By Rick Hiebert. Used by permission. All rights reserved 2009
You realize that you need to cover an event when bloggers from the other side of the continent from you are scared that it is dangerous.
I already had heard about The Cry Vancouver, which took place from August 14 to 16 in Stanley Park, First Baptist Church and at Glad Tidings (Vancouver’s biggest Pentecostal church). It was a series of rallies and meetings to encourage young Christians to get involved in politics and other areas of society–similar to other “The Cry’s” in other Canadian cities over the past few years. [Their preferred spelling, by the way, is TheCRY, all one word, but I have chosen to use standard English instead.]
My blogging friends are concerned about the ties that some of The Cry’s leadership have to Christian groups and movements in the U.S. that they deem extreme. Yet, I hope to show that The Cry is of interest on its own.
If Faytene Kryskow, the Canadian itinerant evangelist who is the defacto leader of The Cry, has her way, you’ll be sensing the impact of The Cry in society over the next few years.
And that may be a bad thing, if Kryskow’s personal ideas of what must happen come to pass.
The Cry, I am led to understand, was started in 2002 by Steve Osmond, a Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada minister in Calgary. The event, intended to be a rally of youth from Alberta and other parts of the country, attracted thousands. Osmond, however, did not want to carry it on, and over the past three years, Faytene Kryskow has taken the idea and held several follow up events in various Canadian cities. The MY Canada Association, a sister organization led by Kryskow, pursues similar goals in between Cry events.
I had heard Kryskow, who had lived in Vancouver for many years before taking over The Cry, preach before. She is a charismatic Christian in both the the regular and theological senses of the word “charismatic”. In her messages that I listened to, she was very passionate about personal holiness and serving God, so much so, that I obtained an audiotape of her sermon. (The fact that I use the word “audiotape” indicates that I have thought her a woman of note for some time.) As her personal website relates, she had a strong burden to help the church to help Vancouver’s poor, serving as director of Neighbour Link Vancouver, an organization that facilitated this.
The longest video on YouTube featuring Kryskow bears this out. She seems to have a genuine heart for helping others, which you would suspect that God has put there.
If Kryskow wanted to inspire other Christian youth to love and serve others and share about Christ and christianity, no one who is fair-minded should have a problem with that. It’s what is being added to this noble aspiration that worried other bloggers, and might well worry Canadian non-Christians. And it’s not as if Kyskow hides it in what she writes, or The Cry’s speakers hide it in what was said in Vancouver.
I am a social conservative, indeed a charismatic. I should heartily endorse Kryskow. But, I am troubled by how Kryskow and her friends interpret history and theology. And, in order to be honest, I should pass on what I have learned–good and bad–and let readers decide for themselves.
Her book: history and theology
I would like to begin by looking briefly at Kryskow’s 2005 book, Stand On Guard. You could say that someone speaking at The Cry might be speaking off the cuff, or misspeak somehow. A book, intended to be well though out, is different. (I will also be referring to her newly released book, Marked, in this post.)
Stand On Guard is very useful for another reason. We see that events such as The Cry are being held, but we wonder why. The book offers the motivation for The Cry, and what is hoped to be accomplished by it. Clearly you could argue The Cry is intended to find and encourage people–not just youth–to pursue the vision of the book. And “vision” is the correct word, as Kryskow is a bit of a mystic who bases her goals on visions that she believes that she has received from God.
Poor Stockwell Day. Judging by his endorsement of the book, he read Stand On Guard in the same way that thousands of other Canadians probably did, noting that Canada’s “pillars of principle” owed a lot to Christians “living out their faith in the public square.”
Canadians do owe a lot in our history to Christians who have blessed the country by their work and faith. Another book from a few years ago, Canada: Portraits of the Faith by Michael Clarke (which is a primary source for Kryskow, as dozens of her footnotes cite this book) explains that quite well. If you read Stand On Guard casually, you might put it aside and think, “That’s great. Hopefully Christians can bless Canada in that way in the future” and leave it at that.
However, there is an additional emphasis that runs through the other endorsements of the book:
–Evangelist Patricia King: “A generation of ‘Dread Champions’ are being raised up who…will stand in the field of this glorious nation to secure it for the King…”
–Ontario pastor Alain Caron: “This is a clear call to…become the generation that will fulfill the dream of the LORD for our nation.”
–Vancouver “apostolic leader” Gideon Chiu: “The documents presented in Stand On Guard have provided irrefutable evidences for the people of God with legal rights to reclaim the nation and to help fulfill the dream of the LORD for Canada.”
–Sheryl Lindberg, national president of the prayer group Aglow International Of Canada, hopes that the book will inspire readers to “…earnestly seek the LORD in prayer that, once again…trhe Lordship of Jesus Christ will be established in Canada.”
It’s one thing to want Christians to be a blessing to their country. It’s quite another thing to talk about them having “legal rights” to “reclaim the nation” and “secure it” for Christ. I myself believe that the principles of Christianity, soundly applied, would be best for Canada. However, I also realize that I live in a pluralistic democracy and that Jews, Hindus and Muslims, let alone people of no particular faith at all, do have a right to help shape Canada’s future.
Also, it should be noted that a subtext of Stand On Guard is that policies favoured by conservatives would be best. I agree. I do note that this is not the only “Christian” stance on this. I can point to J.S. Woodsworth and other proponents of the “Social Gospel” in Canada–down to those who dominate the United and Anglican Churches in Canada today, who thought that the Gospel was best lived out in liberal or socialist political arguments and policies. I would respectfully–and strongly–disagree with them, but to imply–by ommission–that these people don’t come from some sort of Christian understanding to their political views is dishonest.
Had Kryskow studied the recent history of the church and politics in Canada, she would have needed to address the question of whether all these liberal Christians who have spoken on behalf of “the church” were mistaken–which she ducks in her book. For many years, Canadians have read in their newspapers that the Anglican church stands for this liberal policy or that the United Church has argued aginst that conservative political idea. Since Kryskow has a group that sometimes explicity addresses these political questions too, this is something that she should have addressed in Stand On Guard.
What does Kyskow say that she wants for Canada in her book? Well, to begin, I should explain that Kryskow writes (Stand on Guard page 18) that the Holy Spirit has had her on a “corporately applicable” journey of sorts since December 2003. That is to say, she has had a series of dreams and visions which she thinks are “corporately applicable” either to the Canadian church as a whole, or Canada.
In 2003, she writes (Stand on Guard starting on page 30) that she underwent a prophetic vision and saw herself surrounded by angels and “Canadian saints of old”. The Lord presumably appeared to her and said that He was looking for “a generation that will reclaim the righteous foundations of Canada.” In explaining this vision, she explains that most Canadians under 30 have grown up with “very little sense of our righteous history as a nation.”
She felt, after another vision, that the Lord was calling the current generation to make a covenant to serve the Lord in the same way that their Christian forefathers did. The leaders at this meeting (as noted on page 34 of Stand on Guard) felt that the Lord “was giving an invitation to our generation to renew covenant with him and walk in a relational commitment with him as our righhteous forefathers did.” The group entered into prayer, with results noted on page 34 and 35 of Stand On Guard. “As we came into agreement with these righteous foundations they were re-established with great power in our generation because of their historical weight….As our generation agreed with what was set in place by generations past it would be loosed on earth with great authority and effect.”
Three points. Although I would heartily encourage individuals to re-commit themselves to God, I question whether a group of Christians have the authority to represent an entire generation of young Canadians–Christians or not. Also, has there been a time when all Christians in Canada have made an overt covenant with God together? I doubt it. Can we talk of “righteous foundations” when a lot of unease that Canadians have with the church today is due to historical mistakes that the church has made. Would they not wonder if such foundations are cracked?
“There is a call,” Kryskow writes, “There is a position of battle for righteousness and justice that He is looking for a generation to take up in the spirit…If we choose to take it the Lord will give us the ability to carry His authority even though it appears to be too big for us…He will give us grace and authority to do ehat he He has called us to–grace and ability to fight for and re-establish righteousness in the nation…” (Stand On Guard pages 37-38)
Are you a non-Christian who sees this as a bit militaristic? Well, a couple of pages later Kryskow makes the metaphor explicit in a further vision when she senses the Lord telling her, “Your draft number is up.” (Stand on Guard page 40)
Don’t care for a parphrase and care to hear God Himself speaking? Well, Kryskow, thanks to yet another vision, can accomodate you. What follows are direct quotes from the Lord: “Long have I desired to dwell and take ‘Dominion’–but who will go–whom shall I send? Who will go for me?” (Stand on Guard page 43) (Clearly “the Lord” depends on the actions of his followers to be omipotent and ominpresent.)
“But let me tell you something,” Kryskow writes (on page 44 of Stand On Guard), “The Lord is calling His Church to boldly GO and establish His dominion in every area of the nation….to possess the gates of influence in our nation for righteousness.” After the previous direct quote from “the Lord”, “God” explains what He means by possessing the gates of influence: “I desire to send my chosen and faithful ones into the arts, entertainment, news, educational systems, media and medical realms, says the Lord” writes Kryskow (on page 43 of Stand On Guard).
This ties into a teaching that is popular among some charismatics in the U.S. tied to Genesis 22: 17, wherein God promises that Abraham would possess the “gates of his enemies”. Kryskow, who adheres to this teaching, explains that God wants the cuurent generation of Christian youth to possess the “gates of influence” in our society as she explains (Stand On Guard page 45): “‘Gates’ include any and every avenue by which a generation’s mindsets, codes, cultural values, moral standards, and the like are determined or influenced. They are the places of greatest impartation into the soul of a nation and generation.”
Well, perhaps this was a promise to Abraham alone that his descendants would control the literal city that once was controlled by their enemies.
Christians are defintely called by their Lord to be a good influence for Jesus wherever they might be, and whatever they might be doing. I heard a sermon on that in my own church just recently. If we take a look at the examples of historical Canadian christians in Kryskow’s book, I think that non-Christians would want to see many modern day youths following their example of love and service.
But the question is, what attitude do you take in your service? Do you follow the example of Christ, who taught his apostles that whoever wanted to be the leader of all, must first be the servant at all? Or do you take “dominion” over your enemies?
The odd thing is that so many of examples of the historical Canadian Christian figures that Kryskow cites were selfless, kind and caring. They were willing to suffer and serve. We don’t see, in Kryskow’s own examples, people who wanted to fight and conquer their enemies, and purge the unrighteous. We see people who wanted to love and serve, not rule and reign. So, given the examples tht Kryskow cites, can we assume that her theology of how Christian youths should “take dominion” is correct?
When you start to look for those who expect to rule and reign instead of those who want to love and serve, who knows what sort of leaders you might produce?
Can you have a theocracy without the “theo” being literally present to take direct charge and make sure that His church doesn’t make mistakes? I suggest that the history of the church would prove no.
