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History/Sociology Of Canadian Religion

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BlessedMan

Howdy folks. I am interested in exploring sociological history of churches (all denominations) in Canada; and my major focus will be Adventist Church history in Canada. I was not sure where to post this topic, but I did consult with Gail & Stan about posting again at this forum, and this is a major area of interest for me.

I stuck the word "sociological" in here because that will free this topic from being tied to strictly a religious or doctrinal pitter/patter, and hopefully open it up some for discovery of what happened in Canada with our religions and churches, and how did/does The Adventist Church fit into it?

I am reading one book, for example, which deals with "A Social History Of Religion In Canada," and this book mentions briefly that there were "Millerites" in eastern Canada, in or around the Montreal area.  I was surprised to learn of this, and so now the hunt is on for any & all information about this general topic area. I am hoping to eventually do a related photography project when the time is right, but I think I need to do a little research first. This thread will be part of that.

If anyone in or from Canada can suggest sociological resources, or history references, that are related to this subject, this would be the topic to post them in. Or, of course, opinions are welcome, as well.

I think I need to go dust off my snow shovel for now, as global cooling is happening here. Lots of snow happening in Central Alberta!

Edited by BlessedMan
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BlessedMan

the book I am currently readin only goes up to 1960 and I am discovering that books that deal with after 1960 are not easy to find.

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B/W Photodude

Of interest would be how the church in Canada has progressed/regressed differently than the rest of the church. Given that a couple of the movements in the church in the US came out of Australia, was Canada affected as much as the US? How has Canada as part of the NAD been softened in any events in the Canadian churches?

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BlessedMan
19 minutes ago, B/W Photodude said:

Of interest would be how the church in Canada has progressed/regressed differently than the rest of the church. Given that a couple of the movements in the church in the US came out of Australia, was Canada affected as much as the US? How has Canada as part of the NAD been softened in any events in the Canadian churches?

As with most "history," there were likely many ups and downs that we may never know about, I am hoping some members will have knowledge of materials or stories told by their grandparents, or anything that would inform us of the social history of "church" for Canada.  In the next post, Ill try to detail a few things I have picked up on so far.

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BlessedMan
1 hour ago, B/W Photodude said:

Of interest would be how the church in Canada has progressed/regressed differently than the rest of the church. Given that a couple of the movements in the church in the US came out of Australia, was Canada affected as much as the US? How has Canada as part of the NAD been softened in any events in the Canadian churches?

Another point I am interested to explore is more to do with the how/why of how "the church" even got started in Canada. What from that history, would be considered "colonialism," and what was and should be considered true "missionary work?"

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phkrause
On 9/27/2019 at 2:27 PM, BlessedMan said:

I am reading one book, for example, which deals with "A Social History Of Religion In Canada," and this book mentions briefly that there were "Millerites" in eastern Canada, in or around the Montreal area.  I was surprised to learn of this, and so now the hunt is on for any & all information about this general topic area.

When you mentioned eastern Canada, my mind went right to Southern & Northern New England where the Millerites  first started! So I would imagine that it spread up from there! Not really having any proof though, I can only guess?

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BlessedMan
1 hour ago, phkrause said:

When you mentioned eastern Canada, my mind went right to Southern & Northern New England where the Millerites  first started! So I would imagine that it spread up from there! Not really having any proof though, I can only guess?

In this topic, "proof" is not really needed, as anecdotal accounts can give me valuable clues for researching more.

From what I am reading, it seems that "Millerites" as the book calls them, were not really "Millerites" as in physically derived from, it seems more like some groups did hear their message, and then adopted bits & pieces of it.

I have to say, history really horrifies me sometimes. I am just reading about early denominations in Canada who somehow decided that "pew rentals" were THE thing to do and that said "pew ownerships" were a (rather patriarchal) signal to anyone entering that church of the "piety" and of the perceived "headship" of the man who owned it. What happened, apparently, sometimes, when the husband died, and the wife was left with "her husband's pew?"  Oh my, thats the part you don't want to know. lol

Ill come back here when I have more time to detail this more with references, and more context.

There are some absolutely wonderful stories in Canada's checkered ecclesial history; even if one is not from Canada, I am sure they would enjoy reading about our history.

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BlessedMan
On 9/28/2019 at 4:24 PM, BlessedMan said:

There are some absolutely wonderful stories in Canada's checkered ecclesial history; even if one is not from Canada, I am sure they would enjoy reading about our history.

Sad to say, I dont think I quite realized what I was getting into when I started this topic. I just knew that I enjoy exploring history, and finding out more about the people in my own country. I was in tears as I realized the extent and brutality of some of our country's "Christian" heritage, and am still in shock at the foul legacy that is left behind by the actions of certain religious entities. Not all history is true, and when I started looking into this a few weeks ago, I recall wondering why it seems that many historians, professional historians, from places like Mcmaster University, in Hamilton, Ont seem to publish materials that are quite disparaging of much religious sociology and history regarding religion in Canada. As I started to realize why, I spotted the following comments on Stan's Face  Book page:

natives.jpg
 

Quote

 

Canada's attempted Genocide, started with the goal to Christianize those 'heathens'. The very thought of what happened breaks me, not as much as the Canadian Gov't broke them. Canada's biggest shame.
Even those who managed to make it home, lost so much. Lost the cultural their character and their dignity.

I remember stories, and I thought it was 'overspeak' about the nuns putting a needle thought their tongue for 24 hours.if they spoke in their "'dirty heathen language" They could not close their mouth, as the needles were that big. I heard similar stories from too many people to view it as overspeak.

Little children were taken from their parents, without consent, and told their mother did not love them anymore and wanted them to get a good white education.

Thousands of little boys and girls were beaten to death by religious leaders and never came home.

 

What kind of animals could do such things to innocent people/children?  What I don't get is why such are not named as terrorists? Thats really the only title they deserve. Its no wonder so many historians write the way they do of religious history in Canada. I will come back to this aspect a little later in this topic. Questions abound like what are the justifications or are the justifications being used to "explain" this horror to others? How can any church say they have "good news" for our First Nations People, after all THAT?

Don't get me wrong; there ARE some very good news stories as well; which I will write about in a future post; but unless I am mistaken, they are in danger of being over-shadowed by this very dark cloud.

On another note; a few other observations I made while exploring the history book I am currently reading - and I dare say, perhaps this will partially explain why the genocidal terrorist "christian" murderers  ever thought that they were right. Some of the stupid things they "believed" are well, unbelievable to me!

It would appear from my most recent reading that one group which has a brief, small portion of Canadian History called Advent Christian General Conference, that had adopted only the Millerite doctrines they were "impressed" to. Looks like they decided to adopt the "Christian Sabbath," as being Sunday. It also looks like they were mostly in the eastern seabord areas of Canada. Montreal, New Brunswick, in particular.

Advent Christian General Conference

Mission Statement

Convinced of the imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ, Advent Christian General Conference exists to Encourage, Equip and Empower Advent Christian churches worldwide to be obedient to His Great Commandment and Great Commission.
About Us

Advent Christian General Conference is a denomination of Christian churches in North America, with mission works and partnerships in countries worldwide. Born out of the "Adventist Movement" of the 1800s, our organization is still committed to proclaiming the hope that Jesus is coming back ... maybe today! As we look for his blessed return we occupy ourselves with obeying his commands to make disciples.

I asked Stan about this group, and he replied:

Quote

2/ They are still around. They look at us as offshoots to them. Ellen White would refer to them as "nominal Adventists..." Stan

Here is another doozer:

In Canadian religious history, "Pew owning/ownership" was clearly important to people, but not merely for "class status." It is true that owning a pew [at church] conferred a particular status on it's owner, ; but more often than not, ; it was a visible symbol of family piety, in a religious culture where the central social divide was frequently viewed as between rich and poor, but between the saved and the sinner. In particular, pew owning was a largely male preserve and served to uphold the authority [headship] of the male patriarch."

And then in my own words from the previous page of this book: Clergy from all denominations present believed that "manly independence" as ministers of the gospel meant that adequate funds were coming through the doors and into the coffers, and a large part of that money was derived from the pew rental system (taken from Christian Churches And Their Peoples1840-1965, pages 34-35, by Nancy Christie, Michael Gauvreau)

In future posts, I will continue to post findings as I find them. may God help us. We are the ones who need it!

treaty #6 of 1876.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by BlessedMan

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BlessedMan
On 9/27/2019 at 5:53 PM, B/W Photodude said:

Of interest would be how the church in Canada has progressed/regressed differently than the rest of the church. Given that a couple of the movements in the church in the US came out of Australia, was Canada affected as much as the US? How has Canada as part of the NAD been softened in any events in the Canadian churches?

Canada certainly has a checkered heritage when it comes to the sociology and history of our religious development, and culture. And that is not all bad.

Of course, statistics about this can be manipulated to a degree, but there are some disturbing elements that we just can't fudge on. Prejudice, or bias is something unseemly, that can fester just under the surface of almost everything, including 'religion;" and is one of the darkest clouds hanging over the church in Canada, and their utter failure with our First Nations people, and others.

We live in times where Big Media brings the circus right to the doors of our homes, and into those little screens so many have their noses glued to these days. The sordid, stark realization of how very competitive the biases and prejudices of "religion" can get are grossly apparent in almost everything we do. The dark, secret clouds of the "Christian" Churches in Canada, are still used as a weapon against people who are totally innocent of the prejudice and racism that some people do harbor, while having the audacity to call it "God's work."

Canadians are not alone in this. We all usually like to keep our racism kind of tucked under the rug, and to give it credible labels like "witnessing," or "missionary work," or "God's work."  We usually manage to keep all that buried, just out of sight, and out of reach of the general public; comforting ourselves with the platitudes like "the truth will set you free."  Some of us even have the nerve to call our racism and class prejudices something that "other people do."  I mean,  who among us wants to just "call sin by it's right name?"

Almost no one is willing to do that! The reasons for that are even scarier. Perhaps, I can illustrate with a personal experience.

As a young man in Canada, during the eighties, I recall a number of times having no bones about critisizing our then Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney. After a couple of beers, he suddenly would become Brian Bullroney.  AND that very kind of thing has been normalized by certain elements of Big Media. Thats not a part of my religious or sociological heritage I am proud of, but I brought this up for a specific reason. I would venture to guess that there are very few people who could say they don't have such things hidden away inside them, shadows of hatred and gossip that cloudy carricatures of "truth" find confluence in by many religious, and non-religious entities.

The things here is; if its not a couple of beers that unmasks and loosens what we are hiding inside; it may be something else such as modernity's technological advancements which can reveal things we always thought no one could or would, ever hear. There are a number of ways such things can pop out of us all of a sudden. Generally, if one is human, and last time I checked, I still qualified, it can be thought of as a physical law, if you will, that whatever you are holding inside, will eventually come out. No one is immune to this "law."

Sometimes, it can just be the little things that uncover some kind of dirt we are clinging to in our minds. Sometimes, it is a better story than that. There is a verse that puts it like this:

Quote

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Heb 4:12, KJV)

Obviously, it would be a better story line if God's Word transforms us, changes our thinking and our attitudes, and after a testimony (1 John 1:1-3), about THAT kind of change; (2 Cor 5:17), then I am sure that people would be running over each other to be the first one in the church doors on Saturday, or Sunday mornings.

Case in point: a short while ago, I was out for a walk with my camera, and I happened to find one of those free book boxes that some communities have in small town central Alberta; and being a sucker for free books, I started to fish through them to see what I could find. I happened to find a huge book, looks like its almost four inches thick, and it was the official Memoir book that Brian Mulroney himself wrote! Surprise of surprises! (some 40 years after my initial criticisms).

When I got home, I started leafing through this huge book, and one chapter heading really caught my eye; and my imagination. It was called simply: "The Battle For Canada's Soul," (pgs 836-852). I was quite shocked at what I read, and immediately felt guilty for the thinking I had harbored about this man all of these years. I have to wonder now, how much of all that "Bull" was actually just me!

Brian Mulroney was actually a remarkable man, and an amazingly competent politician. But what struck me even more than all of that history was his detailed account of the early adult-hood days and how he carried his dying father, in his arms, downstairs to the living room every morning so that he could enjoy looking out the window, and being around everyone in the household more.

