True Witnessing

What is a witness?  We talk about witnessing in Christian circles a lot of the time, but we have created something of a monster in our attempts at living out the great commission of Matthew 28.

Isn’t a witness someone who has seen something?  In the case of a Christian it is someone who sees God.  We tend to limit witnessing to conversion experiences.  There is a connection between being a ‘witness’ and giving a ‘testimony.’  I know that a witness gives testimony of what they have seen.  We tend to have people who have lived a really interesting life that led to their near annihilation and they saw Jesus as a way out of their really enthralling life.  They saw that they needed a savior and they became a Christian.  This is frequently where the witness stops their testimony. However, it is only the beginning.

The life of the Christian should be an exciting story of seeing God.  We should be seeing God everywhere.  I am emphasizing the present tense here, but we limit where we see God on a day to day basis.  We limit him by artificially creating a secular domain.  A ‘secular’ domain is nonsense if ‘the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it’.  We limit where we see God by the way we are taught to think.  In most of our education we do not see God active within the content of the subject.  Some people have been stretched to see history as his-story, but few see God through mathematics and chemistry.  Can you imagine the testimony of a Christian high-schooler in mathematics seeing God in the created order of mathematics and worshiping God with sponteneity and joy?

Secular education is an affront to God.  It does not allow God to reveal himself through the created order.  In other words, secular education does not acknowledge God as the foundation and the core of all knowledge.  It teaches humans to be blind to God.  Is there any way to take public education away from secular thinking? 

Do I have a witness?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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10 Responses to True Witnessing

  1. hrlmercygirl says:

    I am grateful for the God-glasses I feel that the Lord has given me since surrendering my life to Him… I love seeing His fingerprints and power on the mundane and ordinary… I really wish we could put those glasses on the whole world, but the world is so blinded by lies…
    Good thoughts…

  2. macrock25 says:

    Percussion has opened my eyes to a God of order and timing. Drums have been used in many cultures as a means to draw out spirits, but on the flip side, a beat is glue to a song. Our bodies have a monthly cycle, our hearts have a rhythm that needs to be consistent or we will develop health issues. Gods order works. My view of God has changed through what He shows me by His creations.

  3. rookie1987 says:

    I have in the past year or so been questioning what people want when they ask for your testimony. I have been asked to share that on different occasions and I do what it is that they are meanig, but I then go on to tell about what God has and is doing in my life as of late. My testimony is every alive and changing in that new things of the way God shows me love is there.
    I think that the obvious becomes overlooked. Something so normal that we don’t even really realize it is there unless it is gone. If God was taken out of everything we would certainly notice since there would be nothing. However, God is so present that we tend to take him for granted. We have to stop and think about God being in things why? not because God is hard to see, but because we are always seeing yet not perceiving.
    I have noticed as of late how I and other Christains and the world as well tend to put people into groups. We as Christains use secular or worldly. There is a place in this in that our brothers and sisters fit in God’s family and everyone else is lost. There is a need for being able to get a point across or be able to refer to the same thing but at times we take this too far. Secular domain should not extend to us thinking work is not God’s or baseball games. I think secular would fit with worldy when talking about sin and our fallen state. Anything that fits into sin and our falen state I would deem as being able to be called wordly and secular. Yet even in these things you can still see God. Because as was talked about in class, Evil relys on good because it twists good. So even in these worldy or secular domains there is good and thus there is God.
    I don’t think secular education can limit God and stop him from revealing himself. I think sometimes it even helps to reveal him. I will agree that they do train students to think in a way that is without God. They don’t want God as the core of knowledge and this does hurt education, but even in this there is good in that without someone questioning our faith would be very weak. Without trials and tests we would not grow. I think the first step for public education should be to at least teach the theory of Creation. It should balance out to even teaching of both. Evolution for one is taught as if it is fact….. it is just an unproven theory which Christianity and Creation is the same scientifically speaking. God needs to be talked about in school and not excluded. If people really want to educate then it is best to look at many different aspects and not focus so much on one such as American schools do in the sciences for Evolution.
    You have a witness in that I have seen and am stating and a witness in God working continually in my life. You have a witness….. now am I a good one is the question.
    Salt and Light

  4. Heshewethree says:

    You are someone I’ve been looking for out here in xanga land. I’m always trying to find someone with thought provoking conversation, and finally! I find you. I’ve even gone into atheist/agnostic vs. christian sites, just for that intellectual stimulation, because I could not find it within the circles claiming christianity. Too much gushy stuff and not enough substance for me. I also went to the above mentioned sites as an experimental thing…to test my wings so to speak as a sower of seed. It’s on my blog…progressively, and it was interesting how God stepped into the situation. Anyways, I enjoyed your blog. Peace.

  5. Jason4Christ says:

    Hmmm… a witness can have various meanings in different contexts.  A witness in a crime or a trial is someone who testifies about what he has seen or heard.  A witness is to communicate the unaltered truth about what happened from his or her perspective.  So in a sense, we witness about what Jesus did 2000 years ago on the cross.  In another sense, we are to witness about what Jesus has done in our lives.  I agree, it’s not just a conversion story though often we think that’s the most important part.  The parts that are most relevant, most important I think are the ones that demonstrate and communicate in clarity the wondrous power of Jesus towards the redemption of corrupted man-kind.

