How can the term of secularism be described? Some say that it is the concept of freedom of and from religion, such as separation from the state. Others claim that secularism should be viewed as the fairest of all social orders due to its stance of neutrality so that all people can live together fairly and peacefully.
From TWR’s perspective, any ideology taken to its extreme – including secularism itself – has the potential to become a barrier in coming to know the living God and growing in one’s faith. This is why TWR, together with its network of media partners around the world, seeks to overcome these ideological barriers by focusing on the life-changing, long-lasting hope found in Jesus Christ.
For a secular-minded German lady named Heidi, it took a long time for such a life-changing experience to come her way …
Thanks to her attractive looks and outgoing personality, Heidi’s years as a young adult were full of adventure and open doors to get to know the world. She spent some time working as a photo model. Her interest in art, and the promotion of it, led her to spend significant time around the globe, such as in Southeast Asia and the Caribbean. According to Heidi, she was "living the life" with interactions among the rich and famous. Eventually, she started dabbling with spirituality and esoteric beliefs. And why not? Maybe this would be a way to expand her horizons, just like everything else?
Similar to Heidi’s situation, an increasing number of people around the world are seeking to find answers to life's questions and uncertainties in what secularism has to offer. Evermore individualism and self-determination. Relegation of God to the minimum. Focus on health, wealth and security. Indulgence of entertainment and consumerism. But where are the boundaries that protect us from ourselves and our inherent sinful nature? What if the gospel message was and is indeed the answer?
Heidi’s life took an unexpected turn while on the Caribbean island of Bonaire. A man visited one of her exhibitions that she was organizing and invited her to visit an event hosted by TWR. Heidi explains, “I showed up out of curiosity as I had no idea about TWR’s ministry. It was astonishing to experience the focus on prayer for the world. I also kept hearing them talk about ‘missions.’” At the end of the event, the gentleman gave her a local square-shaped 5-cent coin and said, “You can keep it!” Heidi looked slightly irritated as she took the coin, so the man continued by sharing, “This is the same with Jesus Christ. You can either accept him or deny him!”
This encounter deeply impacted Heidi. She recognized that God was somehow taking care of her.
Let us consider Heidi’s circumstance. Her life took a turn because of someone taking the time and effort to connect with her. Someone told her about Jesus. It was not a speech of complex theological thought. It was the message conveyed through a simple coin that outweighed what the "world" had to offer to Heidi.
This is an example of how TWR and its partners seek to share the hope found in Jesus Christ with the world: clear, contextualized and caring. It is about people finding salvation and strengthening their roots in Christ alone!
Heidi’s story continues in that it took another year for her to purchase a Bible and start reading it. She suddenly became strongly convicted of her sinful life choices and decided to lay it all before the Lord. It was a complete turnaround of her lifestyle and understanding of who God is. For the past years, Heidi has dedicated her life to sharing the hope she has found in Christ with the people she meets. She also keenly follows the ministry of TWR as a fervent prayer supporter and financially supports some of TWR’s international staff as well.
Secularism as an ideology pushes the narrative for the sharing of the gospel of Jesus Christ to be minimized and "toned down." However, regardless of secularism or any other ideology, hope, indeed, knows no barriers.
A crucial step in Heidi’s journey of coming to know the Lord involved having someone share the gospel with her in a personal way. AT TWR, we strive to speak hope to the world by being the voice of a trusted friend who cares. Will you join us in being someone’s someone?
Around the world, TWR broadcasts from key transmitter sites to people groups far and near, in their own languages, with programs contextualized specifically for them. For example, the broadcasts from TWR’s powerful 450,000-watt transmitter site on Bonaire reach the northern part of South America, Cuba and a majority of the Caribbean, and westward to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. You can read about TWR’s impact in Cuba and beyond here.
The key to TWR’s effectiveness in reaching the world for Christ is through its vast network of partners in media and ministry. TWR and its media partners create inspirational, biblically sound content. A wonderful example of such a multifaceted partnership can be found through TWR’s digital platform TWR360. In cooperation with our partner ministries, a wide range of topics are created so that people from around the world can be encouraged, challenged and inspired in their walk of faith. Find out more here.
Educational and Informational Links
Hope Knows No Barriers - TWR
Tomorrow’s gods: What is the future of religion? - BBC Future
A closer look at how religious restrictions have risen around the world - Pew Research Center
The changing global religious landscape - Pew Research Center