Welcome to the LIGHT!
We’re about “loving God and loving others!” (Matt 22:36-40) You won’t find us engaging in too much debate around the many different areas that have many different interpretations (and fights!) amongst all the various tribes in the Kingdom of God. So, we welcome people from all denominations and faith backgrounds. Even if you don’t have any faith background but are just curious, as long as you fundamentally ascribe at a bare minimum to a “do no harm” philosophy (and hopefully have a desire to “show the greatest love to the greatest number in the greatest fashion”) you are always welcome!
Here at the LIGHT! we just want everyone to have a simple faith (of a child (Matt 19:14) or of the criminal on the cross (Luke 23:43)) that leads to salvation and eternal life. From there we would like you to be discipled (mentored or coached in today’s parlance) into Christian maturity (see any of the staff if you are interested in this opportunity to grow in your faith!) so that you may join us as a “spiritual adult” to help further Jesus’ mission.
The truth is, in our country and especially in the Evangelical Christian Community, there are many opportunities to focus on the eternal perspective of saving souls over “here,” giving to missions to save souls “over there” and or increasing your spiritual knowledge. However, we’ve noticed that there is much less focus on serving those outside the Body in an earthly perspective or of “speaking up for those who cannot speak up for themselves” against institutions that are systemically holding them back. (Prov 31:8)
We’re trying to bridge that gap between the eternal and the earthly. So, while we definitely support missions (we give over 98% of our offerings to supporting front-line field workers) and don’t see anything wrong with learning about terms like eschatology, soteriology, ontology, episteomology or initiation, propitiation, justification, sanctification, etc. (is your head spinning yet? Don’t worry! We are happy to help explain these to you, too, even though these terms are not our primary focus areas and we don’t believe you need to know them to experience the salvation offered by Jesus =) our main desire is to follow Jesus’ example of ministering to people’s earthly needs even as he touched them eternally with discerning questions about their relationship with God.
Take a look at all of Jesus’ miracles below and observe how often He served physically even as He spoke spiritually (Hint: He actually did more serving than speaking!)
|37 Miracles of Jesus|
|1||Jesus Turns Water into Wine at the Wedding in Cana||2:1-11|
|2||Jesus Heals an Official’s Son at Capernaum in Galilee||4:43-54|
|3||Jesus Drives Out an Evil Spirit From a Man in Capernaum||1:21-27||4:31-36|
|4||Jesus Heals Peter’s Mother-in-Law Sick With Fever||8:14-15||1:29-31||4:38-39|
|5||Jesus Heals Many Sick and Oppressed at Evening||8:16-17||1:32-34||4:40-41|
|6||First Miraculous Catch of Fish on the Lake of Gennesaret||5:1-11|
|7||Jesus Cleanses a Man With Leprosy||8:1-4||1:40-45||5:12-14|
|8||Jesus Heals a Centurion‘s Paralyzed Servant in Capernaum||8:5-13||7:1-10|
|9||Jesus Heals a Paralytic Who Was Let Down From the Roof||9:1-8||2:1-12||5:17-26|
|10||Jesus Heals a Man’s Withered Hand on the Sabbath||12:9-14||3:1-6||6:6-11|
|11||Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son From the Dead in Nain||7:11-17|
|12||Jesus Calms a Storm on the Sea||8:23-27||4:35-41||8:22-25|
|13||Jesus Casts Demons into a Herd of Pigs||8:28-33||5:1-20||8:26-39|
|14||Jesus Heals a Woman in the Crowd With an Issue of Blood||9:20-22||5:25-34||8:42-48|
|15||Jesus Raises Jairus’ Daughter Back to Life||9:18,
|16||Jesus Heals Two Blind Men||9:27-31|
|17||Jesus Heals a Man Who Was Unable to Speak||9:32-34|
|18||Jesus Heals an Invalid at Bethesda||5:1-15|
|19||Jesus Feeds 5,000 Plus Women and Children||14:13-21||6:30-44||9:10-17||6:1-15|
|20||Jesus Walks on Water||14:22-33||6:45-52||6:16-21|
|21||Jesus Heals Many Sick in Gennesaret as They Touch His Garment||14:34-36||6:53-56|
|22||Jesus Heals a Gentile Woman’s Demon-Possessed Daughter||15:21-28||7:24-30|
|23||Jesus Heals a Deaf and Dumb Man||7:31-37|
|24||Jesus Feeds 4,000 Plus Women and Children||15:32-39||8:1-13|
|25||Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida||8:22-26|
|26||Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind by Spitting in His Eyes||9:1-12|
|27||Jesus Heals a Boy With an Unclean Spirit||17:14-20||9:14-29||9:37-43|
|28||Miraculous Temple Tax in a Fish’s Mouth||17:24-27|
|29||Jesus Heals a Blind, Mute Demoniac||12:22-23||11:14-23|
|30||Jesus Heals a Woman Who Had Been Crippled for 18 Years||13:10-17|
|31||Jesus Heals a Man With Dropsy on the Sabbath||14:1-6|
|32||Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers on the Way to Jerusalem||17:11-19|
|33||Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead in Bethany||11:1-45|
|34||Jesus Restores Sight to Bartimaeus in Jericho||20:29-34||10:46-52||18:35-43|
|35||Jesus Withers the Fig Tree on the Road From Bethany||21:18:22||11:12-14|
|36||Jesus Heals a Servant’s Severed Ear While He Is Being Arrested||22:50-51|
|37||The Second Miraculous Catch of Fish at the Sea of Tiberias||21:4-11|
So, in accordance with Jesus’ ministry above, here at the LIGHT!, you’ll find us mostly interested in discussing, deciding (and ultimately, “doing!”) the best actions that can help others in their earthly lives even as we use that as a potential platform to share about their eternal lives.
