Thursday, July 25, 2019

Surviving in Dark Places

An article originally published in the August 2018 newsletter of the Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity, North Augusta, SC:

Back in my electrical engineering days, I was the interim manager of a power generation and transmission system on the island of New Guinea.  As a Christian, I found the region a spiritually oppressive place.  Most of the people were either Muslim or indigenous animist.  

Looking back on it, I can list three things that helped spiritually sustain Nancy and me during that time:

·   First was our willingness to boldly and unreservedly be Christian in spite of the spiritual darkness, oppression and opposition around us.  We simply remembered who we are and whose we are.

·   Secondly was our staying in Scripture and continuing to seek the mind of Christ in all things and in all ways.

·   And last but not least, was finding other Christians with whom to fellowship, worship and continue to grow in Christ.  There were not many Christians where we were, but Jesus said that when two or three are gathered in His name, He will be in the midst of them (Matt 18:20).

But one does not have to travel 11 time zones away to find spiritual darkness.  Over the last half-century or so, our American Culture has entered into its own spiritual darkness.  For a nation that was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and beliefs, we have willingly moved into a secular-humanist wasteland in which Christianity is no longer welcome in the public square.  This has taken place with most Americans still claiming to be Christian and almost a thrid of Americans attending Church on Sundays.  
Nancy's and my three observations for sustaining ourselves in spiritual darkness are coming in pretty handy right here at home.  As Joshua says in Joshua 24:15-  "And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

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