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If Not Now, When?


A letter Victor wrote to Preston Manning (with a copy to Ray Speaker) – December of 1995:

It gladdens me to know of the many principles and policies put forth by you and the Reform Party. I agree very much with them on the whole, but I have this to say:

Is it not time to proclaim publicly the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the One about Whom this is all about?

As it is written: “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things; to Him be glory forever! Amen” (Romans 11:36).

And: “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was [is] life; and the life was [is] the light of men” (John 1:3-4).

Is it not time that we begin to lay aside the fears of man (both theirs and ours) and to embrace not only the coming of the Kingdom of God, but the King Himself? Is not the day upon us for men’s ultimately futile systems of government, including democracies, to be brought down by the stone carved from the mountain, and the Kingdom of God established on earth once and for all?

Shall we wait to proclaim publicly that glorious Name? Shall we not suffer the consequences of “indiscretion”? Shall we wait until He personally, literally comes, before we begin to bless and praise Him among the heathen? Will it not be too late then?

As it is written: “Then everyone who shall confess Me before men, I will confess him before My Father Who is in Heaven” (Matthew 10:32).

Is it not time to lay down not only our personal, but our public lives in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ? Would it be so wrong for the leaders of the Reform Party to stand up unashamedly, in all boldness and faith, and proclaim the Name that is above all names before all parliamentarians, all media, all Canada, yes, even all the world?

Is it not this Name that is above every name? Is it not at this Name that to which every knee shall bow?

“Therefore God has highly exalted Him, and has given Him a Name which is above every name, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of Heavenly ones, and of earthly ones, and of ones under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

It is easy to do this in the churches, if it is even done there. Easy to do this on a one-to-one basis. Easy to do this at meetings as a guest of those generally like-minded. Easy to do this as an “ordained” preacher. But how is it we find the rationale to avoid proclaiming His Name in our secular careers, in all public domains where Satan continues to have his children speak of anything and everything but the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, while we join in?

Gentlemen, is it not time that we stand up in His precious Name and proclaim not patchwork approaches to man’s ills (which may be good in themselves), but boldly proclaim the final solution to man’s ills in purest, most evident form? Is it not time that we cease trying to put new wine in old wineskins, as good as the old wineskins might be, and instead declare boldly the necessity for new wineskins? Will not our efforts otherwise eventually be for nought? Is it not time we laid down our lives for His sake and boldly went where few dare to go – to the stake as did our forefathers in history, to the cross and sword as did early disciples – if necessary?

Gentlemen, when is it not necessary? When one is a politician?

If the House of Commons is not the place for such testimony, then where?

If now is not the time, then when?

If it is not for the leaders to speak, then who?

You will not ask, “Why?” but if you did, I would ask, “Why not?”

Glorious will be that day when men arise and, in true faith and love, choose to speak of Him, no matter who they are, where they are, when it is, or what they have to lose. Is this not the day for which all creation groans?

Another letter from Victor to Mr. and Mrs. Preston Manning, May 1996:

Peace and goodwill to you and yours!

Mr. Manning, last December I wrote you a letter declaring essentially that it behooves those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to shed all inhibition and reticence concerning the One most worth talking about. I made the point that it was appropriate to do so publicly by those who believe, anywhere, at any time, within any occupation, even as did Nebuchadnezzar, the great emperor, when he believed.

I have been casually observing social and political events and recently this "gay rights" bill. I have observed that you are not prepared to stand up and speak out, saying, "Homosexuality is evil in the sight of God." This would, in essence, be declaring the Lord Jesus Christ, not by literal name, but by substance and principle. Dr. Grant Hill stood against the bill in the name of medical evidence that the homosexual lifestyle is unhealthy. He was shown with a textbook in his hand he planned to use as evidence.

Mr. Manning, the fact that something is an unhealthy lifestyle is not the issue. Speaking out against evil can be unhealthy, as John the Baptist can testify, as many saints and prophets and Jesus Himself can testify. Though Dr. Hill’s evidence may be legitimate in itself, trying to appeal to the world’s logic and sense of values will not win the day, as you have and will discover. Is it not time to declare the truth, even if there is no evidence of unhealthiness to one if they were to choose to live contrary to the truth?

I see you and your party trying to walk a middle road. You want to speak the truth, you believe certain things that are true, but you are reluctant to tell it like it is, because telling it like it is won’t get the votes. You try to be all things to all men, and while for others God may allow this to happen, consider that for you He will not permit it. There is chaos and confusion in your party because of this.

If you speak because God says so or because it is right, it will go well for you, and you may be very surprised in the results at the polls. Even if it goes disastrously at the polls, so be it. If you speak for votes, your duplicity is sensed. The public will see you as no different from anybody else (which you won’t be) and you will be as lukewarm to them as the others. Read Luke 9:22-27 prayerfully.

