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Monday, September 05, 2005

Evangelicals and Alberta Separatism Part II

Alberta Evangelicals: Redneck Jihadists or Reflective Nation-Builders?

Now it seems that many Evangelicals are aiding the re-emergence of a separatist movement in Alberta. The result of switching their focus from federal influence to provincial autonomy could have a few implications:

Negative


  1. The Separatist/Autonomy/ Refederation movement would have an identifiable target which could be caricatured, parodied, and pilloried by the Toronto MSM.
  2. Non-evangelical Albertans inclined towards separation would resist being identified with the 'fundies'. This would bring division to a fledgling movement, and stall concerted efforts to bring change.
  3. Evangelicals could (wrongly) use the Separatist movement to implement a radical confusion of Church and State, becoming jihadists for a mini-theocracy.

Positive

  1. Evangelicals could bring a commitment to the Separatist/ Autonomy/ Refederation movement that moves it from a fringe discussion to a central and realistic one.
  2. In the past, Evangelicals have been significant shapers of society for the good of all people, not just Christians.

    From the poor early Christians in the Roman Empire who would take the discarded babies of the elites and raise them as their own, to William Carey's missionary labor in India which encouraged the emergence of India as a modern nation. History is replete with examples of Christians who have been 'a blessing' to the society as a whole. The key, however, comes when Christians act like Christians. Sadly, too often the behavior of so-called Christians has not reflected the life of their Messiah.

  3. The worldview of Evangelicals is very conducive for healthy democracy. Since the Separatist movement in Alberta is at its heart a pro-democracy movement, the Evangelical worldview [cf. the preciousness of life, individual freedom and equality, yet diversity of roles and responsibilities under an ultimate accountability] will foster those democratic forces. By contrast, Atheistic worldviews are a breeding ground for dictatorships since there is no higher accountability.

  4. Evangelicals wish to be involved citizens in the democracy, but they don't expect politics to be able to accomplish things that it has no capacity for. Politics cannot change the moral DNA of people's hearts. Evangelicals, therefore are realists. They see politics as a simple tool for serving their neighbors in love. Their true citizenship is not even in the sociological group called 'Evangelicals', but in what the Bible calls 'heaven'. Their enemies are not other people but sin that resides in their own heart. The victory they seek is not squashing other people under their boots, but seeing the victory of Jesus Christ over sin and death applied to all people.

    When Evangelicals fail to be Evangelical they become something ugly.

    As Evangelicals involve themselves in Alberta politics, let us all hope they act like who they are.

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