I was quite surprised by what I have been finding out about Mulroney, and, sadly, what I was beginning to learn about myself, personally, and some of the rot I had festering inside of me. I do like to think that God's Word, through The Holy Spirit, has been convicting me and transforming me, as it revealed those usually, well-hidden "thoughts AND intents of the heart." (Heb 4:12).

Quote

The truths of the Bible, treasured in the heart and mind and obeyed in the life, convince and convert the soul, transform the character, and comfort and uplift the heart. . . . The Word makes the proud humble, the perverse meek and contrite, the disobedient obedient. The sinful habits natural to man are interwoven with the daily practice. But the Word cuts away the fleshly lusts. It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the mind. It divides the joints and marrow, cutting away the lusts of the flesh, making men willing to suffer for their Lord. {OFC 129.4}

If this kind of "transformation" had been happening with our Canadian churches, then why are they all shrinking, and closing the doors on what was once anticipated as continuing growth and a flourishing, integral part of Canadian society? It seems as though the evangelistic competition has literally "drawn and quartered" the church at large, inflicted irreparable harm to countless cultures & peoples. It really just seems now like the "church" we have created is  literally a target on our foreheads,  and, providing very little real help or "truth"  to those in need.  Vying for top spot in attaining unto "cultural relevance" is NOT going to cut it this time. Not in Canada, or anywhere! Yes, there are some good stories amongst the declining church memberships; but first, lets take a quick peek at some census statistics from the StatCan web site, as stated in the following:

Quote

 

[If we] compare the results of the 1961 Census on the religious composition of Canada with data from the most recent equivalent, the 2011 National Household Survey (tables I.1 and I.2). Christians still dominate the religious composition of Canada (67%), but that is down significantly from the approximately 96% of Canadians who identified as various kinds of Christians Christians in 1961.4 Moreover, according to the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS), some 7.8 million Canadians, almost 25% of the total population compared to less than 1% in 1961, identified themselves as having No Religion. Another notable trend is the growth of global religions other than Christianity. Adherents of Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism made up just over 8% of the national population in 2011, with Muslims alone at 3.2%. This is undoubtedly a major trend, and one that reflects a profound change in Canada as it becomes a truly multicultural and religiously diverse society, but the increase of those with No Religion is even more dramatic: this group now represents the second largest “religion” in Canada.

(Clarke, Brian P.. Leaving Christianity: Changing Allegiances in Canada since 1945 (Advancing Studies in Religion) (p. 6). MQUP. Kindle Edition).

 

THIS should be a monumental wakeup call to every church in Canada!

BUT, is it?

It is being said by historians, politicians, and scholars that agreement perpetuated, is, in effect, still agreement. And there is still wide consensus by "the church," that we MUST "evangelize," because "the Bible says."  The claimed "magnetism" of our church ancestors and "revivalists"  is still floated as the way to do the gospel, and that means minds are closed to seeing this from other, needed contexts.

I don't recall right now where I saw the quote, but it is in one of my electronic books. It goes like this:

Quote

"Hitler's magnetism held the thousands, as one."

I wonder just how close that statement is to what "the church" has done to our First Nations people, and other marginalized cultures?

Apparently, the brutal drive to nix the "competition" with the same things, derived from our "missionary work" of the past, and that gave rise to the current plight of the First Nations People of Canada, and others, is increasingly complicit; even today, in the terrorizing and ruining of innocent people, throughout Canada, that would prefer to just live in peace, and to have the same "freedoms" that we church people keep claiming for ourselves, and asserting how that no one else can have THAT kind of "  freedom" unless they are "one of us."

I have sometimes felt that I was quite literally ordered to PERFORM for the church. I can certainly recall "the good old days" when I would get into major trouble with other "Leaders,"  here in Canada, and with a couple from the US, during the evangelism ministries to which I was assigned, because I rarely sought to get the people I worked with into the baptismal tank. And for me and my situation back then; that was a major point of attack on my character and reputation. I certainly wasn't one of the pastors overheard in the shadowy back offices of the church, arguing about who would do certain baptisms.  And then there was little old me, thinking that I didnt want people  deciding  that they HAD to become an Adventist BEFORE they could know and love our Lord.

I can already hear the cat-calling with Mat 10:34

Quote

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword."

It certainly is not just Abel's blood that is crying from the ground.

(TBC - with some GOOD testimonies!)

 

Edited by BlessedMan

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B/W Photodude
On 10/4/2019 at 12:46 AM, BlessedMan said:

Canada certainly has a checkered heritage when it comes to the sociology and history of our religious development, and culture. And that is not all bad.

Apparently, the brutal drive to nix the "competition" with the same things, derived from our "missionary work" of the past, and that gave rise to the current plight of the First Nations People of Canada, and others, is increasingly complicit; even today, in the terrorizing and ruining of innocent people, throughout Canada, that would prefer to just live in peace, and to have the same "freedoms" that we church people keep claiming for ourselves, and asserting how that no one else can have THAT kind of "  freedom" unless they are "one of us."

The problem Canada has regarding First Nation people does not just belong to Canada. I know the church in Australia is in turmoil over the past history of relating to the "Aborigines."

The USA church may not give much thought to it's past in relating to Native Americans. While there was a very good work in Monument Valley among the Navajos, I had a very good friend one time who was of Navajo heritage who was taken by a white couple who taught in Monument Valley. So, she left her family and culture behind but never really successfully adapted to American culture and was like stuck in between. She could not go home.

So, how the children of indigenous peoples are treated must carefully be considered and they have been very abused in the past. Which is one of the reasons that it is very difficult today to adopt a Native American child. To do so requires permission of the tribe or "nation.' Even if the creature comforts, education, and even safety are better, it is not good to remove them from their larger family of the tribe. 

This has even been a problem with the adoption of black children by white parents. I believe it is easier today, but at one time was very much fought against. Of course, if you are a movie star you will have an easier time. How many black children have movie stars adopted out of Africa?

All that said, if anyone has considered adopting children, locally your child protective service can help you with an older child as babies seem hard to come by. In my state, it is a serious problem as over 50% of the children who are removed from a home never go back. 

You can also contact http://hostukraine.org . They can arrange for you to host a child for a few weeks (four weeks over the Christmas holidays or eleven weeks during the summer) at a time from orphanages in the Ukraine. According to their website, about 80% of temporary visitor children end up being adopted. (How can you host a child for eleven weeks thru a summer and not become very attached to them?!) Read their faq on the plight of children in the Ukraine who grew up in an orphanage. Their "papers" will always be stamped with their status as an orphan and they are second class citizens. So, they end up in human trafficking situations and worse. The war with Russia along with a number of other social problems have left many orphans in orphanages with little necessities of life.

While I am concerned with how the child of indigenous people are treated, I do recall very much the lessons of last quarter's  Sabbath school lessons on the caring of the poor, needy, hungry, and fatherless. James called it pure religion undefiled to care for these children.

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BlessedMan
2 minutes ago, B/W Photodude said:

The USA church may not give much thought to it's past in relating to Native Americans.

Appreciate your comments - this is the whole reason I started this topic.  I believe the silence on this matter is deafening. And it sends a message, not about anyone; except the silent ones.

I will be dealing mostly with the Canadian situation; but certainly any other related situation would be appropriate here. Have to come back later to finish this reply. :)

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BlessedMan
21 hours ago, B/W Photodude said:

The USA church may not give much thought to it's past in relating to Native Americans. While there was a very good work in Monument Valley among the Navajos, I had a very good friend one time who was of Navajo heritage who was taken by a white couple who taught in Monument Valley. So, she left her family and culture behind but never really successfully adapted to American culture and was like stuck in between. She could not go home.

So, how the children of indigenous peoples are treated must carefully be considered and they have been very abused in the past. Which is one of the reasons that it is very difficult today to adopt a Native American child. To do so requires permission of the tribe or "nation.' Even if the creature comforts, education, and even safety are better, it is not good to remove them from their larger family of the tribe. 

This has even been a problem with the adoption of black children by white parents. I believe it is easier today, but at one time was very much fought against. Of course, if you are a movie star you will have an easier time. How many black children have movie stars adopted out of Africa?

You have certainly hit the nail on the head here. The colonial aspects of some of the major religions, and the normalized abuse of First Nations in many countries is the same story. It seems that almost anything is OK "in the name of religion."  There are, fortunately, some good stories as well. I am preparing the next post which will talk about some of those. While "historians" can be very activist in nature, and support their pet-causes, there is good, sound material available if one wants to do the research. When one reads the accounts of Irish, Scottish, Ukranians, and others, and why they came here in the first place; well, lets just say for now it wasnt "colonialism."  Ill be back as time permits.

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B/W Photodude
On 10/6/2019 at 1:53 PM, BlessedMan said:

You have certainly hit the nail on the head here. The colonial aspects of some of the major religions, and the normalized abuse of First Nations in many countries is the same story. It seems that almost anything is OK "in the name of religion."  

It seems that one of the many things that happened when the missionaries came was to make the people wear clothes. I read of one missionary, a woman, who came to a group who were still "nature children", was to take off her clothes and become like them. She reported having good success with bringing the gospel to them. I do not believe she was SDA!

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BlessedMan
4 hours ago, B/W Photodude said:

It seems that one of the many things that happened when the missionaries came was to make the people wear clothes. I read of one missionary, a woman, who came to a group who were still "nature children", was to take off her clothes and become like them. She reported having good success with bringing the gospel to them. I do not believe she was SDA!

there are true angels among us still! :D

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BlessedMan
On 10/3/2019 at 10:46 PM, BlessedMan said:

If this kind of "transformation" had been happening with our Canadian churches, then why are they all shrinking, and closing the doors on what was once anticipated as continuing growth and a flourishing, integral part of Canadian society? It seems as though the evangelistic competition has literally "drawn and quartered" the church at large, inflicted irreparable harm to countless cultures & peoples. It really just seems now like the "church" we have created is  literally a target on our foreheads,  and, providing very little real help or "truth"  to those in need.  Vying for top spot in attaining unto "cultural relevance" is NOT going to cut it this time.

Troubles With Church In Canada: Part 2

"Believe In Jesus And We Give You Water?"

"Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:" (Gen 18:4)

{picture}

Quote

 

Our Canadian Church (collectively) seems to keep painting themselves into the corner. We kind of just do it to ourselves. Look at the "common vernacular. In most places, English speaking places at least, it is common to refer to the larger Protestant entities as "mainline" Protestants. I think that labels like this can be very contentious, (among other things), and that we should avoid them. What does it really say about us when such labels are used? The term "mainline" apparently is American in it's origin, being denoted as the white, Protestant (American Northeast Coast) elite, which really does not apply to Canada.

In Canada, the larger Protestant Churches have historically been much more diverse socially, and the largest Canadian ones, unlike the American ones, were not formed as a result of regional schisms. (such as between the North and the South, in America). Although hisorically, one would have to concede that even in Canada, the largest Protestant denominations, (as well as Roman Catholics) were very socially dominant in other ways. (paraphrased from Leaving Christianity, pg 8).

In my mind, as I look at our history, it is this type of social domination that has brought about much of the ecclesial divisions, infighting, and out fighting that has made the UNChurch. The dynamics of "church" in Canada are ever-changing, as in most places, and currently remain in a state of tortuous flux, I think, largely in response to cultural and legal demands of society at large. It has been my experience too, that with the exceptions of some of the smaller, more remote towns and regions, "church" is no longer socially dominant, or relevant. There seems to be a major crises, in most of the bigger players, struggling to be "culturally relevant," and in trying to stem the tide of closing Church doors, and stifling general "church beefs" amongst the vegetarians. I have driven past several church locations near where I live, and personally seen churches converted into commercial or living quarters. One church I know of has been converted to a photographer's studio! Id actually love to own that one!

 

Read Full Text Here    (I have no time/energy to format/post it all here right now)

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BlessedMan
On 10/5/2019 at 1:59 PM, B/W Photodude said:

The problem Canada has regarding First Nation people does not just belong to Canada. I know the church in Australia is in turmoil over the past history of relating to the "Aborigines."

The USA church may not give much thought to it's past in relating to Native Americans. While there was a very good work in Monument Valley among the Navajos, I had a very good friend one time who was of Navajo heritage who was taken by a white couple who taught in Monument Valley. So, she left her family and culture behind but never really successfully adapted to American culture and was like stuck in between. She could not go home.

