When someone breaks a leg, we don’t respond with “just suck it up and get over it.” We help. How? We give pain medication to relieve the discomfort and then address the source of the pain, offer surgery and fix the broken leg. Then we care for them until they can walk again. No shame; no guilt. Just care.
Last year Canada made international headlines for a nation-wide legalization of recreational, adult-use cannabis. Although the overall reaction seems to be positive, many religious leaders have voiced concerns. For example, the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops published their statement on the Cannabis Act the same day it came into effect, underlining the ethical problems with the recreational use of cannabis, including psychological and physical health and society’s increasing dependence on drugs and alcohol.
Jordan Peterson just spoke in Ljubjana, Slovenia, to an audience of 2,000. He’ll be in Honolulu next. Over 1.6 million people subscribe to Peterson’s YouTube channel, making the U of T professor one of the most influential Canadians alive. Many fans focus on his political stance; others call his self-help advice “life-changing.” But he also has a lot to say about the Bible, which one Christian Reformed pastor from California sees as a missional opportunity. Paul VanderKlay makes YouTube videos about Peterson that 10,000 people regularly watch. And he’s also meeting with young Peterson fans, called “buckos,” in real life – men who walk into his church with questions about the Bible.
On Nov. 2, CBC premiered Shut Him Down: The Rise of Jordan Peterson, a 44-minute point-of-view documentary focused on Peterson’s journey into the public spotlight. The film compacts more than 110 hours of “fly-on-the-wall moments” filmed with Peterson and those around him.
This year my local newspaper introduced me to several children and youth who knew that our community has no more time for silence about mental illness. These young people filled our awkward silences with their own stories.
Last month it was 16-year-old Gwen who talked about her anxiety disorders. “It was a huge weight that was controlling my life.” Gwen’s clear, courageous words are making the world a friendlier place for someone who might otherwise feel alone and overwhelmed – right here and now. For that someone, Gwen pointed to one next step: “Now I know I can control it. […] When you have so many thoughts in your head, talking is a big release.”
Deep down we all realize that something is wrong with the world. We differ greatly, however, when it comes to diagnosing its ills. For some, the problems are essentially matters of coordination and distribution of material goods. For others, they are more structural than individual. People make bad decisions, and providing fewer choices or better structures for decision-making would lead to progress. For many others, while such issues have to be recognized as legitimate, they do not yet get at the core of the problems, which penetrate below the surface into moral virtue and spiritual character.
Over the past few years I have often been caught off guard by Christians who wonder why we should engage with cultural artifacts such as movies, music, novels and art. Isn’t God’s Word all we need? This experience has challenged me to consider why it is important for Christians to engage with the things in culture that capture the imagination and interest of the people around us.
Writing this update on Thanksgiving Monday, it is easy to feel blessed and grateful for the gifts we’ve seen coming into Christian Courier’s Rooted & Growing fall donation appeal so far. It is because of generous donors like you that this Reformed newspaper can continue publishing.
With 20 issues per year, CC’s frequency is more than many other faith-based publications. We are grateful that our subscribers and community see the value in continuing this publication into the future.
By the time you receive this issue in the mail, CC’s fall Rooted & Growing donation appeal will be in week five! Thank you to everyone who has already given a special gift towards this campaign.
A classroom is a messy community. Anytime you put people together in an enclosed space, anything can happen. If students feel safe, challenged and supported, the community can be transformational, contributing to wellbeing and flourishing. If students experience bullying or are poorly treated because of ability, gender, race or sexual orientation, the resulting community can be toxic and unsafe. But God created us to be in relationship. We are meant to be interdependent, growing in the context of learning and living with others.
To honour the TRC’s call to reconciliation, we at the Centre have been advocating for follow-through on TRC Calls to Action 7-10, which call for reform of K-12 education for Indigenous peoples, by Indigenous peoples. The Trudeau government has expressed strong support for reconciliation in many ways: committing to the implementation of all TRC Calls to Action; mandating all Cabinet Ministers to prioritize building relationships with Indigenous peoples on a Nation to Nation basis; and making historic and much-needed financial commitments to Indigenous communities in all three of its budgets. These have been important steps.
CC’s 2018 Fall Donation Appeal is now running until November 30, with a $30,000 goal to sustain its independent, Reformed journalism ministry into 2019. Because CC is a registered charity, all donations $10 and more receive a tax-deductible receipt. CC relies on donor support to plan for the year ahead and look towards 2020, which will be CC’s 75th year of publication.