Biblical Standards for Political Action
Speech given in Huron-Bruce hosted by the Youth Caucus June 12, 2012
Greetings and thank you to all who have come out tonight but especially to the CHP youth caucus of Huron-Bruce who organized this meeting. It’s a great pleasure to be here again in your riding and so much the more because of the work being done by Jeanette Zekveld and those young people working with her. The last time I had the privilege of speaking here I asked Jeanette after the meeting whether she had considered, or would consider taking the initiative to form a youth caucus. She has since taken that initiative and it was so encouraging to see youth representatives from Huron-Bruce at the CHP 25th Anniversary Convention in Abbotsford recently. I really want to thank all of the youth involved here for your hard work, your enthusiasm and perseverance. Hope springs eternal and so much more for those who are young and young at heart. We all need to have that resilience as we face challenges. Our young people are the ones who will be living with the future consequences of today’s politics. They are the ones who will be paying the taxes, and reaping the rewards of government policies—both good and bad. It is their voices, their votes, their ideas and their worldviews that will shape the future and become, in time, the history of the world. May these young people in this room be granted the faith as well as the opportunity to put their stamp on Canadian society—the characteristics of a righteous people, serving the risen saviour and making His ways known to the children of men!
I am grateful for this invitation to be with you again and the timing is possible because tomorrow we will begin our national board meetings in London, Ontario. As you know, we elected several new national board members at the convention so this will be the first full face-to-face meeting with our new board. Luke Kwantes from Smithers, BC—our former national Treasurer has been elected our national President. Peter Vogel was elected as Vice-President. Martha Sjaarda has become our national Secretary and Ron Benell has accepted the office of National Treasurer. For Ontario, Micheal Janssens has become the Ontario President and Calvin Arnt is now the Ontario VP. Some of our other Provincial President positions are still in flux so we are encouraging those across the country, especially those who have already served the CHP in some capacity to consider taking on a new role at the EDA level, the provincial level or at the national level.
We also are already seeking willing and able candidates to stand in the gap for this nation in upcoming elections. We are also seeking prayer team members, provincial prayer coordinators and local electoral district prayer team coordinators to blanket this nation with concerted prayers for CHP Canada, for grace and favour across this land, for the awakening and unity of God’s people and for the grace and favour of Almighty God to be poured out in our churches and communities—for a wave of faith and repentance and renewal. As Jesus said, regarding the need for gospel workers: Pray that the Lord of the Harvest would send forth labourers into His Harvest. Although we are operating in the political realm, we also pray for workers...those chosen by God for this great task.
We know that many of our members have been stretched by the four federal elections in the past eight years...stretched financially, emotionally, time-wise...but we do have the privilege of catching our breath now if only for a short time. With a majority government in place, we do not expect a general election until October 19, 2015 but this is no time to fall asleep, let down our guard or become complacent. The issues about which we CHPers have been concerned these 25 years are still with us. In fact, the attacks on innocent human life, traditional marriage, freedom of speech and freedom of religion...even the theft of our grandchildren’s money through wasteful spending and confiscatory taxation...all these challenges have increased and power has consolidated in the hands of a controlled parliament, a controlled media and a controlled education system. The Christian Heritage Party’s Better Solutions are needed more now than ever.
...To see our members elected to Parliament and our policies put in place will require a level of faith and personal sacrifice that is rarely seen except in dire conflicts and epic battles. We truly are in a dire conflict and an epic battle—a battle for the hearts and minds of a generation and the future of a nation.
We know that we wrestle not against flesh and blood. Our enemy is not the people who disagree with us although we must frequently confront them with facts and understandings wildly different from their own. We know that we war against spiritual wickedness in the realm beyond that which is visible to the human eye or audible to the human ear. Yet in this battle, we must use our eyes, our ears and our voices to bring eternal truth to bear on the temporal affairs of this earth and human society.
The weapons of our warfare are not carnal; they are not of the flesh. If we were to pit our material wealth, our human influence and skill, our mental dexterity and intellectual achievement, our brute strength against those who serve a humanistic, atheistic, secular kingdom, our victory would by no means be guaranteed. But although we live in the world and handle and use the tools of this world to communicate (such as print media, websites, radio and visual images), our weapons are those granted us by God and are mighty through Him to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down the arrogance of human pride that exalts itself against His sovereignty.