Good points, and that is really the problem. How can we expect them to just "be like us" when they are not?

Below I am enclosing the rest of the article I linked to in the last post I made above:

Troubles With Church In Canada: Part 2

"Believe In Jesus And We Give You Water?"

Quote

"Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:" (Gen 18:4)

water.jpg

Our Canadian Church (collectively) seems to keep painting themselves into the corner. We kind of just do it to ourselves. Look at the "common vernacular."  In most places, English speaking places at least, it is common to refer to the larger Protestant entities as "mainline" Protestants. I think that labels like this can be very contentious, (among other things), and that we should avoid them. What does it really say about us when such labels are used? The term "mainline" apparently is American in it's origin, being denoted as the white, Protestant (American Northeast Coast) elite, which really does not apply to Canada.

In Canada, the larger Protestant Churches have historically been much more diverse socially, and the largest Canadian ones, unlike the American ones, were not formed as a result of regional schisms. (such as between the North and the South, in America). Although hisorically, one would have to concede that even in Canada, the largest Protestant denominations, (as well as Roman Catholics) were very socially dominant in other ways. (paraphrased from Leaving Christianity, pg 8).

In my mind, as I look at our history, it is this type of social domination that has brought about much of the ecclesial divisions, infighting, and out fighting that has made the UNChurch. The dynamics of "church" in Canada are ever-changing, as in most places, and currently remain in a state of tortuous flux, I think, largely in response to cultural and legal demands of society at large. It has been my experience too, that with the exceptions of some of the smaller, more remote towns and regions, "church" is no longer socially dominant, or relevant. There seems to be a major crises, in most of the bigger players, struggling to be "culturally relevant," and in trying to stem the tide of closing Church doors, and stifling general "church beefs" amongst the vegetarians. I have driven past several church locations near where I live, and personally seen churches converted into commercial or living quarters. One church I know of has been converted to a photographer's studio! Id actually love to own that one!

Even 20 years ago, this Protestant went on a bike ride across Canada "for the church," and all along the way I had speaking engagements in various Adventist Churches. Some of those churches were almost empty, even back then. One place I preached their Sabbath sermon only had 8 members present. The good old glory days of the sixties and seventies have seen steady decline, not just in membership numbers, but also in the QUALITY of church member experience. It sometimes seems apparent that there is no way for church unity, under the current methods of doing church.

Personally speaking, about The Adventist Church for a moment, I think there have likely always been problems with cultural relevance. When I went on a 2500 MILE bike trip across our beautiful country, it was to raise money for a church ministry run by an outfit called "The Destiny Telecast," led then by the late Pastor Henry Feyerabend. I even have a copy of the original Adventist Review article featuring my trip, and inviting people to contribute. Now, this would be a good example of the church's predicaments with "cultural relevance," because it always seems to come out in the little things, just before they become something bigger. I did really well on the trip, accomplishing many wonderful things, but I did breathe a sigh of relief when it was finished because there were a number of major challenges to over-come, for me to be able to complete that trip.

At the end of it; it had been a couple weeks since I completed the trip, and when I read the next issue of The Review, I noticed there was no follow-up to the first article to let people know, (some of whom were contributors) how I made out, and that I had managed to finish the trip without keeling over. To make a long, sad story shorter, at some point I was curtly told "the church has discussed it and decided they are not comfortable with "raising money by donations like this.""

Further, I was told, "people should just be willing to freely return their tithes and offerings without "RESORTING" to methods like this to raise money." Well, I was heart-broken, because it was really a lot of work to accomplish that trip - 2500 MILES in 28 days, with a hundred pounds of luggage on the bike;and multiple health issues; but the church sure didnt waste time taking that money I had collected, and then telling me that I did something  "wrong." by collecting it.

I do recall, about two years later, another Adventist person who did a similar trip and got nothing but accolades. Pickings can get pretty slim when it comes to the church being relevant, as they seem to change with every "wind of doctrine." (Eph 4:14).

I have wondered, sometimes quite loudly since those days, about "doctrine" and how we tend to weaponise our beliefs to the point where its "us and them."  And always, "THEM" were the enemies. Always carricatured as "the enemy." And then, of course, if one did not want to ascribe to the "enemy" terminology, they would be magically transformed into THE BACKSLIDER. Some people, historically, have tried to use an "Ellen White Says" or two in order to support the use thereof, of "backslider," but can it be denied, that our doctrine is all-too often a club, rather than a testimony of "Christ in the life?" (1 John 1:1-3).

In more recent days; I tried to attend one of "our" churches nearby, and I think it must have been because of how I was dressed that I got the old "stink-eye" from most of the apparently dwindling, 24 member congregation. Some of them looked right at me, and visibly, clearly sneered, like a bunch of little grade three students in the playground who didn't like little David's new bell-bottom trousers. Twice during that visit, when I tried to say "hello" in the sanctuary to people, they would just turn the other way and start talking to whoever was standing beside them. (I would love to be a fly on the wall and hear what they were talking about).

I don't think it would have helped much to take my skull-cap off either!

I have shared a bit of very personal church history,from here in Canada for a reason. While I believe its important for us to face the truth about "what hath God rot," it is equally important to look at what we, the church, have done right. I had a little fun with my wife the other day when she said she loved me; and I said "how do you know?" Could it be time to ask the church why they keep saying they "love Jesus," I mean, really, how do they know that? How would the general public know THAT?

Jesus once said "ye shall know them by their fruits." (Mat 7:16, 20).

I think, that all too often, church is more into vegetables, than fruits.

The point about using terminology such as "mainline" can be thought of in light of how, to most people, that word suggests some sort of superiority theology. In The United Church of Canada, which I grew up in, the fruits were very evident. I personally participated in some of their charity works in the community, even in recent years, and they really do walk their talk. And I am not nieve enough to run around talking up a storm about how the Adventist Church has none of this "fruit" bearing that Jesus referred to. For they certainly do.

Perhaps now, we need to be more cognizant of many other words and terminologies that we use, such as "conservative" and "evangelical," in addition to "mainline" because all of these have formed a kind of Canadian Cancer, if you will, wherever they are used. Use of labels and stigma's by Big Religion seems to mostly indicate something within the theological spectrum of Canadian churches. Even the word "denomination" is used in a very stigmatized context that we should be concerned about. Ever hear the phrase "non-denominational?" The very uncomplimentary use of that phrase "non-denominational" is the one sure sign that it actually is a denomination, and that there are some very bad intentions being expressed!

Its likely time to also drop the word "secular" from the vocabularly. "Secularization," for one example, is mostly used disparagingly, in a religious judgement of sorts against (never for) the un-churched. "Secularization" mockingly implies a "golden age" of religion that once supposedly existed and was perhaps,"forcibly" or "wrongly" taken out of the culture by all the malcontents. The term is bleached of any specifics but usually used to stigmatize someone. (in nice, churchianity, or historian ways, of course). "Church" in Canada keeps running around clubbing everyone with doctrine; when what they really need is water.

Back now to my main point re wanting to attend a church where I could do something. Something useful. I was quite surprised recently to learn that we have people, a lot of people, right here in Canada, who don't have access to clean water. Many of our First Nations citizens have had their water supplies trashed by Big Business, and there seems to be no solution in sight. I would like to attend the kind of church that would just get that job done. And for the life of me I cannot figure out why our Canadian Churches don't get it done. They could IF they wanted to. I guess they are all too busy being politically correct about other "cultural issues." But, are there reasons why people who need it, wouldnt want our water anyways, even if we did try to help? Would there be any strings attached to such help? You know,

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"believe in Jesus and we "give" you water?"

One of the things I have mentioned to more than a few people now, is that I would love to attend a church that has something for me to do. Something that would actually help my neighbors and fellow citizens of the human race. With all of the hoopla about the climate "emergency" I would have thought that some of our churches would get with the program a lot better than has been the past record.
We seem to favor "missionary" work in the far off lands where there is very little contact with "the internet," (and thats not all bad), but one of the big concerns being expressed now is water. Canadians, and Canadian Churches likely feel that, "in Canada we don't have water problems," yet the history sadly reflects something much different. i would add that I am NOT looking for a perfect church. I just want something to do.

In Canada, Grassy Narrows First Nations Chief Rudy Turtle, (Northern Ontario, Kenora region) has been struggling for years to try and get his people clean drinking water. (you can read about it in current, Canadian news). That's all they want. Just clean, safe drinking water. The water up there has been poisoned, largely with mercury from nearby chemical plants and other industries. Canadian Governments keep doing their annual vote time rhetoric and promises to help secure a safe water system; and all they keep doing is to pass the buck, reassign blame, and in the mean time, the Grassy Narrows people, (Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nations {Ojibwe}), are on long-term boil water advisories!

They have to in many cases buy more and more bottled water, which all the climate change predators are saying we need to get rid of! What on earth do we expect people to do? I seriously dont get why the Canadian Church/es cant get together and just get that job done! They actually could do it! Social differentiations whereby "religion" or "Church" is marginalized and cast off as not needed are only strengthened by our ignoring of the problems people around us are facing every day. What is happening to all of that "pure religion" in Canada? You know, that religion that gets a cup of water to the thirsty?

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"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." (James 1:27, KJV)

A closer look at what Scripture intends by "pure religion" reveals some startling findings:

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James 1:27. "on Pure" See also on Matt. 5:8.

Religion. Gr. thrēskeia, religion, especially as it expresses itself in religious worship. However, the apostle does not here define [the full scope of] “true religion,” but points to the fact that the outward evidence naturally accompanies the true heart experience. This is not a description of the whole of religion, but of only two pertinent examples of the genuine religious spirit that leads to such acts. See on Micah 6:8.

Undefiled. The Pharisees relied on the forms of ritual righteousness to keep themselves undefiled, but they were full of moral defilement within (see on Mark 7:1–23). James here points to a far superior type of outward evidence of “pure religion.” (Nichol, F. D. (1978; 2002). The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 7 (515). Review and Herald Publishing Association).

 

Canada has a situation where "Church" is in decline mode. And yet, the Church is doubling down on "evangelism" and still painting themselves into a corner with huge, expensive, "crusades" complete with all the terminology just discussed above, which must make the "cost" of each soul into the thousands of dollars, per person, and even with those ones, we dip em and dump em so fast, that what we are doing simply makes no sense.

ONE of the "outward" signs of the "true religion" referred to in scripture, for Canada, SHOULD be something just as simple as clean drinking water. We could "visit these people in their affliction" by bringing clean water into the package. Just a no strings attached clean water is all thats needed. THAT would be what the Bible calls "true religion."

Where is the clean water?

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"The tender sympathies of our Saviour were aroused for fallen and suffering humanity. If you would be His followers, you must cultivate compassion and sympathy. The widow, the orphan, the sick, and the dying will always need help. Here is an opportunity to proclaim the gospel-to hold up Jesus, the hope and consolation of all men. When the suffering body has been relieved, the heart is opened, and you can pour in the heavenly balm." {OFC 79.6}

(In the next post, I will cover a few ways in which Canadian History reflects upon some of the very positive aspects of "church," and that will show how not all religion in Canada was/is "colonialism")

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"Only like can appreciate like. Unless you accept in your own life the principle of self-sacrificing love, which is the principle of His character, you cannot know God." {Mar 88.4}

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_y3-zDtT_nI

 

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BlessedMan
On 10/14/2019 at 4:11 PM, BlessedMan said:

Personally speaking, about The Adventist Church for a moment, I think there have likely always been problems with cultural relevance. When I went on a 2500 MILE bike trip across our beautiful country, it was to raise money for a church ministry run by an outfit called "The Destiny Telecast," led then by the late Pastor Henry Feyerabend. I even have a copy of the original Adventist Review article featuring my trip,

I have no way to edit the above, so this is a correction. This should read "Canadian Edition of The Messenger." Not "The Adventist Review."

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BlessedMan
On 9/30/2019 at 5:24 PM, BlessedMan said:

What kind of animals could do such things to innocent people/children?  What I don't get is why such are not named as terrorists? Thats really the only title they deserve. Its no wonder so many historians write the way they do of religious history in Canada. I will come back to this aspect a little later in this topic. Questions abound like what are the justifications or are the justifications being used to "explain" this horror to others? How can any church say they have "good news" for our First Nations People, after all THAT?

Sorry its been so long since I posted here. I'll try to post in this topic more regularly.

