A Provocative Question
What does the democratically elected government of Alberta have in common with the totalitarian dictatorship of North Korea? I got the answer from helping my wife in her garden this summer. To get healthy plants that produce beautiful flowers or tasty fruit, they need to be planted in fertile soil. Here’s how it works in government.
Towards a Surprising Answer
A Chinese student in Harvard was asked if he had learned anything surprising from his years of living in North America. “Yes,” the young doctor said, “I was surprised at how much democracy depends on Judeo-Christian religion.”
He went on to explain that he never realized that democracy only works well when most of the people are honest and respect just laws, not because of fear of being caught and punished if they disobey, but because they believe respecting laws that protect people is the right thing to do.
Freedom and prosperity are the flowers and fruit of democracy whose roots are fed by the fertile soil of Judeo-Christian principles. Western democracy is based on the Judeo-Christian principles embodied in these commandments.
The Creator’s Operating Manual
The Ten Commandments are the Creator’s Operating Manual for Human Beings. They can be summarized as follows: Respect and love God, recognizing our ultimate accountability to Him. Respect truth. Respect and love yourself and other fellow human beings. Respect parents. Respect your own, and other people’s bodies, lives, family and property.
When a country turns its back on these Christian principles, it is like ignoring the operating manual for a luxury vehicle. It will not last long without oil in the engine or air in the tires.
The Two Koreas
My son-in-law, Keith Penner, wrote up a position paper to present to his church board that illustrates this in the following paragraphs:
“Korea is an example that is almost biblical in its illustrative value. Prior to the end of the Korean war (in 1953), the country shared a common culture, language, beliefs, resources base, and history. Then a line was drawn across the country and the north came exclusively under the influence of a godless government philosophy. The south was governed under the direction and values of western democratic governments.
“The contrast today is horrifying. After 63 years, North Korea cannot feed its own population, produces nothing for export, has alienated itself from the international community, and is rife with oppression and human rights abuse. South Korea is prosperous, well educated, free, and has a thriving Christian community. The impact of these two worldviews should not be dismissed.”
What Korea and Alberta Have in Common
North Korea, ironically calls itself The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. When it listens to its people it hears only praise of its actions—all citizens that spoke in favour of Judeo-Christian principles of conduct have been killed or jailed.
Similarly, in Alberta, although the current provincial government has Democratic in its name, it refuses to listen to citizens that uphold Judeo-Christian principles. Instead, the government, in the name of political correctness and so as not to offend other religions, disrespects God, turning its back on Alberta’s historic Christian heritage. It passes laws accumulating power to the government and taking away choice from the citizens. Christian independent schools, and home-schoolers are being attacked, the premier saying she wants to centralize all education in the public system where a new morality-free curriculum will be implemented.
Any Faith but Christianity
It appears other religions are acceptable to the government, just not Christianity. In September, the premier skipped the observance of the fifteenth anniversary of the 9/11 massacre in New York where nearly 3,000 people lost their lives to Muslim terrorists acting in the name of Allah, but the very next day she donned a hijab and sent her video taped blessing to Muslims celebrating the holiday of Eid al-Adha.
The lesson of the Koreas is clear; freedom and prosperity are the fruit of democracy whose roots are fed in the soil of Judeo-Christian principles. North Korea sterilized the soil, the tree died and the people are starving. The Alberta government is well on the way to “cleanse” the cultural soil of Christian influence. When the soil is sterile, the tree of democracy will die, and the people will suffer.
What’s a Christian to Do?
One, live out our Christian faith, not just as individuals in church on Sunday, but as a church during the week, loving people, and meeting whatever needs they have, wherever they are.
Two, “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”