In the battle for the souls of men and the soul of a nation, we have spiritual goals and natural goals. We have spiritual weapons and natural tools. We have spiritual wisdom and natural intelligence. We have spiritual gifting and natural learned skills. The constant snare and temptation is to rely on our natural strengths rather than on God’s power.
There is always a responsibility which rests on us and on our attention to detail, our willingness to sacrifice, in fact to become a living sacrifice for His glory. And there is always a well of life and wisdom and energy and creativity that can come only from God. Without Him, we can do nothing but with Him all things are possible.
Here’s how it works: God may provide you a job but you have to get up in the morning, put on your boots and get yourself to work on time. God has given you a mind but you have to fill it with good things from His Word. The fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING of wisdom. God has given you legs but you have to put one foot in front of the other. You are responsible to exercise your body and your mind.
God has given us a democracy to live in where we can influence the decisions made in Ottawa by the things we do and say. But what we do and what we say are important. God has given us a vehicle, the Christian Heritage Party of Canada, a marvellous vehicle for impacting this generation. But like any vehicle, it requires fuel. Like any vehicle, it requires maintenance. You will run into people who will tell you that the CHP isn’t going anywhere and it’s a waste of time. They’re not putting fuel into it. They’re letting the air out of the tires. They’re not helping to tune it up so that it runs better. They’re like a rusty emergency brake holding us back.
In order for the CHP to accomplish the purpose intended by the founders we need to be walking by faith, not by sight. Faith IS the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen. And whatsoever is not of faith is sin. If we’re trying to accomplish anything in this world, whether in politics, in business, in education, in our family life or church life and we leave God out of the picture, we will miss the very best God has for us and we will fall short of His plans for our lives.
We hold the treasure of the life of the Son of God in earthen vessels...clay pots. Each of us has this one short life to fulfil the plans and the destiny that God has for us. We don’t remove ourselves from the world to become closer to God but we bring the life of God into our daily activities and we make His character and His Kingdom known to those around us—our neighbours, our fellow-workers and our fellow-citizens. For this reason, it’s very important that we conduct ALL our affairs according to the principles of the Kingdom of Light. We are ambassadors to the world. Business is full of crooks, politics is full of crooks. Does that mean that to be successful business people or successful politicians that we are to become crooked? NO WAY!
What I want to talk about tonight and what I want to bring forth are some of the gems from the Word of God that can help us shine against the darkness of this present world, especially in the area of politics. If CHP Canada is going to make a difference in the life of this nation it will not be because we have learned to play the game and have learned to compromise. It will be because we come in the purity and the power and the wisdom of God and offer a drink of cold water to those who are exhausted in what can become a dry and thirsty land...the land of politics. But every activity is exciting when God is in it!
I am going to refer to a selection of principles that God brought to my attention. I don’t claim this to be a comprehensive list of principles or strategies or that these concepts will guarantee us electoral success. The principle behind these principles is that God’s Word and promises are reliable. Anything worth doing is worth doing His way. If we ask Him for wisdom He is faithful to give it to us for every battle and every situation. We do not know where God will take us in this life but we know that if we are obedient we shall eat the fruit of our labours. We will reap a reward if we do not faint and grow weary. God has given us everything that pertains to life and godliness. No good thing will He withhold from those who love Him. He can do abundantly above all we can ask or think.
Faith—the First Principle. Without faith it is impossible to please Him. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen. Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain that build it. We are attempting to build a political party that can challenge the faithless assumptions of the ungodly. We are attempting to plant the flag of God’s Kingdom in the halls of secular power and in the high places of this land where today, babies are sacrificed on pagan altars.
The Bible is full of stories of the small and weak overcoming the great and strong. The escape of God’s people from their bondage under Pharaoh, the conquering of mighty Goliath by the young man David, the overthrow of God’s enemies in battle after battle and the conquering of the ancient world by a patient and peace-loving band of disciples.
We have a promise from God for our land: II Chronicles 7:14—If My people, called by My Name will humble themselves pray and seek My Face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Is our land sick? Does our land need healing? We can’t blame the heathen; because God asks His people to pray and if we do, then He promises to heal our land.
There is a time for declaring the things that God has promised us—not in arrogant predictions but in faith-filled obedience. He calls the things that are not as though they were (Romans 4:17). Right now, we don’t have a single CHP MP. But God calls those things that are not as though they were. God knows the end from the beginning. Those things that God has prepared for us to do from before the foundation of the world, we need to apprehend by faith—not walking in presumption but prepared to take steps of faith as God reveals His will to us.
