A Mystic Leader’s Crash Course: Darkness

Welcome back.

A Mystic Leader’s Crash Course: Part 1: Darkness

The church in the west acts as it does because it does not see the world as it is. How can 21st century leaders move people to enlist in the quest to save the universe? Let’s begin by lining up four images to help us describe the world.

What is required for the church to change?
The first of four images needed by 21st century leaders to describe the world we live in is Darkness. At a Harvard Business School address in 2002, Lou Gerstner of IBM stated:

” The transformation of an enterprise begins with a sense of crisis or urgency. No institution will go through fundamental changes unless it believes it is in deep trouble and needs to do something different to survive.” (source: Thomas Friedman, The World is Flat).

The church in the west acts as it does because it does not see clearly the darkness. Darkness is not about describing the present or any other moment in human history. Darkness is about pointing out human kind’s perpetual companion. Darkness is about the fact that human kind tends towards a darkness of ancient proportions. Even with the restraint of law or the release of grace, human kinds show a propensity towards great evil.

The church feels no urgency, no compulsion to change because it doesn’t care that the world is in deep trouble and needs to do something different to survive.

Ways in which culture helps us describe the darkness
During the second half of last century it was fashionable to talk about the secular future of the world. Many suspected that enlightened rationality would squeeze out the last vestiges of religion and superstition in the west, and eventually religion and faith would vanish from the face of the earth.

In the 20th century it was common to hear someone say, “more evil has been done in the name of religion than anything else.” Besides being false at face value, this way of seeing the world missed an obvious fact: the evil will impose their will in the name of anything and everything even religion if need be. Religion isn’t really the issue here. Evil is.

In describing the world, Christ following leaders must clearly described this fact: if religion were to disappear from the face of the earth, evil would remain because both the world and the human heart are dark places.

Without religion as the “fall guy” who and what would the secularist blame for the evil in the world? Republicans and the culture wars? Hollywood and the left wing?

Interstingly enough TV and film provide some help here. A few shows have tended to take a morally serious look at evil and the ethical dilemnas evil creates whether in a real historical sense (The Passion, The End of the Spear) or in a mythological sense (The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia) or in a dramatic action series (24).

Yes, we must call out the image of God that is part of man’s creation design. But we musn’t trivialize or reduce the malignant spirit of darkness embedded within the human heart and spread throughout human culture that eats away at the created order. The church will never rise to be that which she is called to be without clearly seeing how darkness has fallen upon the earth and devours her children.

Again, film helps here. Few things shake me to the core as the sight of children suffering. “Born Into Brothels” (2005) a documentary telling the story of the children of prostitutes in Calcutta and “Cidade de Deus” (aka City of God 2002) a Brazilian film based on the experiences of children growing up in an infamously violent housing project in Rio de Janeiro are two stories told on film that show us how too many children live.

How darkness may provide a clue to the meaning of everything
Ironically, Darkness may provide both those outside faith and those within faith the clearest view on absolute truth. Allow me to whisper to you something I have come to know and know deeply. I, and no one other than I, am responsible for my own evil. That is one thing I have come to Know. Let me whisper to you something else of which I have become convinced: If you will listen in on your own life, you’ll become convinced of the same thing about yourself.

The church will not rise with an appropriate primal scream unless she see’s the earth’s children all trapped in the dragon’s lair of evil, unable to breath until the gospel comes, and unless she experiences a gut wrenching deliverance from this power herself.

Personal note. From one mystic warrior to another: it’s a dangerous world but I know you are of the tribe that must enlist in the quest to save the universe. You are the ones who learn to feel your way forward in heroic attempts to reach those trapped in the dragon’s lair. Be careful. It’s dark out here.

What do you think?

into the mystic…

Alex McManus

65 thoughts on “A Mystic Leader’s Crash Course: Darkness

  1. Thanks for this, Alex.
    This is a tricky one. I think a lot of folks in the evangelical church in America think they have identified the “darkness.” It’s those “liberals” or it’s those “secularists” or it’s those who say those who allow gay marriages. It’s “them” and they need to be corrected/changed. All this, while ignoring some really dark stuff in the world — stuff like global poverty and human trafficking. How do you speak of the darkness while not sounding like those “Christians”?