Millerites Move Into Canada With The Three Angel's Message

God’s care over His loyal children is illustrated by the fact that He “Delivered His servants that trusted in Him” (Daniel 3:28).

The basic history I will be talking about in this post will be on The Scottish Pioneers of Upper Canada, 1784-1855, with a little bit about a few others that were involved.

I have been researching, with great interest, Canadian History, and for this post, I thought I would make a few notes about Ontario's Scottish pioneers, and the colonization of what was then called "Upper Canada." I hope by the end of this article, or the next after it; it will be seen how that as wrong as some things were back in the days where monumental movements of people and international affairs were taking place around the world; God always had His people that would shine through all of the dark history, and glorify our Lord Jesus Christ.

From what I understand so far, there are quite a few things written about individual Scottish settlements in Canada, but there is not a lot written about the over-all, whole picture view of the Scottish Pioneers in the formation of Canada. I have been surprised and shocked at some of the things I have been learning; it is amazing to think about the large numbers of people who came over here from that small country of Scotland, or with the Irish, who congregated in the Maritimes, to make a new home, and to literally pour their blood, sweat, and tears into the formation of the nation that was later called Canada.

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Initially, there were the Glengarry Highlanders whose settlements began to take shape from the mid-1780s. Their actions spearheaded the significant tide of emigration from Scotland which occurred over the next seven decades. Apparently, way back in the early 1800s, there were some 100,000 Scots that emigrated from their homeland to what was then called "Upper Canada." These original Glengarry settlements had a major impact especially when we consider the various economic and social factors in Scotland at the time and what caused so many of the Scots to leave their homeland and strike out anew in Canada. As it turned out, the highly distinctive communities/colonies, coming out of Scotland were among the most "prominent" of the early settlers to Canada. They were not the first, however. The book I am reading regarding this part of our history talks about how Presbyterian clergymen were sent out from Scotland, at the time, and formed a very essential "religious and cultural life-line."  (Campey, Lucille H.. The Scottish Pioneers of Upper Canada, 1784-1855: Glengarry and Beyond . Dundurn. Kindle Edition).

To visualize better what was taking place, we can note that Roman Catholics, in the grand spirit of ecclesial division and competitive "evangelism" initially concentrated their colonizing in PEI and other Maritime areas near by.

Previously, I had never thought to delve into our history like this; I always had questions about the propaganda and activism regarding what would now be called "colonialism," and it has been most enlightening to discover some of the underlying reasons that people were leaving, not only Scotland, but other European countries for North America, in order to escape the very dire conditions in their own nations. Back then, it sounds like most of the settlers referred to us as "The New World," and while a majority of those earlier colonizers did go to the US, there were still some sizable numbers that came to Canada; or that went up to Canada from the US. (Loyalists). But to give a brief glimpse of the conditions, something I read said that back in Scotland, capitalism had taken the weavers wages of around 25 shillings per week, and chopped it down to minimum wage of just 5 shillings per week, and so they were not really leaving much behind. The conditions they had to accept at times, to make it over to Canada and survive their first winter here were so severe; I am sure most people reading this today would not even make it.

One book I am reading says that Gaelic speaking Highlanders

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"deliberately sought isolated locations where they could continue to practice their traditions and customs, often to the complete irritation of other people who criticized their "clannishness." (Campey, pg 175)

Some of the earliest colonizers were obviously just trying to get away from severe conditions wrought by capitalism and ecclesial brinkmanship in their homelands. What I find really disturbing is that they tended to just bring all those problems with them to "The New World," and that they continually strived to make it like their old world!! How many times will "history" allow us to run away from the problems that follow us everywhere we go? How many times will history allow us to avoid dealing with our problems so that we dont have to transfer them to others, everywhere we go? I can just imagine how those prodromal days of colonization might have impacted our First Nation's people at the time! By 1861 the Indians apparently made up approximately 13% of the population in Upper Canada!

American Imperialism In Canada

Britain seemed to know that, even in the early, formative days of "Upper Canada," that the threat to Canada from American Imperialism was very real. Indeed, as the history shows by The War Of Independence, America was not destined to be just another colonizer/competitor like France:

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"It is with regret I have heard persons of distinguished judgement and information give way to the opinion, that all our colonies on the continent of America, and particularly the Canadas, must inevitably fall, at no distant period of time, under the dominion of the United States." (Campey, pg 175).

The Fear was real. The threat was there. It appears that the 5th Earl Of Selkirk had already, back in the early 1800s, been warning people about the vulnerability of Upper Canada because of the imperialism coming out from Americans. Apparently, according to Selkirk, early settlers of Upper Canada were mainly of American origin, and their "allegiance" to Britain was always very combative. But this would also help explain how Millerites initially came to Canada back in the day, as I had mentioned about them in a post above. Britain's hold over Upper Canada was therefore very fragile, right from the start, because of where those first settlers to Upper Canada initially came from. As the War Of Independence proved, America would be very unlikely to ever switch their allegiances to other nations. Especially Britain. Britain, at the time, was very fearful of any further, long, protracted, and costly wars with France, or with anyone else, plus, the very real threat, at the time, of an American invasion from the south. It all served to create a very confrontational atmosphere, and according to one book, this was the backgrounding for the Highland Scots who, against the British politician's recommendations, emigrated to Quebec as early as 1784. Some of those early pioneers actually came from the southern US; they were then known as "Loyalists;" in keeping with Britain's realization that Americans would only be loyal to America.

It was really a messed up situation back then in the very early days of Canada. But The Loyalists were apparently, and especially chosen to go and settle in the Upper Canada regions, perhaps, because of their tenacity and determination. Their loyalty to America. I think it was supposed that they could better defend that area from the many threats surrounding it: One book put it like this:

"As a preliminary step to achieving this, it had been necessary to remove the Native Peoples from their lands."  (Campey, pg 198)

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Compared with the Maritime provinces which were much closer, Upper Canada was exceedingly difficult and expensive for immigrants to reach.4 Loyalists had been brought to the province in 1784, from the US for the specific reason of bolstering particularly vulnerable border areas. As a preliminary step to achieving this, it had been necessary to remove the Native Peoples from their lands. (Campey, Lucille H.. The Scottish Pioneers of Upper Canada, 1784-1855: Glengarry and Beyond . Dundurn. Kindle Edition, pg 198).

My heart sank when I read this part. As much as I love Canada, this is a part of our history I am not proud of. As a kid, I had no idea that any of this kind of thing went on, and I always thought it was really "cool" to see all the cowboys and Indians in the latest John Wayne movies. Apparently there was an enormous amount of bloodshed when pioneering efforts took place in Canada's Maritimes, under mostly, the colonizing mandates of The Roman Catholic Church, at least for that location. Right from the get-go, colonizers formed their separate denominated cliques, and woe-betide anyone who was different.

In Upper Canada, however, there was supposedly a lot less blood shed, as if "only a little bit" was better than a lot! It seems that to be a "successful" settlement, or "successful" piononeer," all one had to do was to kill or displace all the people in your way, and start to make truckloads of money from what was taken from the people they just finished killing off. "Removing The Native Peoples From Their Lands, was all about killing them to get them out of the way of "progress" and "development." That, according to some history books, was called "God's work." (1) [clergy reserves]

The Scots formed their plans around the earlier "success" of Irish Pioneers that had been settling in Prince Edward Island, and the Maritime lands. (in roughly the 1840-70 timeframe ). With the Scots, colonization can be attributed to actions taken by Lt. Col. John Graves Simcoe, Upper Canada’s first Lieutenant Governor. "Simcoe never understood the democratic ideals which were brewing at the time. (from the Loyalists, I am thinking?). It seems that Under Simcoe’s policies, large grants of Crown land were made to very rich, very privileged individuals while the Crown and Clergy Reserves set aside even further acreages to the British Establishment." (Campey, Lucille H.. The Scottish Pioneers of Upper Canada, 1784-1855: Glengarry and Beyond . Dundurn. Kindle Edition).

Roman Catholics were apparently amongst these earlier colonizers, more in the Maritimes though, and some from The Presbyterian, and other Protestant Churches, who settled in the lands called then, "Upper Canada." (2) [define upper canada]. The Highlanders who colonized areas of Ontario, where much later, I grew up as a little boy, then appeared to comprise of both Catholic and Protestant denominations, in or around the 1830s or so.  Lands that were then made available for "settlement," eventually saw Presbyterians settle in Bruce County, my old stomping grounds, where I grew up playing "Cowboys and Indians." Roman Catholics seemed to concentrate in Grey County in those days. "Missionaries" such as Reverend Peter MacNaughton, were periodically sent out by the "official" or established Church of Scotland, (Presbyterian) and they would always try to force an allegiance of the "pioneers" to the official Church back home; but as you can imagine, that failed miserably. Denominational competition then, as in now, was sometimes brutal, and deadly. "The Scottish Presbyterian Church adheres to the Bible and Westminster Confession; the Church of Scotland celebrates two sacraments, Baptism and the Lord's Supper, as well as five other rites, such as confirmation and matrimony.[4][5] It is a member of the World Communion of Reformed Churches."[6] (see Wikipedia).

Most history books seem to glorify the "pioneers" who were really colonizers, which meant butchering and killing people that got in their way. Our First Nations people would give many sad tales of the atrocities committed in "the good old days." What the history books would call "successful pioneers," were in reality, butchers who murdered their way to the top, so to speak. Apparently, the common desire of the colonizing governments, for gentrification, was actually called "missionary work" in some cases. (more on this in next post).

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Having strong Baptist and Congregational affiliations, the Perthshire emigrants soon established a flourishing Baptist congregation at a place near the northern boundary of Lochiel which they named Breadalbane, in honour of their Perthshire roots. They met initially in each others’ homes until a log church was built in 1835. Meanwhile Reverend John McLaurin, from Breadalbane in Scotland, became Lochiel’s first Presbyterian minister in 1820. At St. Columba Church erected in Kirkhill, he administered communion for the first time on the October 6, 1822. Apparently, the government obtained a large tract of wilderness land by treaty early in 1816 from the resident Algonkian First Nation, and immediately began the process of surveying and allotting land to settlers. One, Reverend William Bell (1780–1857) was Perth’s first Presbyterian minister. He served his congregation from the moment he arrived in 1817 until his death 40 years later. He founded temperance societies, Sunday schools and Bible classes and helped to form Presbyterian congregations in many of the settlements that were being established, some history books refer to as "military settlements." (Campey, Lucille H.. The Scottish Pioneers of Upper Canada, 1784-1855: Glengarry and Beyond . Dundurn. Kindle Edition)

Many hand loom weavers from Scotland chose to emigrate because their government had chipped away at their income and it went from 25 shillings per week to just 5 shillings per week, and it left them all literally starving in a life of slavery and subservience, and the bait in coming to Canada was having their own land, and achieving economic dependence; but because of the crooked governance in Canada; many were just as bad, or worse off. It seems, from the books I have read so far, if things got rough in one place where they were trying to settle; they would just move on and take the land they wanted and which they thought would finally give them economic improvement. None of the church or religious efforts in any of the settlements really tried to assimilate with the culture around them; rather, they seemed to feel quite free in colonizing, and, in effect, enslaving or killing people such as First Nations in order to be able to say they finally had a "successful" settlement. The churches were very competitive, and confrontational, and showed no desire to accept other people's ways of life. Anyone who was not "one of them" were stigmatized and suffered enormous bigotry and racism. Everything Evangelism-wise seemed to be centered around conquering or enslaving, and finding ways to force "conversion," and church attendance. It got so bad at one point that people in some churches had to pay subscription fees to "own" a pew in the church and to "prove" that they were pious enough to name the name of Christ and tell others they were "Christian."

While some of the church struggles in Canada's early days bore the marks of class distinctions; the general rituals or sacraments of each COMPETING denomination seemed like they were designed to prevent individualism, and to bruit the society at large into a sickening conformity to the church. Personal religious expression, from early on was highly frowned upon, and as one can imagine, being more isolated in the role of "pioneers," the consequences were dreadful should one ask the wrong question, at the right time, to the wrong person. It would seem that history has a hard time loosing the fatal effects of being your own person, and thinking for yourself. But is this any different than what we have now? What have we actually learned from our history. Clearly, the churches in Canada's early days were complicit in many a conflict, greedily taking part in the most heinous  wars known in our short history. The very thing their members had left their homelands for, was now being formed bigger and stronger, and more dreadful, than anything they had left behind. The churches all seemed to establish their own brands of "emmigration societies," thereby making themselves complicit in the resulting terrors of the colonizing governments they seemed to be able to dictate their denominated firebrands to.

