Hide It Under a Bushel? No!

(Spectrumbot) #1

You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven (Matt 5:14-16).

Schedule-challenged, I hustle across my client University's campus for an 11:30 a.m. interview with a candidate for a mid-level management position. I've read his CV. It reveals he's an equity partner in a prestigious international firm. His career to date has been a steady progression of major roles in institutions and firms. He has many years to go before retirement.

The position he is applying for would be no more than entry level for a man of his education at the start of his career. His experience over-qualifies him. The professional references have checked out, but there must be a catch. I am determined to find out the hidden issue that must be driving him from the corporate heights.

I find the applicant to be personable as we start, then I go straight at him. "Why do you want a job that has far less status and responsibility than your current position and only a small fraction of your current salary?"

His answer is direct. "I have two children in elementary school. I travel constantly for my work. The demands on my time are constant. I need a change. I believe I can do this job well and still be home with my family every night. I am willing to work for a lot less to gain that." He goes on to say that his wife and he want to watch their children grow up together in a community of faith.

I am moved by the man's answer. Long ago, Christ intercepted my career trajectory and I have never been the same. I recognize the hunger for peace and rest in his eyes.

Later on in the search committee, others express surprise he would accept such a reduction in status and salary. I say, "I was cynical at first, but his answer is credible. We talk a lot here about valuing ‘wholeness’ and ‘well-being.’ Yet, we are cynical when someone wants to live out those values at a material sacrifice. Who is really the honest party in this?"

My question is greeted with knowing looks and rueful laughter. To paraphrase Isaiah, "I am a workaholic and I dwell among workaholics" (Isa 6:5).

Those of us gathered in the conference room are believers. We claim the life of Jesus Christ as our own. Jesus' life is the shining blessing of "light for all people . . . The true light, which enlightens everyone. . . ." (John 1:4, 9)

By the true light, I mean the power to dispel and overcome darkness (John 1:5). Jesus shares that power with us. He says, "You are the light of the world." When we look to Jesus as the source of salvation and grace we reflect his shining glory (2 Cor 3:18).

An awesome power energizes us as "the light of the world." The Apostle Paul writes that the same God, who commanded, "Let light shine out of darkness" at the commencement of Creation, shone in our hearts through the resurrection of Jesus "to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor 4:6). We are set alight by the same power who makes the sun rise every morning and sets the heavens ablaze in the night.

Just as our eyes follow the path of sunlight or moonlight on the water until it leads us to look up to its source, so Jesus says the deeds of love and care we do for others leads them to see the glory of the Father reflected in us.

We learn a song in childhood that comes to mind here – "This Little Light of Mine," with lyrics by Ava Burgeson Christiansen and music by Harry Dixon Loes (1920):

This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine. This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine. This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

All around the neighborhood, I'm going to let it shine. All around the neighborhood, I'm going to let it shine. All around the neighborhood, I'm going to let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel? No! I'm going to let it shine. Hide it under a bushel? No! I'm going to let it shine. Hide it under a bushel? No! I'm going to let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Don't let Satan [blow] it out! I'm going to let it shine. Don't let Satan [blow] it out! I'm going to let it shine. Don't let Satan [blow] it out! I'm going to let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

The song picks up a rather odd statement of Jesus when he tells us of our witness to his shining light. He says, "No one after lighting a lamp puts it under a bushel basket, but (puts it) on a lampstand, and it gives light to the whole house" (Matt 5:15). This seems so obvious it doesn't need mention, but Jesus always has something in mind with his similes and metaphors.

A bushel basket is used for harvesting, gathering, storing and measuring productivity. These are activities of work – human effort and endeavor. Work is a gift of God (Eph 2:10; 2 Thess 3:10-12). It is his intention that we enjoy what he gives us to do as a way of life (Ecc 3:10-13).

Working for our own pride and purposes is futile. Solomon wrote, "Apart from him [God] who can eat or find enjoyment. For to the one who pleases him God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy; but to the sinner he gives the work of gathering and heaping, only to give to the one who pleases God" (Ecc 2:24-25, emphasis added).

Baskets are instruments for "the work of gathering and heaping." Sinners are those who go it alone without God. We are sinners when our gathering and heaping become ends in themselves in our pride of self and desire for success and security.

We are tempted to hold on to the products of our labor and measure and compare them against the work of others as our standard of living. The pride of doing and the lust of having sends us in search of bigger baskets. Then sometime, somehow, the desire for more leads us to place our work basket over the light because we need the space and the stuff. We think we know what we are doing enough to handle the dark.