I would also suggest that the fact that The Cry’s leadership felt that they had to apologize in public in Vancouver for “residential school atrocities”–dating back to one of the few times that representatives of “the church” had “dominion” over a small part of society–would also imply that The Cry’s members should recognize this too.
Kryskow wtites (on page 44 of Stand on Guard), “I simply believe God is saying that prayer alone is not enough–we must GO and possess the nation for the Lord. There has to be a point at which we begin to be the answer to our prayers in this nation. There needs to be a point where we begin to rise up in faith and execute, by the Lord’s grace, the very things for which we are travailing.”
I am sure that this went over well with the Hindu, Jewish and Muslim politcians on Parliament Hill when Kryskow explained this to them.
Remember Kryskow’s remarks on the “gates”–the elements and groups controlling Canadian society? She adds (on pages 47 and 48 of Stand on Guard: “….I believe the Lord is wanting to raise up a host…that will possess every gate of influence in our nation. These mighty men and women of God will regulate what goes “in” and “out” of our land with righteous, God fearing, discernment. They will be the ones who will stand with true spritual authority and turn the tide in Canada through their influence in the arts, communications, politics, science, sports, industry, the marketplace, education, medicine, law and in EVERY ARENA OF INFLUENCE IN OUR NATION.”
Do I want Christ to reign in this way? Yes…but I want Christ to reign in this way, not His followers. I don’t trust, and perhaps neither should other Canadians, the ability of his followers to hear and follow him perfectly. And if we are talking about such profound control over our society, as Kryskow may be, they would have to be pitch perfect in their hearing from the Lord in order to be wield such power perfectly.
Not possible before Jesus comes back to earth, I say.
Do I want conservative Christians to have an influence in public policy? Absolutely. Do I want them to work to persuade other Canadians of the value to what they have to say? Yes. Do I want their ideas to become law (subject to the democractic will of all Canadians)? Certainly. But we cannot assume that flawed human beings will be able to rule in the name of the Lord and dictate “this is the way, walk ye in it.” with any certainty.
There is a practical question involved too. Do we want non-Christians to read quotes like this, think they are examples of what all Christians believe, and seek to ban us from the public square, enacting a political pogrom in the name of saving tolerance and fair play? This would throw out the good as well as the theocratic, and it is already hard enough to get a hearing for conservative Christian ideas in politics in Canada. Kryskow may try to argue that she has a profound influence in Ottawa, but she must ruefully note that this is probably true.
Although Kryskow reportedly tries to be kind and honour the politicians that she meets, one wonders what they would think if they read words like the ones found in Stand On Guard. If this is what she genuinely thinks, I commend her for her honesty. But is such a theocratic urge necessary to what she hopes to do?
The Bible does advise the followers of Christ to be “as wise as serpents and gentle as doves”.
I’ll use an analogy from the movies. Does Kryskow want people to react as if her followers were emissaries of the Prince of Peace? Or is she content to have people that she hopes to influence react as if they were residents of Tokyo and Godzilla was waking up for another busy day of wiping out Japan? (*Japanese actor badly dubbed into English*: “Run! Godzilla is ‘taking dominion’ over Toyko again! Aaaaieee!” )
I do understand, however, why Kryskow would be tempted to think this way. As the worship song goes, everyone would say “I want to be/A history maker in this land” Everyone wants to make an impact, and this impulse is especially proufound amongst the young. But do you have to think that the Lord is going to be able to return to Earth because of what you specifically do? What if you are wrong on that? Can you imagine 30-40 years down the road young epople being turned off from Christianity because although Faytene Kryskow is Governor-General, Canada is no closer to the heavenly millennium than in the days of their youth.
This would be better, I suggest. You can make a theology for conservative social change based on the Bible. The Americans have managed to do it, so it shouldn’t be too hard for us. Emphasize what The Bible teaches on the subject and come up with a theology of loving and self-sacrifice–not one of reigning and ruling. Then, young people will be able to serve Christ for the right reasons–ones that emphasize doing the activities because they are true and valid and valuable…whenever or not Jesus choses to come back in your lifetime.
I just don’t want The Cry participants to think that they have wasted their time in 20 years if Jesus doesn’t have “dominion”, when they actually might have done some real good.
It’s a little unfair to depend so much on prophetic insights, anyway. Unfair in the sense that anyone wanting to dispute the validity of what Kryskow saw and heard might have to turn their remarks into a parody of Mony Python’s Argument Clinic sketch. (“I saw the Lord.” “No you didn’t.” “Yes, I did.” “No, you didn’t.” “Yes I did…” ) If you base your activities mostly on what the Bible teaches, you can discuss whether what you believe interprets the Bible accurately, whether it is based on what the whole Bible teaches and how it might reflect the counsel of Church scholars and theologians throughout history. The “as iron sharpens iron” approach.
Now that we have looked at some of the possible theological problems with Kryskow’s approach, let’s look at how she approaches history. To be brief, in a central plank of her thesis, poorly.
Whatever, you might be thinking, possesses Kryskow to think that Jesus has a right, immediately, to rule Canada? (Certainly, He is Lord of all, but while we live under His reign, we do not live under His rule yet until He returns.)
Well, Kryskow believes that Canada’s Fathers of Confederation made a pact with Christ to give him Dominion over the country. Bet you missed that in history class.
Kryskow writes (on pages 49 and 50 of Stand On Guard):
” A few centuries later, several leaders forged the way to Confederation. Many of these men were God-fearing. They tenaciously laboured to see the name of the LORD set into the foundations of the new union. During this process, the Fathers of Confederation clearly gave Jesus Christ access to the affairs of the nation when they chose to declare that “He will have dominion also from sea to sea…” (Psalms 72:8). They set this decree into our very NAME when they chose to call Canada the ‘DOMINIION of Canada.” Job 22:28, speaking to those who fear the LORD, says ‘You will declare [decree] a thing, and it will be established for you.” These men of God overtly established our destiny and standard as a nation: HE WILL HAVE DOMINION.”
Wrong. Blatantly wrong. So wrong that it took me a mere 15 minute search on Google to find decisive first-hand primary historical evidence that I think refutes it. (And if you say “Well, the history books are wrong and according to the heretofore secret and unkown history of Canada…” I’ll just ask you to stop channeling Nesta Webster.)
One word supports Kryskow’s thesis. And perhaps a sentence clause, that she cites (on page 50 of Stand On Guard) in a letter from Sir John A. Macdonald to Queen Victoria stating that the name “dominion” was “a tribute to the principles they earnestly desired to hold”. Her footnotes, however, cite a secondary souce and raise two interesting questions. If Macdonald meant “Christian” principles–which I doubt from Canada’s 90 proof Prime Minister–there would be more evidence in the letter itself. And let’s recall the standard rules of English–what does the word “these” refer to? I think I can explain what Macdonald meant.
My own undergraduate degree is in history. I recall that unlike the United States, Canada has tended not to think of itself as a Christian nation. “A British nation”, however? Definitely. Macdonald’s remarks that “A British subject I was born–a British subject I will die” and Arthur Meighen’s “Ready, aye ready” spring to mind. For decades, a battle raged in the minds of Canadians whether to hold on to their British identity as a way to protect themselves from the Americans. You see it in the National Policy of protective tariffs. You see it in the National Dream of the CPR. You see it in the federal election of 1911–fought over a proposed Free Trade deal with the United States. You see it in Canadian worries about “manifest destiny”. It was a central issue for decades.
And it provides our clue about what “dominion” meant to the Fathers of Confederation.
I am greatly indebted to the writers of the Wikipedia entries on Dominion and Name of Canada, where I found the following source material. It took me about 15 minutes to find through Google. I can add that if you “live by secondary sources, you die by secondary sources”.
Had Kryskow looked in histories of the constitutional history of Canada, she would have found the following quite easily, I suspect.
The Fathers of Confederation had a problem. As John A. Macdonald put it, they wanted to found “a great British monarchy” in North America. The Fathers even, in the fourth draft of the BNA Act, called Canada, “The Kingdom of Canada”:
“The word ‘Parliament’ shall mean the Legislature or Parliament of the Kingdom of Canada. The word ‘Kingdom’ shall mean and comprehend the United Provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick….”
The British government’s Colonial Office blanched at this. They feared that any word such as Kingdom or Empire would alienate the Americans, so they refused to let the Canadians use it.
In a later letter to Lord Knutsford, John A. Macdonald expresses sadness that the Canadians were not allowed to have their way. (Not, I am noting, joy that the Canadians had been enabled to express their devotion to the Judeo-Christian deity.)
“A great opportunity was lost in 1867 when the Dominion was formed out of the several provinces…The declaration of all the B.N.A. provinces that they desired as one dominion to remain a portion of the Empire, showed what wise government and generous treatment would do, and should have been marked as an epoch in the history of England…”
He then talks about how changes in the British appointments in Canada deterred Canada from passing exactly the BNA Act that they wanted.
He added in the letter:
“Had a different course been pursued, for instance, had united Canada been declared to be an auxillary kingdom, as it was in the Canadian draft of the bill, I feel sure almost that the Australian colonies would, ere this, have been applying to be placed in the same rank as The Kingdom Of Canada.”
The end to this Macdonald letter is telling too:
“P.S. On reading the above over I see that it will convey the impression that the change of title from Kingdom to Dominion was caused by the Duke of Buckingham. This is not so. It was made at the instance of Lord Derby, then foreign minister, who feared the first name would wound the sensibilities of the Yankees….”
The Canadians were stuck when they were not allowed to call themselves a “Kingdom” by the British foreign minister. What to do? This is where Samuel Leonard Tilley steps in, and now comes the familiar story where Tilley had a brain wave when reading Psalms 72:8 “He [the Messiah] shall have dominion from sea to sea…” Tilley and the other Fathers, however, would have remembered that there had been other “Dominions” in the English North American colonies, such as the “Dominion” of Virginia and the short lived “Dominion of New England”. Dominion in those lands meaning lands that were ruled by the King or Queen of Britain.
Calling the new nation the “Dominion of Canada” would allow the Fathers to think something like this: the meaning of the name would be, in effect “The Lands Ruled By Queen Victoria or Her Successors of Canada” “Yes, Americans we are the *Dominion* (wink wink) of Canada (*cough* Kingdom *cough*)”
Recall the Macdonald quote to Queen Victoria about principles that they wantted to uphold? In his own letter to Queen Victoria, Lord Carnarvon explains why the Canadians used “Dominion” :…”It is a new title, but intended on their part as a tribute to the Monarchical principle which they earnestly desire to uphold.” Interesting what the word “Monarchical” does here, isn’t it?