    Maybe the reason why many churches don’t change is because they do think they see the darkness, but it’s not the churches problem. The church is seen only as a bunker and not as a redemptive community.

    Thanks for your thoughts. I’m looking forward to the rest of your images.

  2. I agree Alex! I also believe that the western church is not concerned with the evil of the world and the many lost souls in it that so desperately need a witness but are more concerned with receiving a blessing to further their own careers, pocketbooks,etc. How can we dismiss Isaiah 55. We are culpable! The blessings come by walking in the darkness while at the same time following the only light that we know to be true.

  3. Wow, I really like this post and gives me hope because I know that your voice represents many others in the maturing church. A lot of churchy Christians seem to walk around with blinders on shutting out the pain of the world – effectively limiting their compassion. Its a sad pastel bubble, that reeks of the same thinking of the consumerist new age movement which they themseves consider such an insidous force.

    A path of a mature Christian is one violent compassion which moves beyond family, as well national or cultural boarders. For the church to effective there is a need for humility – to acknoledge their own darkside and reach out to God for renewal. Isn’t that called repentance?

    The darkness of the world is a “we” problem, not a “they” problem, and I don’t believe there is hope for the universe without this recognition.

  4. I am the one responsible for my own evil?!?

    That’s not what I’ve been told before. I’ve been taught to blame the “others,” the devil or even my parents…or teachers.

    But never myself.

    Many will not like this message, many will be repulsed by it, many will try to crucify us for it.

    I don’t make the decision to face myself and share this with an easy (or light) heart. It scares me. But I don’t have a choice.

    Seems as though it is time for me to move in restless purpose and become more than all those “heros” I’ve grown to know and wish to be–this is life and death; and I don’t get to wash off the fake blood and go home if it doesn’t work out.

    This is real.

  5. Ted, exactly. Men, women and children for sale: The fact that people are bought and sold today is not clearly seen. Global poverty: In the world there is poverty and misery. We know somethng of the poor but not much of the miserable.

    Christ following leaders must “see” the world as it is in order to describe the world to others. One good look will inform us that we cannot live in this world with moral authenticity without doing something…anything.

    Niza and I have recently been moved in this way. More on this later.

    Tommy, Josiah and Eric: thanks for the input.

  6. This is a great post. I have been so convicted. I have seen the darkness in my own life and tried hard to convince myself that it was light. But I am responsible for the deception. Seeing people in need and doing nothing, knowing at my core that I am called to show love and compassion. But, I am still good? Right? (I say to myself) – sometimes to busy doing my watered down version of good to notice the true needs of the world around me. I choose to turn away, pretending not to see. Convincing myself that it is not as bad as it looks. I know I am not alone. Am I?


  7. A huge step we must take is to stop making The Church responsible for our evil problem. A year and a half into our church start-up, I am finally realizing that alot of my problems with The Church were really issues with my own evil. I think alot of us, myself included, have rebeled against the Modern Church Model for what we felt were noble reasons. Now that I have been completely removed from that model, and I am only left with myself and what I see in the mirror, I can hear God asking me, like Jacob, “what’s your name?” And i don’t like the answers that I have to give.

  8. In light of all the remarks, and good ones I might add, Alex had it right in the first sentence of this blog. The western church has lost sight! Now, we are part of the church so we need to embrace responsibility. Yes, all of us are to blame but many who read the Mystic have been removed from the old regime in order to bring about a new church paradigm. We can’t hide from who we are can we? Will we remain true to god’s calling? In my desire to rebel against the current tide yes I have found dishonor in my motives. As they are brought to my attention I repent. But that doesn’t change who I am or the calling that God has placed in my life. We need more prophets who will stand up and say the church needs to open it’s eyes and repent! Will I be obedient?

  9. There is a reason why people are blind; they want to be. It is so much easier. Somewhere inside of them there is a sneaking suspicion that if they look it will be horrible; and that then, they would have to change. And I can understand why! The most difficult thing about seeing and knowing– even more than the initial pain of seeing all of the ugliness and darkness– is realizing that, as Lori once put it, you can never go back.

