Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Dr. C. van Dam on Parliament Hill

Yesterday, a historic event unfolded on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Dr. C. Van Dam, OT prof at the Canadian Reformed Theological College, gave a speech entitled God and Government: A Biblical Perspective on the Role of the State, for MPs and Senators. It was held in an NDP committee room in the West Block. We sat all evening under the serene gaze of T.C. Douglas and Stanley Knowles. Only one senator attended, and there were about 15 MPs from the Conservative, Liberal and New Democratic parties, as well as some staff of MPs that could not make the meeting. 

The speech was good. Dr. Van Dam worked out Romans 13. He spoke about the source of government authority; how the government is God's servant for the good of the citizens and must seek their well-being; and how the government must maintain justice and righteousness in the land. Applying the principles of the idea of sphere sovereignty, the speaker spoke about the limitations of government: under God, society has distinct authority structures that government must respect (e.g., church, family, school). All authority structures are, of course, ultimately under God.

The audience was enhanced by a good presence of Canadian Reformed people from Ottawa, Hamilton and Winnipeg. As well, there were a few distinguished guests from the Laurentian Leadership Centre. 

The discussion was very good. Many of the MPs present asked insightful questions. The social time afterward was also good. As Canadian Reformed people, we were able to make good contacts with various MPs. 

It was striking, to us, how much they want "our people" to be involved in  the work of Parliament. One Conservative MP told me that he appreciated the Canadian Reformed people he had met and that have worked, or do work, on the Hill. He asked me to encourage our people to look for work at Parliament, either for an MP or in one of the ministries. We have something to offer!

It was a very encouraging evening. It is too bad that the public face of Parliament is the daily QP circus. Many good men and women who love our country, and many who love the Lord, are working there. May the Lord bless them.

The event was organized by ARPA and, according to the rules, sponsored by two MPs from two parties (one Conservative, the Honourable Dr. Maurice Vellacott, and one Liberal, the Honourable Mr. John McKay).