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Sunday, 20 May 2012

We ARE Lights Of The World

Following from my last blog Salt and Light of the World -Us??? I came across this statement, written in the 1970s:

If a man who is a Communist was to arrive at your community, you will know about him within a day.
If  he is a Socialist, then you will know after several days, maybe after a couple of weeks.
If a Christian arrives, you may not be aware of his faith for several years.

It makes me wonder how true this statement is. I, for one, would not want to keep my faith a secret. But I must admit that at times I can feel embarrassed to say that I belong to Christ. In my job as a self employed domestic window cleaner in which I work alone, I sometime wonder just what my client thinks of me, my workmanship, my prices and most important of all, my moods and how I feel when communicating. If I feel a little grumpy, perhaps because it's cold and damp (typical British weather), or because a client is never at home to pay his fee, feeling anxious about tax, or simply morning blues, to say I have joy in Jesus Christ would not be well backed up by personal reality, would it? Neither if my client dithers in payment, makes excuses to delay or avoid paying, or the nadir of them all, to be told that it is not worth cleaning his windows - it looks like rain this afternoon. Like the time when one gentleman wearing an England tee-shirt deliberately looking over my shoulder to scan the sky behind me when he answered the door. At least I kept my cool the moment I wanted to say something nasty to him. Then adding loss of customer due to selling up and moving away - with the new occupants disliking door tradesmen as rip-off merchants or a waste of money, time and space. Or the death of a long-standing client who had been loyal and faithful for many years.

Maybe you too find the workplace to be the most challenging area of your life to be a witness for Christ. Maybe after conflict with a colleague at the office, being told off by your boss or criticized by a supervisor, you think that testifying of your holiness in Christ would not go down well in such an environment, or it would seem out of place. In a world of push and shove, you may still feel the need to evangelise, not so much for having a heavy heart over their eternal destiny, but because your church leader, pastor, elder or minister had once said that keeping quiet about Christ is almost on the par with denial. So the feeling is as if you are pushed into a corner.

Looks familiar?

That was my Christian experience for many years. In fact I did, and still have the desire to share Christ in me. But what is hindering me? I believe it's the fear of ridicule, mainly because my lifestyle may not mirror the testimony, therefore in a way, disgracing God. For example, if I was impatient with someone, I would feel embarrassment in telling him how he should become a Christian.

And there are other issues too, modern education is one of the greatest barriers blocking my attempt to share Christ. One of the chief connections with the testimony of Jesus Christ is the conflict between the Bible's revelation of a six-day, young-Earth Creationism with Darwinian Evolution. On this site I have dealt with this issue. I have demonstrated the impossibility for one living cell to have evolved. The cell is such a complex unit that even atheist mathematician Fred Hoyle had calculated that for just the basic enzymes in the cell to have evolved by chance would be one in one, followed by forty thousand zeroes! This means that the entire age of the Universe, up to the present day, would not be able to accommodate the time span needed for evolution of the cell to even have gotten a start. The evidence of the cell, the building block of all living organisms, is crying out for a Creator.

But it is much easier for the one unsaved to believe the testimony of one atheist professor than to examine the facts for himself. I am referring to Professor Richard Dawkins, the author of the book, The God Delusion. In it, Dawkins provides what looks to be the most undeniable proof that the Earth is very old and all life evolved as first declared by Charles Darwin. This undeniable proof is Plate Tectonics, the slow movement of the plates making up the Earth's crust and responsible for the drifting of the continents, often known as Continental Drift. Dawkins insist, for example, that South America is moving away from Africa at the same rate as the growth of a fingernail, which is 3-4 cm each year.  If the rate of movement had remained constant, it was calculated that the Americas would have taken roughly 180,000,000 years for them to have moved from Europe and Africa since the split of the original supercontinent of Pangea. Furthermore, under the Atlantic Ocean, between the Eurasian and the American continents, regular magnetic strips running north/south along the Atlantic seabed indicates the polar magnetic field flipping at regular intervals, so that in one era, the Magnetic North is over Antarctica while at the next interval, the Magnetic North is over the Arctic icecap, as it is today. Information gathered by measuring these lines seems to add further evidence of a very old planet.

Therefore, Dawkins holds out the undeniable proof the our planet is much, much older than what the Bible allows for. This is very appealing to the unregenerate heart, which would go through great lengths to deny the truthfulness of the Bible to the point that the Scriptures are held to the point of fictitious ridicule. The end result is that any Christian who holds on to the belief of a young-Earth Creationism is looked upon as fantasist at best, a quack, or a lunatic at worst. Indeed, education can impede the sharing of Jesus Christ to others, unless the conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit takes place in the recipient's heart in readiness to receive Christ.