  10. Can I tell you a secret? I am sick to death of leadership. I have been called a leader all through jr. high, high school, and college, and I’m not always convinced that it is worth it. I want to live life at a slower pace. I want to relax, to not have the pressure of being in charge. Goodness knows I feel pressure enough just looking at the problems in my city and realizing that my colleagues and I have pledge ourselves to try and help. But when they offered me the job position I am now in, my (now) boss looked me in the eye and said, “If you don’t know this by now, you are a leader. You would not have done the things I read about on this reume if you weren’t.” I look at myself in the mirror, warts and all, as Joshua wrote in his comment, and ask myself, “Who am I?” because, as Tommy said in his comment, “We can’t hide from who we are can we?”

    Can I escape this? No. At the time in my life when I was at my very lowest, when I just wanted to curl up and be held and hidden for a little while, someone prophesied over me that I would be a warrior and a great leader. They gave me, perhaps, the scariest chapter in the entire Bible as my chapter. Because that was what I needed or wanted to hear at the moment! LOL. It is, inescabably, who I am, who I was created to be. The Reluctant Warrior.

    Yesterday a dear friend who is a pastor told us in church, “Some people are called into ministry; some are driven into ministry, and some shouldn’t be in ministry at all.” Am I called? Am I driven? I have to assume that I should be there– because it is what I have been resisting and, at times, running away from for four years now. But moving me past the burns left by past ministry and leadership troubles that have left me– well, burned out– is something only God can do. Making the face in the mirror what it should be is his job.

    Anyone else out there who feels that the most dangerous darkness they’ll battle may well be inside themselves?

  11. “I, and no one other than I, am responsible for my own evil.” – gulp.

    “… both the world and the human heart are dark places.”

    So is the human heart basically evil or good? Does being born again make any difference?What about followers of Christ… are their hearts 1/2 good and 1/2 evil? Only evil when they are not following? – LR

  12. What I took away from Alex’s post is that in seeking to describe the evil, the darkness, that describes our world the place each of us has to start is in our own hearts. In my understanding of the new church movement that so many of us are seeking we do not see the church as a safe haven from the world any longer but see ourselves as sent into it to be salt and light. And Alex’s whispers shout at each one of us to see that the leader can describe the darkness in the world only when she can describe the darkness within herself. Global poverty is just a symptom, not a cause. The abuse of children is a symptom, not a cause. The cause is the darkness in our own hearts that has not be exposed and our inability to help others to expose the darkness in their own lives.

  13. How do we gaurd our own hearts against blaming religion (“more evil has been done in the name of religion than anything else.” (as is so very easy to do) and still hold to our conviction that the church has no urgency in the matter?

    Are we saying that the church has failed? Is that the same as The church will not rise with an appropriate primal scream unless she see’s the earth’s children all trapped in the dragon’s lair of evil, unable to breath until the gospel comes, and unless she experiences a gut wrenching deliverance from this power herself.??

    Each time I re-read your post Alex, I am drawn deeper into more questions than answers…

  14. Thank God for someone spelling it out like it is! Revival is going to come to west, Lord willing. There are finally leaders emerging with a right understanding of reality AND the fire of missional zeal! Give us more!

  15. Alex- Thank You! You are so spot on. Just yesterday I had an amazing conversation with friends from Brazil. They raised a number of these issues and were wondering “Why the Church is not ‘in the game?'” I will forward them your post.

    The world as ‘darkness,’ ‘I’m responsible,’ ‘film given us a few clues.’ You have truly tied together a number of key movements. I have been senseing this in my gut, my soul, my heart, my mind for a few years now [which you know from our conversations]. The film ‘Invisible Children’ really affirmed all the above for me. I am humbled each day by the responsiblity of being part of the mystic. Just perhaps we should take a lesson from Christ’s playbook – theology without praxis is useless or as James said it ‘Faith without works is dead.’

  16. Great conversation yall.

    I see something else dealing with the darkness as well. It’s not just bringing the light into the dark but bringing the darkness into the light. So many times church is the one place we have to act right, or dress right, or talk right, or pray right or whatever. So what happens is people suddenly pretend to be something they really aren’t, well… because they’re “in church”. This all goes along with what everyone else is saying… identifing the darkness in ourselves. Church today teaches us to hide our darkness. Don’t let anyone know or you might not be able to remian a part of the group. Not theologicaly and not from the pulpit, but thats what we are taught through the actions of the church. I think one of the areas the church really needs to open up is accepting people, darkness and all. I do believe there is a shift happening. I think the old model of church was Believe-Change-Belong In other words if you believe like us and act like us then maybe you can belong to our group. I think the new model is Belong-Believe-Change. People need to belong, then they can see the real Chirst in the church and believe. Thats what will bring about change.