I address this letter to you and your wife, Mr. Manning, for at least two reasons. One is that I know how powerful a position the wife holds in a unified marriage. I often think that, surely, Paul must have been wrong, suggesting the wife is the weaker vessel. I have therefore appealed to both of you to increase the likelihood of my being heard and perhaps heeded.

The second reason is that I saw at least a portion of the interview with you two, conducted by Hanna Gartner. In that interview, Mrs. Manning, you spoke of "walking the walk" and not just "talking the talk." While I whole-heartedly agree with you, my message in these two letters is that while we "walk the walk," we cannot ignore the absolute necessity in Christ of "talking the talk."

Someone once said that the fact that clean animals had to have both a split hoof and the cud-chewing was symbolic of walking the walk and talking the talk. He said that if there was only the cud-chewing (talking), the animal was unclean, such as the hare; if there was only the split hoof (walking), the animal was unclean, such as the swine. Whether his analogy was right or wrong, it stuck with me and I submit it to you for your consideration and judgment (again, Luke 9:26).

Mr. and Mrs. Manning, is it not time that we stand up and speak the truth (using Mr. Martin’s words at his budget speech) "come hell or high water"? So what if you go down into obscurity and reproach of men? He will honor you and raise you up, as He promised.

But I am persuaded that if you are willing to lay down your lives for Christ’s sake and the gospel’s, which are the Truth, you could well be surprised and utterly elated at the response. It must begin with you even if you are the only one in the party to do so. You will encounter opposition, of course (that is part of the order of things that all may be tested), but if you stand firm, victory is yours.

I see multitudes, looking around, languishing, hungering and thirsting for something they have not seen for a long, long time, if ever. I see the sad, disillusioned, hope-losing faces of men, women, and children, like people in a concentration camp, waiting for someone to come and deliver, ready to do whatever they can in their weaknesses to help should that time of deliverance arrive.

They have had diplomatic efforts, as with Chamberlain; they have had sympathetic guards looking the other way; they have had times of relief because of circumstances beyond their captors’ control; but they have longed for the friendly army to come in and do the job decisively, completely, once and for all. That comes with each of us standing up, without shame, without apology, in the spirit of Esther, saying, "If I perish, I perish!"

Like us all, Esther at first preferred to be silent and just walk the walk; Mordecai in his wisdom counselled her that it wasn’t good enough, that she would perish and not escape. She laid her life on the line and gained back not only hers, but her people’s, and who knows if we are not now here, able to believe, because Esther obeyed? But you well know, it does not end with Esther, because as children of Esther by faith, by necessities placed upon us, some can be called to be as her.

Mr. Manning, I saw a newsclip at the time of your father’s departure wherein he said he found nothing more repulsive (I don’t recall his exact words) than that of a man using religion for political ends. I hope and think you understand I am not suggesting such here. I couldn’t agree with your father more.

I did not ask for a reply to my last letter, finding it hard to understand how you have time for anything. Asking you for a reply could suggest I think myself important beyond reason. I ask for a personal response this time, however, a confirmation that you have indeed personally received and red my letters. While I am not important in myself, it should be obvious that I deem the content of these letters of utmost importance. I will try to send a copy to each of you.

Thank you for your attention. Please excuse my wordiness and unnecessary encroachment on your time. It is my firm conviction, however, that what little time of yours I have wasted will pale in comparison to what can be gained if you receive what I have to say. The Lord’s will be done.

Mr. Manning’s reply to both letters, August 1996:

Dear Mr. Hafichuk:

Earlier this year, you sent a letter to Sandra and me urging me to proclaim my Christian faith more publicly in the course of my political work. I have read your letter, and apologize that it has taken me so long to reply. I appreciate the thought behind your letter, and wanted to take the time to give it my full attention.

You made specific reference to the recent controversial debate over the government’s gay-rights legislation, bill C-33. I have enclosed the text of my own remarks in the House of Commons during final debate on this bill, and I would draw your attention particularly to pages seven and eight.

To address the general concern expressed in your letter, I would like to describe the dilemma for Christians like myself in national politics. First, I am the leader of a political party, the majority of whose members and supporters do not share my particular Christian perspective. For every member who elected me to be the leader of the party because of my Christian views, there were probably many more who elected me in spite of them. And, undoubtedly, the party will someday be led by someone who does not share my Christian perspective at all. I am also a member of the Canadian Parliament, a secular institution, the majority of whose members, including the government, do not share a Christian perspective.

I am therefore not in a position to impose my Christian perspective or views on either the party or the Parliament, though I am free to make arguments from a Christian perspective and endeavour to persuade others to accept those views. In other words, I am in the position of endeavouring to function as “salt and light” – the function Christ told his disciples to fill at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:13-16).

The danger for Christians in this position is, of course, that we may lose our saltiness or hide our light under a bushel, unless constantly renewed and encouraged to do otherwise. I believe that this was the intent of your thoughtful letter, and I want to thank you for taking the time to write to share your perceptions with me.

Yours sincerely,

Preston Manning, M.P.
Leader,
Reform Party of Canada

 

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