A Brutal Wakeup Call—The Charlottesville Incident by Ty Gibson

A Brutal Wakeup Call

by Ty Gibson  |  August 17, 2017

It’s 2017.

Not 1526.1

Not 1863.2

Not 1968.3

It’s 2017, people, and we have just witnessed a grotesque manifestation of racism coming out of the shadows to flex its emaciated muscles in the mirror of its deluded sense of superiority.

The Charlottesville incident is revelatory. It shows us that there is a fomenting racism, boiling just beneath the surface with violent impulses, trying to climb out of its slimy hole to repeat past horrors that many of us imagine are impossible in our “enlightened” modern times.

As a member of the body of Christ, and of the larger human community, I cannot help but express myself on the matter. Quite frankly, I am outraged and saddened and sick to my stomach by the escalating pattern of open racial hatred we are seeing across American. Hardly a week passes that we are not confronted by some heart-rending display of racism, and now Charlottesville has confronted us with what we’ve tried not to believe—that this monster, so far from being composed of a few misguided individuals, is a grassroots movement that has …
read more »

Ty Gibson Co-Director
Light Bearers
Convocation Report by Anneliese Wahlman

Convocation Report

by Anneliese Wahlman  |  August 3, 2017

There are certain times in life when it’s important to be committed, to not stop halfway. Like when you’re getting married or shaving your beard. Then there are other times when it’s important to have the freedom to change your mind, like when you’re about to jump out of an airplane at 10,000 feet.

Or choose a new convocation theme.

This year, for our 2017 Light Bearers Convocation, we were planning to study through the Minor Prophets. However, partway through our preparation, we realized that 2017 marks the 500-year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, which just so happens to be one of the most significant upheavals in history. Due to the magnitude of this event, it occurred to us that it might be a good idea to change our minds.

So we did.

The Spirit led us to set aside the works of the prophets in exchange for protesters, and in the process, we discovered a gold mine of living truth for today.

…grace and faith for salvation come from Christ alone.

Over five days, we traveled back in time …
read more »

Anneliese Wahlman Editorial Intern
Light Bearers
Tags:

Why We Do What We Do

by James Rafferty  |  July 31, 2017

When it comes to spiritual things, do you know why we do what we do?

The reason is this:

“The flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another so that you do not do the things that you wish” (Galatians 5:17).

We do what we do because the flesh lusts or wars against the Spirit. We know it’s true. Deep down in our hearts, we know how sinful and selfish we are. When we look in the mirror we recognize our greatest enemy, sitting on our own shoulders. We are naturally destitute of the virtues of heaven.

Pause.

But the verse also indicates that the Spirit lusts against the flesh.

Alleluia Holy Spirit!

“I say then: walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16, NKJV).

Get out!

Did you just read what I read?

I think we need to read that again:

“This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16, …
read more »

James Rafferty Co-Director
Light Bearers
Tags:

95 Theses for the Continuing Reformation

by Ty Gibson  |  July 10, 2017

Martin Luther and John Calvin changed the world by the power of their good theology in spite of their bad theology. The Dark Ages from which they were emerging were very dark, indeed, and some of that darkness clung to the great Protestant Reformers even as they ran toward the light. The revolution they sparked lay chiefly in two seismic shifts of understanding they released into public discourse:

The Bible alone, speaking to individual conscience, is to be our rule of faith and practice, not the authority of any man or any church.

Salvation is the gift of God’s grace to be received by faith alone and therefore cannot be earned by any deeds we might do.

With these two powerful ideas, the Protestant Reformers initiated a trajectory of change they could not see through to its logical end. Other Reformers arose after them and discovered additional lost truths, and the work of Reform continues even now.

Here are 95 Theses to ponder for the continuing Reformation.

SCRIPTURE

The Bible is the inspired word of God through human agents (2 …
read more »

Ty Gibson Co-Director
Light Bearers
Tags:
The Road Less Traveled by Jeffrey Rosario

The Road Less Traveled

by Jeffrey Rosario  |  June 30, 2017

So don’t delay, for the road less traveled is where I’ll stay and I will go, wherever you lead me Lord I know you’re not safe, but at least I’m free.

The songwriter who penned these lyrics captured a reality about the Christian journey. Walking with God often leads us to the road less traveled—unexpected circumstances, unfamiliar territory, and challenges for which we feel unqualified.

The unknown is something we naturally recoil from, but it’s what the God of Abraham specializes in. “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out… And he went out, not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8). Ordinary people pushing against the boundaries of possibility and venturing onto uncharted territory—this is what drives the Old Testament narrative forward.

But in what sense can the songwriter say that the Lord is “not safe”? At least in the sense that our own agenda, comfort, and selfish pride are not safe in the glorious presence of God. “I know you’re not safe, but at least I’m free.” While everything within us recoils from any threats …
read more »

Jeffrey Rosario Speaker
Light Bearers
Interconnected by Risë Rafferty

Interconnected

by Risë Rafferty, RDN  |  June 28, 2017

Suffering from pain, debility, loss of quality of life, destruction and/or malfunction of bodily processes and tissue characterizes disease. Medical science has devoted itself to the study of disease and in so doing has specialized in categorizing the human body so that we can see the correct specialist for the defined problem. It seems neat and tidy that way, at least in our current medical system. Unfortunately, there is not a facet of our physiology that has escaped illness.

We tend to think that if we have pain in the knee we have a joint problem. If we have pain or malfunction of the intestines we must have a gastrointestinal problem. If my heart beats irregularly, I must have a heart problem. If we have elevated blood sugar levels we must be eating too many carbs, etc. In reality, it can be a lot more complex than that. The more I study, the more amazed I am that when God designed the human body, He was less concerned about compartmentalizing than ensuring interconnectedness.

Take, for example, immune cells that we …
read more »

Risë Rafferty, RDN Health Educator
Light Bearers
Tags:
Go Ye by James Rafferty

Go Ye

by James Rafferty  |  June 26, 2017

ARISE Australia is five years old and each year has been a wonderful experience. The dedicated staff of the North New South Wales (NNSW) Conference and the workers directing the program make the impact of this 15-week Bible school tremendous.

Here are the numbers:

48 students (including 3 last minute additions in week 12) 4 rebaptisms 5 first time baptisms 1 contact from last year baptized 13 requests for baptism (contacts from this year’s outreach) 1 atheist physics lecturer converted 1 heroin addict delivered 1 powerful community service project in the wake of a natural disaster 1 testimony after another of God’s grace and power

Let’s start with the cyclone that hit the Queensland Coast right in the middle of the school session: record-breaking floods; several deaths; and thousands of people evacuated from their homes. The planned evangelistic series was postponed and so the students fully engaged in community outreach during the day time which meant that classes ran at night. Students spent three weeks engaging with the locals by shoveling mud, water blasting houses, and clearing flood debris from …
read more »

James Rafferty Co-Director
Light Bearers