Sunday, March 10, 2013

Why I Still Believe: Worldview, Cloud of Witnesses


imageWilliam Wilberforce didn’t die for his faith. He lived for his faith. He devoted his life to seeing the illegalization of slavery and to the betterment of Christian practice in England. He’s in the cloud of witnesses. 



Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership

Life: What's My Spiritual Center?

Why I Still Believe: Worldview, Cloud of Witnesses

By Evan Nehring

This is the fourth in our Why I Still Believe post series. To date, we've looked at:

Here are two more reasons why I still believe.

The completeness and truthful resonance of the Christian worldview

As a follower of Jesus, I have a worldview which informs the big philosophical questions:
  1. How did I get here?
  2. What is the meaning of life?
  3. How do I find happiness?
  4. What happens when I die?

I spoke with a kind Jewish woman as she was going through the pain of her father’s passing. She said, “I don’t know what you believe happens now, but we don’t really know.” While I appreciated her honesty, I want a faith that is more complete than that. I don’t understand all of the mysteries of the link between earth and heaven. Fair enough. But I have abiding confidence that life with Jesus continues beyond the grave.
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:13)
 

The cloud of witnesses

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)
 
End of the Spear Movie: The Story of Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Roger Youderian, and Pete Fleming
 
The cloud of witnesses builds faith in my heart. One powerful example is the self-sacrificing faith of Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Roger Youderian, and Pete Fleming who died bringing Jesus’ love to an aboriginal people in Ecuador.[1][2] Does getting killed in the jungle mean your faith is true? No, but Jim, Nate, Ed, Roger and Pete took their place in the cloud of witnesses.
 
William Wilberforce didn’t die for his faith. He lived for his faith. He devoted his life to seeing the illegalization of slavery and to the betterment of Christian practice in England.[3] He’s in the cloud.
 
Amazing Grace Movie: The Story of William Wilberforce
 
Bruce and Merrilyn Nehring were married and graduated from Central Pentecostal College in 1963. They gave 45 years of their lives to pastor churches across Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Their legacy of love was not lost on, among others, their son.

[1] Elisabeth Elliot. Through Gates of Splendor (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale. 2005).
[2] End of the Spear. DVD. Directed by Jim Hanon. Every Tribe Entertainment, 2005.
[3] Amazing Grace. DVD. Directed by Michael Apted. Walden Media, 2006.


Need to catch up on this series?

Jump to the Blog Index


 


2 comments:

  1. "William Wilberforce didn’t die for his faith. He lived for his faith." What a wonderful way of looking at it Evan. A wonderful post too. Thanks for sharing it.

    - John

    ReplyDelete
  2. John, it's hard to describe how deeply the Amazing Grace movie, the Wilberforce movie, moves me. I consider him a mentor.

    ReplyDelete