If my memory serves me correctly here; Brothers Charles Fitch and Levi Stockman were two Millerite Adventist preachers who died before Oct 1844, and I have wondered while doing this research, if any of them or their designates had ever forayed into Upper Canada with the Three Angel's Message. The Loyalists who came up through the US with imperialism as the motive, were still used by God, and the very trials they walked into were used by our Lord to work His message, in His time. (Rom 8:28).

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Those who were once zealous in the cause of Satan, but who, plucked as brands from the burning, have followed their Saviour with deep, intense devotion. Next are those who perfected Christian characters in the midst of falsehood and infidelity, those who honored the law of God when the Christian world declared it void, and the millions, of all ages, who were martyred for their faith. And beyond is the “great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.” Revelation 7:9. Their warfare is ended, their victory won. They have run the race and reached the prize. The palm branch in their hands is a symbol of their triumph, the white robe an emblem of the spotless righteousness of Christ which now is theirs.—GC 665.  {Hvn 83.1}

They are "most fit to carry responsibilities and command who most resembles God in character,--in goodness, mercy, and staunch loyalty to the cause and work of God.  Every one needs now to work for brother, for friend, for neighbor, and for stranger, drawing the mind away from the discouragements that will crowd in.  The truth is to be magnified.  We must not be surprised at strange movements.  No one must seek exaltation.  The more humbly we move and work, the more will we be exalted with God.  The return of Jesus Christ to our world will not be long delayed.  This is to be the keynote of every message.--Letter 39, 1898, p. 13 (March 27, 1898 to Brethren Woods and Miller). {ChL 12.3}"

 

Current NAD leaders, in particular, feed into this background of our distinctive Canadian History with their own caustic "gospel" of meritocracy which historically leads to defiance, rebellion, and division. Current leaders seem eerily similar to the colonial conquering gospel-mongers of old. If we do not want history to repeat itself; then maybe its time for a change? Do we, today's Church, want to copy certain of our pioneers to form our own, isolated cliques of "right Christian/wrong Christian" or is it time to get on track with God's will for Church in Canada, to include "every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, as equals, and none of us having  the message of a pre-eminent, merited, social "gospel," that essentially means nothing to the majority of members wanting to attend.

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Time For A Change: -There is much for [people] in responsible positions to learn.  When [leaders] feel that their ideas are without a flaw, it is time for them to change their position from president to that of a learner.  When they think that their ideas, their judgment, should be accepted without question, they show that they are unfit for their position.  God sees not as [humanity] sees.  Whatever position a [person] may be called to fill, [their] judgment is not to be regarded as unerring.  [Their] entrusted responsibility makes it far more needful than it otherwise would be for him to be free from all egotism, and willing to receive counsel.--Manuscript 55, 1897 (June 3, 1897, "Development of Workers"). {ChL 12.4} [emphasis mine]

In the next post, I will talk in more detail how The Church, (meaning all churches) became established in Canada. For a preview of the next message, I guess we could sum it up by saying, in Canada, IMO, there has never really been an effective 'separation of Church and state.' It is my understanding, from the history we have available, that this separtion is narrower now than it has ever been; but it is still, there, in much the same semblance as a "small voice" as in 1 Kings 19:12. Specifically,in the next post, we will look at "Upper Canada," and "Clergy Reserves," and try to draw a word picture of how Canada and "The Church," started to form, in Canada, from that. Ecclesial Powers, to be sure, were right at the forefront of the colonization of Canada. And God was right there, along the way too.

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"With thee will I break in pieces rulers and captains." - Jer 51:23

 

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BlessedMan
On 9/30/2019 at 5:24 PM, BlessedMan said:

Canada's attempted Genocide, started with the goal to Christianize those 'heathens'. The very thought of what happened breaks me, not as much as the Canadian Gov't broke them. Canada's biggest shame.
Even those who managed to make it home, lost so much. Lost the cultural their character and their dignity.

I remember stories, and I thought it was 'overspeak' about the nuns putting a needle thought their tongue for 24 hours.if they spoke in their "'dirty heathen language" They could not close their mouth, as the needles were that big. I heard similar stories from too many people to view it as overspeak.

Little children were taken from their parents, without consent, and told their mother did not love them anymore and wanted them to get a good white education.

Thousands of little boys and girls were beaten to death by religious leaders and never came home.

We have small troubles for a while now, but these troubles are helping us gain an eternal glory. That eternal glory is much greater than our troubles. So we think about what we cannot see, not what we see. What we see lasts only a short time, and what we cannot see will last forever. (2 Cor 4:17-18, ERV)

Disclaimer: This is not a turkey-shoot against The Catholic Church, or any other denomination. The purpose here is to reflect upon proven historical records that can reveal to us, what church looked like back in the formative years of Canada, and where that all might be headed to for the future. (don't worry, next post we will cover Protestant involvement in colonization of Canada).

The Story of Canada, and how it was built deals with early French-Amerindian relations, and how The Roman Catholic Church did their "missionary" work in New France, which was to later become Quebec, Canada.

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"Nowadays, a Church is seen as a voluntary association of people for the worship of God, and the persuit of religious activities. In New France,  particularly in it's Acadian, Canadian, and uppercountry sectors, The Roman Catholic Church was the exclusive institutional expression after 1627, of the religious and spiritual life of the colonial population. Its activities touched all aspects of life - social, economic, political, demographic, as well as religious. The role of The Church was so comprehensive and pervading into the 17th and 18th centuries that some historians have concluded that it [The Catholic Church] was the dominant force in the early French Colonies of New France, which was later to become Canada, (Quebec).

"The Roman Catholic Church was the national church of France and her colonies.  It was then, presided over by the King, asisted by an Assembly of The Clergy, and it was usually referred to as The Gallican Church by historians to underline it's jealousy preserved traditional "rights, liberties, and privileges," against what was seen in versailles as the over-weening power and influence of Rome. The King nominated the Bishops, and controlled the establishment of religious institutions and their recruitment, and through his officials supervised, (and sometimes aided financially), all educational, charitable, correctional, and punative establishments run by The Church. This was The Roayal Gallicanism that was implanted in the Canadian Colony, with the very first wave of settlers and missionaries."  (Role Of Church In New France, 1976, by Cornelius John Jaenen)

 

"When Aboriginal people were forced to convert to Christianity and transform their morality to adhere to Christian ethics, they were also forced to transform their social self concurrently with a transformation of their basic meaning system. A transformation of social self changes the sense of who people are and how they belong to the social situation. New moral norms became a defining factor for the appropriate gender behavior of men and women. New religion shaped norms pertaining to sexual behavior and it influenced norms of dress, physical activities, entertainment and rituals. New religion also legitimated gender distinction in work roles, home responsibilities, child care obligations, education, marriage commitments, political duties and legal status. Women were to become subordinate to men, according to Saint Paul’s view of the proper place of women: Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection. But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over men but to be in quietness. For Adam was first formed, then Eve; and Adam was not beguiled, but the woman being beguiled hath fallen into transgression; [and became a transgressor;] but she shall be saved through the childbearing, if they continue in faith and love and sanctification, with sobriety (1 Timothy 2:11-15, ASV).

Many contemporary Aboriginal thinkers are convinced that, historically, the destruction of the social sphere began with a rearrangement of gender roles in Aboriginal societies and the devaluation of women. Traditionally, in many Indigenous societies around the world, women, together with men, were the repositories of cultural knowledge, responsible for handing down tribal law and custom. They were one of the forces that made possible the stability and continuity of life. Aboriginal women traditionally shared with men a common religious heritage based on their relationship with nature. Women, as well as men, were linked without discrimination to the same founding ancestors. Social benefits, as well as social responsibilities, were, in principle, the same for both sexes. Those societies, in which the centrality of women to social well-being of the entire community was never questioned, were also characterized by an equal distribution of goods with the welfare of children and elders of paramount importance.

Many historical facts from the Aboriginal past have been veiled by official discourses and sometimes by Aboriginal people themselves, because, as Neal says: “There is a tendency for the older generations to avoid talking about [the] experiences that were painful, while many members of the younger generations have little interest in [the] events that are now frozen in the past” (1998:x). Allen (1986) writes about Father Paul LeJeune, the Jesuit, and his quest to "civilize" the Montagnais-Naskapi of the St. Lawrence Valley in the mid-sixteenth century. Father LeJeune’s plan had four parts.

First, LeJeune wanted to establish permanent settlements governed by official authority. “If someone could stop the wanderings of the Savages, and give authority to one of them to rule the others, we would see them converted and civilized in a short time” (Leacock, 1906:27 as cited in Allen, 1986:39).

Second, he advocated the institution of punishment: “How could they understand tyranny and respect it unless they wielded it upon each other and experienced it at each other’s hands? He was most distressed that the “Savages”, as he termed them, thought physical abuse a terrible crime” (Allen, 1986:39).

Third, he believed that Aboriginal children should be taken from their families and placed in Jesuit-run institutions, located far from the children’s homes: “The Savages prevent their [children’s] instruction; they will not tolerate the chastisement of their children, whatever they may do, they permit only a simple reprimand” (Leacock, 1906:28 as cited in Allen, 1986:39).

As Allen observes, “what he had in mind was more along the lines of torture, imprisonment, battering, neglect, and psychological torment – the educational methods to which Indian children in government and mission schools would be subjected for some time after Conquest was accomplished” (1986:39).

Fourth, Father LeJeune wanted to introduce a new social structure in which Aboriginal people would adhere to the rules of patriarchal institutions of male dominance and female submission. Following instructions of his Church, Father LeJeune taught that a sacrament of marriage binds a man who has all the authority and his obedient wife for life. Divorce would not be allowed under any circumstances if the marriage had been consummated. Birth control was absolutely forbidden and birth prevention was to be considered a grave sin. Father LeJeune was not alone in his quest to civilize Indigenous people.

All Aboriginal communities across the Americas and in the Pacific region met “their Father LeJeune” at one point or another in their life, who, like all other missionaries, brought the same message: replace “a peaceful, non-punitive, non-authoritarian social system wherein women wield power by making social life easy and gentle with one based on child terrorization, male dominance, and submission of women to male authority” (Allen, 1986:40-41). Often, the missionaries succeeded in altering Aboriginal behavioural patterns. Trigger says that in 1648: “A Christian woman who lived in Ossossane is reported to have beaten her four-year-old son, a form of behaviour hitherto not reported among the Huron’s and one that they would have regarded as disgusting and inhumane. The Jesuits, who believed that the Huron’s had to acquire a new sense of "discipline" in order to be "good Christians," heartily approved of her
action” (1985:267).

According to Allen:
 

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Christian missionaries, like their secular counterparts, could not tolerate peoples who allowed women to occupy prominent positions and decision-making capacity at every level of society … The colonizers saw (and rightly so) that as long as women held unquestioned power … attempts at total conquest of the continents were bound to fail. In the centuries since the first attempts at colonization in the early 1500s, the invaders have exerted every effort to remove Indian women from every position of authority … and to ensure that no American and few American Indians would remember that gynocracy was the primary social order of Indian America prior to 1800 (1986:3). Religion was seen as the basis for civil society. Therefore, The State was religious. More specifically, it was Catholic. As for The New World, [such as New France] it was to be brought under Christian dominion by The Christian prince, The King of France,(who was also styled as His Most Christian Majesty; as in "eldest son of The Church.) and not by the Papal Agency created in 1622, The Sacred Congregation for The Propagation of The Faith."

The French could not conceive of a church which was independent of State Authority. The role of the church, was to develop the civic and social conscience , as well as the spiritual life of the colonists. As for relations between Church and State, the long-established maxim was that "the church is in the state, and not the state is in the church." The state was religious, and the church was national. The formula would be reversed in Quebec under British rule, with The Romanists (or Ultramontanes) advancing the precept that "the state is comprised within the church."

