On the heels of the Oregon Umpqua Community College Shooting, a new hashtag has risen: #YesImAChristian.
I had to write about this.
I have seen interesting discussions going back and forth about whether people would be willing to actually stand up and profess Christianity if it meant that they would die.
Superman and I have had this discussion with our kids for years. We’ve talked about those in other countries dying for their faith and about the importance of our faith not just being lip service, but something deep down in our cores, something that is so burrowed in that we cannot separate ourselves from it. We’ve told them that we cannot make them have this faith. This is something they will need to come by on their own. It is something that Superman and I can only pray for, that our kids will have such a deep-rooted faith, that the idea of denying Christ would be like having their hearts ripped out of their chests.
On the flip side, I’ve read many comments from people saying that they would deny Jesus in a second if it meant saving their life or their child’s life. That God knows our hearts, and He would understand if we had to deny Him in order to save ourselves. After all, Peter denied Jesus three times to save his own life, no?
Of course Jesus still loved Peter. Jesus’ love for us goes so far beyond our failures and mistakes that we can’t even comprehend it. But it doesn’t make Peter’s actions the best. It doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a better option. Peter made a mistake. I don’t think that’s what we should be emulating. Ten of the other 12 disciples, on the other hand, died for their faith. It’s not something I aspire to, but it’s something I admire and respect.
Using Peter as an excuse to deny Jesus is like saying you’d rather beg for forgiveness than ask for permission. Again, not the best option. An option, yes. But not the ideal.
Some have suggested that if I say I would stand up for Jesus and be killed for it, I am looking down upon those who wouldn’t. To that, I would say: That’s between you and God. I have no place in that relationship, and I would never tell someone else what they should do in a situation like that.
But for me? Jesus is a deep-seeded root burrowed down in the tiniest crevices of my soul. I can’t deny him. It would be like denying that one of my children was mine in order to avoid death. I would never do that.
Sure, I could ask Jesus for forgiveness later. I could tell him, “Hey, Jesus! I was about to be shot in the head. I’m so sorry I had to deny you, but they were gonna kill me!”
But is that what I want my faith to be?
I can’t even begin to say that I know what these Oregon families are going through right now. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in the position those students and teacher were in, having to decide between life or death in a matter of milliseconds.
But I can say that my hope, my very best intention, would be that no matter what, I. would. not. deny. Christ.
Because, I AM A CHRISTIAN.
And I will forever be so. No matter what the government throws at me, no matter what persecution comes, no matter who tells me to deny Christ, my God is my strong tower, my fortress, my ultimate strength and redeemer. The least I can do is stand up for Him. After all, did he not give the ultimate sacrifice for me??
I don’t think by denying Christ to save my life, I would lose my salvation or my spot in heaven. I just believe that if my Lord was willing to die for me, I should be willing to stand with Him.
I pray that none of us ever has to face this gut-wrenching, devastating decision. But if we do, my prayer would be that we would know, without a shadow of a doubt, that our God is bigger, stronger, greater than anything we may face on this earth.
Selena G. says
This is wonderful. I think not enough people have the cajones to stand up for anything anymore, and I think that’s a tragedy. Thank you for being the voice for many of us who don’t speak up!
Shanti Landon says
Thank you, Selena!
Thank you for this! Wonderfully written and so true–I don’t think using Peter as an example is the best option. After all, he was extremely regretful of his decision.
Shanti Landon says
Whitney @ Come Home For Comfort says
Wonderfully said. To God be the Glory, amen. I hope you don’t mind at all, I have shared your words and post it on my Facebook page ? therefore let all people be reminded what truly is the meaning of being a Christian. Stay faithful in Christ.
God Bless you abundantly.
Thanks and Happy Sunday by the way.????