slavery, a moral issue that many would not be parted with except by the force of the bayonet and not the Bible (much like Israel story in the Bible). The Republican Party traces its origin to the time of President Abraham Lincoln (the first Republican President) and which very much stood with the idea of a united group of states with a strong central government (the only way that was possible) and which party was anti-Slavery, in other words had the moral high ground. It has been pointed out by many that the Lincoln administration took steps and decisions that many conservatives would balk at today. But it was the period of the Civil War, the only time in the Western world where a nation experienced the phenomenon of total war and its frightening consequences.
That time has passed. The difference today is that the respect toward the preacher in the church as a voice of the moral authority of Scripture has disappeared. Both the Republican and Democrat political parties up to about 50 years ago respected the Church institutions and preachers as the Voice of God on Earth, and whether or not they committed themselves to any beliefs or subscribed to the moral standards preached from the pulpit, they always bowed the head in dreadful respect toward God. The foremost example of this was seen in the First Continental Congress when Pastor Jacob Duche of Christ Church (an Anglican Church) was invited to pray at the opening session. He was an Anglican preacher and technically a Loyalist to the King of England in the times leading into the American Revolutionary War, and yet he was invited by the Congress, which included such men John Adams, Samuel Adams, George Washington and Patrick Henry, to give the invocation. Setting aside any political considerations, Reverend Duche prayed a prayer that, according to John Adams, had a profound effect on all the delegates present so that some were moved to tears. (That prayer would not be tolerated in today in Congress; it’s too Biblically based! Note: it is included at the end of this article.) What’s more, many of the delegates attended Pastor Duche’s church in their time in Philadelphia, including George Washington. (So much for the idea that they were agnostic Deists!)
Today, it’s a different story. Churches have become extremely political by their own volition. What is worse is that the Church world as a whole is in a time of spiritual confusion. The last two years of the COVID plague has revealed the powerlessness of the so-called in-vogue churches – the new churches are stylized to be more “people friendly” and entertaining rather than focused and centered of the Cross of Calvary. Biblical preaching is seen as boring or “non-relevant,” and emotion oriented self-help psychology is considered more effective in bringing people to the church building. Salvation is trivialized into a simple 30 second prayer without the need of understanding the Why and the How of that Salvation, or the idea of commitment to the Lord who paid the price for that Salvation and what He wants is of no serious consequence! It reminds me of the character of Talkative in Pilgrim’s Progress: nice talking about Faith with little or no corresponding action on Faith. Is it any wonder that many Christian personalities (we cannot really dignify them by calling them ‘ministers’) think the most profound “word of the Lord” during the pandemic was to “love our neighbors by staying home?” These were not the ones who inspired the Freedom Convoy truckers to finally take a stand. Had it not been for local churches like the Pawlowskis in Calgary, there would not be any support from the “spiritual giants of faith” in our times. They alone were the ones who understood that the government of Canada was not merely announcing policy for stopping pandemic, but rather in their anti-God worldview, they were looking to take control of any kind of freedom that today we take for granted.
The feelings of infidels and unbelievers are paramount! We have also seen a turn in English jargon accordingly. Liberty and libertines are not the same thing. Political Correctness has replaced Objective Truth as society decided that human feelings were the foundation to build a civil society! Censorship is bad! – Unless it is the wrong political opinion (in our time, anything or anyone Conservative, or anti-Woke) or does not adhere to the dogmatic assertions of Dr. Fauci and the current “Liberal” government. One should ask the left, what happened to the days of “Rage against the Machine?”
So how do we know what side to choose?
I would say, remember the prophet Elijah’s confrontation with the Baal system in the book of 1 Kings 17-22. We are in a similar spiritual confrontation today. The Lord Jesus promised the true Church that we would know the Truth from the Lie because the Holy Spirit would be Guide/Instructor/the Comforter. Any idea, movement, practice, or mandate that is contrary to the God of the Bible, to the Bible itself, is inherently destructive and will make slaves of mankind spiritually, mentally, and even physically. And yet the anti-God movement is at first successful in presenting and selling their ideas because it is happening from the power of Sin and will powerfully influence the Lust of the Flesh, the Lust of the Eyes, and the Pride of Life in humanity (1 John 2:15-16). But as time goes by, the adherents to the anti-God philosophies or worldview will find out that they have lost their freedom to lies. As followers of Jesus Christ, that is a warning that we dare not forget. I have met many Christians in the United States who take a cavalier attitude to the dangers of persecution and authoritarianism, but that is because they have never seen the reality of the two ideas up close and personal. Had they done so, they would understand why Freedom must be preserved because it is a gift from God, not government. And there is no gray area to stand in, no neutrality, no trying “to stay out of everyone’s business.” We dare not be like the people of our time who talk about the environment/global warming/climate change while carrying an iPhone and drinking Starbucks. The people in Canada found out what the Liberal elites, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, were willing to exert on the people in order to control them, suppress them, and hurt them, in spite of any rules in the law books that were supposedly written for their protection. May the world pay attention.
ADDENDUM: Pastor Jacob Duche’s Prayer in the First Continental Congress, September 1774:
O Lord our Heavenly Father, high and mighty King of kings, and Lord of lords, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth and reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the Kingdoms, Empires and Governments; look down in mercy, we beseech thee, on these our American States, who have fled to thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent only on Thee, to Thee have they appealed for the righteousness of their cause; to Thee do they now look up for that countenance and support, which Thou alone canst give; take them, therefore, Heavenly Father, under Thy nurturing care; give them wisdom in Council and valor in the field; defeat the malicious designs of our cruel adversaries; convince them of the unrighteousness of their Cause and if they persist in their sanguinary purposes, of own unerring justice, sounding in their hearts, constrain them to drop the weapons of war from their unnerved bands in the day of battle! Be Thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation. That the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that order, harmony and peace may be effectually restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety, prevail and flourish amongst the people. Preserve the health of their bodies and vigor of their minds; shower down on them and the millions they here represent, such temporal blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world and crown them with everlasting glory in the world to come. All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior. Amen.