(taken from Historic Trauma and Aboriginal Healing; The Aboriginal Healing Foundation Research Series, by Cynthia C. Wesley-Esquimaux, Ph.D. Magdalena Smolewski, Ph.D.; This project was funded by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation (AHF) but the views expressed in this report are the personal views of the author(s), and(Role Of Church In New France, 1976, by Cornelius John Jaenen).

 

Nowadays, under the wine-press of political correctness; there are often Ecclesial Apologies, done with great fanfare and pious cosplay of "Church Leaders" "witnessing" or "reconciling" by trying to sport the latest Good-Christian Hats that they think will best placate their target, and still serve to keep them in control of "church" and of personal Christian belief of the masses. In the news, in various contexts that serve to polish the church image up for "Church people;" we see the prayers in the market place to impress with their sported piety that they call "missionary work." Most of what we are seeing today are not apologies, or a credible witness for Christ. They are just smooth words, saying trite sentiments, to politically please people they want to keep quiet, and to maintain their "control" over the community christian witness, and keep their denomination in control of whatever segments they can grab from society at large, which in New France, of course, would include large numbers of our First Nations People.

Generally speaking, as one talks to our First Nations people about what they went through, the following idea will come out, in varied ways:

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Any confession always emerges from and is uttered in intercultural study and intercultural relationship with those who theorize and theologize from the perspective of communities continuing to struggle because of colonialism and coloniality. Bergen recognizes this in part when he writes, “Examination of the church’s witness cannot be done apart from the testimony of those who experienced the distortion of that witness and its life-denying effects.”
(Heaney, Robert S.. Post-Colonial Theology: Finding God and Each Other Amidst the Hate . Cascade Books, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition).

It should be noted that this is the very attitude, even today, of The Catholic Church. Their doctrine has not changed, and in another post; we will look at how that manifests in today's world.

Protestants and their complicity in ruining people's lives, under the banner of "God's Work," love to sport it about regarding how many "baptisms" or "conversions from Catholicism" that they accomplished in their "witnessing," and although the basic foundation of all of that was in direct competition with Roman Catholics, yet, there simply was not/is not a lot of difference between the two. The role of Clergy Reserves in the formational days of Upper Canada, are not only shocking, but really tough to believe. I keep wondering how on earth God puts up with us. As I mentioned in a post above, there has never really been an effective separation of Church and state, here in Canada, and the same powers that ruined thousands of people with their enforced/forced religion, and their increasingly competitive "witnessing" are still at work today, and have not changed one iota of their dogma or their agenda. THAT is the really scary part of all this. But thats for another post. In preparation for the next post, let us consider the following from a report called (The Clergy Reserves Of Upper Canada, by Alan Wilson):

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"In 1791, the British Parliament, far from seizing old Church lands or recognizing a North American tendency favouring the separation of Church and State, called for the setting aside of fresh lands in Canada; "to the maintenance and support of a Protestant Clergy...and to no other purpose or use whatsover; and of special rectory lands, according to the establishment of The Church Of England." (The Clergy Reserves Of Upper Canada, by Alan Wilson).

These provisions of The Constitutional Act of 1791, would be the cause of the most terrible conflicts in Canada for over 60 years; and are still reflective of where the church, as a whole, is going today and for the forseeable future. Its amazing how all this fits into Bible prophecy.

 

While we look. (2 Cor 4:17-18, ERV).  Paul now explains how it is possible to see the afflictions of this life in their true perspective and to view them as of only momentary consequence. His gaze was fixed upon the glories of the eternal kingdom (cf. Heb. 12:2). Whatever gains the fixed attention of the mind determines how one will endure trial, whether with hope and patience or with dissatisfaction and bitterness. The former comes from contemplating the unseen things of the eternal world (Phil. 4:8), the spiritual realities of Christ; the latter from looking at such visible, transitory things as wealth, pleasure, competitive divisions, and fame (see on Matt. 6:24–34). By fixing the mind upon the character and life of Christ we become like Him (cf. Heb. 11:10, 26, 27, 39, 40; 1 Peter 1:11). Nichol, F. D. (1978; 2002). The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 6 (859). Review and Herald Publishing Association).

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BlessedMan
14 minutes ago, BlessedMan said:

In the centuries since the first attempts at colonization in the early 1500s, the invaders have exerted every effort to remove Indian women from every position of authority … and to ensure that no American and few American Indians would remember that gynocracy was the primary social order of Indian America prior to 1800 (1986:3).

This is a very important bit of the history for Canada, because thousands of "Loyalists" came up from the US to conquer and settle in Upper Canada, initially in New France, and Upper Canada. More next post.

Edited by BlessedMan

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BlessedMan
On 11/9/2019 at 8:04 PM, BlessedMan said:

As I mentioned in a post above, there has never really been an effective separation of Church and state, here in Canada, and the same powers that ruined thousands of people with their enforced/forced religion, and their increasingly competitive "witnessing" are still at work today, and have not changed one iota of their dogma or their agenda. THAT is the really scary part of all this.

The Inchoate Canadian Church

But according to His promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (2 Pet 3:13).

 

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“Europe possessed biological weapons that fate had been stacking against America for thousands of years. Among these were smallpox, measles, influenza, bubonic plague,yellow fever, cholera, and malaria - all unknown in the Western Hemisphere before 1492 (1992:13-14).”

Here in Canada, as a response to this, “Shamans regularly adopted various Christian practices, as demonstrated by the adept use of baptism in Huron healing ceremonies when a smallpox epidemic devastated Huronia in 1636. In spite of attempts to heal themselves and keep sicknesses from their people, shamans and medicine people were not successful. The English knew what measures could be put in place to save them and might have helped to quarantine the sick. They did not do so, not because they were afraid, but because they “unabashedly welcomed the providential removal of the original inhabitants of the land” (Cook, 1998:200). Within two generations, smallpox had completely destroyed one-third to one-half of the Indigenous population of the American continent. It is alarming that this death toll appears to have been persistent for at least one hundred years after the first epidemic had begun. In 1587, in Sante Fe de Bogota, there were ninety out of a hundred Aboriginal people killed by a smallpox epidemic (Dobyns, 1963). It is noteworthy that this reference mentions only ninety out of one hundred, rather than the thousands that were being referred to not long before.

At least until 1918, various epidemics devastated the lives of Indigenous people across the continent,some reaching as far north as Alaska and west to British Columbia. Dobyns (1983) suggests that 90 to 95 per cent of the Indigenous population was wiped out by epidemic disease, warfare, slavery, starvation and complete and utter despair, with most dying within one hundred years of contact (Cook, 1973). Martin (1987) suggests that high smallpox mortality continued among North American Indians of the northern Plains and Upper Great Lakes in 1781 to 1782, with perhaps as much as 60 per cent of some groups still succumbing to the disease.”

(taken from Historic Trauma and Aboriginal Healing Prepared for The Aboriginal Healing Foundation by Cynthia C. Wesley-Esquimaux, Ph.D.Magdalena Smolewski, Ph.D.)

 

In another post coming up, I will provide some specific details to serve as as evidence of the genocidal nature of what befell Indigenous people in the Americas.

 

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“Familiar stories of genocide from Australian, Polish and Tasmanian experiences illustrate the similarity in the characteristics of genocide in the Americas.” (from Historic Trauma).

Even after reading just this post; I would challenge people to please, tell us, in what way is the church "holy?" How/why can Christians make such a claim today? What is it thats so special about us, as compared with the rest of civilization? Is there a credible answer to this question? Why can we say that the Adventist Church is holy?

I believe there certainly is an aswer or two for this question. . But, only when we can revise our take on "History," and realize that it is actually "HIS - Story" that we are talking about. Other wise, the Church simply would not be needed anymore by anyone.

There are some disturbing ways that The Crown Reserve and The Clergy reserve systems put in place by foreign governments, such as France and England, resulted in Church complicity in the genocidal ideations and practices of "the settlers." But first, a little more back ground for Clergy Reserves.

Apart from Jesus Christ, the church has no basis, no foundation. Its identity is something it receives from another. In repentance, the church makes clearer what is always the case: the basis of its hope is not itself, certainly not its good efforts or best intentions, but Jesus Christ. In ancient biblical and creedal texts the church is declared holy. In the aftermath of the Reformation, Roman Catholic theology stressed that it alone was in apostolic succession and held the true sacraments. Non-Roman Catholic others were “schismatics,” “heretics,” and “children of Satan.” (Heaney, Robert S.. Post-Colonial Theology: Finding God and Each Other Amidst the Hate . Cascade Books, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition). This is the very kinds of division that people on all sides had adopted, moving forward into The Clergy Reserve system of Upper Canada, and beyond.

When I think of my "church identity," I am reminded of all the experiences, both good and bad, that I have personally had with "the Church," (in my case, Adventist Church), and I think it would be safe to concur with the opening quote above, that as a church, we recieve from others, an identity, that tends to reflect people’s very real experiences with church. While some will be tempted to run away with quotes like the one above and use it for their publicly-sported piety to generate an "aha! I gotcha!" moment with the Roman Catholics, it would not be fair to attach such identity to "the church in Canada," without also considering the roles of Protestants, in the formative years of what we now know as "Canada."

As noted in other posts above, The Church in Canada, has been in steady decline for years now. In the last post, we noted very briefly, how the Roman Catholic Church got their start in Canada, and for this post, we will have a brief look at the basic facts pertaining to The Protestant denominations in Canada.

Looking over our history, I have sometimes been tempted to think it should be called "OH! Canada!" because it is really quite amazing to try to take in all of the identity posturing, and virtue-signalling in our history, and how it has influenced, not just Canada’s national identity, but also the over-all ecclesial identity. Incidentally, this indentity of "the Church" where we use the “us and them” piety, would be in line with the Aventist teachings on "the church," in particular, with what we call "The Universal Church;" in our Fundamental Beliefs, #13.

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“The universal church is composed of all who truly believe in Christ, but in the last days, a time of widespread apostasy, a remnant has been called out to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. This remnant announces the arrival of the judgment hour, proclaims salvation through Christ, and heralds the approach of His second advent. This proclamation is symbolized by the three angels of Revelation 14; it coincides with the work of judgment in heaven and results in a work of repentance and reform on earth. Every believer is called to have a personal part in this worldwide witness.-Fundamental Beliefs, 13...”

Roman Catholic theology stresses that it alone was in apostolic succession and held the true sacraments. Non-Roman Catholic others were “schismatics,” “heretics,” and “children of Satan.” In fact, today they still won't call us a "Church;" they prefer the moniker of "faith-based organization," as if we were all just one of their NGOs or something; and then there are Adventists, (and other Protestants) saying things like they are "the true remnant," all of keep saying we have “the fulness of truth,” and so all of these are the pivoting identity for the many ecclesial divisions and competitions, throughout much of the very colonial and genocidal history of "the church in Canada."

“The British Parliament at the time, decided against seizure of old church lands. They also decided to not recognize the "separation of church and state," that was then, fast gaining ground in early America, and, of course, brought to Canada by The Loyalist settlers. What then resulted was the setting aside of fresh lands in Canada, "To The Maintenance And Support of A Protestant Clergy...and to no other use or purpose whatever...and of special rectory Lands...according to the Establishment of The Church of England," (which was Anglican).”

American precedents back in the day were very important in early Upper Canada because many of the settlers came from The Loyalists in America. Americans seemed to be trying to shed that image showing the inseperability of church and state, but in Canada, (New France), the Catholic Church had been granted immense land holdings in recognition of it's willingnes to assume important educational and social services. (I have to wonder who they were important to). I believe that these were the lands known as Crown Reserves, and these were distinct from Clergy Reserves, which were new lands for Protestants, and under the auspices of the early 18th century British Government.

“In Nova Scotia, land grants for the Anglican Clergy had been introduced as early as 1749. In the old British Colony of Quebec, under Frederick Haldiman the Royal instructions directed the governor to set aside "seigneurial glebes" and with the arrival of The Loyalists from America, Sir Guy Carleton was instructed to encourage "a Protestant Clergy" by tithing and endowing The Church Of England through fixing lands "for Churches and Parsonage Houses," and for Glebes, to give to the Ministers and Schoolmasters."

Just prior to 1790 The Quebec Act had provided some very strong guarantees to The Catholic Church, (basically French colonialism), and on March 4th, 1791, the Pitt government introduced the so-called Quebec Bill, containing Knox's proposal for Crown Reserves, and this all paved the way for both Crown & Clergy reserves to become a matter of government policy.

