Brian Stiller

Podcastor

Author

Global Ambassador @ WEA

Brian Stiller

Podcastor

Author

Global Ambassador @ WEA

Post Articles

Response to M McDonald’s The Armageddon Factor

The rise of the Canadian Social Gospel some 100 years ago came directly from the writings of an American Baptist minister, Walter Rauschenbusch. Literally using Bible verses he developed political ideas that were lifted by Canadians J.S. Woodsworth, founder of the federal CCF party (parent to the current NDPs) and the Rev. Tommy Douglas minister of Calvary Baptist Church in Weyburn Sask and founder of the provincial CCF Party.

Social concerns driven by their Christian understanding brought needed shifts in political thinking in Canada. Those opposed hyperventilated that such their were a precursor to international socialism and for certain, Communism.

Even while some in the Social Gospel movement confessed to being communists that did not discredit their legitimate and important ideas. Those fearful of its influence lived in a world of their own thinking, with largely unfounded and silly projections of what might come by way of Douglas’s social concerns.

Marci McDonald (The Armageddon Factor) fits that category. Trying to connect dots that don’t exist, her American-styled model built on a fear-factor, projects that concerned Christians, many of whom may be described a theologically and socially conservative, are about to impose their views on Canada.

That cannot and will not happen for obvious reasons.

First Canada is a Roman Catholic country. 47% of Canada is so. Can you imagine Catholics, with recent memories of the rule of their own church in Quebec allowing a small Christian group to impose its political will?

Second, the American “manifest destiny” impulse does not throb in our cultural veins. Canadians don’t have the self-confidence to believe that Canada is a “light on the hill,” manifesting a divine prerogative. Religion and spiritual concerns matter to us, but not in the same way as it does to Americans.

Third, the bogey group the author cites—evangelicals—are but a 12% minority. The plurality of Canada will not, in the end, allow a take over. In the US, that percentage is 30. In terms of critical mass, that means there are three million in Canada and 100 million in the US. There simply is not the numbers here to launch a take-over, even if we had the will.

Fourth, the current interest in public policy and political leadership is geopolitical. Since the 1993 “the West wants in,” much of our current political leadership is exercised from this region. While it may have a larger percentage of evangelicals, to make the two synonymous is a huge mistake.

Fifth, evangelicals are not so easily persuaded politically. We have an enormous history of caring for the poor, building community, being among the most generous of all religious groups and leery of those who try to build an unholy link between Christ’s call to service and exercise of the levers of power.

Fear not. Our interest in a debate on important issues and a desire to be part of leadership in the public realm will benefit all.

Armageddon is coming, but not as Ms McDonald imagines.

Brian C Stiller
May 13, 2010