This applies to us all right now - but can anyone remember way back in 2014 - it was huge news when a Florida Judge in a ruling stated that it was a constitutional right in the United States for a motorist to flash their lights to coming drivers alerting them a radar police presence.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported on that case from 'The Orlando Sentinel' on 25-year-old Ryan Kintner of Lake Mary, Florida, who challenged a fine he received from an officer who saw him flashing his lights at oncoming motorists.
Kintner’s lawyer, J Marcus Jones, claims his client took the case to court because he felt his human rights had been imposed upon. “He felt the police specifically went out of their way to silence Mr Kintner and that it was clearly a violation of his First Amendment free speech rights,” Jones is quoted as saying. Jones is also involved in a similar suit against the state’s highway patrol.
NSW police media, as reported by that Sydney Morning Herald article, while there’s no specific law against flashing your lights to warn other motorists, doing so may still result in a fine and demerit points.
The official term for the offense is “Use high-beam on oncoming vehicle less than 200 metres”, and the penalty is an $88 fine and one demerit point. There’s another law that also covers flashing your headlights “not as prescribed” which could also cost you $88 but no points. In Victoria, the law is the same – you’re not permitted to use high-beam within 200 metres of oncoming traffic, but there’s no specific rule surrounding warning other drivers of police presence.
Parallels in Christian Evangelism
There are so many parallels with this story with that of Christian evangelism in so many parts of the world.
The very nature of 'flashing your lights' to alert oncoming drivers of a radar trap ahead of them, is indisputably of like manner to that of an evangelist warning his hearers of the terrible dangers ahead of them - without repentance.
Then comes the rejoicing in the Salvation of Jesus Christ by his death on the Cross for their sin, and His resurrection as assurance of life eternal.
Yet, in so many parts of the world, this very act of “warning of such dangers ahead” is not only restricted and banned but can land the evangelist in prison or to death.
An associate and friend of mine, Dan Wooding. developed Assist News Service in 1984 to bring to light the persecuted church around the world. He has a team of international journalists who report on such activities and he distributes them to editors globally.
Dan Woodings' web site documents and details case after case, state after state, country after country of real-life, real-time of the most horrible situations where ordinary Christian people, church workers, missionaries and pastors are handed out such terrible injustice.
And what is their crime?
The philosophical flashing of lights, warning their hearers of the destiny ahead without the saving love of Jesus Christ.
If there is ever a time for prayer, now is that time. I encourage readers to visit Dan Wooding's web site and read these daily news releases of such horrific and unjust responses to that of this “flashing of lights”,
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award, The Gutenberg. In September 2020 Summer Moore presented her commission portrait of Dr Mark Tronson holding the Gutenberg plaque. The above photo is the upper part from this portrait.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at: http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html