Should Christians be sad that “Dominion” was used as a weasel word by the Fathers of Confederation? Certainly not. Here’s why. When the country was in a spot, Christians stepped in and used their intuition and God-given wisdom to solve a perplexing problem for the country. They loved and served their nation…and gave the earliest politicians in Canada reassurance that Christians were definitely an asset to have in positions of influence, where they could be helpful and useful.
It’s the sort of service, without the “ruling and reigning” part that Kryskow dwells on, that is cited in much of Stand On Guard.
What does this do to Kryskow’s theological argument? Quite a bit. We have on the one hand a God that demands “dominion” over Canada, according to her visions and theology. But the Fathers of Confederation, wanting to pledge their troth to the British Empire, do everything they can, as expressed bluntly and frankly in source material from the time, to serve as lieges to Queen Victoria. (This is backed up, if necessary, by the decades of history in which Canadians debate how “British” they should be.)
Can we have an agreement where two parties do not agree on the same terms? Perhaps Kryskow can suggest that even if the Fathers of Confederation never intended to give Canada to Christ (as they pined for Queen Victoria) that her God will hold them to a deal that He has rewitten after they signed off on it. That, however, is the sort of bargain that a Mafia gangster would strike. It would be out of the character of God to act that way and I would suggest that as long as Kryskow holds to this that she is hearing God incorrectly.
Readers of Psalm 72 will note that it is entirely in the future sense, after the Messiah, who is Christ, is present again on earth. Here’s something interesting from an older video (she is still a blonde) in which Kryskow is a guest on evangelist Patricia King’s TV show. Starting at the 1:30 mark, Kryskow starts to talk about Psalm 72 in the present tense. King, however, talks about Psalm 72 in the traditional, future tense (“…is gonna be…”) What does Kryskow begin her response to this by saying? “Absolutely…”
Other troubling examples? Here’s another. Faytene attenmpts to argue that New France was founded as a “Christian colony”. This raises an interesting question. She should recall that New France was also run in an authoritarian, top-down fashion. In the same time period, Britain’s dominions were moving towards fuller expressions of principles of economic, political and religious liberty. (If Kyskow can cite Winston Churchill on the back cover of her new book, Marked, perhaps she is also familiar with his histories of the “English speaking peoples” which explains this well.) Here is a question then: Did Britain then frustrate the will of God and His “christian colonies” in North America by defeating the French militarily (and incidentally setting Canada on the path of democracy and sparing the nation from the spillover of the Reign of Terror and the rule of Napoleon)?)
I wonder if Faytene wishes that she had been able to do more primary research when writing Stand On Guard. Take the example of famous early feminist Nellie McClung (on pages 145-146). Kryskow admiringly cites a biographer who writes “McClung used her literature as a pulpit to preach her Gospel…”
Well, Faytene, McClung’s gospel included eugenics, the policy of using sterilization of the poor, disabled and disadvantaged to “improve” the breeding stock of the country. “Young, simple-minded girls” argued McClung, would be helped by being unable to have children. As a politician active in the United Farmers of Alberta government of the 1920s, she helped to pass legislation for enforced sterilization of thousands of Albertans, a policy that lasted for decades. (I commend the National Film Board documentary The Sterilization of Leilani Muir to the attention of those–which I hope now includes Faytene Kryskow–who want to learn more.)
Well, there we have it. We have seen evidence that Faytene Kryskow may have poor theology when it comes to politics and that she is definitely lacking as a lay historian. But what did this have to do with how The Cry was borne out in Vancouver as hundreds of Christian youth gathered in the city? Did it affect what was done and how it was done, to the detriment of those youths who met with little more on their minds than worshipping Christ and praying for Canada?
Unfortunately I found evidence–while attending every possible minute of the events that I could–that it had and that the young people might be led astray in some ways.
This is the analogy that I would use. I heard and saw much that was good, if not excellent, at the events. But, throughout, I occasionaly saw or heard something of a possibly different spirit, in passing, or in a form that might go over the head of someone without knowledge, or someone that wasn’t paying close attention. (Youths who want to go and worship the Lord, or who want to pray for their country, with no other agenda, might be particularly prone to miss the extras sprinkled on these laudable things.)
I felt like I was playing Whack-A-Mole at the fair. You know the game. You have a hammer or bat, the music plays and you have to hit the moles as they pop out of their holes. The Cry Vancouver, I am sad to note, had elements of being a spritual Whack-A-Mole quest. It would be going along well, and then the mole of “This doesn’t seem right” would pop up. It would return to being sound and good and then another “mole” to undermine the foundation of good works would spring into action.
Here’s my report, of the good and bad…
The CRY: Friday August 15
The first event of The Cry Vancouver was held at Glad Tidings Church, which is probably the biggest and most historic Pentecostal church in Vancouver. On entering the sanctuary, I noticed that The Cry’s merchandise table was directly next to where everyone had to come in to the auditorium.
A little further along, however, were sign-up lists for various outreaches on Sunday afternoon. People were invited to sign up for street worship teams, to hold activities for kids, for “undercover prayer”, to clean up graffiti and to do painting and renovation work, amongst other tasks. (This I liked as so often Christians go to these events and just take in. It was wise for The Cry to try to ensure that something was given out.)
Glad Tidings wound up being about 75% full, which would mean about 1,000 in attendance. By show of hands about a third were not from the “Lower Mainland” of B.C.–that is, for non-Vancouverites, Vancouver, its suburbs to the north, south and east and the Fraser Valley.
As people entered, a promotional video for various activities related to things that Faytene Kryskow and The Cry wanted to promote, played. It ran again on Saturday morning–so I’ll mention it then–but I did like that they were self-depreciating enough to include a blooper from Kryskow. “There’ll be no fasting tomorrow (laughs)…There’ll be no *eating* tomorrow.”
Worship was led by Heather Clark of Kelowna, who is widely known in charismatic circles. An emphasis on the idea of dominion began to creep into the music as her musicians performed. She sang “He shall have dominion from sea to shining sea…Do you believe it? (applause)…If we learn to love, if we learn to love…A most priestly kingdom….”
After worship, Kryskow and other staffers from The Cry took the stage. First Nations leaders were asked to stand, as were various leaders of the messianic Jewish community and local pastors. Gifts were exchanged and the evening was opened in prayer.
Kryskow made introductory remarks, with a sense of self-depreciating humour. “You know that a chick is leading the meeting when the top of the mike is covered with lip gloss.” She noted that this was the eighth Cry, and the seventh that she has personally led.
She began by relating a vision, by one of her friends, that she heard when she was in St. John’s Newfoundland in February. In the vision, two giant angels were seen, on named Alpha and one named Omega, standing at opposite ends of Canada. Lord, Kryskow said she asked in prayer, what does this mean? “He basically said ‘As for Canada, it is finished. This is my nation! (applause and cheering) I will reign. I will rule.”
Also in the vision, a sheaf of mustard seeds was seen, sowed over Canada. “It’s a symbol of the kingdom of God, right, sowed over the nation,” explained Kryskow. “The mayor [of St. John's Newfoundland] actually has a picture on his wall of those mustard seeds.” Local pastors were called up on stage and given mustard seeds as a symbol of this vision along with some other presents.
Various First Nations christian leaders took the stage. One brought greetings–”Welcome to our territory”.
Remember the violent windstorms that recently toppled trees in Stanley Park? “It was a judgment on the west coast…it was a judgment on Stantley Park.” Stories were shared of waters being “stirred for healing” of the natives while they remained pagan. As is typical at charismatic meetings, the natives shared how they believed that a “wave of healing” resulting in revival was poised to sweep Canada.
To recognize the native leaders, Faytene Kryskow gave them a “declaration of honour”. Amongst other things, the text of the declaration condemned “our ancestral injustices” and “residential school atrocities”. (Perhaps you could say that it would have been better to leave the natives alone, but such “politically correct” actions are typical these days. They engender a nice spirit of goodwill, however, so they may be of use.)
David Demian of the Canadian Christian group Watchmen for the Nations then came up to introduce a video profile of the late Vancouver minister Bob Birch. Kryskow, who has known Demian for many years, calls him a “spritual father” and he returns the compliment in kind, saying “It’s humbling to see your children rise up like this…”
He compared the gathering to the Israelite “teenagers” who eventually wound up taking the Holy Land.
In prayer, he also emphasized the idea of “dominion” over Canada:
“Father this nation is yours…and Father I say that you shall have dominion from sea to sea. Father, as we respond to this cry, we will continue to strike and will not let go as we have your heart for the oppressed….”
As the video tribute to Bob Birch played out, I had to wonder to myself what we would have thought of all the overt “dominion” talk that I had been listening to thus far.
The video ended and Faytene Kryskow returned to the microphone offering a brief prayer that The Cry’s participants would leave “a Canada better than the one we inherited.”
She then began some remarks in the run up to taking an offering, noting that “Where our money is, there our hearts will be also.”
One of her ensuing remarks, however, was so mindboggling that I would like to pause and consider it alone for a moment. I’ll need to lead up to it by discussing her relationship with the media and how she deals with internet criticism.
Faytene and the media
I would like to pause for a moment and insert a parenthetical note about Kryskow’s relationship with the media.
One can be surprised that she has one at all.
Before the event, the page for The Cry had this note. I’ve added emphasis:
“NOTICE TO MEDIA: All media are required to contact TheCRY in advance of the day and check in on site once they arrive if approved for onsite coverage. As the schedule is extremely dense there may not be time for coverage on the day but a representative may be available after the event for interviews.”
The second version of this at the website read:
“NOTICE TO MEDIA: A representative can be made available for interviews, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org”
Now it’s in the “memory hole”. It’s nice to see that Winston Smith has found work again.
Do you think that any journalist would want to ask permission to cover an event, check in if they “may” get clarifying interviews afterwards? Probably not, as the message is being subliminally sent out that The Cry’s leadership thinks that in person media coverage is a real inconvenience. I’m not welcome? Fine, suit yourself.
This is strange, as I saw GOD TV cameras swoop over the crowd and one GOD TV cameraman creeping up to get close up pictures of people in the crowd as they worshipped and prayed. That is not disruptive? That is not intrusive? And camera crews from Global TV and the CBC would not be as carefull as the GOD TV crew?
You have to wonder if only certain kinds of media coverage is wanted.
Congratulations to Lloyd Mackey, the former B.C. Christian News editor whose first-off-the-mark coverage of the event will almost certainly run in the September 2009 print issue of the newspaper, distributed in Protestant churches and Christian bookstores and centers throughout throughout the province. I wonder if he asked “Mother, May I?” first? But, knowing his strong credentials as a journalist, I think he just went.
Mr. Mackey’s story touches on the debate whether Faytene Kryskow is an overt dominionist. Keep in my my quoting thus far, see if the following quotes from his story do not raise your eyebrows.