And what is it that most people need help with today in our country? Here are some questions to ponder that might lead you to the answer:
- Think about how many people you know who live paycheck to paycheck.
- How many of your friends (or you!) struggle with making ends meet?
- Why is it that the Millenials don’t think that they will be better off than their parents?
- How come you work so hard and after many years of faithful service you aren’t a millionaire yet or haven’t moved up another rung on the social mobility ladder?
Here is the answer in case you haven’t guessed it. The great injustice that is correlated with almost every earthly ill today is, economic inequality. Our current state of inequality is a key factor behind all these questions. (You can watch the videos below to see how the research and the reasoning leads us to this conclusion.) While we believe mankind is inherently sinful, the sad thing about inequality in the US is that, even if you took all morality out of it, the system itself leads to too much variation in inequality – it’s a systemic issue, not merely a sin issue, which makes this even more insidious!
Check out these two videos which capture the essence of why we believe inequality is one the single biggest earthly social issues facing our country today:
Just to be clear – we don’t like to politicize things into simplistic dichotomies of “Left” and “Right.” This is about the only thing we’ll say on these political matters:
- We fight for “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all people” (call it “social justice,” or “caring community” if you want)
- We believe in “conscious capitalism” (that concerns itself with ALL stakeholders (customers, employees, society, governments, environment, communities, bondholders, etc.) and NOT JUST shareholders,
- We are good citizens as God commands us to be (Rom 13) and support strong families, individual freedoms (but to the extent that they benefit society overall) in accordance with a government that is:
- “for the people, by the people and of the people”
- where “one person, one vote” takes precedence over “one dollar, one vote” and that
- the responsibility of our government to spend our tax dollars to:
- form a more perfect Union
- establish Justice
- insure domestic Tranquility
- provide for the common Defence
- promote the general Welfare
- secure the blessings of Liberty for ourselves AND for our descendants
- We affirm “personal responsibility” where to “those who have been given much, much will be required” (Luke 12:48) – we definitely believe that many suburban and urban Evangelicals in the USA have been given much!)
We would really prefer to look at the world through the lens of Jesus and follow His example (Eph 5:1) by simply asking, “what would Jesus do” as a guiding filter to our initial paragraph which stated we were about “loving God and loving others.”
This last video captures our approach in that regard:
If you stuck with us throughout this long-winded explanation of our ministry then kudos to you! You are probably someone who can make a difference on this earthly plane in addition to the eternal plane and we look forward to meeting and ministering with you!
Ever since we started back in 1991, the vision of the LIGHT! has been about RELATIONSHIPS, specifically promoting:
- lifelong relationships with God
- meaningful relationships with each other
- “salt and light” relationships with those outside the LIGHT!
We humbly acknowledge that, while we have done (and will continue to do!) a reasonably good job in the first two areas, we are going to sharpen our mission to emphasize the third relationship with our fellow citizens. We will promote the environment and allocate the resources to help cultivate these key relationships even as we shed “light” on the problem of inequality in our country while being “salt” to our community in the process of “shedding the LIGHT!”
In closing let us leave you with two thoughts regarding God and country:
From Saint Augustine we have:
In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas
“In that which is clear, UNITY; in that which is less clear, LIBERTY; in all things, CHARITY”
Printed on US Currency we have:
In God we trust and
E Pluribus unum
“Out of many, one”
Yours for bringing our Church and our Country together to solve our time’s biggest social problem of inequality!),
R&L and the Staff of the LIGHT! =)