Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church (Sydney, Australia)

Home > Online Magazine > Online Magazine: Edition 60 - Winter (Jun-Aug) 2019 > Bad Weather Christians (by Norman Tew)

Bad Weather Christians

by Norman Tew

It was a cold and wet Sabbath morning, quite out of season for the late summer day that it was according to the calendar.  We were gathered together for our Bible Study in Sabbath School.  The leader came to the front and after thanking the musicians who had just led us in a time of praise, she turned to the congregation and said "Welcome to bad weather Christians!"  Not a normal greeting.

But we talk about "Good Weather Christians" as the sort of people who are only Christians as long as everything goes well, so why not "Bad Weather Christians" for those whose faith holds when things are not going well.

Job would probably be the best known example of a "Bad Weather Christian".  His story is told in what was probably the first book of the Bible to be written.  He had severe problems of various kinds and he could not understand why.  He did not know that he was being used as a "test case" against God by Satan.  But despite all his problems and failure to understand why he remained faithful to God.  I suppose it might be argued that Job was not a Christian but a worshipper of God, since the Messiah (Christ) had not yet come.

So let us look for a true "Bad Weather Christian".  Probably the first who comes to mind would be the Apostle Paul.  He wrote "From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness-besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. (2 Corinthians 11:24-28 NKJV).  This could certainly be listed as Bad Weather, but he continued to serve Jesus.

Perhaps it might be good to look at someone who could have been called a "Fair Weather Christian".  John Mark went with this relative Barnabas and missionary Paul but he soon departed from them and returned to Jerusalem (see Acts 13:13).  The next time Barnabas wanted Mark to go with them Paul rejected him most firmly as a "Fair Weather Christian" (see Acts 15).  But fortunately people can change and later in his career Paul was able to say that Mark was profitable to him for ministry (see 2 Timothy 4:11).

Unfortunately people can also change the other way.  When writing to the Colossians (4:14) and Philemon (1:24) Paul talks of his fellow labourer Demas.  So Demas was willing to be a "Bad Weather Christian" at one stage, but unfortunately when writing to Timothy (2nd letter 4:10) Paul had to say that Demas had forsaken him, because he loved this present world.  Had some bad weather turned him away from Jesus, or perhaps it was not bad weather that changed him so much as the allure of other things.

In our land Christians do not experience persecution for being Christians but there are those in other parts of the world who are experiencing severe "Bad Weather" because of their allegiance to God yet remain faithful.  But "Bad Weather" does not only come through severe persecution.  Demas was not pulled away from Christ by persecution but by the love of the world.  We need always to be on our guard.

Home > Online Magazine > Online Magazine: Edition 60 - Winter (Jun-Aug) 2019 > Bad Weather Christians (by Norman Tew)