He quotes Kryskow as follows: “When we quote Ps 72:8 (the ‘dominion’ passage) it is not about forcing Christianity on a nation. We have never said that. It is about mercy, compassion, justice and all that is in the heart of God being revealed in the dealings of our nation…..We have never said that.”
Well, look again at the quotes from Stand on Guard, which I took pains to spell out in detail, and the language that she and “the Lord” use there. Decide for yourself.
Was Kryskow hoping that Mackey did not have a copy of Stand on Guard on his desk, ready to quote in his story?
I quote the story again:
With respect to the dominionist allegations, Kryskow said: “I don’t know what dominionism is and I am not a part of (that) group. (And) though I have personal relationship with many people who have been involved with (for example) the Watchmen for the Nations reconcilation/prayer initiatives in the past, there is no official alliance.
“They are totally separate organizations. The only connection is that we know one another . . . much like you and I know one another and attend some of the same meetings.”
I’ll leave it to my blogging friend Bene Diction who, amongst others, has cited the ties between Kryskow and other people and organizations, to refute this in detail. But, I would say this. She is friends with many people in these other movements. They appear at her meetings. (Perhaps she attends their meeetings too.) She teaches similar, if not identical things to what they teach. So, it is entirely appropriate to say that there are informal connections.
Permit me to use an analogy. Imagine a flock of yellow ducks in a pond bside you. Then another bird–let’s call her Faytene–lands in the pond. “Faytene” also has yellow feathers and a beak, and looks almost exactly the same as the other birds in the pond do. You can see that she flies and swims as the ducks in the pond do. Then, “Faytene”, swims out to you, and greets you with a happy “Quack!” which is apparently all she can say, just like the other birds.
Wouldn’t it be wise to dispense with the question “Are you a duck?” and move right to “How are you and the other ducks in the pond today?”
When critiqued on a website, Faytene Kryskow often writes that she would have liked to have been asked to answer some questions first. She uses Matthew 18 as a basis for her request, which is Christ’s directives for solving interpersonal conflicts amongst Christians.
Do I think that Matthew 18 applies to this post? Not directly.
To begin, the NKJV that I have at hand talks (vs 1) about a brother that “sins against you.” Has Kryskow sinned against me? No, not at all. Unless you think that my publicly disagreeing on theological and historical matters with a public figure, “a national leader”, is sinful, which would tend to confirm fears that the movement is kind of totalitarian in its mindset.
As a former theological student, she would be aware of the various examples in the Apostle Paul’s letters in which he criticizes false teachers and heretics by name. You’ll note that those he critiqued have no right of reply in the Bible. Can we assume that Paul asked those he criticized for their response first?
Am I another Paul? Hardly! But I would suggest that there are times when things that are done and said in public can be critiqued there too.
We can ask whether Kryskow uses this standard herself and, in accordance with how she interprets Matthew 18, talks to whomever she wishes to critique first in any remarks from the pulpit. We may hope so.
(As Friday evening ended, I note, The Cry’s leadership in the pulpit begged off receiving prophetic words and prayer requests for the following day on the grounds that they needed to take care of their “physical temple” i.e. get to sleep. I mention this as The Vancouver Sun goes to press late Friday for Saturday A.M.. How could a Sun reporter have followed Matthew 18 and asked her directly about things, in time to meet their deadline, if she begs off and asks not to be bothered by anyone?)
(Of course, a naughty evangelist could ensure that something never ran in a blog, magazine, or newspaper whose staff observed Kryskow’s interpretation of Matthew 18, by never getting back to the possibly critical observer. I’m happy to note that this appears not to be a problem in any way with Faytene Kryskow, who appears to compose much more quickly than I do, and e-mails with lightning speed.)
What obligations do I owe Kryskow? These. You’ll notice that this post moved to press with the energy of a sleepy turtle on tranquilizers. That is because I have tried to take pains to “fact-check” myself to get everything as right as I could make it. Anything that I have placed in direct quotes I can directly substantiate. As you will note, I try to praise when possible, too. My aim with this post is to provide enough material that people can criticize me for either being too lenient or too critical, so that you may decide for yourself whether I am right.
In addition to the obligation to Kryskow, I have an obligation to my readers too. You deserve my best, without fear or favour, which I have tried to give to you.
(And Kryskow is welcome to offer her own comments below if she cares to.)
I kind of wish that reporters from the secular news outlets in Vancouver had covered the events. Especially since Faytene Kryskow might be their boss someday.
News to you in the newsroom? Well, this is the reason that I stopped my coverage, in order to draw special attention to this:
Which leads me back to where I paused. On Friday, August 14, Kryskow was on stage talking, leading up to taking the offering in the next few minutes. She was in the middle of discussing the possible results of a past Cry conference (which she also recounts in her current book Marked ). She was waiting for the audio-visual crew to throw up a graphic with past political poll results to make her point when she said this:
“I want to show you guys something that will help you, will help us all together, to understand the power that is in our hand, the power that is in this room and the power that will be in our hands tomorrow. What you’re seeing right here is actually a political graph because that is what the newspapers, in Canada, currently track. This is politics, like, and like hockey and stuff. One day we’ll chart spiritual progression when we control the media. (Audience cheers and applause.)”
I suspect that Kryskow, like me, has a painfully dry sense of humour. But what I was struck by is the matter-of-fact tone of her voice when she made this remark, sort of like how you would say “I’m going to the store to get some bread.” “Oh, we’ll control the media one day and it is going to be very different…”
If this is how she approaches her predictions that Christians must and will control the “gates of influence”, it’s a bit chilling.
And if she says “Oh, I didn’t really mean it…” Well, she wrote it in her earlier book and you can fairly ask whether she means what she writes then…
I’d figure that non-Christian reporters might want to cover her in self-defense before they have to ask themselves “I wonder why that theocratic-minded new editor just fired me….” At least start a file on her or something…
Back to Friday night…
The CRY: Friday August 15, Part 2
After her remarks that a media takeover was a certainty, Faytene began to prompt her audience to give in the upcoming offering. The gist of her story is also recorded in her new book, Marked (on pages 166-167).
She pointed to the newspaper graph–out up on the video screen–that had charter voter polls in the run up to the 2008 federal election. Kryskow says that she usually doesn’t read newspapers on dead tree–so what she saw in that graph on a plane to Dallas was a shock. It showed the two main parties, who had been neck and neck, separating in their poll numbers. The Tories crept up and were eventually re-elcted to a minority. The Liberals, meanwhile, slumped in their polls. “God had that printed for me, just to encourage,” Kryskow said.
The point where the party numbers began to diverge? Kryskow says it was at The Cry event held on Parliament Hill in Ottawa last summer.
Kryskow recalled that the event’s crowd were praying in earnest and then she sensed that she was hearing from the Lord. “It was almost as if He extended a scepter to us and said ‘Whatever you ask…” Kryskow said. “The Lord was saying ‘What do you want? What do you want?’ and in that moment I knew that lives were hanging in the balance…”
“The bottom line is that when the righteous rule, the people live in peace and when you’ve got a bunch of people who love God, who love what He loves, hate what He hates, who are ready to stand in the gate and establish justice. That means babies are going to be saved, that means that women are going to be saved out of the sex trade, it means that men are going to be saved out of the sex trade. It will have implications for real human lives.”
(And the re-election of the Tories led to this?)
“I’ve only felt this level of authority three times in my life, maybe tomorrow it will be four,” Kryskow continued. She recounted that she looked at the Peace Tower and prayed: “….and we ask that You will establish righteous government in our Parliament…we ask that You would remove favour from those whose heart would not be bent to Your way…”
The results, Kryskow says, were that the Tory vote in the polls started to rise and the Liberal vote started to slide. “On the day of The Cry [Ottawa], something shifted,” she said, despite an apparent lack of news stories to cause this. (There was, you’ll recall, an apparent shift in tone and frequency in Tory ads as they started to take effect, however.)
Political observers and analysts, she said, asked “What happened.” Her reply? “Well maybe you should pay more attention to what happens in the church. (audience applause)”
“Within a week, we were in a national election, so for any of you that were annoyed that our government spent millions of dollars on the last election, I’d just like to apologize… (audience laughter and applause)” Kryskow said.
(Her penchant for modesty is, well, modest.)
Following the election, she estimates that 40 per cent of the MPs and Senators are “professing Christians”. Her lobbying group, the MY Canada Association, has been able to have sit down meetings with over 400 MPs and Senators.
Despite all this, Kryskow noted that she has to deal with criticism and negativity. “You start hearing the mocking spirit and the…Aw you know it…‘Shut up!’”
The “Shut up!”, by the way, was delivered by Kryskow in the tone of voice that a teenager would use to be lippy towards their parents.
What I’d like to know is who Kryskow would like to be able to say “Shut up!” to, and to what effect? Reporters, there’s a question for you.
Let’s pause for a second to speculate about The Cry Ottawa’s alleged cause and effect change to the federal election results. If God was moving, why would He use the sort of “strategic voting” that the left had liked to use (Anybody But Harper)? A rise in the Christian Heritage Party votes, or even the election of a few MPs would have had media pundits saying “It’s a miraculous result for the Christian Heritage Party tonight….Hey wait a second…” And since the CHP does have a lot of overtly Christian policies, that should fit in with what Kryskow professes to want. Why she seems to sup on the historically thin gruel of the Conservative Party…well, you’ll have to ask her.
Recall, for a moment, Kryskow’s own list of what a “government of the righteous would do. Saving babies? Where’s the Tory pro-life legislation? Saving men and women from prostitution? Okay, where are the laws against immigrating prostitutes, and the national crackdown on escort services? Answer, the libertarian and socially liberal wing of the Tory party won’t let the government try to pass it for now.
It’s well and good to have so many “Christian” MPs and Senators, but they can start voting that way any time they like.
Back to Friday, where Faytene Kryskow is preparing to take up the offering after implying that past Crys were a big success.
In the midst of her muddle, Kryskow made what I thought was a very good point. “If this is what our faith, and our engagement and our fasting and our sacrifice and our unity and our focus…” she said. ‘You know, if this is what it triggers in the spirit realm, then what does our apathy, our lack of engagement, disunity and go on and on, cost?”
She pointed to the “unseen” behind the scenes good work of the events and noted that all of the worship performers and speakers had paid their own way in.
After these good, melodic, notes, Kryskow proceeded to go off tune.
“It costs. We need a big offering is what I’m saying. We need a big offering or I’m selling the house,” she said.
I gather that Kryskow has been taking marketing lessons from the National Lampoon.
She added that something special might happen after the offering was collected. “We see this over and over throughout Scripture where everytime there’s a radical, extreme offering, what happened? The glory [of God] fell.”
Too bad that we in the audience were so cheap, I guess.