William Knox was undersecretary of state for The Colonial Department under Lord North, and later advisor to the Pitt government on colonial matters. Governor Simcoe, at the time, apparently decided that an official encouragement of The Protestant Church, was “peculiarly necessary” in Canada after the Quebec Act's very strong guarantees to The Catholic Church. And this; I would say, is one point in history where we could say denominational competition and literal, mortal combat were enshrined nationally in a context of religious and civil virtue.

And to this day, its the reason I have said that Canada has never really had an effective separation of Church and state. Those same ecclesial divisions and brinkmanships are all still in existence today; but perhaps, under some very different guises now. The Crown Reserves and The Clergy reserves systems were directly responsible for the worsening denominational relations in Upper Canada, and which continue to this very day. (paraphrased from The Clergy Reserves Of Upper Canada, by Alan Wilson, (Canadian Historical Association, Booklet #23, Ottawa, 1969)

There are a lot of things that could not be covered in this post; but as I thought about all of these beginnings in my homeland, Canada, I had to conclude that “church” has done a lot of things wrong. Because of my own personal situation and personal church experience in the Adventist Church; I can confidently state that God used it all for my best good . But that all has to wait for another post.

Suffice it to say for now in closing; history also does reflect upon how The Chaos was always in God's favor...

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

And this is certainly true of Christ and His Church, in Canada.

One of many reasons I have long said: "there's always a little Light…"

Till next time…

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...we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom 8:28, KJV)

When trials come, remember that they are sent for your good. . . . When trials and tribulations come to you know that they are sent in order that you may receive from the Lord of glory renewed strength and increased humility, so that He may safely bless and support and uphold you. In faith and with the hope that "maketh not ashamed," lay hold of the promises of God. {ML 185.2}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BlessedMan
On 9/30/2019 at 5:24 PM, BlessedMan said:

Canada's attempted Genocide, started with the goal to Christianize those 'heathens'. The very thought of what happened breaks me, not as much as the Canadian Gov't broke them. Canada's biggest shame.
Even those who managed to make it home, lost so much. Lost the cultural their character and their dignity.

I remember stories, and I thought it was 'overspeak' about the nuns putting a needle thought their tongue for 24 hours.if they spoke in their "'dirty heathen language" They could not close their mouth, as the needles were that big. I heard similar stories from too many people to view it as overspeak.

Little children were taken from their parents, without consent, and told their mother did not love them anymore and wanted them to get a good white education.

Thousands of little boys and girls were beaten to death by religious leaders and never came home.

Historical Markers Of Religious Terrorism In Early Canada

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The process of land granting began with the Loyalist refugee migration in the 1780s and continued through until the adoption of the sales system and creation of the Office of the Commissioner of Crown Lands in the mid-1820's.

The land business in Upper Canada drew from the larger, centuries-long process of European settlement in North America, and the policies and procedures implemented in the province had their roots in the proprietary and Royal colonies to the south (pg 12)
(The 'First Business of Govemment': The Land Granting Administration of Upper Canada, David T. Moorman, Ph.D, copyright O 1997).
(obtained from The national Library of Canada)

 

In the formation of Canada, we have to keep in mind that Lower Canada, was predominantly Roman Catholic, while Upper Canada was largely Protestant. Upper Canada, in particular, was intended by its first and many of its subsequent Lieutenant-Governors to serve as a model of loyalty to the British Empire and a bulwark against American democratic “disorder.” (The Loyalists).

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In 1857, Lower Canada had 210,000 acres of Crown lands surveyed, 5,221 acres of Clergy Reserves, had 830, 000 acres of Crown lands, 59,937 acres of Clergy Reserves, as well as an additional 154,505 acres of School Lands. (Report Of The Commissioner Of Crown Lands of Canada, for the year 1857).

"Both reserves were set aside to generate revenue through leasing; the Crown Reserves to finance government expenditure, and the Clergy Reserves to support ‘Protestant Clergy’ as required under the Constitutional Act of 1791."

Ecclesial Division and competitions over land use/rights in Canada's early days were directly responsible for two "rebellions" in and around 1837:

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"The Mackenzie-Papineau Rebellion actually began in Lower Canada in November 1837. Led by Louis-Joseph Papineau (1786-1871), it was fueled by widespread economic disfranchisement of Francophone Canadiens and working class Anglophones, with one of the major irritants being clergy reserves which alienated land from settlement and supported the Church of England in a largely Roman Catholic colony.

A week later William Lyon Mackenzie (1795-1861) raised an insurrection at Toronto in Upper Canada. As in Lower Canada the Mackenzie rebellion was an expression of a complex of social, political and economic complaints, too long unaddressed by the Colonial Government. The clergy reserve issue, was central to most of these. The reserves were seen as a constraint to economic growth, an instrument of religious oppression and an example of un-responsive government. When Mackenzie gathered his little rebel band at Montgomery’s Tavern on December 7th he fired their enthusiasm by urging them to; “Stick true to the cause of liberty, and
you shall, every man of you, have three hundred acres of land and a piece out of the clergy reserves”. Mackenzie later said that the clergy reserves were the most important single cause of the 1837 rebellion.

(FEW PLACES MORE DISADVANTAGED, The Crown & Clergy Reserve Dispute, by Ron Shaw, 2015)

 

And this is one of the reasons I have been saying that Ecclesial competition IS  very brutal, and is no respecter of persons. If one was not on the right side in the right place, they sometimes would cease to be! Its THAT brutal!

Its interesting to note this following quote:

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"Revolutions do not arise from what men suffer, but from what they think."
 - William Lyon Mackenzie, 1837

The Ecclesiastical and Missionary Record for the Presbyterian Church of Canada, published at Streetsville, in March, 1848, contained this appealing passage from the English Presbyterian Messenger, which will show a small example of the ecclesial competition:

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O Ireland! haSt thou never heard that “righteousness exalteth a nation,” and
that “godliness is profitable for all things?” Whereas Popery is damnable for all
things, both for this life and that which is to come. The Gospel alone can
remedy what coercion bills, and poordaws, and railroads, and tenant right, and
repeal, and all outward institutions and measures, never can reach, the moral
degradation and mental prostration of Ireland, through the curse of Popery,
with its degrading idolatry and corrupting priesthood. Popery, body-debasing
and soul-destroying Popery, is the root of Ireland’s misery.8

To give empirical evidence to support this attitude, it was common to print statistics to prove that serious crimes were committed in a higher ratio in Catholic countries than in Protestant areas.9 There is little recognition granted to Catholic culture; a picture is drawn of priest-ridden provinces where crime accompanies illiteracy and commercial stagnation. It is a grotesque view, but it is one portrayed with such frequency that it must have been a basic assumption in the thinking of the average Upper Canadian Protestant.

(CCHA, Report, 51 (1951), 91-107 Protestant Reaction in Upper Canada to the “Popish Threat” by FRANKLIN ARTHUR WALKER, M.A, pg 5).

 

Over and over, denominated competition and religious brinkmanship has ruined the lives of thousands; especially with many of our First Nations people; and what makes it worse is that there are no tangible signs that this competition has abated, or will ever be a thing of the past.

Some people I have talked to about this subject seemed to feel that I am too harsh when I use the word "terrorism" in describing what was happening in Upper Canada and beyond with "evangelism" and "church" in the formative years of Canada. But I can assure you that it wasn't just the fault of one church or denomination; and that its not my intention to single out any particular one. I would say that certain Adventists I have heard do need to learn a thing or two about the actual history, for Canada.

A book I have read recently worded it like this:

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"...colonialism is plural. It is historically conditioned. It belongs to the history and experience of a variety of peoples and nations in distinct ways.8 Colonialisms evoke, provoke, and instantiate terror and fear, occupation and resistance, Christ and anti-Christ." (Heaney, Robert S.. Post-Colonial Theology: Finding God and Each Other Amidst the Hate . Cascade Books, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition).

There were a lot of things about the boarding school "ministry" of churches in early Canada that make church and evangelism dirty words in people's minds, even today, after all those years. The book I was reading when I started this topic details the whole process of the "schools" like this:

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In 1889, The Report of Indian Affairs Canada stated that the boarding schools must become the chief vehicle for native assimilation, because only when separated from the supposedly deleterious effects of aboriginal tribal life, could Native children be civilized. The churches became powerful agents of assimilation when they sytematically would enter into an educational partnership with The Canadian Department Of  Indian Affairs, at the end of the 1870s whereby the churches agreed to build and staff the residential school, in exchange for annual government grants.

Where aboriginal groups previously had been able to play off one denomination against the other, within the intensely pluralistic religious environment, they were now confronted with a religious monopoly in which EVERY DENOMINATION collaborated in the state's policy of assimilation. In this way, the inculcation of Christianity became wholly fused with a conscious policy of colonialism, in which the aboriginal would be totally transformed into a Christian citizen. Under the imprint of this policy, by the year 1931, there were 44 Roman Catholic Schools, (three fifths of which were run by the Oblates), 21 Anglican Schools, 13 United Church Schools, and 2 Presbyterian ones. Rather than questioning the Canadian Government's assimilation; all churches in Upper Canada then COMPETED tooth and nail for the government handouts, which they actually thought would help bolster their larger aims of "Christianizing Native Peoples."

The schools were run on a half-day system, whereby after studying for half the day, Native pupils, who had often been forcibly taken from their homes and their parents, by "Indian Agents," or sometimes the police, were compelled to work like slaves for long hours, either in the carpentry shop, the kitchens, or in the fields which were supplied for the schools.

 

This is where we can connect the dots with the Crown reserve and Clergy reserve lands a bit.

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The practice of the schools back then were to ensure that the pupils, (Natives) would acquire the skills needed to enable them to function in the white economy; but the reality of all that was that they were being trained for unskilled occupations such as farm labor for boys and domestic service for the girls. Some Native Bands were able to negotiate the terms on which they sent their children to the residential schools.

For example, The Shoal Lake Ojibway of Northern Ontario stipulated to Presbyterian missionary authorities that their children should not be forced to work unduly, long hours, proselytization of children would be limited, parents could take their children out of school to participate in tribal ceremonies, and most importantly, church authorities would not use  the police to FORCE runaways back to the school. This, however, was very exceptional, for most children were treated in highly repressive ways. They were regularly beaten and verbally abused if they failed to speak English; and the vast majority of lived in near-starvation, and under appalling sanitary conditions; a situation which was, of course, rife for diseases such as tuberculosis, and influenza, which regularly carried off a high percentage of aboriginal children in these institutions.

For example, at The Anglican Crowfoot School, out of 39 children, 22 of them had contracted tuberculosis; across all Anglican Schools, 42% of all the aboriginal children had this respiratory disease. FEAR OF CHURCH AUTHORITIES often prevented abused children from speaking out; but the Canadian Government had long been aware of the gross mismanagement and abuses that were endemic in the Canadian Residential School System. In order to implement an assimilationsist agenda laid down by The Canadian State, (government), the churches continued to fund and build those industrial schools for Native children, until the cultural changes of the 1960s, when religion was no longer deemed the critical foundation of Canadian Citizenship.

In the final analyses, the entire residential school "partnership" between church and state was an abject failure, because, rather than "assimilating" Native peoples; it actually aroused intense resistance to the white social order." (taken from Christian Churches And Their Peoples, 1840-1965, Social History of Religion In Canada," by Nancy Christie and Michael Gauvreau, pgs 140-141).

 

Charging into someone's home, or homeland and forcing them to become "converted" to your "religion" has never worked, yet we still keep doing it to each other whenever and wherever we can get away with it:

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For Native Americans, such imperialist misappropriation is ongoing. For Woodley, the “cultural dilemma” they encountered when meeting settlers for the first time is the same dilemma they face today. The values and lifestyles of many Native Americans, who claim no allegiance to Jesus, reflect more closely the Christian gospel than those who actually claim to be Christ-followers. It is as if settler baptism is itself submerged in a sea of colonialism and coloniality. The ceremony of innocence is drowned: European and American history is replete with ungodly people doing god-awful things, including land theft, rape, murder, enslavement, torture, pollution, depleting the earth’s resources, and even attempted genocide, by those who held “correct” theological beliefs.(Heaney, Robert S.. Post-Colonial Theology: Finding God and Each Other Amidst the Hate . Cascade Books, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition).

