Erasing God

By Nick Welford (Covering for Alex on leave in South Africa)

The other week I watched the film Coach Carter. Based on the true story of basketball coach Ken Carter it charts his journey of coaching a poor performing college team to some unexpected success. Every time one player enters a game Carter asks him ‘What do you fear?’ The player doesn’t have an answer for him until much later in the film when he says this:

‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.’

Nice quote eh? I even thought to myself ‘I might use that in a sermon!’ Sometime later I remembered that thought and looked up the quote on the internet and this is what I found:

‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Did you notice it? The removal of the mention of God. It changes the quote, suddenly the reason for our light is our own ability rather than God’s grace. This phenomenon, removing God, has crept into every sphere of our life. New atheism in particular, is aggressively trying to remove God from the human consciousness.

But the trouble is that we cannot hold ourselves accountable, we cannot shine by ourselves, when we try we do promote insecurity in others, without the knowledge that our light comes from God all we are left with is pride. And it’s not just the secular world that we see this trend – How often do I acknowledge God in my life? How often do I thank Him for the many, many things He does for me? When I preach or lead a service and people thank me, do I acknowledge God or accept their praise? The Bible tells us to make the most of every opportunity, yet we often leave God out of our everyday lives.

Jude 1:24-25 ‘To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and for evermore! Amen.’