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Pastor Dave  

Conservatism

 

By nature, education, and political persuasion, I have always been a big "C" Conservative (Con). Wikipedia tells us that Conservatives carry an historic commonality. They “believe that government has a role in encouraging or enforcing what they consider traditional values or behaviours.”

That designation suits me just fine. It is one of the reasons I write this column. I sincerely believe that the nation runs best, and its people are served best, when character and principles dominate leadership’s decision making over polls and pundits. Legislation happens, but what makes legislation good is not good intentions but strong, moral foundations.

Recently there has been a lot of talk about the future of Conservatism in Canada. According to Queen’s University political-science scholar James Farney, social conservatives (so-cons) “have become a spent political force in Canadian national politics” – that is, they have become irrelevant, indistinguishable, positioned on the outside looking in, and sidelined by a past morality. Link Byfield, a so-con himself, stated, “We’re now just seen as eccentric.”

There is truth to this. Conservative positions are not stamped in cement. They are much more fluid than they used to be. What used to exist, a broad and widely accepted traditional and Biblically based morality, is no more. I am constantly surprised by the scope of beliefs and values that so-called Conservatism embraces these days.

We saw that paradox in the last election when Conservatives won with a landslide. Christians voted in droves to re-elect the Harper government. Yet, the Prime Minister forbade a debate on abortion, and then, to rub salt in the wounds, restored funding to Planned Parenthood. It tells us as much about the state of 21st Century Christianity as it does the present “Conservative” movement.

Statistics Canada stated in the last long-form census (2001) that 84% of Canadians self-identified a personal religious affiliation, with 77% self-identifying as Christian and 12% as Evangelical. It appears that many Canadians believe that they have a moral compass, but it also appears that they have divorced their sense of morality from the function of politics.

Maybe we need a return to old-fashioned Conservatism, a movement of retro-Conservatives (re-Cons). There are many Conservatives who believe that modern-day Conservatism has lost its way, and that it needs to find its voice again, its qualitative difference. Many believe that Conservatism is adrift morally and is demonstrating more concern for the preservation of power than the preservation of life.

Some of us may be considered theo-cons, a word coined by Don Hutchinson, VP of EFC. Our voice is found in a Biblical theology of life, love and liberty. Theo-cons believe that God is the Source of all authority, and that godly principles should guide every act of government. They will not go quietly into that dark night. They will not give up their voice because they understand a political reckoning will occur one day.

I know that names don’t make or break a person, and I realize that this generation in particular hates to be pigeon-holed into a position. This culture wants the freedom to experiment, to find itself in the political spectrum of diverse values and opinions, divorced from the feeling that they will ultimately be held accountable for their views.

However, political perspectives matter. What we align ourselves to matters. The people we elect to office matters. Holding people accountable for the way they conduct themselves and influence Canadian society matters.

It matters because our ceiling will become the floor the next generation builds upon. Let’s hold the standards high!

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About the Author

Dr. David Kalamen is founder and lead pastor of Kelowna Christian Center (KCC). Married to Carleen for 35 years, they and their family, all living and working in Kelowna, have together been ministering to the people of this region for over 25 years. David cares deeply about the citizens of Kelowna and the state of the city, causing him to develop the Houses of Mercy program to help build compassionate community.

His column "Oh! Canada!" reflects his love for the Canadian people and this nation, and brings a refreshing perspective to local and national issues of common concern.

David has spoken at national and international conferences that have dealt with a wide range of leadership issues touching Christianity, politics, social justice, mercy missions and business. That call has taken him to over 20 nations. He has served on the General Council of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, and is presently a faculty member of the Wagner Leadership Institute. David has authored a book, Life Purpose that has sold broadly throughout Canada.

If you want to contact Pastor Kalamen about this week's column please e-mail [email protected], call (250) 762-9559, or write to KCC at 905 Badke Road, Kelowna, V1X 5Z5.

Useful websites are:
Kelowna Christian Center: www.kcc.net
Heritage Christian School: www.heritagechristian.ca
Heritage Christian Online: www.onlineschool.ca
Global Ministry Training Center: www.gmtc.ca



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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