Candle or Curse?

I do not remember who it was who said, "It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness," but he expressed a truth of which we should take heed. While most persons seem to think of our age as the age of enlightenment, the truth is that we are living in a world of darkness. When Jesus came into the world, he came, we are told in Luke 1:79, "To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." The majority of the world has either rejected his message outright, or has pretended to accept it and perverted it until it scarcely resembles what Christ taught. This reminds us of what Jesus said in Mt. 6:23, "If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!"

Paul said in Col. 1:13, "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son." However, the fact that we have been delivered from the power of darkness in the sense that we are under the control of Satan does not mean that the world rulers do not still have power to spread darkness throughout the world. We find in Eph. 6:12 "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." It is our opinion that many of us have ceased to wrestle, if we ever did, and have either succumbed to the forces of darkness, or merely "cursed the darkness" when we should be "lighting a candle." To be more accurate, perhaps, we should say, "We should be the candle." Jesus said about his disciples in Mt. 5:14 "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid." If a person has to strike a match to see if the light is on when he goes into a room, one can be reasonably sure that the light is out.

Paul says in Ephesians 5:11 "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." It is possible that some of us in a misguided zeal to follow that command have assumed that it meant, "Have nothing to do with those in darkness" and have failed to be a light unto them. Jesus did not have fellowship with the works of darkness in the sense that Paul here forbids, but he did eat with publicans and sinners in an effort to show love for them and teach them the truth, for he came into the world to give light to those in darkness. Why do you think we are here?

T. Pierce Brown

Published in The Old Paths Archive