The main speaker for the evening was Lou Engle, the American evangelist whose ties to the New Apostolic Reformation movement are often discussed on American blogs. While introducing him, Kryskow gave away several items from her merchandise table. Recalling the various things that I am pulling from the books in this post, it is interesting that she described Stand on Guard as “what we’re fighting for in the spirit”, while Marked was given away with the admonition “Start a revolution in Jesus’ name…”
Kryskow, while introducing Engle said he was “…the father of the local movements of prayer and reformation and he asked to come and lay spiritual DNA into us, into our hearts.”
Engle began with a description that wouldn’t please the left-leaning city council of Vancouver, greeted by cheers of “Louuuuu!” This is something that we do in Vancouver to greet beloved sports heroes since the days of B.C. Lions kicker Lui Passaglia.
“The battle of Canada and the US is really an Elijah-Jezebel battle. Nations that have godly roots that have been taken over, even in the high places, as it was in the days of Elijah and Jezebel. But nations can actually turn back to God by the spirit of Elijah,” Engle said. “I come out of the airport and I’m in the car with Adam and the license plate of the car in front of me says ‘JEZ…’ (audience laughter). I thought, yeah, we’re in the right place.”
“Tomorrow is the 40 year anniversary if one of the great historic moments. Everybody’s celebrating it, but really it was a huge open door to a false prophetic movement…” Engle said. “It was a prophetic movement. The 1960s were intensely prophetic.”
Woodstock, Engle said, was the opening of 40 years of rebellion against God. In the same way, The Cry Vancouver would be the beginning of 40 years of service to God. “I believe God is literally seeking to end a rebellion and bring an Elijah revolution (applause),” he said.
Libertarian minded Christians might not be happy with Engle’s thesis. Likewise liberal Christians.
If the 1960s were so “prophetic”, where were all the conservative prohetic voices calling youth to obey God? One assumes that the Lord would try to counteract Woodstock were it as influential and Engle states. (The spirit of the 1960s, yes perhaps, but Woodstock specifically? Woodstock was a product of the era and perhaps not a catalyst itself.)
“I think tomorrow is a Mount Carmel moment. We may not see the fruits of it right away but something goes up in the sprit of Jezebel (audience cheers),” he added.
Engle led in prayer. The excited audience had people yelling and praying loudly in tongues.
“Break the spirit of Jezebel over Vancouver! Break the rebellion! Turn a generation of Elijahs loose for the healing of the nations!” Engle yelled as he prayed.
Engle compared the young in the audience to the generation of Israelites who were “sick of the desert”.
“We’re sick of this! We’ll die facing giants like abortion and the homosexual agenda! We’d rather die than wilt in the desert another 40 years.”
Engle then began to talk of something that I quite like (although, alas, in my case the spirit is willing and the flesh is weak). He spoke of several examples of times when he has used lengthy fasts and extraordinary efforts at prayer. He also talked generally of the usefulness and importance of prayer and fasting before going back to referring to history again.
“In the 60s, there was a generation that rebels [against] the fathers…have you ever had a spine out of alignment? Nothing works. But you get a chiropractic treatment. Pop that thing back in. The blessings flow–that’s what God is doing,” Engle said.
He carried on by referring to Bob Birch and went back to the late 1940s to offer the audience a compliment by referring to “Glad Tidings Temple”, as it then was. The church he was speaking in now, Engle, said had spillover meetings when the Latter Rain movement–which began at a school in North Battleford Sask–held meetings in Vancouver.
Then his little rhetorical train started to derail.
He held up his copy of a book called Atomic Power Through Prayer and Fasting by Franklin Hall. “This book got into their hands” in North Battleford, he said, proving very influential there. “A lot of people have given the Latter Rain [movement] a bad rap. I know that every revival gets kind of messed up, but it was a genuine outpouring of the Holy Spirit,” Engle said
I know some Christians active in apologetics who might differ on that.
Engle then gave his copy of Atomic Power… to Faytene Kryskow. “Sweetheart, raise up a generation that will fast and pray,” he said. “That book blew my mind when I read it. It’s a wierd book. (audience laughs)”
Oh, how nice, 99 per cent of the audience must have thought. Oh, how ominous, thought the remainder.
Franklin Hall’s infamous book, notes the website Apologetics Index, introduced several errant ideas to the revival of the late 1940s and early 1950s.
As evidence of God’s favor upon those who fast, Hall points out that even the prayers of pagans will be answered by God if they are accompanied by fasting:
“Many, if not all, the American Indian tribes sought revelation of the Great Spirit through Prayer and Fasting. When they had famines, food shortages, lack of rain, etc., the Great Spirit was sought through prayer and fasting, and their prayers were answered.”
Hall uses this as an example of how fasting is necessary to have our prayers answered. In fact, he states that “Without fasting, prayer becomes ineffectual.”(8) In other words, those who pray to demons will have their prayers answered if they fast, but Christians will not have their prayers answered if they don’t fast. At the least, it would seem, they would be hindered greatly. This is a good example of how a person can extol a faith in Christ while negating all the effects of that faith and the relationship with God it entails. By giving credit for answered prayer to the demon gods of pagan religions, Hall displays a mindset characteristic of occult science….
“Faytene is mobilizing the cause all over the world,” added Engle. Hopefully not using the book that he just gave her.
“There’s enough people here to change the future of Canada,” Engle said. “Canada and the US are both Americans. Your battles are my battles. My battles are your battles.”
He then addressed sexual issues, arguing that the gay Stonewall riots of 1969 led to a sexual revolution which led to 11 and 12 year olds “watching child porn on the Internet”. He added that an emphasis of the prayer movements in the U.S. was to oppose sex traffic. He issued a cautionary note, however. “You have no right to say that Homosexuals can have no civil rights unless you can lead them to true spiritual freedom,” Engle said.
I’ll pause as my gay readers clean up their keyboards after spilling their coffees.
Faytene Kryskow ended the evening with what I felt was a thoughtful call to repentance as The Cry progressed. “Father we carry the sins of our nation before You…God we have offended You,” she prayed.
The audience, she added, needed to be serious about this call to national repentance. “Will you on behalf of a nation humble yourself, in a huge moment of the sins of [our country]?”
“The strategy is go low. The strategy is repentance,” Kryskow said. “Rend your hearts and not your garments. This is not a show and you can’t fake it. Rend your hearts and not your garments. Who knows if the Lord might now relent and stay His judgement?”
I’m not a fan of repenting on behalf of the sins of the past and for the sins of others, but Kryskow’s call was admirably sobering and exactly the right note to sound.
It was a fine ending to a night that, alas, had been not fine in some ways.
The CRY: Saturday August 16, Part 1
I managed to get a couple of hours off work to be on time for the start of events at Lumberman’s Arch, one of the bigger vacant spaces in Stanley Park in Vancouver’s downtown. It’s a sloping area, and as I arrived, people were spreading their blankets and setting up lawn chairs.
Teenagers and charismatics not being too prompt, I guess that around 300 were there right on time as I was. Later on in the mid afternoon, by my guesstimate (how many people across times how many rows), I think that about 1,500 might have been there. Perhaps a couple hundred more, but not much more than that.
A camera crew from GOD TV was there. One camera roaming the crowd and the main one set up in front. The TV editor’s feed played on a giant video screen and I noticed that shots of the crowd were cropped tight to hide most of the empty space behind the crowd as it grew.
They replayed the introductory video from Friday night which allows me to mention two initiatives that Kryskow is involved with that I think are worthy of praise. She plans to lead a small team of young people to Israel in September for minstry work there. Also, from Sept. 23-Nov. 1, she is encouraging people to get involved in Bound for Life, in which teens and young people are being encouraged to pray outside abortion centers. As I am both pro-Israel and pro-life, I was glad to see Kryskow lending them a hand.
(As people came in they passed a sign up tent, where they were being encouraged to sign on to do street ministry the following day. When I left in mid-afternoon, each of the lists had ten, at most, names on them. But the effort to focus outward was very good to see.)
“It’s time,” Kryskow began. “Here on this field where 40 years ago a generation gathered to do drugs, to have indiscriminate sex, in an overt movement of rebellion towards God. We are here today to raise up a new standard for our nation for our generation and for this city.”
She led in prayer that God would be “…writing history through Your people…”
“…So, Holy Spirit, we ask you in to invade this time. We invite You to invade this holy gathering. And God we ask today, God, that Your favor would be turned against towards us God…and that You would truly give us prayers and decrees and dances today that will shift a nation out of rebellion into divine inheritance,” she prayed. Yes, she used the word “invade” and I’ve italicized a perhaps prophetic blooper on her part.
(Why the word “invade”? And is the Holy Spirit off buying a hot dog or something and needs to be called over? Why such martial language?)
Kryskow began by allowing the “first peoples of this nation” to “bring greetings” and pray through prominent native Christians. A video of a Metis’ lady’s song was played on the video screen. Willie Jack, Indian elder prayed in Mohawk, accompanied by native drumming. A Rita Bearbray (sp?) prayed in Cree. Grand Chief Lynda Prince of the Carrier Sekani tribe in Northern B.C. prayed in English, as did Cree leader and ordained minister Kenny Blacksmith.
I’d prefer no drumming and prayers in languages that I can understand. That said, these aforementioned people are certainly devout Christians. Although I dislike making any public distinctions on the basis of race, it was certainly gracious for them to offer prayers for themselves and for the rest of us. (It’s the given thing to do in church settings these days too, and if it helps to promote amity….)
I think, however that Kryskow might have wished that the Squamish Nation “whose land we are on” had sent someone other than Dennis Joseph to speak next. Joseph noted that this was the site of an old native longhouse where potlaches and other ceremonies were held there.
Joseph said that natives had offered “…prayer to those who went deep undergound to hang on to our language and our culture. Our hands are up to them.”
“I am proud to say that I am a third generation Catholic, but a new-born heathen who’s gone back to what I am supposed to be in spirit to be an echo of those who have gone before us,” Joseph said.
Right after this was a brief historical account of a native woman who had been healed of a sickness after playing native drums and chanting.
I wonder if the band sent Joseph to tweak Kryskow’s nose with his “new-born” heathenism. Yes, it is a sign of respect to allow him the mike, but how far do you go? What about a native Christian in the crowd who wonders, since The Cry treated him with respect, whether such syncretism is okay?
Faytene Kryskow and the native leaders exchanged gifts. The last explicitly native part of the day’s events that I saw was when a native lady, drumming, had the entire audience welcome the “King of Kings” in native fasion, having everyone bow and prostrate themselves to the cound of native drumming.
The worship band, accompanied by worship dancers, took the stage. It’s perhaps not a coincidence that they rattled off a series of songs with militaristic overtones to them.
The first song had the lyric “Arise…let your enemies be scattered.”
The second song had the audience singing “…and we will overcome!”
