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  • Writer's pictureDarryl Buckle

3 Things I Learned About Canadians That Left Me Questioning Everything

I read some statistics about Canadians recently that left me questioning everything I thought I knew about The True North Strong and Free.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still proud to be a Canadian, where at least I know I’m… how’s that song go? – but if you haven’t noticed, the world around us is changing  and some of it has me concerned.

Exhibit A:

According to Statistics Canada, while nearly 70% of Canadians have gone camping, hiking, or backpacking at some point in the 12-months prior to taking the survey. – Only 24% actually pitched a tent.

You’re getting weak, Joe.  Just sayin.

If we want people to continue to think of us as the True North Strong and Free, It’s time to sharpen the old axe and figure out what it means to be a Canadian again.

I read about another bunch of stats that said that 65 per cent of respondents agree (strongly or somewhat) that “diversity,” whatever that means, is a defining characteristic of Canada.

60 per cent agree that “diversity” is an economic benefit.

Nearly 70 per cent said they were “proud of Canada’s reputation as an open and welcoming country.”

No wonder the world thinks we’re so friendly.

Turns out the truth is a little more complicated.  The same poll reported that almost half of respondents — 46 per cent — also admitted that diversity “is causing Canada to change in ways I don’t like.”

What’s up Canada?  Proud of how “open and welcoming” we are? – but not interested in anyone messing up your campsite?

I guess we Canadians need to spend some time thinking about what we actually want, not just what we want to believe about ourselves.

Just one more.

A 2014 Canadian Bible Engagement Study, found that only 13 per cent of Canadians agree that the Bible is relevant to modern life.

And from the same study, …wait for it…

Only 23% of Christians in Canada believe the Bible is relevant to modern life.

As a Canadian and a Christian myself, I have to admit that I’m a little conflicted about these statistics and I’m still not entirely sure what to make of them.

It makes me think about all the sermons, and stories, the classes, courses, or conversations, that have contributed to the spiritual formation of those Canadians polled, and how they hold the mirror for all the rest of us – so we can see who we really are.

As a minister in a church, right here in Canada, it makes me wonder about the messages I’ve preached – every time i’ve tried to apply the ancient Scriptures to the real lives of real people today.

As a trainer and mentor of people who are trying to learn how to teach or preach more effectively, I think about what the great apostle Paul said to a student he was mentoring,

“be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” ~ 2 Timothy 2:15

If less than 1 in 4, average, flannel-wearing, Canadian churchgoers, still believe that the Bible is relevant to modern life, I’m not sure we’ve been doing it right.


Maybe you don’t care about the camping habits of average Canadians… (For an excellent guide on how to pitch a tent click here.)

But maybe it bothers you to think that the Canadians, (Christian or not) no longer believe the Bible has anything to say to how they live their real lives.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think:  What part of the statistic are you?  How’d you get there?

Remember Canada, we’re all in this together.  #godkeepourland

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