Yet true Christians must have some impact on both the intellectual world and the common population. Educated professionals such as who I call the Big Three - Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens have all written books belittling or denying the existance of God and advocating as well as defending Darwinism. Alongside these three, TV presenters such as David Attenborough, Andrew Marr, Brian Cox (all of the BBC) and others have defended Darwinism to the nation. It seems odd to me, if Evolution, supported by Plate Tectonics is so factual, to see these authors convey the idea that such a theory appear to be under threat. And under threat does Darwinism seems to them, despite that here in the UK, the percentage who believes in Evolution is most likely more than 90%. of the whole population. Dawkins has indeed, became a household name, even spoken from the pulpit of churches right across the country.

Richard Dawkins

As for myself, who believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, a revelation of Himself to us, and a believer of a young-Earth, literal six-day creation -  I will admit that Plate Tectonics is a massive embarrassment to my faith. On the outside it does look as if Dawkins and his ilk were right after all. And there is nothing I can do to change their minds, and for that matter neither the minds of the unregenerate who accepts Darwinism as scientific fact.

But my own experience seems to testify that I am a light in the world, without conscious effort on my part. Let me share a couple of examples with you:

I was at a warehouse at a nearby town of Reading back in 1980, having taken up a temporary job there just prior to becoming self employed. One fellow staff worker approached me and asked if I was a Christian. Although I replied in the affirmative, the remarkable thing about this incident was that I never spoken a word about my faith to anyone - I did not like the job at all and I felt depressed much of the time I spent there. Yet, against all odds, the light shone - as it did in 1990 when I was sitting at a bar and engaged in a conversation with a gay fellow and his partner who also called at the venue. I kept my faith hidden, as I believed back then that it was incompatible with my liking of him. His tone of voice was so soft, gentle and uplifting - something many Christians can learn from! He then assured me that he was aware of my "religious faith" and that he too goes to church, and furthermore, gives voluntary assistance to the pastor. No prompting from me, it just happened.

As was more recently, one of my clients whose windows I was cleaning, came out of the house and called up,

Who was the brother of Moses?

Correctly believing that his wife was doing the crossword, I answered,
"Aaron - Double A, R-O-N!"

I was amazed. I cannot recall saying anything to this guy about my faith, yet he knew. Not many would know by heart the name of the brother of Moses for this guy to have asked. Again, the light of Christ shone without the effort of my part.

We who are believers are lights of the world. There is nothing we can do to make the light shine. It just happens.

And I still believe in the inerrancy of the Bible. Even if Plate Tectonics seems a threat to the truthfulness of the Scriptures. While cycling home from church this afternoon, I was pondering on this matter, when I remembered about the testimony of two or three witnesses needed to convict a wrongdoer in Court. Moses wrote that the two or three witnesses must fully agree with each other before a trial can take place. If there is disagreement, then the case is void.

Charles Darwin then came into mind. But not one accused, rather one whose theory was in need of verification. Two witnesses were needed to verify Darwin and his theory of Evolution. Two witnesses did arrive. One was the Cell. The other was Plate Tectonics. Plate Tectonics said Yes, Darwin is genuine. But the Cell denied this, saying that it was mathematically impossible to have evolved.
The case had to be thrown out. The two witnesses disagreed.

But the testimony of Jesus Christ Crucified and Resurrected will always stand the test. No witness is able to stand against Him. Darwin tried, and his followers are still trying. But Darwin lost the case and if so, so will his followers. The testimony of the Bible will stand for ever. So will the Light of Christ shine out of us forever, too.


  1. Hi Frank,
    just read your post. The Bible tells us that no man can come to God except through Jesus, and no man can come to Jesus except he is called by God. We are also told that there is a time to speak and there is a time to refrain from speaking, so I don't think that we have to worry too much about evangelizing or saying the right thing at the right time, none of us are perfect and we learn little by little. The Bible also tells us that 'the secret things belong to God, those revealed belong to us', and I have long come to realize that God's wisdom makes mans' wisdom foolishness. Just as there are many things that'science' can't explain, so there are many things that we do not know about God's word, it consists of a knowledge which is 'revealed', not learnt. Nothing could convince me now that God and creation are not real, but at the same time I have to acknowledge that I have much to learn. I have written something on my blog called 'Let us make man in our image', regarding the 'six day' theory, which may not make sense to many people, to me it makes sense from my point of view as a christian. I love sharing my faith with all people, but only when I believe that God is wanting me to.