As often happens with worship singers, she improvised, half singing, half praying the following during the third song: “…and he shall have dominion from seas to shining sea…” (as the worship dancers and others waved provincial and territorial flags on the stage)Â “…Every province, every territory, every city, every town…and it all belongs to Him!”
I get the feeling that my readers might be thinking by now, “I get it! They really like the idea of the Lord having ‘dominion’ five minutes ago over Canada! You can stop mentioning it!” My point exactly. They didn’t stop. Like a leaky ceiling dripping on your head when you are trying to sleep, they returned to the idea. Again. And again. And again. So I will keep on citing this.
The next song was militaristic too. “And we Stand on Guard for You (repeated several times)…like a watchman on the wall!” (Go figure, Kryskow has written a book of that name.)
Then, in a can-you-top-this moment, the flag bearers started to thrust the flags over the heads of the audience like spears, yelling “Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!” to the beat of the music. (If you are going to perform Lord of the Flies on stage, shouldn’t you be at the Malkin Bowl instead? )
As the worship songs died down, Kryskow prayed “….Father we thank You for this awesome Dominion of Canada. Father we thank You that at the foundation of this nation, God, You put it in the hearts of our founding fathers to issue a decree that You would have dominion, that You would have dominion, that You Jesus Yeshua would have dominion from sea to sea.” (You’ll recall my earlier refutation of this in the section on Stand on Guard.)
The next idea was to call up various representatives of people groups that have immigrated to Canada that God would have dominion from “sea to sea”. This was done, as Kryskow encouraged the audience to form small groups to pray for that as well.
“We want to issue a decree in the spirit realm as we pray in the native languages of the different nations that God has gathered in Canada,” Kryskow said. “We want to declare that as a nation, and as the nations gather, Jesus’ nation, that He will have dominion from sea to sea. Grab the hand of the person next to you, we’re going to cry out for our nation right now….”
As music played, she continued to pray, “Father in the name of Jesus, we declare that you will have dominion God, every nation, every tribe, every tongue. We declare right now that Canada is Yours, Father….”
As I hope that I have mentioned, I do hope for the dominion of Christ, when He Himself returns to Earth. I suspect, though, that if I played The Cry’s version of “Family Feud” every “number one answer” would be “The dominion of Christ. Right now!”
I thought it amusing that the fellow called up to represent the English of Canada was Lou Engle who is from…the United States. His prayer was fine, though.
Your prayers matter, your prayers make a difference, keep going…” Kryskow said. “This is not a day of performance. This is a day of prayer!”
The band then led a worship song, it being hard to pray and pray and pray…
What happned then leads to an interesting sidebar…
Faytene puts her trust in princes
The next item on the agenda for Saturday morning leads naturally to a discussion of how Faytene handles her relationships with politicians.
They announced excitedly that Stephen Harper, Canada’s Prime Minister, had sent a letter of greeting to the event. The Prime Minister, or the Prime Minister’s Office intern writing in his name began the letter (which was read out to the crowd and the GOD TV audience) by stating that The Cry was an “opportinity for young people from across our beautiful nation to come together for a weekend of prayer, dialogue and fun.”
Mr. Harper continues:
“As Vancouver prepares for the 2010 Olympics you will be discussing important issues such as human trafficking, violent crime and poverty from a faith-based perspective. In the process, you will form meaningful friendships and, most importnantly, you will cultivate your faith and grow as conscientious individuals.
I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to the organizers of The Cry Vancouver for the hard work and dedication they have put into making this weekend such a success.
On behalf of my colleagues and the government of Canada and my wife Laureen please accept my best wishes for a fun-filled, empowering and enlightening event.
The Right Hon. Stephen Harper,
Prime Minister of Canada”
The letter was met with applause and cheering.
Now, if the PMO thinks that you have enough influence to swing a few voters, they will even write a letter from the PM for the “opening” of your brand new wheeled hot dog vending cart. The standard procedure, I guess, is to quote back to the group what they plan to do at the event, using the group’s own language and terminology.
You have to wonder, however, if someone in the PMO has taken the time to go beyond a face value approach with Faytene Kryskow and her groups. Unless they are waiting for a researcher from the Liberals or the New Democrats to thoughfully read Stand On Guard, for example, before they get around to it.
I would kind of wonder whether the activists from the parties of the left have decided to nickname the young activist “Faytory Kryskow.” As you will note in the Lloyd Mackey story on the event, it was two Tory MPs and a Tory Senator who spoke at the event. You kind of have to wonder if “social conservative” MPs or Senators from the other parties were invited? What about representatives of the Christian Heritage Party, whose politics should be suitable for The Cry’s leadership?
Recall, from the description of the event, how The Cry intended to deal with political issues. It read:
OTHER NOTICE: This is a non-political and peaceful event with a strong artistic expression. Anyone attending in a disruptive manner will be asked to leave for the sake of the enjoyment and safety of the other participants and dignitiaries.
How non-political is an event where two MPs and a Senator from one party speak before TV cameras? A better term would be “non-partisan”…but with no other prominent party representation, that doesn’t work well either.
Was this desciption a little fib to get The Cry past Vancouver’s very left wing city council?
What is truthful, however, is Kryskow’s admiration for Stephen Harper, which she pointed out in a comment on an earlier post, at my blogging friend Bene Diction’s blog, discussing the event.
I’ll quote the relevant section for you. This song might be appropriate ambient music for her comments, if you like.
She writes (emphasis mine):
“….A little story¦.
I remember I used to be a little skeptical of Prime Minister Harper (a couple years ago). The media and bloggers were painting him as being a high control freak and cold hearted and I did not know what to think. Around the same time I had the opportunity to meet him. When I shook his hand and looked into his eyes I was shocked by his love and gentleness it was totally different than how the media was painting him. I walked away from that and said to someone, Wow, if everyone in the nation could just shake that man’s hand and look in his eyes there would be a very different public opinion of him!
I am not saying Harper is perfect. I am just saying that the media and bloggers were painting him with a brush that was harsh and not accurate, when I saw him face to face it was clear.
Some times, that is what we need to do ”take the time to look in someone’s eyes and hear their heart….”
That’s nice. But we could also ask whether Harper’s “love and gentleness” is reflected in government policy? Does he put on a good front, or is his faith reflected in what he says and does? An open question perhaps. The Biblical admonition to “Put not thy trust in princes…” comes to mind too.
How non-partisan is Kryskow going to be, in the face of Harper’s seemingly wondrous love?
It gets better. On pages 85-86 of her new book, she has a passing reference to Harper’s election as Prime Minister.
“On January 23, 2006, we elected the first practicing Christian Prime Minister and the most socially conservative government that we have had in decades,” she writes.
I am pretty certain that if you look back in history, you will find several churchgoing Prime Ministers. Whether you can say that they were “practicing”…well, I wouldn’t want to make an off the cuff judgement as Kryskow has. I would though, given her record of historical analysis, predict that we had some somewhat devout Christian PMs.
“Socially conservative government”? I bet there are a bunch of so-con bloggers back east, or newspaper pundits, who might disagree.
Secondly, where are the so-cons in the Harper cabinet? Are they allowed the more powerful positions in cabinet and those controlling social policy, or are they shuffled to minor posts?
Thirdly, what about legislation dear to the hearts of so-cons on social issues? Kryskow does cite some general examples of legislation that she thinks applies here, but what I have in mind is something overtly socially conservative that the liberarian and socially liberal members of the Tory caucus would not stand for. If there are so many Christians on Parliament Hill, such legislation should be able to be passed. Is it brought forth as government legislation, as a defacto motion of confidence, or is it reduced to the status of private member bills, which almost never get passed? I mean “the strongest so-con government ever” should be trying to pass legislation and new regulations. Ask pro-lifers in Ottawa, for example, whether this is the case.
My readers who are New Democrats, might also be interested to know whether Kryskow’s treatment of Svend Robinson is typical. To be honest, I did think of Robinson as a dimwit while he was in office, but I think he is being treated unfairly on pages 171-173 of her latest book Marked.
Kryskow practices the annoying habit of thinking she can say what she likes about someone if she does not actually use their name. But, you can count the number of recent Canadian MPs who left politics–after stealing a ring–on one finger, so she is just being cute here. Anyone who has followed politics in Canada knows exactly who she is writing about.
The section of the book talking about Robinson is headlined “A giant has fallen”, which may be intended to remind Christian readers of the evil “giants” that the Israelites had to kill when taking the Promised Land. Kryskow is dismayed with Robinson as he was the MP that initiated the legislation that allowed gay marriage in Canada.
She writes that she was part of a formal prayer group at the time that came up with the idea of “four swat teams of intercessors” to pray in a systematic way for her city. One day, the groups gathered and then went to various places in, I presume, Vancouver and Burnaby B.C., to pray. Kryskow’s own team “went to the very church that openly endorsed same sex unions and that was one of the main voices spearheading the movement against traditional marriage. We prayed, worshipped, danced, repented, and took communion on-site. We had no idea that we were trip wiring a historic event.”
That same afternoon, she writes, Robinson went into a public auction put an expensive ring on his finger, and walked out without paying for it. “Almost immediately, it hit national media, and this man, who had been a political ace for almost 25 years was arrested and removed from political office.”
Not true. Although Robinson was humiliated, he was not “removed” from political office”–the decision to take a medical leave was his and not imposed on him. He did decide not to run again in the next election, which is what Kryskow was probably thinking of. Robinson’s riding is very safely leftist, so he could have perhaps even won…but he chose not to try.
She adds, “The fact that both the prayers and this Member’s slip-up were happening at the exact same time is too amazing to chalk it up to coincidence. It is clear that something was shaken–and fell.”
Hmm. I wonder if Kryskow thinks that God caused Robinson to steal the ring or that Robinson has always been the sort of person that would steal the ring and that the Lord let him do it. Wouldn’t it have been easier for the Lord to persuade Robinson to retire instead? (After all he had been MP for 25 years, give or take a few months.)
I can imagine left-leaning Christians looking at this account of Kryskow’s and thinking “Ick…” Not that I ever was a fan of Robinson–hardly–but this strikes me as unfair to him.
And now back to my account of events on Saturday…
The CRY: Saturday August 16, Part 2
Following the letter from Mr. Harper, Arnie Bryan, an elderly prayer leader, led in some nice prayers for the various provincial and territorial leaders in Canada. He did begin, however, by apologizing to the Lord that the church had not started earlier to try and have Canada’s government’s submit to His rule.
“We pray,” Bryan said, “That we might respond with agreat and mighty message and give it out that the world might be brought in alignment with Your plans in a mighty way.”
Next was Canadian itinerant evangelist Charlie Robinson a descendant, Kryskow said, of either one of Canada’s first Senators or first MPs. “We recognize that Your throne is above all, that it is Your Government, your place of government…” he prayed.