But the purpose of the light isn't to help us work more and harder. We cannot even claim credit for the good deeds Jesus says we'll do to reveal the glory of the Father. We were "created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand as our way of life" (Eph 2:10).

The light of Christ illuminates the work of God performed by us through his grace to his glory. His light is indispensable. Our work is not.

The downwardly mobile job applicant I described at the beginning of the story recognized the soul's tipping point when we set our work basket over Christ's light because of our obsession with gathering and heaping. He repented, set aside his basket and turned back to the light. Who does this kind of thing so contrary to the world's values? A follower of Jesus does.

The man's witness has already encouraged others to repent of their basket envy and look up at Jesus. "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it" (John 1:5).

"Hide it under a bushel? No! I'm going to let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine."

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/6851


The opening scripture passage was 3 verses from the sermon on the mount which contains 111 verses and is ONE sermon.

(Kim Green) #3

Thank-you for sharing this…it gets to the heart of what we “serve” and what it is really worth to us.

What Christ requires of us is simple, but still profound- our whole heart and soul. As we serve Him, we grow in love and grace and this is truly what gives us the “Heart of the Servant”. When we have the Holy Fire in our hearts it will burn brilliantly so that all may know that we have Him within. It will shine and not be extinguished. Amen.

(Steve Mga) #4

111 verses. It only takes a few minutes to read chapters 5,6,7 and Luke’s even shorter shorthand version.
What we DO NOT get to hear is the responses by the people listening, and the further Clearification of His pithy statements.
Here in the 21st Century we have figure it out for ourselves. What His announcement of the Kingdom of Heaven is here, the Kingdom of Heaven is With In You, With In Me means.
We rise to perfection in following these 111 verses as we Internalize them in Our Minds, in Our Hearts.

Internalization is the Life-Long process that produces Sanctification.

(Carrol Grady`) #5

The human condition is always leading us to do things ourselves. I remember an ad some years back where a daughter says, “Please, Mother, I’d rather do it myself!” How few of us, I think, have actually let go of our lives and allowed Jesus to do what He will with them.

(le vieux) #6

After pointing out that men do not put their lights under bushel basket, He commands us: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matt. 5:16.

So why is there a trend to hide the name “Seventh-day Adventist” in many places? We see churches with names such as: “Downtown Community Church,” instead of “Downtown Seventh-day Adventist Church.” Why are they hiding their light under a fake name? Besides being deceitful, it appears to be an attempt to make the Adventist church look like any other church.

(Steve Mga) #7

"Downtown community church"
The SDA church SHOULD be a “community” church located in a “community”.
If not, then it has no business being in “a community”.
This type of name proclaims that ALL ARE WELCOME!
Not ALL SDA churches proclaim “ALL ARE WELCOME!” Which is very, very sad.
Not ALL SDA churches, by their words and actions allow the words “ALL ARE WELCOME” to be proclaimed.

(Thomas J Zwemer) #8


if you were to list your identity characteristics. Would Christian come before or after Seventh day Adventist?

I think taxonomy is important. So I am glad that John Worte “For God so loved the World that He gave—” Of course one can say more but one cannot say less than Christ is Lord.

I teach a Sunday School class at Brandon Wilde. the members of the class come from a wide range of denominations. one sweet little lady sit on the front row center and gives me a cold start. She is a Southern Baptist. She is just waiting to caught me in a doctrinal error. she found out I was baptized by immersion but not in running water like the River Jordan, but I got a pass. So far I’ve past muster but my lessons are 25 minutes long and she tell me that is too short. I wanted to tell her I came out of such an environment and don’t care to return. Oh that check list mentality is so sad. the bondage of denominationalism is as bad as being a dope head. I call it red bookitis. Tom Z

(le vieux) #9

That’s not the point. Baptists don’t hide their name (“First Baptist Church,” etc.), nor do Catholics, or Methodists, and so on. Christian is generic; Baptist or Adventist is specific, and there is no reason to hide it.

(le vieux) #10

That’s not the fault of the name “SDA;” it’s the fault of the individual members who are unfriendly. Other churches can be just as cliquish as some Adventists.

(Steve Mga) #11

Downtown Community Church.

Does this Group preach Christ first?
Does this Group preach “the 28” first?
There is a real difference as to whether they have or have not the Motto – ALL ARE WELCOME!

