News of the Week: Anglicans, Trans-Activism, Anti-Natalism, Bill C-11, and Covid

I suppose the main title of this weekly blog post is misleading. Perhaps I should call it cultural issues of the week. Because news is never only information. Whatever your source of news is, it is not unbiased. Whether you’re talking about the liberal-slant of the CBC or the conservative perspective of Truth North News, it’s not especially possible to separate fact from opinion. In the US, you can see this ideological divide by seeing the difference in how Fox News and CNN will cover the same event. Often even the headlines signal the point of view of a particular news outlet. Media both is complicit in and often fans the flames of what many refer to as the culture war. After all, there are profits to consider.

So my advice is read and listen widely. Don’t assume that you are getting the whole story from an unbiased perspective. Learn to be a critical thinker when it comes to the news and the media. Observe how two different outlets cover the same story.

Because even those of us who are Christians also have political perspectives and opinions, we can sometimes make the mistake of thinking that our view on political and cultural matters are the Christian perspective. Now, they may be. But not necessarily. Consider how in the US the line between faith and politics often blurs.

The onus is on us as followers of Jesus not only to discern the specific biases of the various sources of news coverage and what that means for how they deal with political and cultural issues; we are also responsible for discerning how the Christian perspective is distinct from, say, both the political left and right. It may be that one political party or ideology more closely aligns with our faith perspective.

For instance, more conservative political parties are generally more likely to be pro-life and to seek to enact more restrictive measures when it comes to abortion policy. This is true of the Republican Party in the US. However, some might argue that the Democratic Party, while disturbingly pro-choice to the extreme, also has a greater — or more obvious — concern for the single woman who has gotten unexpectedly pregnant and is struggling in poverty.

My point is that it should be possible for a Christian to see the strengths and weaknesses of different political parties. And at the very least, I think it’s dangerous to conflate a political ideology with one’s Christian faith. Because when one does that, then not only is there a risk of confusing a political perspective with the Christian one. There is also the risk of having one’s political perspective influence or shape one’s theology. For example, while Jesus may share our concern for the lives of the unborn, he may be much less sanguine about our views regarding gun-control, immigration, or climate policy.

All that said, here are a few things happening near and far that should interest and/or concern us as followers of Jesus.

1. Anglicans are dividing over the issue of same-sex unions. At a recent gathering of worldwide Anglicans in Rwanda a statement called “The Kigali Commitment” was prepared and released. In it, they explicitly call the Church of England to repent and declare that they no longer see the Archbishop of Canterbury as the first among equals You can read about this here and here. You can also watch this video from Anglican pastor Rev. Brett Murphy on the situation. This is a major development in the Anglican communion and highlights the divide other denominations are facing and will face.

2. Another issue that is front and center at present is the transgender movement and trans-activism. We see this impacting the church and Christian institutions and the cultural conversation more widely. For instance, we see here that even in schools that are ostensibly Catholic, there are those who are pushing the trans and LGBTQ+ agenda. And while there are loud voices in the media declaring that there is a trans-genocide happening in our society, you also have someone like Dylan Mulvaney raking in all kinds of income through corporate sponsorships. Note how in the article link, Mulvaney speaks of wanting to have a relationship with God and wanting to believe that he is not a mistake. Of course, no Christian would ever say he is a mistake. Dylan has been created in the image of God. He is loved by God beyond measure. That is not the same thing, however, as affirming that his identifying as a woman is a godly and psychologically healthy choice.

Here are more links you might find interesting:

  1. The anti-natal movement and what’s happening in South Korea.
  2. Bill C-11, which concerns our government’s regulating internet content, has just been passed. You can read about it here, here, here, and here. You can judge for yourself, but I don’t really trust our government (especially our present one) to determine what is or isn’t appropriate online content or that this will not lead to more unforeseen consequences.
  3. And here is a First Things interview with Dr. Aaron Kheriaty regarding the COVID mandates and their future implications. Kheriaty is the author of the recent book, The New Abnormal: The Rise of the Biomedical Security State, which you can find here. It’s worth asking: how much power do we trust our governing authorities to yield?

We live in a very interesting, sometimes confusing world in which we are continuing to see the consequences of the loss of Christian faith as the primary influence on the West. To that end, I recommend this article at First Things and this one at The Gospel Coalition.

That’s it for now. Keep yourself apprised about what’s going on in the world around us. More importantly, keep in mind these words of the apostle Paul:

So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to walk in him, being rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing with gratitude. Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elements of the world, rather than Christ. For the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ, and you have been filled by him, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

Colossians 2:6-10

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