Then, briefly, prayer was offered up that Canada’s native leaders, “that they would be aligned with You…”
A letter of greeting was read out from Michael Miller, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Vancouver, which said that he wanted to be there, but could not due to prior church business. He would be there “in spirit”, he noted.
Guilio Gabeli, a Vancouver pastor, led the crowd in prayer. “We need to pray for the church of Jesus Christ in our nation,” he said. “Let’s pray for the restoration of God’s power in our lives and in the church in Canada.”
Coming in at the end of this, Stacy Campbell of Kelowna, an itinerant minister with a reputation as a prophet, prayed “We ask …that the light [of revival] would shine out in the darkness preparing the way for Your return.” This raises an interesting question–whether those around The Cry believe that the return of Christ is dependent of the actions of His followers? Something to be explored more fully, perhaps at a different time.
Then, shortly before 10:45 AM, Kryskow began to explain why The Cry was being held in Vancouver and, why at this particular time.
After the last Cry, she said, she had a sense that the Lord was saying “My eye is upon Vancouver.” In the run-up to the 2010 Olympics, she thought, what will the church in Canada “impart” to the people coming to the Games as they participate. What is necessary, she decided, is that the church be ready so that the athletes, officials and such will be “radically impacted”.
“I don’t know about you, but I don’t want God to come and visit our nation. As my spiritual father David Demian has often said, we want him to come and rest,” Krtskow said. “Our desire is that today in the Spirit we will build a house for Jesus, for Yeshua.”
The general time of the summer makes logical sense so that people can use vacation time to participate, teens are out of school and such. But Kryskow was sure to point out “This day has been chosen by God Himself.”
A prayer, priority, she added, would be that evil things such as human trafficking, “perversion” and “injustice” would be kept from the Olympics.
But the very date was also key, she said:
“We had no idea–you’ve got to understand this because some of you guys might think that we went and rigged this or something…
“We did not know that today would land on the 40 year anniversary of an event that many of you might be aware of that was called Woodstock. 40 years ago, right now to the hour, to the minute, to the second, 40 years ago, a generation was gathered with passion, with focus, to give themeselves to something. They gave themselves to a movement of sexual perversion. They gave themselves to a movement of alternative spiritual encounters without Jesus Christ….A generation that determined in their heart to turn away from the Judeo-Christian values of the last generation. In the last 40 years we have seen the fruit of this movement, all restrictions on abortion take off in Canada…”
She added, “There was a movement that began to saturate the media. There was a movement that began to saturate our universities, but we are here on a significant day in a significant moment of time, to declare in the heavenlies, to declare in the earth [Kryskow is screaming into the microphone now] that the 40 years of rebellion is over. It is over!”
How to react to this? Well, as a toddler on the day of Woodstock, I can attest that I did not play with hippie toddlers with strange alphabet blocks.
More seriously, is it fair to entirely blame the hippies of Woodstock when it was their parents who came up with the educational system and social fabric that made them that way? The seeds of a Woodstock were planted in the 30s, 40s and 50s. Their parents, by the way, had an hammerlock on political and social power deep into the 80s, when a lot of the poltical and social changes that emerged as the “ideals of the 60s” came into being.
How many Vancouver residents were at Woodstock? How many Canadians? It’s like blaming Canada for the Vietnam War, if there weren’t a lot of us there.
And what about the Jesus People movement of the same period? There was a Christian witness available, tailored to the hippie culture. Kyskow et al should be aware of this as Bob Birch, who they lionize, was instrumental in building upthe local Jesus People culture in Vancouver.
“Live as if today is the only August 15, 2009 that you wil ever have,” Kryskow added. “because it is…..I dare you to believe that God could use your prayers, your prayers, your prayers, your prayers, your prayers, to save lives and to shift the history of our nation and the Western world. You guys, we have nothing to lose and so much to gain.
Next up was Sarah Maynard, a leader in organized prayer in Vancouver. I liked the way that she brought the issue home by making very local references. If you feel the need to repent of something rooted in the distant past, for argument’s sake, why not make it something that you or your parents could have possibly done? Very sensible.
“For those of you who may not be from this area, you may not know that vancouver is the most secular city in North America,” Maynard said. “It is a city that had welcomed and embraced with open arms the same sprit of rebellion that was nurtured in Haight-Ashbury [the famed hippie district in San Francisco] . It landed with full strength here in Vancouver. Vancouver said ‘Yeah come on in. We also desire to cast of restraint and embrace a sprit of lawlessness.”
This resulted in the abuse of drugs, illicit sex and music “with the spirit of rebellion”.
She continued. “This very field in the jewel of Vancouver became the landing strip for that spirit to manifest in the greatest expression in all of Canada. This field, year after year through the 1970s hosted our ‘Easter Be-Ins’. A celebration which was like a mini-Woodstock. Thousands of hippies would gather, all of them stoned, all of them drugged out, engaging and inviting in Eastern religions…casting off all sexual restraints…”
“We are here, my friends, in the very field where rebellion has been rooted in our nation and we are here by the sovereign hand of God,” Maynard said as she started to lead the crowd in prayer, “The 40 years are over and rebellion is going to be uprooted!”
An article on the Easter Be-Ins that appeared a few years ago in the Georgia Straight–not the most neutral of sources on this–paints a more innocent picture. Interestingly, the coffee house that spawned the Be-Ins was the idea of an Anglican minister and started off in St. John’s Shaughnessy Anglican Church.
It would also be overstating the case to say that Vancouver rolled over and played dead–then-mayor Tom Campbell and city leaders–think of the “Gastown riots”–did what they could to curb what they thought as a menace. The hippies weren’t welcomed with open arms.
If you are going to make arguments such as these, Maynard’s method of directly linking it as closely as possible to the audience in front of her is the way to do it.
Next was Stacy Campbell again. She said something in an attempt to make a prophetic point about Canada’s current flag, namely that the “founding fathers” had made Canada’s new flag for a special reason. My older readers, though, will remember that a central feature of the arguments for a new flag in the 1960s was the desire to have a new, uniquely Canadian flag, not the very British Red Ensign. The strongly conservative MPs, who one would suspect would be most receptive to “God’s new flag for Canada” if we follow Campbell’s argument, were as angry as drenched cats that the Red Ensign was to be replaced.
Much of the rest of the day that I saw was devoted to specific issues. Kryskow led prayers for the protection and safety of Israel. Two men, both members of Israel’s IDF, spoke against efforts in the church to work to help the Palestinians. (One spoke movingly about going into the nearby Muslim Community Center and talking to a Muslim with a wall map that had a map of “Palestine” that had deleted Israeli towns and settlements, including his home town. He pleaded with the audience not to forget the Jews.
This led Kryskow to lead the crowd in prayers repenting for the sin of anti-Semitism. “We’re not saying that Israel is perfect, but we stand with the seed of Abraham,” she said. Anti-Semitism, moreover “is a sin of rebellion against our spritual father Abraham.”
“Just because we say we love Israel doesn’t mean that we don’t love other countries as well,” Kryskow was careful to say.
Afshin Javid, an Iranian who served 3 years in Hezbollah shared an inspiring story of how the Lord reached into his life and saved him. “I want to ask forgiveness on behalf of Muslims for saying that (Death to Israel),” he said.
This led naturally into remarks from David Demian cautioning Christians not to be haughty towrads Muslims and to not be “falsely forcing Christ” on Jews. The attitudes and teachings of the Christian Reformers, he argued, “paved the way for Hitler to do what He wanted.”
“We cannot point the finger when we are guilty ourselves,” Demian said.
A bit later, Eve Bassett, a self-described “former hippie” from Vancouver came up to share about how her own attitudes refelcted others of here generation, and how those attutudes had affected others. “Today is the day of deliverance. Today is the day of stopping,” Bassett said. “We see a geneartion today that has no boundaries.”
In the early afternoon, the subject turned to sexual sin and the attitudes that lead to it. Lou Engle, who says that he is so strictly against the possibility of such sin that he even deleted the ability to access YouTube from his iPhone, brought the men forward to the stage to pray and repent. Then it was the turn of Stacy Campbell to do the same for the women.
This led Kryskow, in what seemed like a natural way, into what she described as the actions of Jezebel a catch-all term for the actions of the Devil in promoting sexual impurity. “We repent for our actions in allowing Jezebel into our schools, music and media,” she prayed.
The arts was next, with David Demian and Kryskow leading prayers for what Demian called “a new righteous renaissance that would release a true creativity to the body of Christ.”
Kryskow, for her part was sure to note that Woodstock was ostensibly an “arts” festival.
The last event that I was able to directly witness was the “We Turn To You Declaration–40 Years After the Summer of 1969″. Slips of paper with the declaration printed out were handed out throughout the crowd and two local pastors led the entire audience in reciting it.
My copy, with the original emphasis as it was composed, reads as follows:
(the oath begins)
“Awesome Father in Heaven we come to you today in humility recognizing that You and You alone are God. There is no God above You.
This day in grief and repentance, we acknowledge our sins, and the sins of our people before You. We acknowledge that in many ways we have turned our face from You as a nation. Our rebellion has also opened the door to powers that have wrought death and destruction in our land.
Today, August 15th 2009, we stand on this field where 40 years ago many in a generation gave themselves freely to the spirit of rebellion and turned their hearts from You. We stand here and we declare today that we repent. We repent and we freely, wholeheartedly, unconditionally and completely turn ourselves back to You God, as individuals and as a nation.
We renounce placing the love of pleasure ahead of loving You, and turn away from sexual immorality. Lord Jesus Christ WE TURN TO YOU.
We renounce any way that we have worshipped creation rather than you, the Creator. We turn away from idolatry and Lord Jesus Christ WE TURN TO YOU AS THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE GOD AND LORD OF ALL.
We turn away form rebellious attitudes to authority. Lord Jesus Christ WE TURN TO YOU AND SUBMIT TO YOUR WAYS.
We renounce and reject spritual encounter through drugs or new age experience. Lord Jesus Christ WE TURN TO YOU AND SUBMIT OURSELVES COMPLETELY TO [THE] HOLY SPIRIT.
We renounce the sprit of pride and turn away from the exhaltation of self.
Lord Jesus we seek Your Glory, Your Fame, Your renown.
Lord Jesus Christ, WE TURN TO YOU
We will serve no other Gods before You.
We will pursue no other lovers before You.
We declare this day–before heaven and earth–that WE TURN TO YOU AND WE BELONG TO YOU
We turn to you declaring that You are King over our lives and over our nation. We echo the decree of Your Word and of generations past in Canada, “You will have dominion from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth.” Canada is Yours.
We now recieve a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire to live our lives wholly devoted to You–shining Your glory to our generation.
We recieve Your love–You and You alone are the source of Love.