Another biblical principle is to organize people into manageable groups. In the Old Testament, Moses was advised by his father-in-law to appoint men over the people in groups because he said, ”Otherwise you will wear yourself out!” And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves....
We are not so much judging matters between people but we do have decisions to make and work to do. The founders of the Christian Heritage Party had the wisdom and foresight to organize the party by provinces and by electoral districts. Somebody has to organize meetings; somebody organized this meeting. Somebody has to design ads. Somebody has to call people up and remind them to renew their membership. This is best and easiest done at the local level with people you know in your churches and neighbourhoods.
Every army is organized into divisions, brigades, battalions and platoons, with increasing or decreasing levels of responsibility depending on the number of soldiers involved, the size of the task undertaken, etc. In the Roman army of Jesus’ day, a centurion was responsible for 100 men. One of those centurions showed his faith in Jesus by comparing Jesus’ authority to command spiritual forces with his own ability to delegate authority. “I say to this one go and he goes and to this one come and he comes and to this one do this and he does it.” In this way, one man, a general or a lieutenant general can move thousands of men into battle because his orders are passed on to colonels, captains and finally to privates who actually do the work, dig the trenches and fire the weapons.
Even Jesus, when he was about to feed the 5,000 told his disciples to have the men sit down in groups of 50 to facilitate the distribution. He did this for several reasons:
- By doing so, he demonstrated that He was in control of the situation and had a plan to provide.
- He was training his men. He not only gave them practical work to do but He allowed them to participate in the miracle as they became the hands and feet distributing the multiplied bread and gathering the fragments.
- He showed that He is not only a God of miracles but also a God of order.
In the CHP, we are organized by province and by electoral district. On our campaign teams we have assigned tasks to individuals, such as sign-placement, fund-raising, office management, phone campaigns and so forth. I believe there is room for further delegation of responsibilities in our electoral districts, especially in the areas of membership growth and fund-raising. People, especially volunteers, can only handle so many phone calls, so many visits, so many contacts. By assigning groups of ten members to the care of an individual, it may strengthen the organization, improve communication and put to good use the time, talents and energy of some of our members who may not currently be engaged. Skeena-Bulkley Valley currently does this in our twice-annual fundraising drives. We have a team of canvassers who divide up the list of 430 members and contact each one personally. This has been very effective. The last step is still to be achieved completely: that is to engage each one of those 430 foot-soldiers in the work of recruiting new members. When that step is achieved, we will finally see the CHP grow to the size and stature needed to impact our society and elect MPs.
Another principle is to use the gifts and talents you have been given and thus receive the reward of a supernatural increase and a promotion in rank and sphere of influence: We all know the parable of the talents. Those who have been entrusted with much, whether skills, influence, material wealth, mental gifting, speaking ability, etc. have a greater responsibility…to use those gifts and to share with the world that which they have received.
There is a scripture that says: “A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him into the presence of great men.” One interpretation of that verse is that, when we approach a person we admire or someone in authority, we could send a gift ahead so that they already think well of us before we meet or before we make a request. There are Biblical examples of that kind of gift although it is dangerously close to a bribe. However, I have always thought of this verse in the context of the gifting that God has given us, whether writing skills, business acumen, cooking talents, woodworking skills or other accomplishments, especially moral character and honesty. In my own case, my pursuit of the BC Lumber Grading Championship, a process that took 8 years of attempts before I succeeded, led me into a career opportunity in quality control that I never could have anticipated. I used the gift and was given an opportunity.
In the same way, this can also happen in the political realm. Your dedication to the work of the CHP at the local level could lead some of you into roles of responsibility within your EDA, within your province, serving on the National Board or serving as Member of Parliament. Or perhaps into some other great venture in business or in the prolife movement or pastoral work or as a missionary or an ambassador to some foreign land. Few people know exactly where God is leading them and the details of their lives which will unfold over time. But always there is an exciting adventure ahead for every one who volunteers with God. “Here am I; send me.”