(Thomas J Zwemer) #12

good point, But why advertize what divides us?, I am glad I was baptized but the baptisim that counts is Christ was baptized for all of mankind just as He died and rose again. We all get to heaven as the thief on the cross. he gave a witness to only a few dozen at best and for a few moments without declaring an affiliation except to Christ. I stand with him. Tom Z

(Carolyn Parsons) #13

I noticed the same thing about evangelistic series’. They almost never say that they are SDA and they most often hold the first few meetings in a neutral location. Talk about trying to hide under a bushel!; not just the light, but the entire church.

(le vieux) #14

Yeah, that bothers me, too. I sort of understand it, because there is prejudice against Adventists in some places. Some folks who might listen to our message, will stay away if they know the meetings are being conducted by the Adventist church. But it seems dishonest, and I can’t help thinking that there must be a better way.

(le vieux) #15

Or are they just a pious social club? Churches which downplay doctrine to attract more members, aren’t likely to preach the unvarnished truth.

(Carolyn Parsons) #16

I suppose the same thing is true for the churches who choose those non-denominational names. There are many, especially younger urban people that may stay away from the churches if they knew. It seems ironic that you would preach honesty and light by tricking people to join you.

There is a better way, being honest as you suggest.


Rated top religious joke by some…
Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”

He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?” He said, “A Christian.” I said, “Me, too!
Protestant or Catholic?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me, too!
What franchise?” He said, “Baptist.” I said, “Me, too!
Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?” He said, “Northern Baptist.” I said, “Me, too!
Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”

He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.” I said, “Me, too!
Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” I said, “Me, too!”

Northern Conservative†Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?" He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.”

I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over.


I don’t know–perhaps because it is the registered trademark of legal entity?

That has a vaguely Mark-of-the-Beast-ish feel to me. :six: :six: :six:

These aren’t the Droids you’re looking for…

Even if I believed all 28, as written, I wouldn’t call myself a legal trademark. :registered: ewwww…

Pastor Going to Jail for Continued Infringement of Seventh-day Adventist Trademark

A pastor his headed to jail for defying a trademark infringement ruling in favor of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, according to the Adventist News Network.

On July 13, Pastor Walter McGill was apprehended and turned over to law enforcement on the campus of Loma Linda University.


Why SDAs Hide Their Identity in Their Own Words

A very common practice in Adventism in order to gain converts is to rent a public facility for meetings and send invitations in mass mailings to the community. The colorful invitations include promises to explain Biblical topics relating to end times and other subjects people may have questions about. What they don’t include is any mention of who they are.

By posting the following, I am not specifically calling SDA a cult, but I am pointing out one big reason why others label Adventism a cult, and this kind of thing is all over the internet:

Why Seventh-Day Adventists Hide Who They Really Are!

The reason why they go out of their way to hide their religious affiliation is because they know that the history of their cult is a major embarrassment.

SDA’s learned a long time ago that the fastest way to lose followers is to admit that they are SDA’s. So they don’t tell people and naive victims are duped. By the time their victims realize the name of the cult they’ve joined, they’ve become friends with them. SDA’s are highly deceptive. I challenge you to prove what I say. Anytime you see a nice looking couple talking about Jesus, but you have a difficult time finding out what religious denomination they belong to, I guarantee you they are likely Seventh-Day Adventists. SDA’s are known for hiding their true identity as Adventists, because they know that most people will RUN AWAY, and rightfully so.

There are 3-ways by which you can identify a Seventh-Day Adventist very quickly:

*They won’t tell you their denominational affiliation.
*They use colorful artwork in their literature.
*They talk a lot about future prophecy.


(le vieux) #21

You can find anything you want on the internet. Man didn’t go to the moon; it was all staged in Hollywood; the government engineered the events of 9/11/01; aliens have landed on earth (before War of the Worlds :wink: ), etc., etc. So I don’t give much credibility to that kind of criticism. It is what one would expect from those who don’t like us, or from former SDA’s who are now antagonistic toward the church (like Dale Ratzlaff, et. al.). Our history is not embarrassing at all. We admit the mistakes that were made, and now have clearer understanding of the prophecies. I’m not sure we always need to announce who is sponsoring a series, but we should not go out of our way to hide it.


Well, don’t you think that’s why that stuff is all over the internet? They’re not making that up about SDAs. I’ve seen many of those Revelation Seminar brochures myself.

This is not about the moon, this is about people feeling burned by the devious way SDAs present themselves.

Would you be happy if you found out that the seminar you attended, and invested time in, was Roman Catholic, and you weren’t informed about it straight-up, from the start?

Ellen White: Everything that Christians do should be as transparent as the sunlight.