    Ok so not exactly on topic… but those where the thoughts this thread brought to mind

  17. What is darkness? Is it the opposite of light or is it that which taints the light to be less than it can perfectly be? This is a beautiful reminder that our world is broken. To the professional minister and sheltered Christian, this is a quietly constant and disquieting reality that is just as constantly and disquietingly ignored. The Holy Writings teach that the darkness is as close as the skin that we’re in, so leading a community in combat against the darkness is more than just counter-cultural, it’s learning to live inside-out. In the end, only our personal transformation can lead to the transformation we crave to see in the world. Your whispered axioms are painfully true. What is darkness? Is it the opposite of light or is it that which taints the light to be less than it can perfectly be?

  18. I get intimidated by the depth of this conversation.

    Instead of looking, searching, yearning, isn’t it as simple as “Bloom where you’re Planted?”. Take the steps where you are, with what you have and watch God fill in the blanks all around you.

    Stop looking for “who” is, or “who” isn’t or who’s getting it (or not) and just be who and what God created you to be.

    We have access to so much ‘stuff’ to use in our personal ministry, and yet, Third World countries have churches that are doing more than our churches in the West. ‘Stuff’ can be good and can be used for ministry, but we can chase it with the same consumerism mindset that got us all here. If we don’t have the ‘stuff’ we need our ministry stops.

    Just get out of the house and walk down the street ( or to Starbucks!). That’s where God will be.

    I have a simple mind….

  19. Larry, evil is like a malignant tumor. the heart may be mostly healthy save the part with the malignancy. but still we consider the whole heart endangered until the malignancy is removed.

  20. As you’ve thought on the reality of evil, compounded to the billionth power, beyond any man-made remedy…my mind went to the 5th cahpter of Pauls letter to the Lord’s people in Rome. The “one transgression to many” seems so terribly understated if we look at the world like an insurance adjuster, trying to pencil damage estimates in our notepads. We don’t have enough notepads. But rather than write it off as total loss, what Jesus does and offers is way bigger that that, reclaiming and restoring. And my ability to act and react as a follower is not only about seeing the enormity of darkness, but banking on the enormity of God’s promise and intervention. Wish I could see it as clearly sometimes as I see the wreckage. Must see that light to point toward the light.

  21. Alex – “the heart may be mostly healthy…we consider the whole heart endangered until the malignancy is removed.”

    So… is there still a malignacy in the hearts of believers and/or followers still left on earth?

    Paul talked about returning to his vomit. I’m pretty sure I have revisited as well, then wondered why I returned, especcially all the while knowing there are fresh, healthy meals out there and yet the vomit… there it was… calling. – LR

  22. Vomit…yuck. That example makes me nauseous. I wish the idea of the darkness made me as nauseous…I have a feeling it should. So how come it doesn’t?

  23. Great thoughts. I sometimes think some elements of the evangelical church avoid the discussion of evil and darkness out of fear of being thought of as fundamentalist (e.g. fire-and-brimstone, etc…). But darkness, evil and Satan ARE real.

  24. I agree with the statement that I am the only one can be responsible for my own darkness (with the help of the Spirit – for I on my own am completely dark without Christ) but my reality as of late is that I am responsible for other people’s darkness. Quick example – My wife and I just learned that someone had been coming into our home while we were gone for inappropriate reasons. During that time our son only four months old was not sleeping at all. Upon learning about the breakins and directing prayer toward the situation our son has been sleeping through the night again. Inheriting others darkness is as hard of a struggle as working on your own. What do you think?

  25. Marty,
    Just a bit from my evolving theology but my belief is that we all inherit a bit of darkness when we decide to become warriors for Christ. Read Psalm 1 and Psalm 37. Your real life illustrations brings back vivid memories of personal darkness that I can’t explain except for spiritual warfare. But that also means that we’re walking with Christ. Non-walkers have an easy life.

  26. Mel,

    True, but pertaining to what darkness is or isn’t the fact is without light we never knew there was darkness. Darkness wouldn’t exist in our minds without light. There is no such thing as darkness, just the absence of light.

