Ring that Bell

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. – Revelation 12:11.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. – Romans 1:16.

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:14-16.

A church in Avonhead, New Zealand has been told to be quiet, in effect to shut up! At least their bell has to stop ringing and it has been doing its’ ringing for 50 years. As regular as clockwork the bell of St. Christopher’s Church has been ringing for 33 seconds at 7:45am, 9:00am, and 10:30am every Sunday morning for years and years. A neighbor complained about the noise and the Christchurch City Council environmental effects team investigated and found that the bell did exceed the provisions for noise in the Resource Management Act. Archdeacon Mike Hawke was shocked by the complaint and responded by saying, “This church has been here for 50 years. When people come to live here, they need to be aware of what is around them.”

We will soon have a tornado siren system in our little town, which can also be used if there is another type of civil emergency. After reading the story about the church in New Zealand, I think that if we could test those sirens every Sunday morning at about 7 or 8:00am that it might help more people wake up in time for church.

There is a continual pressure from the non-Christian world to muzzle the witness of the Christian world. The church bells may be a nuisance to some but as the archdeacon pointed out the church has been there for 50 years. The bells of the church are a witness, a reminder every Sunday of Christ Jesus. Here in the USA there has been over the last couple of decades increasing attacks on the symbols of Christianity from the Ten Commandments to nativity scenes and even Christmas trees. There is a pressure exerted by the non-Christian and nominal Christian world to silence or cover up any openly Christian witness.

Sometimes the pressure against our Christian witness is very subtle and even sneaky. I distribute free devotional booklets in several convenience stores in the area. In one store, I have noticed that my rack holding the booklets has been consigned to a less desirable position where it is frequently covered in dust. Over the last few weeks, I have noticed that in addition the rack is nearly always hidden by something placed over the top of it that blocks the view of what is in it. Of course, the result is no one sees the booklets and even if they did they probably would not want one that is covered in dust and grime.

Have you ever gone into a club or bar/pub and attempted to hand out Gospel tracts and talk to people about the Lord? I have visited some a few times with an evangelist and you can usually feel the atmosphere becoming charged with hostility. I actually thought we might be attacked in one bar but we escaped before the situation got completely out of hand. In another bar the atmosphere was similar, however, the owner allowed us to put up a poster promoting the revival we were having at the time and seemed happy that we had come.

We must not allow the vocal opposition from the enemy to make us be ashamed of the Gospel. We must not allow the lawsuits to intimidate us into hiding our Gospel light where no one can see it. We can only overcome the enemy by continuing to let our light shine, and by courageously sharing the Gospel and our testimony of the Lord even when all may appear to be against us. We must stand up, and speak up for the Gospel of Jesus Christ no matter how hard the enemy tries to make us stop. Let that light shine! Share that testimony! Ring that bell!

(There has been and will continue to be increasing pressure against every form of Christian witness.)

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *