The Air We Breathe – Enlightenment

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

  • John 8:12

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

  • Matthew 5:14-16

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

  • Acts  1:8

“Christianity has been a missionary faith from the beginning. Christ himself was the light (John 8:12), and he came to dispel the night before Christmas. The church, then, was commissioned to continue this enlightening work. Christ called Christians ‘the light of the world’ (Matthew 5:14). They are his ‘witnesses to the ends of the earth’ (Acts 1:8). As annoying as others may find it, Christians cannot keep themselves to themselves, nor can they say of those outside the faith, ‘Each to their own’. Christians deeply desire to enlighten others. And so it was for this reason that, in 597, Pope Gregory the Great sent Augustine (a different Augustine) to Britain to convert the Anglo-Saxons.
“Augustine was commanded by Gregory to use only ‘gentle means’. His goal was persuasion. His method was teaching and preaching. And he was successful, converting King Aethelbert of Kent and becoming the first Archbishop of Canterbury. This was a precedent for so much of the way the church in the west sought to shine its light on those pagan nations it considered shrouded in darkness.

  • Glen Scrivener, The Air We Breathe

Rev. Scrivener begins the chapter on Enlightenment by investigating the change in the meaning of the word “medieval”.  Medieval used to mean the period in history between the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of the Renaissance.  Now it means anything that is outdated.  But the original meaning conjures the thought of the Dark Ages.

Yet, during those years, the spread of the Gospel was prolific.  And how was the Gospel spread?  By enlightening the world to the true Light.

Were there mistakes made?  Yes, but hardly a day goes by that each and every one of us makes a mistake or two or more.  I have stubbed my toe several times today and I have put my foot in my mouth once or twice.  Those things happen, but spreading God’s love is done with love, not hate or bullying or any type of physical force.

These days, they say we are in the information age, but there is much more misinformation than there is information.  These days they talk about Christians hating everyone, when they love everyone, and only want them to repent and turn to Jesus.  And those that believe in the secular worldview of the origins of mankind think that the Christians are “medieval” and they lack enlightenment.  But Christianity is the true Light and all else is darkness.

C. S. Lewis said a couple of things about that:

“A blind man has few friends; a blind man who has recently received his sight has, in a sense, none. He belongs neither to the world of the blind nor to that of the seeing, and no one can share his experience.”

  • C. S. Lewis, The Man Born Blind, from The Dark Tower and Other Stories

“If the whole universe has no meaning, we should have never found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”

  • C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

C. S. Lewis had a lot more to say on the subject, but taking the first argument.  A Christian still exists in this world after they have accepted Jesus, but having been enlightened by the true Light of the World, they do not fit in this world any longer.  But instead of hastening the process to our great reward, Jesus gives us a mission to spread the Gospel, just as Rev. Scrivener explains.

In the second argument, the secular world argues that there is no meaning or purpose in life.  They say that we are the product of a long series of accidental events with no purpose, meaningless, purposeless.  Why do some atheists have a lifelong purpose in life to prove that there is no purpose in life, no meaning?  Odd, they have no proof for their worldview.  As true science advances, they are spending all their time ignoring the science so that no one can see they have no foundation for their beliefs.

I heard a pastor talk about the Satan Candle.  It was a black candle and, when lit, the room, that had been filled with ambient light, became dark.  Just like the second quote from C. S. Lewis this  world rejects the light, and the concept of light becomes meaningless.  They reject the true Light, and they prefer the shadows, so that people cannot see their true selves.  They have so accustomed themselves to this darkness, the shadows, that they think they can commandeer the word “enlightenment” for their use.  Those with no concept of light say that they have the light.  The true Light still shines, but they cannot see it.

Lord, guide me.  In growing opposition, people are still coming to You.  They have tried to find light elsewhere, but Your Holy Spirit is still touching people today.  We praise You for this outpouring of the Holy Spirit and we wish to keep the flame kindled so that more can be saved.  Let Your Light shine.  In Thy Name I pray.  Amen.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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