Editorial: The Power of Darkness and the God of Light

The Bible’s historical record is filled with the many gods which men have worshiped as a result of the power of darkness. Materialism, sensuality, idolatry and hedonism are some of those that have filled that “God-created void” in the hearts of men. What is different today is that the gods of our current age, while including all the above, now list some which seem so worthy. No longer are they simply self-centered, self-satisfying idols. They are gods outside of self. They are “causes” which many have embraced. Many of these “causes” have taken on the character of a “religion” to their followers. Some who champion saving the earth virtually worship it. Witness only their slogan: “It’s the only earth we have.” Their devotion reaches to the point of self-sacrifice and the risk of death for their cause.

Often linked with the environmentalists are the animal rights activists who have greater concern for the primate than the unborn infant. Defying guns and legal authorities, their defiance ranges from legal challenge to wanton destruction of farms and laboratories.

Another religion of the age is the frenzy over physical exercise and conditioning . Some approach it with the fervor of a new convert, sacrificing time and energy to achieve the perfect body.

Are all of these evil? Is there any value to be found in any? To deny some value in them we would have to ignore the many precautions which God took in the Old Testament in showing Israel the need for respect for the land and its produce. It was God who initiated soil conservation and rotation of crops. It was He who demanded that the land be allowed to rest.

The Scriptures show us a God who cares about every form of life (See Jonah 4:11 and Matt 10:29). No animal rights activist in his fanaticism begins to approximate God’s care for the creation of His hand.

In light of New Testament teaching concerning the potential of our bodies (Rom 12:1,2) we dare not treat carelessly the bodies we have in which we can glorify God.

The God of Light, however, has shined into the darkness of our world and given us an understanding of priorities. Without His light, we would be in the same darkness as others.

This issue of Truth and Tidings underscores this great truth. In the continuing articles on the person and work of the Holy Spirit, we are shown His hand in the inspiration of the Scriptures. It is the inspired Word of God alone that has shown us truth. From the pen of our esteemed brother, Jimmy Paton, we are reminded of how the Spirit of God uses others to mold lives for His usefulness, stressing priorities and balance in the believer’s life. Mr. Danny Ussher’s article on Ambassadors underscores the privileges and responsibilities of our calling.

These articles are complemented by another reprint from fifty years ago dealing with the local assembly.

“Causes” which become the religion of the world are not wrong in themselves. But for the believer, anything that displaces our exercise and saps our energy to advance the Kingdom of God has taken on an “idol” character. May we be enabled to live in the light of the God of Light, and not be influenced by the powers of darkness!