  2. Another great post Frank, and much food for thought; the bloke who is a self-employed window cleaner tends to write better posts than most people who are supposed to be educated!

    I take completely what you say about witnessing for Jesus; in many respects you're a regular bloke like myself, who just happens to have faith in Jesus; when you meet people on the street, you feel that they wouldn't know what to think of a Christian who cleans windows or does another relatively ordinary job; Christians are rather posh, aren't they? Or, otherworldly, not at all ordinary, aren't they? We are proof that God's choices are not men's choices; God chose you, not that posh person over there, and Christianity is a whole lot more than singing hymns in church with a load of Christian types who think going to church on Sunday and knowing the vicar is the b-all and end-all of Christian life! It isn't; it's a way of life.

    I love your bit about science, and the plate tectonics; I don't know what to think about that, I only know that when I look at Creation and the world around me, the wonder of it all, it has to have a reason doesn't it? Of course it does; WE are the reason for Creation!

    1. Dear T Childs,
      I fully agree with your statement about posh or snobby Christians. The apostle James was so appalled by it in his day that he wrote a whole letter rebuking this attitude.
      A blog about this topic will be written in the near-future. Watch this space.
      And thanks so much for your comment. God bless,

    2. @T-Childs.
      I believe Christians are defined by class or wealth, we are Christians because of who we follow, Jesus, the friend of sinners; posh, poor, rich, marginalized, rejected.

      You say: "God chose you, not that posh person over there" Really? Is it for us to say who Christ died for?

      I agree with you when you say:
      "Christianity is a whole lot more than singing hymns"
      but going on to add "in church with a load of Christian types who think going to church on Sunday and knowing the vicar is the b-all and end-all of Christian life!" Is this really what Christians believe? This is not my experience in the church that I am a part of.

      I think Jesus is amazing, and I will give my life to serve him and pray that I may be part of his plans to bring many people to know him, no matter where they stand in the eyes of society. Jesus spent time with Pharisees, tax collectors and sinners. We do the same don't we? The rich, the poor, the posh, the not posh!

      I love this from Bill Hybels: “There is nothing like the local church when it’s working right. Its beauty is indescribable. Its power is breath-taking. Its potential is unlimited. It comforts the grieving and heals the broken in the context of community. It builds bridges to seekers and opens its arms to the forgotten, the downtrodden, and the disillusioned. It breaks the chains of addictions, frees the oppressed, and offers belonging to the marginalized of this world. The potential of the local church is almost more than I can grasp.”

      I pray that the churches we are all part of" work right" full of many different people not fussed about people's perceptions of them, rather using the gifts God has given them so that many will know Jesus.

      God bless you.

    3. Hi Dave; yes, you put me straight there! I suppose coming from a poor working class background, but being very much a Christian, I have had a little chip on my shoulder from time to time; I'm trying to learn to be tolerant but sometimes it's not easy; but I am trying!

      We're all sinners aren't we! If Jesus can spend time with me, He can spend time with anyone after all!

      Thanks for an honest perspective.

  3. As long as we are trying to make people know we are Christians, we will struggle to witness, but when we simply yield and fall in love with God, it will show just as obviously as real love between two people. One doesn't need to be told when two people fall in love.

  4. I totally agree with dfish here about not struggling to witness, but when you have fallen in love with someone wonderful you will automatically want to tell others of his beautiful nature.

  5. I have to say that this is something that is hard for me. Personally, I sometimes feel that my relationship with Christ is too intellectual and not emotional enough. Maybe it's become more of an intellectual exercise. That's just a temptation I struggle with because of my personality. Because of that, my evangelism is weaker than it should be. That saddens me. I am seeking to go outside of my comfort zone.
    Frank, I saw on your post on covnintkper1's blog, you commented about the Catholic doctrine of Transubstantiation. I believe you've mentioned that you are a Catholic. Do you hold to the doctrine that the bread and wine physically transform into the body and blood of Christ? If so, could you tell me why? I'd love to hear you talk about that. God bless!

  6. Hey Frank,
    Thank you for the post, the highlight for me is actually your blog title, "We ARE the lights of the world". It's not that we have to try to be lights, or become lights as followers of Jesus, it is who we are. AMEN!

    The challenge is what kind of light!! Do we bring the name of Jesus honour or not through our words and actions? Or do we just put a basket over our head? I hope not!

    Bless you Frank!!