Why Study Canadian History?

 

1867.

2017.

That’s 150 years of Canadian history. To be clear, that’s 150 years of post-Confederation Canadian history. Canada has centuries, even millennia, of history prior to that. There’s the history of the native people of Canada. There’s archeological and manuscript evidence of a Norse settlement from 1000 A.D. In the Age of Exploration English, Dutch, Basque, Portuguese, and French explorers sailed and landed on Canadian shores. Eventually the French and the English would colonize North America. After centuries of exploration, settlement, wars, rebellions, invasions, and colonization the Northern part of North America would become a country in 1867.

Yet, hardly anybody knows Canadian history. When you mention Canadian history to most Canadians they let out a sigh and say “Canadian history is so boring and dull. What’s there to study?”

That’s a really sad thing.

We live in a culture and a nation that knows little of its history, its foundations, its battles, its wars, its adventures, its sins, and its triumphs. But the saddest thing is that we as a nation have turned our backs on our Christian heritage, our strikingly Christian heritage.

We also live in a post-Christian nation that is hostile to the moral principles of our past. We live in a culture that mocks the non-inclusive ethical principles of our forefathers. We live in a hypocritical nation that begs forgiveness for the transgressions of past sins, without examining the sins of the current generation.

So, to be honest, when July 1, 2017, rolled around, I was not in a very patriotic mood. From my perspective here in Edmonton, Alberta, there was very little emphasis on the part of the Canadian government to celebrate Canada’s history (a giant yellow rubber duck??!). Without a history what is there to celebrate?

But that wasn’t the real reason for my lack of patriotic spirit. The real reason was that Canada is a nation that deserves God’s severe and righteous judgment for sin. Canada is very sadly a nation that rejoices in depravity and vile wickedness. What kind of sins?

To list just a few:

We are a country that supports and allows the unrestrained slaughter of children in the womb.

We are a country that openly supports homosexuals and same-sex marriage.

We are a country that actively supports atheism, evolutionism, and the mockery of the Christian faith through the public-school system.

We are a country that supports the breaking of God’s Laws, especially the Sabbath Day.

We are a country that is slowly allowing the government to take away the God-given rights that parents have over their children.

So, Canada Day was for me a time of sober reflection. It was a time to meditate on how this country had fallen so far from its Christian heritage (and indeed it does have a Christian heritage!).

So, after that depressing list, why should you study Canadian history?

You must study Canadian history to understand how we as a society have arrived at the present day.

You must study Canadian history to find out how God, in His sovereign providence, has worked in this nation in the past, both positively and negatively.

You must teach your children Canadian history so that they know their roots and the principles that built this nation.

You must teach your children Canadian history so that they can learn from the mistakes of the past and the sins of their forefathers.

You must teach your children Canadian history so that they can learn how to be faithful and effective gospel witnesses in a land that mocks the Christian message of hope and salvation.

Finally, you must teach your children Canadian history in such a way that they give glory to the God who is the sovereign King over every tongue, tribe, and nation.

 

Bio:

Howdy! My name is Stephen Mulder, a wretched sinner saved by the amazing and, oftentimes incomprehensibly, great grace of God. I am a ‘redneck Albertan’ and when I’m not fishing, hiking, or hunting, I’m in my study reading or writing theology and history. I have the opportunity to appear a lot more often on this blog. I hope you enjoy my posts and find them useful in your personal study of Canadian history.

I’m a confessing member of The Shelter Reformed Presbyterian Church in Edmonton, Alberta and am currently working towards my Master of Divinity from the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary. If you’re interested in articles of a more theological nature feel free to check out my blog at douloitheou.blog! Thanks for reading!