  27. I agree, Alex. However, how does one conquer darkness without being captured by it? I know all the super-spiritual answers (prayer, scriptures, being an active part of a faith community, sharing my faith, etc.) but what about when it gets right down to the nitty gritty? What are the nuances of those spiritual answers? My premise is simple: If 1.) human beings tend toward evil; and 2.) I am a human being; then i will necessarily tend toward evil; even if i am a “Christian”. Since, I have not been completely transmutated into Christ; physically or metaphysically. Therefore, my question remains: how can we conquer darkness without being overcome by it?

  28. we can’t conquer the darkness, but Christ can – and He has. when we choose Christ we choose to participate in His Light. He is the one who defeats darkness in us and through us. when we begin to think that it’s our responsibility to defeat darkness, we start to point out the enemies ourselves. history tells us that we’re not too good at identifying enemies. the point is not us defeating darkness; the point is us following the Light and carrying the Light wherever He directs us. the lamp doesn’t scatter darkness – the Flame does. when we recognize our own darkness and our own inability to defeat it, then we can truly be in the Light. and then the Light can transform us and the world around us.

  29. Maybe it’s just me…

    Darkness is so much more than the absence of light. It not only exists, it is alive, well and thriving. It is in us and outside of us. It is personal and intentional and manipulative and deceptive and beautiful and enticing.

    And we Do conquer darkness. WE do… God has equipped us as His followers as armed and dangerous. We do not cower while expecting Him to fight all our battles. He trains our hands and fingers for battle.

    The human heart is wicked and prone toward evil, BUT… There is talk of a heart transplant that takes place when we lay our lives at the feet of our savior. This NEW heart is HIS heart… it replaces the old, calous, hardened heart that once beat in us. The dark evil that once owned us owns us no more!

    Tempted? Yes. Controlled? No more!

    Am I missing something?

  30. Main Entry: 1dark
    Pronunciation: ‘därk
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: Middle English derk, from Old English deorc; akin to Old High German tarchannen to hide
    1 a : devoid or partially devoid of light : not receiving, reflecting, transmitting, or radiating light b : transmitting only a portion of light

    Again, scientifically speaking, darkness only exists in the absence of light.

    Am I missing something? Where in the Bible does it tell us to be preoccupied with darkness? It doesn’t! Our sin causes us to dwell on our weaknesses. And yes, we are conquerers IN CHRIST JESUS. We have nothing to do with it. My favorite Erwin quote is “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” But, we humans are always binding ourselves again and again and God keeps unwrapping us….”how long must I tarry with you.” The darkness in us exists because we are not filled with light (Christ). When we are filled there is no room for darkness. My dilemma is…can we be totally without darkness now or will we have to wait until heaven. So, in my life my darkness is the absence of all that Christ has to offer. And we do have access to all that He has to offer.
    1 John 1:5- “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”
    Caleb, you hit the nail on the head.

  31. Tommy,

    what do you mean by “pre-occupied”, because I may or may not agree with you based upon what exactly you mean by that word.

    Peter instructed us to “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith,” 1 Peter 5

    Help me understand that balance between not being preoccupied with darkness (or the Prince of it) and being “alert” to his/its activities. “Resisting him” and “standing firm” are both, it seems, ongoing processes, which would seem to indicate some form of pre-occupation to some degree.

    Anybody else have some thoughts?

  32. Tommy – are we talking scientifically or spiritually?

    Caleb – Is it not our responsibility to actively oppose the darkness – yes in His power. Yes, He works in and through us. But is it not our time, our resources, our words, our choices? We agree with Him and cooperate with Him and forcefully advance with Him. Has Christ not indwelt and equipped us to take on the darkness and rescue it’s captives?

    Gary – Maybe not a preoccupation, but definately a healthy awareness of and resistance against.

    A resistance we can win… a darkness we can overcome… we are to be actively and intentionally involved… at war… If not, what are we talking about?

    Jesus won the battle. Jesus made our roles possible. We stand firm in Him and resist in His power and strength, but we have to take the stand… we have to resist… we have to conquer and overcome. If we are passive, even as His followers, we will be overcome ourselves.