  6. “Is there any way to take public education away from secular thinking?”With the devil having as large a foothold on this world as he does, a largescale reformation of public education would require the involvment of legions of the body of Christ. As it stands, even most Christian kids assume their studies in school are for the most part futile. As far as what a true witness is, i heartily agree with what you wrote. However, YHWH is indeed good; He has nonetheless used our witnessing blunder to draw multitudes to Himself. However, this is a FAR cry from an excuse for our down-graded witnessing techniques. On the flip side, 1 Corinthians 2 is an excellent picture/expanation of what witnessing SHOULD be, that is, telling of …”Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (v. 2) The Spirit will do the rest.

  7. It’s usually not until I have been asked, or put in a position, to share my testimony that I put my focus back on God and what I have seen Him do in my life. There had been a time in my life when I felt ashamed of my testimony. I was saved at a young age and felt there wasn’t must to say. God hadn’t taken me out of a life full of sin…or had He? I’ve grown to love the testimony that God has given me – a life hopefully demonstrating His faithfulness and love towards me. I’ve been blessed with 21 years of seeing God; 21 years of being a witness for Him.Seeing God in mathematics? I know He is there but maybe my limited knowledge of Him prevents me from seeing Him.

  8. Jitzig says:

    I am still struggling with the ability to say that there is order now, after the fall. If sin really did permeate everything, then mathematics is corrupt, physics is corrupt, and so is philosophy. Can we look at these topics and say that they are only corrupt because we are unable to see God through them, or are the processes themselves corrupt. I find it hard to say that mathematics is corrupt now, but it is true that all creation was affected by sin. In what way? In the same way, sin corrupted our bodies. So how can we say that God made you how he wanted to if you were born with a deformity. My deformity has caused me to see God in a new light, but did he create me deformed? Is it possible that He didn’t want me deformed, but he did allow sin to deform me? I would like to think that God had a better idea for how my body should work before the fall. Maybe I am jumping to conclusions. The reality is that we did sin, God knew it would happen, He knew I would be deformed. Secular idea is not seeing God in the God-filled world. I have seen God in my physical problems. I haven’t looked for God in my mathematical problems much. If I look for Him, will I get an incomplete view of who He is due to the fact that math is corrupt? Or, will I get an accurate view of Him because it would be corrupt if I did not see God at all

  9. Matthew 28:19-20 says “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”A witness is someone who shares his/her testimony for Christ and lives our their daily lives for Him letting their light shine and seeking Him in everything that they do. A real witness does go and tell others the gospel, they help the person by discipling them when they accept Christ, and they keep them accountable as they grow into maturity until they can turn around and go out to share the gospel with others and then mentor others also. We witness things every day that can either build us up or tear us down. We have to distinguish between the two and learn from the incident to see what Christ is trying to teach us through what we are experiencing. People are watching for something, anything real and true. They will watch you so our desire as you said above should be to see God everywhere and learn daily. We should hold each other accountable and discuss weekly if not daily how we see God moving in our lives, others, and the world around us so we do not forget that he is ever present in all things. When I was at a secular college (OSU) I never heard any of my professors even Christian ones talk about Christ in anyway. I didn’t feel supported at all there and I only went the need to be perfect and the best to achieve a 4.0. My goal was to belong to the top clubs and organizations (at one point I was in in six and working) to show the world that I was unique, different, and that they would want to hire me because I was the best. I was driven to be perfect so I could achieve all the world could offer (best house, car, money, best job, etc…). I wasn’t happy there and I found out through many deep valleys experiences that I didn’t need the world but Christ to fulfill my deepest longings. Since then I have learned to look around and to try to see daily and to learn from my experiences both good and bad.

  10. Thefroo says:

    Well because we witness about a God who sent His Son for us I know that a lot of people get side tracked on all the facts but something that I want to do is give the gospel in its purest form to people. Why do we think that any other way will work. If it worked for the Apostles then why wouldn’t it work for us. Why do we need to have a big conversion experience to find God? It would be quite an amazing thing if a high schooler could find God in Mathematics or a business class but I don’t think that they would unless God made it happen becasue most Christian’s do not even think about God in Math. In a public school it would never happen but even in a Christian “private” school where we take these kids outside of the real world and “protect them”, its not even taught there. Something that I want to get accross in ministry is that God is in everything and everything was and is made for God from a pencil to a dinosar. Because we are witnesses for God we should look in everything to find Him. Especially because most kids are in public schools and they teach us to be blind to God we should make it a point to truely look for God in everything. I don’t know the answer to your question about how to make a public school into a non-secular thinking school. But I also think that is imminent because the world is going to move further and further away from God no matter what we do because the end is coming and Jesus will return. Therefore, we will move further and further into darkness. For most they will never acknowledge God until in front of Him on the judgment seat.Gods fool,Justin Elafros

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