Some people want a certain career, a certain lifestyle, a certain outcome and they sit and wait for it. God makes a path for those who are busy doing His business. God opens doors for those who will walk through them, not for the whiners who are unhappy with the opportunities He has already given them. In Jesus’ parable, the man who got coal in his stocking was the man who received only one talent and was afraid to use it. God has given you everything that pertains to life and godliness. He has called you for a plan and a purpose. He can and will do abundantly above all we can ask or think. But He wants to see us making good use of our time, sowing the good seed, not sitting and waiting for a golden opportunity but using our talents to bless others. God’s ways are higher than our ways. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. His timing is better than ours. His plans are better than ours. He will use you when and where and how it pleases him and depending on how ready you have allowed Him to make you. If you’re willing to trust him in the little things, He will entrust you with great things.
God told Abraham to leave the land of his fathers, the place that was familiar to him, the place of security and to go to a land that God would show him. He obeyed and went out not knowing whither he went. God is looking for obedient hearts that will obey His voice and trust Him to lead them. If we will go through the doors He opens for us, we will find new doors, new paths, new pastures, new friends, new responsibilities, new opportunities, new ways to glorify Him and to enjoy Him.
Another important principle in any endeavour involving people is frequent and meaningful contact:
Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? Proverbs 27:23, 24
This passage could be applied to a farmer. It could be applied to a business person who has a number of employees performing a variety of tasks. It could be applied to a pastor or one in ministry. Jesus said to Peter: “Do you love me? Then feed my sheep.” The CHP is not the church (although most its members are also members of the church). We who are workers in the CHP (one day all of us should be workers) do not have exactly the same role as a pastor in terms of feeding the flock. But we do have a ministry in serving the CHP members. We can provide them with information, inspiration and we can share our enthusiasm with them. We can help them understand their role and provide them with tools to equip them as recruiters and ambassadors for the CHP and for the Lord. We may serve them and all citizens of Canada by performing ourselves various tasks to strengthen the party. We may serve them as candidates, laying down our own desires and giving of our time, talent and energy in order to make a better Canada for them, their children and grandchildren.
Few Biblical characters were more devoted or more diligent than the Apostle Paul. He preached to more crowds in more cities, took more abuse, had more sleepless nights, travelled more miles, challenged more people in more cultures probably than any of the other apostles. As busy as he was and with the message of the gospel burning within him, it would have been understandable if he never visited the same city twice. But he made a point of returning to the cities where he had first won converts and for two main reasons: to see how they were doing and to help them grow in their understanding of the gospel and in the life they shared together as the body of Christ. As it is in our day, so it was in theirs. Some local churches fared better than others. Some groups fell into the snares of the enemy. Some needed his correction, his encouragement, his sacrificial example or his prodding to urge them on in their walk together in the church. We also have some EDAs that are doing better than others; we have some EDAs that are on life support and need our help. We have others that are boldly taking new initiatives, signing up members and preparing to make a difference! We need to honour the diligent and encourage the weak so that they may grow into the destiny of strength and fruitfulness God has waiting for them.
Another thing we must remember to do when we visit our members, when we call them, when we send out newsletters and reminders and prayer requests and financial requests: We must show our gratitude and express how much we appreciate the work, the support and the sacrifices that our faithful members have made over the years. Our thanks—as always—go to God first for without Him we can do nothing. He is the One who has given us everything that pertains to life and godliness. He made us in His image and makes His face to shine upon us and gives us every breath, every heartbeat, the ability to work and communicate and the hope for which we labour. But it’s also true that without our fellow-labourers we would be but a lone voice calling out in the wilderness. Two are better than one. A three-fold cord is not easily broken. If it weren’t for our friends praying for us and sharing with us their time, their finances and their labour, we could become very lonely and very discouraged indeed. Tell folks how much you appreciate them and let them know that they are making a difference, not only in your life but in the life of this nation! You here tonight, I want you to know how much I appreciate you. The fact that you have come out tonight to show your support means a lot to me. You that are older have set an example for which I am truly grateful. You that are younger are also a great encouragement to me because it gives me hope that the sacrifices that have been made in the past are not lost but you have come alongside to take up the torch and the banner and to complete some of the tasks begun by the generation before you and to begin new tasks and projects as God reveals them to you.
Thank you so much. Each one of us could make our lament to God as Elijah did and say “I am all alone.” But if we roll up our sleeves and apply ourselves to the task at hand, if we take up our cross in joyful obedience and take our places at the wall in the role and ministry that God has given us, using the gifts He has given us, we will hear His encouraging response: “You are not alone! I have reserved unto Me 7,000 men who have not bowed the knee to Baal!” You are not alone. You are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. And more than that, there are multitudes looking on for whom your example may be the catalyst they need to fire their imagination, to ignite them to action and to draw out of them, acts of courage, faith and charity. If you are willing to stand...when it seems like you stand alone, one day you won’t have to. Your faith-filled words and deeds will be carried, like the ripples of a pebble in a lake to distant shores and will be magnified by the stirring up of many hearts.