It would seem that as long as "its for Jesus" some think they can literally get away with anything, "In the name of Jesus," criminal acts have derailed many a seeker into slavery, death, and antichrist plans and practices.

In the next post, we will look at some much more positive history, as in HIS - STORY. The above text emphasized in red is my reminder that I have personal experience on that one.

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BlessedMan
On 11/17/2019 at 11:34 PM, BlessedMan said:

It would seem that as long as "its for Jesus" some think they can literally get away with anything, "In the name of Jesus," criminal acts have derailed many a seeker into slavery, death, and antichrist plans and practices.

This is a bit long, but there is so much to cover.  I do not find this easy to write about, for reasons that should become obvious as you read on.  I think this post should be about an eight minute read, depending on how fast one reads. FYI, I am not cutting and pasting anyone's opinion, per se; rather, I am personally reading/viewing all of the materials referenced, and writing short summaries or quotes to highlight the desired points. I have all of the materials cited in these posts and can go back to any of them to find further clarifications, as needed.

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We are nearing the end of this earth's history, and the different lines of God's work are to be carried forward with much more self-sacrifice than is at present manifest. The work for these last days is in a special sense a missionary work. The presentation of present truth, from the first letter of its alphabet to the last, means missionary effort. The work to be done calls for sacrifice at every advance step. From this unselfish service the workers will come forth purified and refined as gold tried in the fire.  {CH 216.1}  

What kinds of "unselfish service" would this be talking about? Is it talking about something different than what we are doing now?

It seems rather apparent that, in Canada, (as well as other countries), that our "missionary work" has been co-opted, and has given rise to such horrors and abuses; I have to wonder how anyone who was the object of said "evangelism" could ever hope to recover from it. But the story told in all of its demeaning terrors; does turn into a story about the remarkable ability of human resilience and courage borne by love for our fellow human beings.

In examining the development of early Canadian society, it is essential to shift our focus well-beyond the internal dynamics of "the establishment," or, in the case of this topic, we need to focus beyond the colonialists who were marketing their "brand names" (such as denominations, and/or capitalism). A book I referred to, I think in the OP, has some insight on this point that I want to cover in this post. It is quite interesting to delve into the early Canadian History, and realize how it all started to come together. The American Revolution was apparently, one of the major events that brought immigrants to "Upper & Lower Canada," and beyond:

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"The American Revolution

The Thirteen Colonies on the East Coast of North America prospered. Many colonists felt that they no longer needed to be a colony of Britain. A number of events led to the American Revolution. The colonies fought a war against Britain to be free from British rule. The colonies won their independence and became the United States of America.

The United Empire Loyalists

During the American Revolution, many colonists living in the Thirteen Colonies remained loyal to the English king and fled to Canada or returned to Britain. When the war was over, the United States of America would not pardon the Loyalists. British North America welcomed them. Many received land grants and farming supplies.

Upper Canada and Lower Canada

French settlers lived in the eastern part of Quebec. British settlers lived in the western part. Britain divided Quebec into two colonies. Upper Canada was mainly British and Protestant. Lower Canada was mainly French and Catholic.
(Upper Canada, Lower Canada, and the Maritime colonies in the early 1800s, Conflict & Change, by Jennette MacKenzie and Susan Green)"

 

A short quote about the Loyalists I found reports the following:

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"When the Loyalist refugees fleeing the American revolution in the 1780's moved into what would become the province of Upper Canada, the colonial government faced a new and unwelcomed situation. Colonial officiais in both London and Quebec abandoned their plans for the expansion of the French colony and the preservation of an extensive western Native reservation in favour of a British-style settlement, cornplete with a balanced constitution, common law. and free and soccage land tenure." (The 'First Business of Govemment': The Land Granting Administration of Upper Canada David T. Moorman, Ph.D,copyright 1997)."

People who left the newly created United States back then made a beeline straight to Upper Canada to escape from the horrors and political pressure they were experiencing in America.

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"The tone of writings about those who fled the newly created United States in the 1780s out of loyalty to the British monarchy have ranged from pride to bathos (triviality), on the Canadian and British sides and often have been deeply bitter on the American side. As has been all too amply displayed since the American Civil War, feelings about such events run deep, last long, and remain polar. ...for whatever reasons, noble and base, altruistic and self-serving, the Loyalists demonstrated allegiance to Britain. The vigour of the American reaction against these people is also understandable, though we may with retrospective compassion lament the often cruel violence of that reaction. Consequently, during the war and shortly after it, thousands of British residents of the former colonies chose to leave and thousands more were forced to leave because of their expressions and acts of principle. Almost without exception they abandoned homes, livestock, furnishings, clothing4 and money. Of the estimated 50 000 Loyalists who fled, about 5000 came to what is now Ontario to begin a new life.

In the 1780s Upper Canada was a wilderness. Indeed, until 1791 it was not even Upper Canada, just the western districts of Quebec. Before the Loyalist influx the population of Europeans did not exceed 2000. Most of them were British soldiers at frontier forts or francophone Canadians living along the Detroit River and engaged in the fur trade.
 
The site of present-day Toronto was nothing more than the terminus of an Indian trail until the 1790s, and Kingston was created by the Loyalists on the long-abandoned ruins of a French fort. The only other settled location was along the Niagara River where the British still held the fort on the east side and a handful of settlers had begun to till land on the west side, near what is now Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Upper Canada was covered with virgin forests, a sight that must have desolated the hearts of the Loyalists two centuries ago. Just a generation earlier many of them had wrestled with the forests of western Pennsylvania and upper New York State.

Britain supplied each household with an axe - often an inefficient, short-handled sailor's axe - as well as other necessities, and the government transported the settlers and gave them rough clothing and food, promising enough provisions to last until a decent harvest was possible. And most important, Britain supplied land - free land - in generous amounts to all and in prodigious acreages to high-ranking officers and government officials."
(Health and disease among the early Loyalists in Upper Canada, by CHARLES G. ROLAND, MD, pg 1-2).

 

Wasn't that "nice" of Britain, to "supply land" that wasn't even their's in the first place?

More importantly, whats it going to take for people to be liberated from domination by the "missionary" legacy on which they have been force-fed? Apparently, the independence of Canada did not mean the end of cultural superiority, subjugation, or the marginalization of its own religious voices. Given ongoing situations of subjugation, colonialism cannot, in the end, sufficiently define the point of emancipation for our First Nations people. I have had the privilege of working with some First Nations people, and we never actually talked about these issues then. In fact, I had no idea about all the horrors that had happened. A first nations individual approached me one day in a place of employment, and said to me: "you look like you are a Christian; my mom is dying of cancer, and she is very afraid. Can you please come out and read the Bible to her."

To be honest; I was quite shocked to get such a request. But of course, I did end up going out there; and I decided that there was no way for me to "preach the truth" to them in any of the more traditional ways. The people on that First Nations Reserve had what they called "the old religion" which was very uneasy about "christianity" and its seemingly incessant goals of destroying their beliefs and cultures, in favor of "the truth." In the next post; I will write more of what ended up happening out there.  

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The process of land granting began with the Loyalist refugee migration in the 1780s and continued through until the adoption of the sales system and creation of the Office of the Commissioner of Crown Lands in the mid-1820's.

The land business in Upper Canada drew from the larger, centuries-long process of European settlement in North America, and the policies and procedures implemented in the province had their roots in the proprietary and Royal colonies to the south (pg 12)
(The 'First Business of Govemment': The Land Granting Administration of Upper Canada, David T. Moorman, Ph.D, copyright O 1997). (obtained from The national Library of Canada)

 

In the formation of Canada, we have to keep in mind that Lower Canada, was predominantly Roman Catholic, while Upper Canada was largely Protestant. Upper Canada, in particular, was intended by its first and many of its subsequent Lieutenant-Governors to serve as a model of loyalty to the British Empire and a bulwark against American democratic “disorder.” (The Loyalists).

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In 1857, Lower Canada had 210,000 acres of Crown lands surveyed, 5,221 acres of Clergy Reserves, had 830, 000 acres of Crown lands, 59,937 acres of Clergy Reserves, as well as an additional 154,505 acres of School Lands. (Report Of The Commissioner Of Crown Lands of Canada, for the year 1857).

"Both reserves were set aside to generate revenue through leasing; the Crown Reserves to finance government expenditure, and the Clergy Reserves to support ‘Protestant Clergy’ as required under the Constitutional Act of 1791."

Ecclesial Division and competitions over land use/rights in Canada's early days were directly responsible for two "rebellions" in and around 1837:

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"The Mackenzie-Papineau Rebellion actually began in Lower Canada in November 1837. Led by Louis-Joseph Papineau (1786-1871), it was fueled by widespread economic disfranchisement of Francophone Canadiens and working class Anglophones, with one of the major irritants being clergy reserves which alienated land from settlement and supported the Church of England in a largely Roman Catholic colony.

A week later William Lyon Mackenzie (1795-1861) raised an insurrection at Toronto in Upper Canada. As in Lower Canada the Mackenzie rebellion was an expression of a complex of social, political and economic complaints, too long unaddressed by the Colonial Government. The clergy reserve issue, was central to most of these. The reserves were seen as a constraint to economic growth, an instrument of religious oppression and an example of un-responsive government. When Mackenzie gathered his little rebel band at Montgomery’s Tavern on December 7th he fired their enthusiasm by urging them to; “Stick true to the cause of liberty, and you shall, every man of you, have three hundred acres of land and a piece out of the clergy reserves”. Mackenzie later said that the clergy reserves were the most important single cause of the 1837 rebellion.

(FEW PLACES MORE DISADVANTAGED, The Crown & Clergy Reserve Dispute, by Ron Shaw, 2015)

 

And this is one of the reasons I have been saying things like Ecclesial competition being very brutal, and no respecter of persons. If one was not on the right side in the right place, they sometimes would cease to be! Its THAT brutal!

Its interesting to note this following quote:

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"Revolutions do not arise from what men suffer, but from what they think."  - William Lyon Mackenzie, 1837

The Ecclesiastical and Missionary Record for the Presbyterian Church of Canada, published at Streetsville, in March, 1848, contained thismost appealing and reverent passage from the English Presbyterian Messenger, which will show a small example of the ecclesial competition, this time from a protestant viewpoint:

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O Ireland! hast thou never heard that “righteousness exalteth a nation,” and that “godliness is profitable for all things?” Whereas Popery is damnable for all things, both for this life and that which is to come. The Gospel alone can remedy what coercion bills, and poordaws, and railroads, and tenant right, and repeal, and all outward institutions and measures, never can reach, the moral degradation and mental prostration of Ireland, through the curse of Popery, with its degrading idolatry and corrupting priesthood. Popery, body-debasing and soul-destroying Popery, is the root of Ireland’s misery.8 To give empirical evidence to support this attitude, it was common to print statistics to prove that serious crimes were committed in a higher ratio in Catholic countries than in Protestant areas.9 There is little recognition granted to Catholic culture; a picture is drawn of priest-ridden provinces where crime accompanies illiteracy and commercial stagnation. It is a grotesque view, but it is one portrayed with such frequency that it must have been a basic assumption in the thinking of the average Upper Canadian Protestant.(CCHA, Report, 51 (1951), 91-107 Protestant Reaction in Upper Canada to the “Popish Threat” by FRANKLIN ARTHUR WALKER, M.A, pg 5).

Over and over, denominated competition and religious brinkmanship has ruined the lives of thousands; especially our First Nations people; and what makes it worse is that there are no tangible signs that this competition has abated, or will ever be a thing of the past.

For this post id like to end with a link to the following trailer for a documentary put out by the National Film Board of Canada. While one can possibly get through the trailer relatively unscathed, it is much harder to pay the small subscription fee to view the whole movie, and to not be very disturbed by its contents. I have downloaded and viewed the entire film, and will comment more on that in another post. I think it will help to just get the stories out. Start the conversations. Don't shy away from whats actually happened. And that is the purpose of this topic.

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In this feature film, the profound impact of the Canadian government’s residential school system is conveyed through the eyes of two children who were forced to face hardships beyond their years. As young children, Lyna and Glen were taken from their homes and placed in church-run boarding schools, where they suffered years of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, the effects of which persist in their adult lives. WE WERE CHILDREN gives voice to a national tragedy and demonstrates the incredible resilience of the human spirit.

We Were Children

 

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