How should churches deal with political issues? That question has long sparked incandescent discussions among Christians. Many hold that God calls Christians to promote public justice. Yet we differ strongly on what those policies should be and which political parties, if any, Christians should support.
“I rejoice when I see glimpses of that glory and taste that grace happening in communities where the church can be at the cutting edge of society,” he says, adding that Christians have an unquestioned role in reconciliation with their Indigenous neighbours. “It’s very simple. Jesus says ‘this is my command that you love one another.’ When we hear of suicides or missing women, we as Christians should hear Christ and his cries.”
Smithers, B.C., was just in the news for two very different reasons: ranked in the top five mountain towns in the province, and host of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. The latter is not on any tourism brochures, but it’s not something to ignore either.
“We need community to continue and grow justice work,” says Hogeterp. “The work of justice is enhanced when we connect with people of faith, lean into worship and grow spiritual discipline.”
Jesus holds every wounded heart with great tenderness. He knows all the sad stories, every loss. Let’s take our bearings from him, and then travel so many times from the altar to the gutter and back that we trample down a path together – bringing our selves to hard places and giving every suffering soul to Jesus.
To prosper, reproduce and fill the earth in a way that reflects our nature in God’s image can seem an insurmountable task. Which issues should we care about? How do we pray over these matters? It begins with learning and listening, as well as by realizing that being responsible stewards of creation is a profound and complex calling.
As Canada celebrates 150 years as a country and we look at the accomplishments of scientists in this land, we as Christians must also recognise the gift that our First Nations have blessed us with in their knowledge of and respect for the creation. We must learn from them; otherwise, we may not recognise our sin of ownership that is sometimes part of our relation with God’s creation.
The 143rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church met in Kingston, Ont., June 4-7.
Don’t watch Koneline to simply pass the time one summer’s evening when you tire of CBC coverage of Canada’s 150th. Nor should you watch it to find easy answers to complicated questions of creation care, stewardship, and justice. There simply are none.
When reconciliation between the First Nations of Canada and the Government is made, that will be something to celebrate. A First Nation youth’s reflection on Canada’s 150, a photo essay of a KAIROS Blanket Exercise and a class’s year-end presentations.
Substantial and difficult questions remain in terms of the relationship between Canada and aboriginal peoples, and not only in terms of the legacy of residential schools.
CC’s masthead in our June issue includes the “+” as a small way to acknowledge the history of Indigenous people in Canada