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Do two bizarre stories out of Canada define the country’s spiritual climate?


Banff, Alberta, Canada

I recently read of two events that took place in Canada that in some ways define the cultural climate of hostility against Christianity and its roots.

The first involved an Orthodox Priest who was allegedly fired for praying for Israel and the second involved a leader of a political party who quickly apologized after stating in a media interview that her favorite person was Jesus Christ.

Father Vladimir Tobin, 77, served as a priest for St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Church in Halifax, Nova Scotia. According to Breaking Israel News (BIN), he got into trouble with his overlords in the Orthodox church when he publicly prayed for Israel.

BIN reports that on August 12, Tobin received a letter from America Archbishop Irénée who serves as the archbishop of Canada telling Tobin it was time for him to retire because his ministry had a “Jewish twist.”

Apparently the assistant pastor at the church had contacted the archbishop complaining that during one service Tobin had asked his congregation to pray for Israel. Initially, the archbishop had asked for Tobin’s retirement in April this year, but relented when the parishioners complained.

However, in August the Archbishop went back on his pledge and ordered Tobin’s resignation in August.

Tobin, whose grandmother was Jewish, told his congregation that Jesus was a Jew and if I may add the Lord was and still is the Jewish Messiah. That hasn’t changed and according to the Apostle Paul, based on his interpretation of the Old Testament, a day is coming when the Jews would embrace Christ as their Messiah:

26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written,

“The Deliverer will come from Zion,
He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”

Romans 11:26 NASV

Tobin also realized in his studies that the early Christians were Jewish and their scripture was the Old Testament.

He told BIN:

“I was happy in Orthodoxy but felt there was some anti-Jewishness there. I wrote a piece for publication, but was told by my superiors that it was ‘too Jewish.’ That increased my determination that Christianity grew from Judaism. My own theology recognized a faith that started with Abraham and grew through the centuries through Christ.”

Apparently the Archbishop has decided that his version of Christianity is incompatible with Judaism and the Bible.

Then in a recent interview with CBC, Canada’s state broadcaster, Vassy Kapelos asked Elizabeth May, the leader of Canada’s Green Party, who her favorite person was.

Without a moment’s hesitation, May replied Jesus Christ, then almost as quickly apologized stating she had not “self-edited” her comment. When the interviewer asked why she had to apologize for her faith, May explained that she did so because the Green Party is a tolerant and diverse party and accepts all opinions (apparently except those it doesn’t agree with).

As National Post columnist Matt Gurney stated:

“The Green Party is so tolerant, Elizabeth May can’t even talk about her Christian faith: While May’s Christian faith would never make me more or less likely to vote for her, the fact she felt moved to apologize for discussing it sends up red flags.”

Matt Gurney, National Post, September 11, 2019

Sources:

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