Brian Stiller

Podcastor

Author

Global Ambassador @ WEA

Brian Stiller

Podcastor

Author

Global Ambassador @ WEA

Post Articles

Setting a Vision

This charming country, known by the red tunics of the R. C. M. P., winter post card scenes and harmless beavers is no longer the quaint country it once was.

Like other western countries, Canada has become a complex community struggling with inner conflicts over views and values.

The old assumption that Canada is centred around a biblical view of life no longer reflects today’s reality. Secularism, the ruling ideology, attempts to remove the influence of belief in a personal God from public life. Religions becomes only that which is believed and practised in the private cloisters of churches or in personal life.

And so, after hundreds of years in which religious values have shaped our culture, all the way from the Supreme Court through the House of Commons to the writing of public education, Judeo-Christian beliefs are now systematically pushed to the side.

Emerging during the 1950s, Canada began to forge a place of leadership and influence in the world. Church life blossomed. Traditional Christian values seemed to be regarded as valuable to Canadian life.

During the 60s life radically changed. Scientific discoveries, mixed with Centennial celebrations were taken over by an anti-establishment mood. Our television screens were filled with scenes of protest as groups from gay liberation activists to radical students clamoured for their rights.

But it was in the 1980s that the full force of driving materialism, divisive nationalism and determined human rights concerns, changed the landscape of Canada. In the furore of those years, we saw raw, pagan lostness. People who said they believed in God showed little interest in Church, The Bible or living the Christ life.

One only has to list the many issues which push and pull at our community, to understand the need we have for a visitation of life and power.
* The threads of Canadian political union are stretched to the breaking point.
* The flow of new immigrants stirs up the pot of racism.
* Regionalism not only exacerbate language differences but economic and ethnic.
* Fluctuating interest rates and skyrocketing costs of living pushes further apart the disparity of the haves and have nots.
* Raw sewage pumped into our rivers systems and smoke stacks spewing out toxic chemicals only adds to our anxiety about the future.
* Governments seemingly are unable to pass laws dealing with the most basic of moral concerns.
* Inner cities age while native populations press for their rights.
* Women, frightened by the possibility of physical abuse call out for protection.
* Children abused and molested search for help and care.

While evangelicals continue to believe that people are lost without Jesus Christ there is increased frustration as Canadians show less and less interest in biblical truth. Most roll over in bed with a yawn Sunday morning, never for a moment thinking that a church down the street has anything to offer. Others, instead of yawning are gullible to ideas of the New Age movements. Dissatisfied with secular thinking and unattracted to the message of the Gospel, they pursue the mystical world.

It is on this wildly changing landscape that the Church of Jesus Christ is catching a new vision as it hears the compelling voice of Christ.

Out of these wild swings, the evangelical community saw that no longer was it enough to live, secluded in isolation. The needs of people were just too demanding. New life blossomed as new churches were planted and church growth experienced. Young people prepared themselves for ministry, lay ministry outreach exploded and leaders saw the need for preparing people as salt and light in a fallen world.

As we prepare for nation wide evangelism, it is not enough for church leaders to take their cue from newspapers or broadcasts. We must not be tricked into writing our agenda from the despair and self-centredness of our culture. Instead let us develop our strategy from the deep conviction that God will visit this land with a wave of spiritual conviction and courage.
• May our plans be framed with an understanding that God’s will is that none perish but that all come to repentance.
• May our priorities be determined with an heart which understands God who hurts with those burdened by poverty and failure.
• May our agenda be written with a heart filled with faith.
• May our strategies be designed with an eye that sees God at work in His world.
• May our message by seasoned with the salt of God’s truth about all of life.
• May our walk be characterized by faithfulness
• And may our talk be softened by His love.
• May our engagement with the enemy be with the understanding that our weapons are not carnal, but spiritual to the pulling down of strongholds.

There are signs that across this nation, there is a new stirring. National leaders hear Christ’s call for unity. Pastors recognize the value of cooperative efforts and outreach. Lay persons find encouragement in cross church support. The battle, we’ve discovered, is too big for any of us to go it alone.

The founders of Canada chose an Old Testament text which speaks for our heart’s desire: “He shall have dominion from sea to sea.”

The obedience of God’s people to His word is our prayer. The love of His people to His ways is our hope. And the reigning of King Jesus in the hearts and lives of Canadians is our desire.
Brian C Stiller
1989