    Overcome evil (darkness) with good… be preocupied with it. Forget trying to maintain balance. Be preocupied with snatching others from the fire… or darkness. Are we not His instruments in setting captives free? We are His body. We have EVERYTHING to do with it.

  33. Things I know (which are very few).

    1. There is a light within me and I have a responsibility to that light. (Matt. 5:16)

    2. In the dark, it is impossible to distinguish good from evil.

    3. In the light, everything is exposed.

    4. I struggle to see clearly sometimes. “The eyes are the window to the body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light… If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have.” (Matt. 6:22-23, The Message)

    5. I have been rescued from the “DOMINION of darkness.” and been brought into the “kingdom of light” (Colossians 1:13-14)

    6. Darkness surrounds me as a thick fog, making it hard to see even with my eyes open. “We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist.” (1 Cor. 13:12, The Message)

    Clearly I have vision issues. The fog around me is so thick, making it hard enough to see, and yet I handicap myself further by living with my eyes closed. God forgive my ignorance.

  34. we are soldiers in this battle. i don’t want you to get me wrong; i wasn’t trying to say that we have no role in this war against darkness. we have huge roles to fill! there are great sacrifices we must make if we want to bring Light into the world and into brighter clarity in our own lives. let us remember, however, that it is not “our” war. it’s His war. He is the King, the Commander, the Master. He has enlisted us into His army to fight His war against darkness. it’s His battle to win back the captives.

    we must be aware of the battle going on around us, the darkness pervading our entire world. when we submit to our Commander, He will instruct us in the ways to advance His Kingdom. with the tools of love, peace, hope, truth, and faith we can advance forcefully against darkness. He will overcome evil with good. He will overcome darkness with light. but it must start with us.

  35. Caleb –
    “remember, however, that it is not “our” war. it’s His war”

    We fight for the souls of mankind, because Christ has comissioned us to do so. His heart for lost humanity becomes our heart. His battle our battle. I am not forced into battle, but compelled. It is my purpose.

  36. ok, here’s my challenge. Answer this question without using any spiritual language (i.e. Jesus, Bible, prayer, overcome, any word or phrase you would use at church): How do we help people that enjoy making other people suffer?

  37. Scott,

    you are asking a silly question. The answer is that without those concepts, realities and truths we can not even help ourselves, let alone help anyone else.

    How can we talk about the power of Christ without using those words? It’s a silly question.

  38. Gary,
    Hello! By being preoccupied I am suggesting that our focus not be on our sin or our darkness but on Jesus. A few of the posts sounded as if darkness was a preoccupation. We are not called to waddle in our sin but to confess it and walk in the light. That’s all I meant by preoccupation. That has nothing to do with being alert or ready. I’ve served in the military so being a warrior is my thing. Maybe this illustration will help. The Secret Service has a proven methodology of identifying counterfeit money. It’s simple. They study the real thing and then when they see the counterfeit it is obvious. They don’t waste their time studying the counterfeit. As children of God many of us, myself included, waste much of God’s time being consumed by our faults and our sin. Our role is to confess it and sin no more. God takes care of the guilt and the stigma.

    Hey, great point. I believe that darkness is like sin scientifically as well as spiritually. Sin abounds only where we (sinful human beings) allow it. Some talk about darkness as if it has a life of its own. It doesn’t. It only exists by default. Satan is finite, limited, but we extend his kingdom by allowing darkness to prevail in our hearts.

    Great posts!

    Hey, I think I could hang out with all you passionate bloggers! Awesome!

  39. Caleb, Tommy and others…I enjoy Paul’s words in Colossians:

    “Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness –the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to God’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

    Paul enters the redemptive struggle to make Christ known among those who have lived without reference to scripture and the revelation towards which the scripture points.

    I hear Paul describe his calling to enter the darkness with the light of hope. There are things I don’t like about Paul. This is one of the things I love about him.

  40. TommyW, if we think of “darkness” as our individual sin only, are we not reducing it to an individual category?

    darkness covers the face of the earth, and we swim in it like fish in the sea.

  41. I am often confused at what it means/looks like to become all things to all people so that some might recieve the good news. Jesus walks into the party and people ask about the kindgom of God – I walk into a party and people ask if I want something to drink. My social eq tells me it is not effective to come in declaring you are aware of the light in the dark places just the same I find it hard to make my light stick out in the dark at times. What do you do to release more light?

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