The Principle of Persistence Unto Fruitfulness: Luke 13:6 He spake also this parable: A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it; And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.
Isaiah 42: 3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
Jesus does not give up on His people. He waters. He prunes. And He looks for fruit!
Exodus 32: Moses interceded for the children of Israel and asked God to spare them. Moses did not see an obedient people, deserving of God’s favour but he offered to take their place in judgment rather than see them excluded from God’s blessing.
Jesus said that He could have called twelve legions of angels and been spared the agony of the cross. He could have returned to the Father rather than taking our sin upon Him but He did not. He did not see a successful, obedient people worthy of salvation but He interceded for us while we were yet sinners.
We need to be a patient people. The earth is corrupt; the world has turned away from God and pursued idols. Our nation tolerates the killing of 100,000 innocent babies each year and the destruction of traditional marriage and free speech. We could be discouraged but when we are tempted to give up and give in, to throw in the towel, then we need to remember the heroes of the faith who did not give up. When David’s men were about to stone him in their frustration and anguish, it says that he “encouraged himself in the Lord”. The children of Israel waited 400 years for God to deliver them from Egypt. Noah prepared and waited for the rain. Then he prayed and waited for it to stop. Abraham and Sarah waited for Isaac. David waited for the fulfillment of his being crowned king of Judah. The captives in Babylon waited for their deliverance. The nation of Israel waited for the Messiah.
We also must be patient, faithful and obedient as we prepare and wait for the return of the King. We need to be busy doing the work Jesus has given us to do. It hurts us to see so many in the world and even sometimes in the church living as if Jesus were never going to come back. But He is! Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
I struggle with patience. When I plant beans or carrots or peas, I keep checking to see if they’ve come up. But God is not in a hurry. God has work for us to do and we will be less tired of waiting if we keep ourselves busy doing that work. Happy is that servant whom his Master—when He returns— will find busy doing his job.
One more principle, especially for the youth: “Let no man despise thy youth!” The aging apostle Paul said this to his young friend Timothy. There is nothing particularly sacred about being young or about being old. Scripture says “the glory of young men is their strength and the beauty of old men is the grey head.” Young people—generally speaking—have strength, energy and enthusiasm. As a group, they have years ahead of them in which to make decisions, either good or bad. Solomon admonished all those who read his words to “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth.”
Older people, especially those who have followed the Lord, have, through experience, gained a measure of wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Scripture says that a white head is a crown of glory IF it is found in righteousness. The way to become a godly old person is to live as godly young people. The decisions you make in your youth are the stepping stones that lead you to the kind of experience and lifestyle that is the hallmark of godly caretakers of society.
Some of the great heroes of faith, heroes of the Bible, were young in years when God pushed them out onto the stage. Joseph was the eleventh of 12 children and was advanced in Pharaoh’s kingdom when still considered a young man. Daniel and his three friends were considered young when they stood in the courts of the king of Babylon. David was the youngest of his family when he took out Goliath. Josiah, one of the godliest kings of Judah was 8 years old when he took the throne. Jesus was only 30 when He began His public ministry and 3 ½ years later, He could say “It is finished!”
Make good use of your time. None of us knows how many days we have but make every one count. Whatever you do, in word or deed, do all to the glory of God the Father.
You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood. Some of you sitting here may one day be sitting in the House of Commons. Some of you may become great writers. Some of you may represent the principles of God’s kingdom as lawyers and judges in the courts of the land. Others of you may work with your hands, feeding the people of Canada with the gifts of the earth or producing the goods and services that Canadians need. Most of you, those who are still young, will one day be raising children, training and nurturing them in the fear of the Lord, raising a godly generation which will be scattered throughout this land as salt and light, demonstrating the value of our Christian heritage. Every one of you can make a difference in your homes, your schools, your jobs and your churches. Make the most of what God gives you and He will give you more.
I want to thank you so much for the opportunity to speak with you today and for the steps that each one of you has taken to support the work of the Christian Heritage Party and to make a difference in this nation!