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May 20, 2010


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Yes, Logan, please feel free to use this thread conversationally. Your comments on Clarion have always been thoughtful.

Re: my comment about 'make sure we're not like what she says,' what I was attempting to say might have been better unpacked this way:

Marci might very well be accurately describing a trend in Canadian evangelicalism towards greater political leverage in Ottawa as a lobby group for right wing politics.

IF SO, then either we need to ask, 'Why is that a problem?' Christian people should take their values into the public domain and impact their world ... think of Wilburforce in the UK or MLK in the US. Absolutely nobody enters the public fray values free and Christians should not be expected to either. We certainly ought to be asking how we can be a prophetic voice that challenges (without apology) our culture, our government and our religious systems to do justice and love mercy in the land.

On the other hand, I am personally concerned when the Canada-US prayer movement connections become a gateway for Republican policy to identify itself as Christian per se and then push its agenda through us into Ottawa. Canada used to carry an intentionally alternative and sovereign vision for just society in North America which continues to slip away. I'm afraid we're too vulnerable to the secondary influence of the Glenn Becks and Rush Limbaughs south of the border and we're too forgetful of our own public prophets from Tommy Douglas to Bruce Cockburn ... and what the word of the Lord was that they actually proclaimed.

BUT (and here was my original intent) if Marci's critics BELIEVE that she is wrong in how she's represented the evangelical right in Canada, then I would encourage those critics to lead the way in proving her wrong, not just by defensive or angry backlash against her book, but by double-checking both who we are behind the scenes and up front in public (whether in the pulpits or the papers). I'm sad that so many of the comments against her book have so powerfully confirmed her suspicions, because as a movement, I think we're better than that.


"...The Armageddon Factor does a meticulous job of isolating and describing significant aspects of the evangelical republican tribe, but a deeper theological, exegetical, cultural, ethical and political analysis is needed to unpack the reasons for such positions taken."

The reasons for such positions taken... that stands out for me.

Logan Runnalls

"but I would say that the book is a good look in the mirror and if we're NOT like what she says, we should MAKE SURE we're not like what she says,"

I don't know what that means. "like" as appearance or reality?

is it all right to use this comment system conversationally?


I was at a 'prayer movement' event a while back and during the flow of the evening I did experience some of what Marci is addressing. The host made some sarcastic comments about 'the Charter of Wrongs' and was quite openly Zionistic (in the sense that for us to be repentant about anti-semitism, Canada's national foreign policy should be supportive of contemporary Israel's domestic policy.

I was also privy to the political lobbying married to some national intercessors' groups when it came to the gay marriage issue. I think overall, this is Marci's basic research and follow-up question: She demonstrates that the evangelical conservative / charismatic prayer movements have occasionally made it their aim to be political lobbyists in Ottawa and use their prayer networks to rally the masses to pressure Parliament re: moral issues in order to legislate Christian values. That's simply a fact. The question then is whether that's appropriate or not.

While I would like the church to have a prophetic voice when it comes to the state, there are also some obvious reasons why a united Christian stake can be problematic:

1. The Canadian Conservative prayer movement has many relational ties to the American Evangelical prayer folks, who are in bed with American Republican organizations. I would think we need watchmen to resist the power of American Republican capitalist agendas rather than opening the gate for them.

2. If the Canadian evangelicals want to erode a hard won secular state committed to religious freedom by taking territory for religious agendas in parliament, we are demographically on the way, not to a Christian state, but ultimately, an Islamic one. Watch Europe.

3. I would like to see us have some measure of public involvement in the tradition of Wilburforce with the abolition of slavery. But when the prayer leaders took on gay marriage as a political battle, it appears to me that Christianity in Canada took on a new and uglier face that finally defined us as 'those who are against.' Moreover, in loosing that battle, innumerable faithful 'prayer warriors' found themselves despairing of the effectiveness of prayer or else pronouncing judgments on the nation or on the laxity of God's people. Something went horribly sideways across the board, not least of which is our failure to be people who bear good news.

Marci's research was very extensive. Five years as far as I'm aware and included not only countless hours of face to face interviews with 'the players,' but also attendance at prayer functions where she was at times offered (and received) prayer and at others, treated as a pariah. She personally gave me four hours to clear up what I felt were factual errors on one of her story lines.

I'm not saying she's always right or always fair, but I would say that the book is a good look in the mirror and if we're NOT like what she says, we should MAKE SURE we're not like what she says,



My dear Church

My dearest Church

you mustn't be offended

My dearest Bride

you only need to take a sincere look at Yourself with Me.

telling You the Truth.

You only need to sit with Me a moment.

Logan Runnalls

hmmm. My response to the review is that I am both intrigued and suspicious of this book. The book appears to view the topic in a simplistic manner. I am curious what it means to be a "well researched tome." That it there is a breadth in the material is not the same as depth or understanding of the topics.

I have some knowledge of Watchmen for the Nations and whatever flaws the organization might have they are not nationalistic. Their concern is for the Church of Canada not the State of Canada. check out http://www.watchmen.org/Journey/index.asp

The apparent misread of the Watchmen leads me to suspect all the research as merely superficial.

The fallout from a book that is overly simplistic should be (tragically) obvious. There will be many Evangelicals who feel carelessly misrepresented and take a defensive or even agressive stance which will then be seen as justification for the initial characterization.

Logan Runnalls

hey Jan. you don't need to be ashamed (?) of your resistance to this article. you are completely correct that we are only to "pursue the One Who is Truth." the thing is, we only know this Truth through the Incarnation.

What I mean is that in pursuing Jesus we will find that He leads us to engage this world and the conflicts therein.

At the same time you also set us a good example by asking why you felt the need to defend yourself. Lord, give me the same grace and wisdom to confront my own defenciveness.


forgive the preaching...
perhaps i feel that i have been misrepresented.
possibly, i have been.

but if at the end of this review i feel like i need to defend myself... why is that?

perhaps what i need to do is examine my heart.

what in this world is of great import?

only, only pursue the One Who is Truth.

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