We receive Your peace–that You and You alone are the source of lasting peace.
We recieve Your joy–You and You alone are the source of lasting joy.
We recieve Your life–You and You alone are the source of eternal life and abundant life here on earth.
We recieve Your rigtheousness and justice–You and You alone are the source of all that is good.
We recieve Your wisdom and knowldge–You and You alone are the source of all wisdom.
We recieve Your strength and Your might–You and You alone are the source of our strength.
We love You God and TODAY WE DECLARE THAT WE TURN TO YOU WITH ALL OUR HEARTS, ALL OF OUR SOULS, ALL OF OUR MINDS AND ALL OF OUR STRENGTH.
WE CALL FORTH A REVERSAL OF THE IMMORAL TIDES OF THE LAST 40 YEARS–CANADA IS YOURS! (Raise up a shout!)
(the oath ends)
I am sad that I had to miss apparently an hour devoted to praying about the issue of abortion (an issue close to my heart), though not as happy as I was to learn that Faytene Kryskow and her colleagues had reportedly persuaded two young girls not to abort their babies.
Unfortunately, I was unable to spend the entire day at The Cry, needing to return to my day job at 4 PM. And I can say “unfortunately” as I did think that there was some good prayer going on, and people were being made aware of important issues. I just hope that I wasn’t muttering “dominion…dominion…dominion…” in my sleep that night. Or on the night that I at last finished this post.
Happily, however, Llord Mackey was there in spirit and I would like to pass on what he reported:
Two back-to-back segments involved Winnipeg area [Conservative] MPs Joy Smith and Rod Bruinooge, who spoke about human trafficking and life issues, respectively.
Smith has been spearheading a private member’s bill to increase mandatory sentences for human trafficking. It has received solid support from all parties except the Bloc, and Smith is hoping for passage this fall.
Bruinooge is chair of the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus, which provides a regular stream of information to MPs on life issues, including abortion and pregnancy care.
When the time came for Kryskow to pronounce what has been the traditional TheCRY blessing on political leaders, she invited [former Conservative candidate in the Lower Mainland of B.C.] Yonah Martin, one of the recently-appointed B.C. senators, to receive support. Martin, in her pre-senate days, has become known as a leadership-themed speaker for faith-based and cultural events, and she makes her spiritual home at St. Paul’s United Church, a multicultural Burnaby congregation.
Thanks to him.
You did notice that only Tories were asked on stage? Good.
My appraisal of the day? Some that was good or great…but some that was troubling, or just plain bad.
The CRY: Sunday August 17
The final formal event of The Cry Vancouver was held at First Baptist Church, an old church in downtown Vancouver. It seemed a bit of a surprise that First Baptist would welcome The Cry, but it made sense as well, as it has done various youth-friendly activities such as operating a coffee house in another part of the building.
The church is very traditional, with a pew-filled floor and balcony that seats roughly just over 1,000 people. It has a fellowship hall and a wide platform at front that was well suited for some of the seeker-friendly things that the organizers wanted to do. Instruments were set up for bands, two easels were set up for painters to paint pictures as things were going on around them and speace was cleared for worship dancers doing contemporary dance.
How it was intended to work was that the various activities that Cry participants took part in on Sunday afternoon would attract interested people to the “arts night” at the church. They handed out little witnessing cards as they talked to people, or did street art or dance and such. “God’s love for you is deep…” began the message on one side of the card while the message on the flip side began “God thinks you’re awesome…” (God’s love for man is very appropos, but that fact that you and I are not “awesome” due to sin and need Christ is important too.) There were snacks in the adjoining fellowship hall and places for people to sit and have “conversations”, allowing Christians to witness to people or pray for them. (There was also a tapestry set up where people could leave prayer requests in the seeker-sensitive form “If you could ask God for one thing, what would it be?”)
When I arrived five minutes before the scheduled start time, there were 44 people in the main audiorium of the church. I was able to count them. As the evening progressed, however, about 300 people eventually showed up.
One of the first things that the young lady (who was unfamiliar and whose name I did not catch) who was acting as master of ceremonies asked was a show of hands from those who had been attracted to the evening by the activities of the various groups around the city. Four people raised their hands. [In fairness, though, I ran into a friend of mine in the fellowship hall who does street ministry and he told me that this level of response from non-christians is about what he and his friends tend to experience themselves.)
The two and a half hour evening proceeded with various songs from a small group of wroship singers and musicians. They played a lot of their own self-composed songs and what they played was quite nice--switching off as lead singer. One young female singer prefaced a song on prayer by talking briefly, and nicely, about how her experience with prayer led to her writing the song.
There was a lady who read out her poetry accompanied by the worship dancers. (Yes, the worship dancers did line up once like they were going to enter into a rugby scrum, but people seemed to enjoy and appreciate what they were doing. I'm a young fogy.)
A young fellow, Garnett Campbell (sp?) was next billed as a "story teller". He had a fun and pointed little testimony, accompanied by Power Point, and jazz guitar, about his broken table in Starbucks. As the broken table in Starbucks frustrated what he wanted to do with his coffee, so in the same way God needs to fix us before we can be of use to Him. Nice way to make his point.
As the evening wrapped up, the master of ceremonies returned to the stage as the painters tried to finish their paintings, with some closing remarks. She apologized to those who had not been touched by the love of God. "I want to aplogize for not being very loving, and for not expressing God's love in a way that you could recieve it," she said. "We would love to have a conversation with you about that, if you wish."
Although people might not be happy with how seeker-sensitive the final evening was, I liked the low-key, unplugged,quality of it. There was a winning sweetness about this night, gentle and welcoming. Of course, when people of their own accord, without being riled up, try to quietly serve Christ, this is the sort of way that He can do things.
Although we need to credit The Cry and its leadership for making this night possible and expediting what did happen, I should add that Theocrat Woman! --er Faytene Kryskow--and the prominent figures of the past two days were not front and center. I looked for them and did not spot them there.
Some concluding observations
Where do we go from here?
Faytene Kryskow, we can assume, is not brazen enough to be a Canadian version of Marjoe Gortner. That I doubt.
She is devout. She is passionate about saving her country. She's acquired a lot of skill, and a lot of respect from some for her tireless work to put a face to the idea of what being a politically active Christian means in Canada.
But it is what she adds to this, as I've noted above, that is a problem. Her dominionist ideas are perhaps part of her DNA, mixed into everything that she might want to do. She explicitly states as much in her books. She says it on stage.
As a person, she shows evidence that she is kind and caring, which is very Christ-like. This sometimes comes across in the work that she does. Indeed, she tries to keep this in mind when responding to what she sees as criticism. But we also need to keep in mind that the lady who tells her critics "Let's meet and pray together" and the lady who responds to critiques she deems as "mocking" with "Aw....shut up!" are one and the same.
The lady who maintains that she is not a dominionist can't say that these ideas are something she held in her earlier days that she does not hold now. You've read examples of this in the words and actions at The Cry.
You could also open her newest book Marked, as well. When you title the opening chapter "Rule, Subdue and Make Disciples of Nations", her tendency to thinking that Christians must seek to dominate seems pretty clear.
She writes (on pages 31-32):
"....There is something inherent in the nature of God that loves growth and wants to take over! Recently a preacher friend of mine, Banning Liebscher, said something that I wholeheartedly believe in. He said, 'The new breed of revivalists that God is raising up has a "take over" mentality. They are convinced that God has called them to take over the world.' If we really believe that we are created in His image, this should not be a surprising statement,. Actually, it resonates deeply in my spirit....There is one clincher, however. The clincher is that He has chosen to execute the expansion of His Kingdom through his people. Whether or not His take-over plan advances in fullness depends on our obedient response to the command: multiply!"
In the United States, many dominionist teachers have a unique teaching on the book of Joel, chapter two. The "Joel's Army" teaching holds that there will be a "people", supercharged Christians in the last days before Christ's return that will carry all before them, preparing the way for Him to come back. However, if you read the chapter, this language seems to refer to an army of literal locusts in the last days
Unless you want to believe that the end-time horde of super-Christians will be able to run up walls like Spiderman. The language seems to make most sense when talking about an "army" (NIV) of literal locusts. This is made clear in verse 25, when it speaks about a merciful God "restoring the years that the locusts have easten."
If you read pages 248-253 of Marked, you see that Faytene Kryskow believes in the Joel Army teaching without calling it that. But she has difficulty forcing the passage to refer to people:
"....I realize that the army Joel is seeing is an end-time army of judgment, perhaps even a heavenly one, but I have always felt that there was somethiong in these Scriptures that was for my generation. I am not saying that we will administer devastation in the earth, though I do believe that He has called us to execute havoc against the kindom of darkness--as discussed in the opening chapters of this book...."
Clearly, we could suspect that Faytene Kryskow has a bad theology to go with her good heart.
I wonder, tongue-in-cheek, if she would be reading some Internet notes from her foes on her computer, chin cupped in hand, and saying to herself: "What next? Well, I'm not a machiavellian genius--some days I have a problem getting my laundry done on time..."
Indeed. She just needs to think through whether her theology matches up with the actions that people are applauding.
Some of her critics may think that her wonky beliefs and actions are such that she is a lost cause. However, in her defense, she is in a place of national prominence because no-one else has seemed to want the job, and none of the more orthodox church leaders have thought to raise someone up from their youth for this task who had more mainstream beliefs.
When she is not looking, on stage, like her gaze alone can bore a hole through tempered steel, she does come across as someone who can be very nice and kind. She might wear a T-shirt stating "Well behaved women seldom make history", but I note that her T-shirt didn't say that "Caring women seldom make history."
I am hearing "But Rick, what if she is the greatest actress that you have ever seen in your life?" I have faith, though, that Christ has worked in her heart if nothing else.
I have faith that Kryskow might be able to take a look at herself and the actions of her group and her friends and realize "Oh, so that's why people fear me when I am honestly trying to do what I think is right. And this could alienate without meaning to...And that can scare..."
And faith is a very approprate thing to have in this context. I just hope that mine is not misplaced.
It's just that we need young people to stand up for Canadians loving and serving their country. It would be a shame if all that was good and great behind The Cry was thrown out with the triumphalist silliness that has been mixed into it.
I want very much to like Faytene Kryskow. To that end, I hope that she can learn and grow, and discard what she doen't need and what is not wise, and learn useful lessons when this is an item of discussion amongst Christians alone.
If she is determined to wait until she has to learn the lesson in a painfully public way, at the hands of W5 or The Fifth Estate for example, I can at least say that I have tried.
However, if she is determined to wrap herself in anchors and drown while in the public eye, there is nothing I can do.
[UPDATE A passing reference in the comments below to Faytene being related to Louis Riel is apparently incorrect. .
I offer my apology to her and my readers as well.]